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Conflict Resolution for Roommates

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What can I do if I can’t resolve a conflict with my roommate?

Conflict Resolution for Roommates

Conflicts are inevitable in any shared living situation. While some roommate squabbles may be relatively benign such as arguments over who left crumbs on the counter and who drank the last of the milk, some conflicts between roommates can become more serious. Issues such as failure to pay rent, frequent late night guests and disrespect can result in conflicts which are significantly more difficult to resolve. In these instances mediation may be worthwhile and breaking the rental agreement may also be necessary.

As long as roommates do not feel threatened, it is always a good idea to attempt to resolve conflicts without the intervention of a third party. However, in cases where the roommates are not willing to compromise or are not able to understand their roommate's viewpoint a neutral mediator can help to facilitate a conflict resolution. A mediator will likely speak to each of the roommates individually to assess the situations and then oversee a meeting with all of the roommates present. During this meeting the mediator will ask questions, offer comments and attempt to clarify his understanding of the conflict. The mediator can also offer potential solutions.

In the event that mediation is unsuccessful it may be in the best interest for one of the roommates to vacate the housing unit. This can be a difficult situation but many roommates will find this is the only viable solution to the problem. Deciding which roommate will move out and how the rent will be covered until the roommate can be replaced will have to be determined. Legal counsel may be required to make these determinations.



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