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5 Rules for Living with Roommates (Friends)

By Edited May 7, 2015 1 4

Choosing a Roommate Demands Some Consideration

In today’s economy many singles are finding it difficult to live alone and keep up with all the expenses especially if you're just starting college.  For some the answer to this problem is finding a living with roommates.  The possibility of having someone live with you may sound great; especially the part where they pay fifty percent of the expenses that need to be paid.  So far this sound likes a great idea, right?  Well, before you decide to take this challenge on; there are a few rules that you need to put into place.  This will protect you and help to make the experience a great one.

Happy Roommates
Rules for Roomates #1 - Have A Written Contract. 

Do you know how many friends have moved into together on nothing more than a handshake?  What makes some people feel like this is okay, is how well they may know the other person, but how well do you really know anyone when it comes to responsibility.  To ensure that the both of you understand the terms and expectations when they move in; everything needs to be in writing.  The contract should include; the number of months, the amount of the rent (to include any utilities), the date when rent is due, and any additional issues that you could see for the foreseeable future.

Rules for Roomates #2 - Do a Credit Check

Friends are no exception to this rule.  Have your friend bring you a copy of his or her credit report to make sure they have not had problems in the past paying rent or any other bills.  You will surely become annoyed if the phone is ringing off the hook daily from creditors that are looking for your roommate.  If you find that your buddy has bad debt and you still want to take 

Rules for Living With Roommates(109443)
them in as a roommate; request at least three months of payments upfront.  If this seems unfair to you; then simply look for another roommate.

Rules for Roomates #3 - Managing Personality Conflicts. 

When deciding on what type of roommate you need; one of the things to keep in mind is their personality.  If you are a quiet person that enjoys reading and watching television after work; you will not be happy living with a party animal.  You must ensure that whomever you choose shares some of the same personality traits as yourself.  By following this one rule your chance of cohabitating successfully is greatly increased.

Rules for Roomates #4 - Set Rules for Privacy. 

Make sure that the two of you discuss privacy.  This can become a serious problem when it comes to your personal belonging and your space.  Make sure your potential roommate understands that what you buy to eat is for you only and that no one is to enter your bedroom or 

Rules for Living With Roommates
bathroom without your explicit permission.  Many roommates have dissolved their relationships by someone overstepping their boundaries in this regard.  Just be sure that the very privacy that you request is extended to your roommate as well.

Rules for Roomates #4 - Set Rules for Guests. 

Having people over from time to time when you have a roommate situation is usually okay to all parties involved, but what happens when the time to time becomes every day?  This is a turning point where communications is the key to a happy ending.  If your friend starts seriously dating someone or you start seeing someone daily; together you have to decide what is acceptable.  No one living together should feel like they are being encroached upon by an outside party.  Once a decision has been made on how to handle this, both parties should adhere to it.  When the time comes that the new daters decide they want to live togethe; one of two decisions is imminent.  Either he or she moves in and pays one third of the rent or the two of them move out.  Either way, everyone should feel respected and supportive of the other person in the end.

Living with roommates can be a great way to lessen the burden of expenses paid when renting an apartment or purchasing a home.  By simply having a contract, reviewing credit reports, discussing privacy, and overnight guests; this can be a win-win situation.  Friends are probably easiest to cohabitate with because you already know a lot about them.  Remember, even with friends there can be personality conflicts, so know what you are getting yourself into.  Help is great, but aggravation and annoyance can severe even the strongest friendships.

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Comments

Sep 13, 2012 8:59pm
Finallyfast
Great article with some valuable suggestions!

Thumbs Up!
Sep 15, 2012 1:33pm
Shivon
Wish my niece could have read this two year ago upon entering college. We thought she was messy, and so did she, so the college partnered her with a match. My goodness! she was in for a big surprise. Undies all over the place, dirty dishes and garbage pilling up like crazy.... She had to provide proof in order to be moved to another dorm. Great tips and suggestions!
Sep 16, 2012 6:29pm
accordionplayer
Good list. Given my experience, you covered the key areas.
Sep 18, 2012 8:12am
psidwell
Based on my experience with roommates, these are all very important tips. I hope this gets the recognition it deserves. Thanks for sharing!
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