July 9, 2010, Newsletter Issue #226: Sharing an Apartment with a Roommate

Tip of the Week


Sharing an apartment with a roommate has many benefits, but it can also be problematic if not managed correctly. Before moving in with a roommate or allowing a roommate to move in with you, there should be an honest discussion about a number of different aspects of living together.

 

Some of the aspects of living together which can cause problems include cleaning of common areas, accounting for food items, having visitors to the apartment and quiet hours. In many cases, these areas will not be a cause for concern unless the roommates have very different opinions on these matters. Therefore, it is important to discuss these issues before they become problems. Bathrooms, kitchens and family rooms are typically common areas in an apartment. If the roommates will share these rooms, they should also share the responsibility for keeping these rooms clean.

 

Roommates also typically share a refrigerator. Some roommates shop together for groceries while others prefer to shop separately and consume only what they purchase. Understanding and agreeing upon these expectations will help to avoid conflict.

 

Visitors to the apartment and quiet hours can also be a cause for concern in a roommate situation. If one of the roommates has frequent visitors or keeps odd hours this can result in resentment by the other roommate. Setting ground rules for when visitors can be present and when the apartment must be relatively quiet is a good idea in these situations. Roommates who have schedules which do not match may not be ideal partners for sharing an apartment. Specifically if one roommate works nights and sleeps during the day this can cause problems if the other roommate works traditional hours.

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