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How to Tell Your Roommate You're Moving Out

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While there's no doubt that having a roommate to split the rent and divide up the household chores with is beneficial, there will come a time when you need to move out and move on. Whether it's because you need to relocate for a new job or because you've decided that it's time to get your own place, breaking the news to your roommate is never an easy thing to do.

No matter how long you've been living together or how well you got along with each other during that time, the following advice will make the whole situation much easier to handle.

Give advanced notice

If you plan on moving out of your apartment, it's best to let your roommate know your plans as soon as possible. Giving your roommate enough notice will allow him time to find a new roommate if necessary and to help you prepare to move out. You also need to allow your roommate time to come up with your half of the rent if you won't be providing your share any longer.

Failing to give your roommate enough time to plan for your absence can make things complicated when it comes time to pay the rent, leaving him in a difficult position. Notify your roommate of your plans to move out as soon as you have made your decision, giving all parties enough time to plan for the changes.

Explain your reasons for leaving

While you may not think that moving out of your apartment and leaving your roommate is a big deal, many experts say that you should treat your decision as you would treat a break-up. That means that it's best if you explain your reasoning for moving out when you break the news to your roommate.

Of course, this conversation will largely depend on the kind of relationship you have with your roommate, but the topic should be approached carefully and you should be open and honest in your explanation of your decision.

Whether you're moving out because you found a new job or because the current living situation isn't working out for you, be clear about your reasoning. Practice your explanation a few times before the conversation, and pay attention to your body language. Remember to always stay positive and avoid the negative aspects of the situation.

Break the news in person

Just as you would with an actual break-up, you should break the news of your move in person, rather than over the phone or through email or text. Let your roommate know that you would like to speak with her and arrange a time for you to talk. Try to avoid having the conversation in a public place like a restaurant or bar, especially if you're unsure of how your roommate will react to the news. Instead, try to have the talk in the privacy of your own home.

Always be truthful and respectful

The reason you should break the news to your roommate face to face is because it's simply more respectful. If the reason you're moving is because you don't get along with your roommate, place the emphasis on your own feelings rather than placing the blame on your roommate. Avoid lying about your reasoning for moving whenever possible, though sometimes, a small lie may be necessary to avoid conflict. Always remember to stay calm at all times during the conversation and address any concerns that your roommate may have by talking it out.

Iron out the final arrangements

Once you've talked the decision over and explained your reasoning behind the move, you and your roommate can begin making arrangements.

Some things to discuss:

  • If your name is on the apartment lease, you'll have to discuss finding another person to possibly move in and take over the lease. However, if both of your names are on it, it will be slightly more complicated, since it can be considered a lease violation in many instances. Be sure to go over this with your landlord if necessary.


  • Who takes the belongings in the apartment that are shared between the two of you


  • Figure out the final rent payments and make arrangements regarding any money owed. It's best to go into this meeting with a plan already laid out, so you are prepared and can help make the process go a little more smoothly.

Robert Moreschi  Posted by Robert Moreschi on September 12, 2013

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