Dirty Dishes in the Sink Living with another human being isn’t always easy, but as rents continue to rise in many urban areas, roommates become a financial necessity. Whether your roommate is your childhood best friend or a stranger you were placed with, combining two different lives is bound to result in a few conflicts. Once you find an apartment, it’s important to try to anticipate future disputes before they arise and set up guidelines for when fights do happen.

Here are 3 of the most common roommate disputes and how to navigate through them maturely:

Paying Rent and Utilities

Making sure your rent and utility bills are paid on time and in full can be challenging even for the most mature individuals. Although having a roommate certainly lessens the financial strain of renting an apartment, sharing the payment responsibility with another person adds a level of stress. Worried about your roommate’s ability to pay on time each month? Strike up a written agreement about who pays which bills and what percentage of utilities each of you share. If your roommate consistently pays late or not at all, remind them of the lease agreement and consider talking to your landlord about the situation.

Sharing Chores

Although the kitchen sink is one of the smaller areas of the apartment, it sure causes a lot of trouble between roommates. Some people prefer to wash dishes as they become dirty, others like to wait until the sink is full and do it all at one time. Before moving in, talk with each other honestly about your cleaning habits and how to cope with the differences. Maybe one person favors vacuuming and dusting over doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen. Create a schedule for splitting up chores to hold each other accountable and ensure a cleaner and happier apartment life.

Borrowing Personal Property

One of the age-old roommate problems is “borrowing without asking.” Rooming with someone who repeatedly borrows and uses your personal things makes living with them annoying and uncomfortable at best. Establish early on what personal items you don’t want your roommate using/borrowing, whether it’s the fancy coffee maker or bathroom toiletries. If the item is located in a communal area, be clear about the borrowing agreement. They might assume it’s okay to use the $300 blender, when you really prefer they don’t. If your roommate continues to borrow without asking after repeated disputes, maybe it’s time to consider getting a new roommate.

Having a roommate does not have to be a negative experience. If you expect to have a few quarrels and know how to handle them, apartment living with your roommate can be smooth sailing and a fun experience. For more tips on apartment living, visit the ApartmentSearch blog or find us on Facebook and Twitter.