Living with a roommate is a great option if you want to beat loneliness, share house chores, and reduce expenses such as rent, utilities, and household supplies.
Even so, roommate living can also be a significant stressor, especially when you are a first-time-renter. You will often have different personalities, come from different backgrounds, and thus have contrasting interests, values, and lifestyle habits. These dissimilarities can result in long-lasting friction, which, at worst, can affect your school performance.
With proper roommate etiquette, chances are you will maintain healthy relationships regardless of your collegiate year. Here are ten essential roommate tips to help you maintain positive relationships throughout the school year.
1. Have a Roommate Meeting
From the get-go, arrange to meet with your roommate and lay down fair and realistic rules. This step will prepare you for the type of roommate to expect. During the meeting, allow each roommate to participate so everyone can express their expectations.
Agendas to discuss include communal sharing, financial responsibilities, duty rota, and rules around parties. Print out the rules and duty roster and mount them in common areas to ensure everyone stays on track.
You can also use this chance to go through the tenancy agreement together to make everyone aware of set expectations. As a result, you will minimize the occurrence of fights and disagreements.
2. Keep Kitchen Rules
Let’s face it; most heated confrontations stem from failing to observe basic house rules. In most cases, you will be sharing the kitchen and kitchen appliances. Therefore, you must find common ground in maintaining kitchen hygiene and handling equipment.
For example, if you cook shared meals, you can alternate kitchen duties such as cooking, purchasing food supplies, and cleaning. Observe all rules you set and perform your kitchen duties on time to avoid inconveniences.
Create a safe kitchen environment to avoid accidents—switch off appliances such as ovens when not in use and wipe off spills as soon as they occur.
3. Clean Up After Yourself!
A messy room is unsightly and can hinder productivity. When living with a roommate, create a habit of leaving common areas cleaner than you found them—for example, rinsing the bathroom after use for the next person.
If you decide to cook on your own, do your dishes. Clean up pet droppings and remove fur from furnishings. Throwing a party that your roommate isn’t part of? Clear up on time on your own unless they want to help.
Cleaning up your mess at all times enhances the room’s appearance and makes it more habitable for both of you.
4. Do Not Make a Ton of Noise. Use Headphones.
Noise, and loud music, can be frustrating to your roommate when they’re focusing on school projects. Refrain from assuming your roommate enjoys your full-blast comic shows, TikTok videos, or music.
Instead, be respectful and observe your roommate’s daily routine. Tone down the volume from your devices during quiet times and avoid unnecessary chit-chat when they are working on an assignment or trying to sleep.
Alternatively, since you will most likely have different routines, use headphones. You will remedy the noise situation without adjusting your schedule to match theirs.
5. Respect Others Boundaries
A lack of boundaries can be draining and cause resentment. Therefore, set clear boundaries and purpose to respect them for a peaceful living experience.
Stay within your new roommate’s boundaries by avoiding oversharing your personal experiences and respecting their privacy. For instance, always knock on the door, give them personal space, and avoid looking through their stuff in their absence.
Get permission and respect their decision before using their items, food supplies, or inviting guests. Learn to take no for an answer and avoid manipulating your roommate to give in to your requests.
6. Communication Is Key. Empathy Too.
The only way to address common roommate living problems is through effective communication. Be willing to listen and acknowledge your roommate’s views to come up with solutions to your current concerns without blaming each other.
Bring up issues politely immediately after they occur instead of piling them up. Proper communication promotes healthy problem-solving habits and allows you to compromise to accommodate everyone’s needs.
Communicate about unusual events that bother you or that you both relate to. For example, let them know about your medical condition upfront and how they can help in an emergency. Talking about your academic stress can also greatly relieve both of you.
7. Pay Your Bills on Time
Whether intentional or unintentional, late rent payments can adversely affect all housemates. You become subject to penalties, face eviction, and, even worse, ruin your credit history. You will struggle to sign new rental agreements with a poor credit score.
Have an honest conversation and remind your roommate of the consequences of overdue payments. Split bills on rent and utilities reasonably to reduce the burden and promote timely payments. Additionally, devise ways to avoid late payments, such as creating reminders and following up.
Be proactive. Communicate with your landlord early enough if you are struggling with missed payments to provide solutions. Possible solutions include readjusting your payment terms or assigning you a guarantor. As a result, you will evade possible consequences and avoid inconveniencing your roommate.
8. Do Not Flirt With/Hook up With Your Roommate
No matter how hot your roommate is, don’t fall into the temptation of hooking up with them. Flirting with your roommate will create tension and awkward situations. If you have a friendly relationship with your roommate, hooking up can make them uncomfortable and ruin your friendship.
Like any other intimate relationship, your hookup is also prone to jealousy and breakups. As a result, you may fail to respect each other’s personal space. At the extreme, disagreements can force one of you to move out before the lease expiration date leading to financial distress. Therefore, it is best to keep your relationship at the friend zone level.
9. Arrange Study Hours
Discuss your favorable study hours with your roommates and create a schedule that works for all of you. Try to accommodate your roommate’s studying hours. For example, if they study till late at night, agree on a common time when they should reduce light intensity.
Alternatively, you can hold group discussions in study lounges for group work. Leave the room sometimes and consider other quiet places, such as the library, for personal study.
10. Create Your Own Roommate Etiquette
Be a good roommate to your roommate. Small acts of kindness, healthy communication, and etiquette can motivate them to act right.
Set rules for yourself and stick to them. For example, you can pledge to be understanding and not use their supplies without consent.
Are Roommates Worth It?
Living with a roommate is the way to go if you want to beat loneliness and cut down on expenses such as rent, household utilities, and supplies.
Whether coexisting with an acquaintance or a friend, you must be flexible for a peaceful and memorable roommate experience. Realize that when living with a roommate, they’re going to piss you off often—it probably wasn’t intentional so, don’t take it too personally.
However, most times, roommates are worth it. You’ll significantly save on expenses and potentially make a friend out of them.
Find Student Housing With June
Finding student housing can be challenging, especially if you don’t know where to look. It’s worse when you have to look for a roommate as you must vet them before living together.
June makes it easier for you by finding a roommate and conducting background checks. Plus, our off-campus housing options offer month-to-month leasing and multiple short-term lease agreements so you can pursue your education with the student housing of your choice.
Contact us today, and let us find you a flexible student housing lease and a vetted roommate.