Whether you’re cohabiting with your best friend or you were matched with someone random, roommate troubles happen to everyone. That’s because no matter how close you are, sharing space, stuff, and bills with another person invariably leads to disagreements. However, you can ward them off by keeping these handy tips in mind. Here’s how to stop the top roommate squabbles before they start.
The Problem: A Couch Quandary
The Solution: Student Furniture Rental
If neither of you has a complete set of furniture when you move in, you might have trouble agreeing how to furnish the apartment. Maybe you need a couch, but neither of you is willing to shell out the cash to get one. And going halvesies on individual pieces can cause problems once it’s time to part ways—after all, you can’t share custody of a TV. Instead of struggling to piece together a full set, pick a student furniture rental package with everything you need. You can split the cost right down the middle and set your lease for only as long as you need the furniture—whether that’s for a single semester or your whole college career.
The Problem: Excess Mess
The Solution: Divide and Conquer
Feel like you’re always the one hauling out the vacuum to deal with dust bunnies? Instead of harboring resentment, work with your roommate to create a handy chore chart (check out our how-to here) that accounts for every apartment cleaning need. And if you loathe doing the dishes but find vacuuming oddly relaxing, make a deal that they take dishwasher duty while you man the Hoover. Voila! A clean apartment and a happy roommate relationship.
The Problem: Noise No-No’s
The Solution: Compromise on Quiet
If you need a certain amount of quiet while you study or slumber, your roommate should respect that, and vice-versa. Keep in mind that even though you may need total quiet, your roommate might need some background noise to focus or sleep. Be upfront about the noise level you can tolerate, then find a compromise by choosing different times of the day to study, getting some headphones, or occasionally vacating the apartment in favor of a library or coffee shop.
The Problem: Paying Back Bills Promptly
The Solution: Make It Convenient
Paying the full rent every month, but can’t get your roommate to pay you back for their share? Or maybe you’re the one who can’t remember to write that check on time. Unfortunately, tension over bills can lead to real problems—the worst of which could be late fees from your landlord. To make it easy, use a pay-me-back app like Venmo so it’s easy to stay square with each other every month. You could also agree to each pay certain bills, so you and only you are in charge of paying the electric bill, while your roommate takes care of the cable bill. If you anticipate having trouble coming up with your rent portion, be honest with your roommate right away so the two of you can work out a deal if needed.
The Problem: Unwelcome Guests
The Solution: Permission, Please
When it comes to guests, some roommates say the more the merrier! However, others may be miffed by what they view as an invasion of their private space. Before you invite friends to crash with you for a weekend, clear it with your roommate first. If you expect your significant other to hang around a lot, clear that with them, too. This is especially important if you’re sharing a guest parking pass or if your lease limits the amount of time a guest can stay with you. Always respect the rules of the lease and your roommate’s needs.