Living with another human being is a risky venture. Be it for good or bad, a roommate is definitely going to change your living environment and experience at home.
If you have good roommates, they will make your home life friendly, feasible, and fun. You can split the rent and hire a more spacious house in a good location or find a better house which you can't rent on your own. Also, if you move to a new city, roommates can give you good company until you expand your social network. They can introduce you to new people with whom you can create a lifetime of memories.
By sharing your living space, you can expect friendly help at a time when you become helpless. For instance, you may come across a time when you lose your phone charger. Rather than staying annoyed at the issue, you can simply borrow a charger from your roommate. If your roommate falls short of flour while baking a cake, you can help fulfill their need. You may find roommates who can swap skills with you and fill in your weaknesses.
Point to know for your future roommate
- Their daily schedule.
- Financial responsibilities.
- Their romantic and personal relationships (they can help you know if they will have overnight guests frequently). Their needs in terms of personal space.
- Their living conditions in the past.
Tips to set limitations
You should discuss a cleaning schedule with your roommates since they might have different expectations about keeping the house neat and clean. This can be a big source of conflict between people living together. It would be a good idea to create a schedule of the chores and decide what needs to be done by you and what should be done by your roommates.
You can fix a day, for example Saturday evening, when both of you can clean the entire house. However, you will need to ensure that the day and time you choose are suitable for the both of you.
Here's a list of responsibilities you must consider:
- Throwing away the trash.
- Cleaning the floors.
- Cleaning the refrigerator.
- Washing the kitchen sink.
- Washing the utensils.
- Keeping the room tidy.
Tips to manage visitors
You will need to discuss how you will handle visitors coming to your house, including romantic partners. There is a higher chance of conflict when it comes to an intimate partner coming over to your house. Make sure you create a system that is suitable for both you and your roommate so that there are clear boundaries set and no awkwardness. You could try to do the following:
- Set a time limit for the guests.
- Decide if an intimate partner can stay overnight at the house.
- Discuss how you can indicate to your roommate that you need privacy.
Talk about your phone policy
You may need to have private conversations with your friends or family members, so we suggest you think about if this should take place inside the room or outside the room.
- You should create different rules for daytime and night-time phone conversations.
- It’s good to make it clear that making a call in the room is fine only until the other person isn’t studying or doing heavy concentration work.
Decide when to turn off the room light
Both you and your roommate may have a different time sleeping time, so we recommend that you set up a time where you can both turn off the light. If you want to watch a movie around this time or stay up later, you should use headphones and a personal light in to avoid disturbing your roommates.
Roommate red flags you shouldn’t ignore
Roommate feels there’s only one correct way to do things
We all grow up in different ways based on the place we came from, our culture, and our social class along with other factors. We also embrace our habits depending on our likes and dislikes as adults. Though you will discuss some important questions before choosing a roommate, if your roommate thinks that his viewpoints on the discussed agenda are the final call, you should consider it as a red flag.
We suggest you find a roommate who will listen to and respect your viewpoints if they are reasonable. An ideal roommate will be a person who is ready to make the compromises needed to live with another person. You must also make sure that you are ready to compromise as well.
Financially unstable roommate
You may find it weird to ask a stranger about their finances and income. However, if this person is to be your roommate, this will be an important question to clarify as you both may need to intertwine your finances in the future when it comes to paying. This makes it important for you to have a good understanding of the financial risks you may face if the person stops paying the rent.
Roommate wants, you to pay for uncomfortable things
There might be a situation when your roommate may want you to contribute financially for services you don't use like a satellite tv. They might also ask you to split bills into purchasing costly furniture or repainting the house as a part of a home improvement project. This can be a big cause of conflict between you both, so you must set your expectations right.
Roommate doesn’t meet your expectations regarding sharing
There isn’t any perfect way to share things within the house with your roommate. However, you must ensure that both of you are on the same page regarding the items which need to be shared and how you will do that.
For example, you will need to decide if both of you need to buy coffee or if you both should take turns to buy it. You may even need to decide the consequences if one of you breaks dishware or if one of you prefers cheaper cleaning supplies over eco-friendly products. If this isn’t resolved beforehand, you might run into a conflict with your roommate over items used by the both of you.
Another big source of conflict can be if your roommate is fine with everything you say or gets easily bored if you ask any detailed questions; problems arise if ever there a need for communication.
Can you ask a roommate to move out?
If you think your roommate’s behavior is out of control and you have the power to ask your roommate of the house, you should do so. You shouldn’t feel guilty or fear them in any way, because your decision should depend on what makes you most comfortable.
It will be good if you can manage the situation with respect and try to mitigate conflicts. We suggest you should wait until both the parties are calm and all set to have a sensible conversation. You may feel a little awkward, but you should be honest about your feelings. Avoid creating stories while you tell them to leave your house, and instead tell them the truth so that they are prepared to become somebody else’s roommate.
Most importantly, you should give them notice of at least a month which will give them sufficient time to find a new house to stay in. This will also give you enough time to find a new roommate who meets all your reasonable expectations.
Tips to find a roommate online
- Use one of the numerous roommate finder websites online. A roommate finder app works just like a dating app where you will answer a few questions, create your profile, and post a few photos.
- There are a few roommates’ finder sites that will match you with possible compatible roommates. There are a few sites that will allow you to scroll down on your own to find a suitable roommate for yourself. Also, there are a few others that allow you to advertise your available room and describe yourself as a roommate.
- A properly working roommate finder site will be based on your location. For example, if you are looking for a roommate in a major city, like New York, you will have a vast range of options to choose from. Alternatively, if you are looking for a roommate in a rural area, the entire process will be quite complicated.
Roommate Finder Sites
To avoid conflicts with your roommate, it’s important to enter into a roommate agreement, especially if you are living in a rental house. If you are on the same page as your roommate, both of you will know your responsibilities and not get in each other’s way.
In case you need any help while moving to a new house with your roommate, you can hire professional movers. However, if you have just a few items or lighter items to move, you can easily opt for the DIY technique which will be more feasible over hiring moving companies.