The Ultimate Survival Guide For Peaceful Living With A Roommate

Whether you are just starting out on your adventure in the "real world" or are trying to cut down on your living expenses, chances are that you have contemplated finding a roommate to ease your financial strains.

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While peaceful cohabitation is an obvious goal for subletters, many discover that the roommate-experience often winds up being more chaotic and frustrating than they bargained for. Make your time living with a roommate more enjoyable and less stressful by following these best practices.

1

Try A Trial Week

This tip is highly beneficial for renters and landlords alike. A trial week with no strings attached is a must because it allows people to experience the living situation firsthand without needing to make a commitment. If things don't work out, you can simply leave and continue searching for the right roommate.

Of course, you do not need to offer a free trial week. Instead, offer a week-long rate for the trial period. A trial week is the easiest way to get to know an individual's habits and personality before choosing to live with them.

2

Perform A Background Check

Perform A Background Check

Background checks are crucial. Don't skip this step. Doing so can cost you more in the long run. Renters and landlords alike should request background checks to ensure that the other party is of good character.

3

Always Use A Contract

Always Use A Contract

Contracts are an immensely useful tool for anyone seeking to rent out a room in their home, and individuals seeking to rent a room. Whether you are the landlord or the renter, you should always insist on a contract.

For starters, a contract can be used as a legal document, but you must research local laws and regulations in order to make it legally binding. Taking the time to do this will ensure that your roommate is not only serious about living with you peacefully, but will also make him or her more aware of your requirements.

Contracts can also prevent common roommate problems such as disagreements on who pays what and having friends over.

4

Make Your Terms Clear From The Get-Go

Make Your Terms Clear From The Get-Go

If you don't make your rules and requirements perfectly clear to your roommate, you can't expect him or her to follow them. This is why it is so important to clearly communicate your terms to potential roommates before living together in addition to including them in your contract.

5

Stop Splitting Bills

Stop Splitting Bills

Many people insist on splitting bills evenly among their roommates. However, this traditional practice is a common cause of disagreements. Instead of arguing about who takes the longest showers or doesn't turn off the lights, eliminate this problem by offering a flat rate. With a flat rate, the landlord is responsible for paying the bills which eases and prevents potential problems in the future.

6

Don't Share A Fridge

Don't Share A Fridge

Some people can share a fridge without any problems. However, this common practice is another potential argument-starter, especially if you live with more than one other person. Avoid it altogether by requiring your roommates to supply their own mini fridge. The landlord or main leaseholder should be the only person using the kitchen fridge. Following this tip will ensure that nobody in your home takes anyone else's food.

7

Use Key-Entry Doorknobs

Use Key-Entry Doorknobs

Privacy is a major concern for roommates, which is where keyed-entry doorknobs come in handy. These doorknobs come with two keys so both the renter and landlord will have access to the room. Using keyed-entry doorknobs can prevent privacy-related arguments as well as accusations of theft among roommates.

8

No Significant Others Allowed

You finally find the perfect roommate and they ask if their significant other can visit. You say "Sure!" with a smile, thinking that it seems like a fair request. Little did you know that the boyfriend or girlfriend would come "visit" so often that they virtually lived at your place; rent-free of course.

This scenario is far too common, and does not usually end up working out in anyone's favor. Avoid it altogether by setting a firm rule regarding visitors. If you set a no-visitors-allowed rule and break it, you will have to forfeit it altogether so be careful while setting your terms. If you tend to have company over, try a weekends-only policy.

9

Set A Social Day

Set A Social Day

Awkward silences and situations are unavoidable, but can be a common daily occurrence for roommates. Avoid making your roommates feel awkward by scheduling a weekly, biweekly, or monthly social day where you all can enjoy one another's company.

This could be a party, game night, homemade dinner, or other type of event. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you bring up the topic of your living environment and discuss how it is working out. Invite your roommate to discuss their opinion as well. Not only will this practice help everyone feel appreciated and wanted in the home, but it will also bring everyone closer together, resulting in a more peaceful environment.

10

Become A Better Communicator

Become A Better Communicator

If you don't voice your concerns, you can't expect anyone to know that you have a problem. Likewise, you should never expect your roommate to be a mind-reader, which is why it is so important to communicate effectively. Be an open listener and make your issues known in a friendly and productive manner.

11

Be Respectful

Be Respectful

Everyone has bad habits. If yours involve listening to loud music, talking loudly, or staying up late at night, you should be more aware of them and attempt to break them. No one wants to feel disrespected, which is why it is crucial for roommates to be respectful of one another's bedtimes and other needs.

Conclusion

Sharing a home is challenging and can put your patience and hospitality to the test. However, it doesn't need to be a negative experience. Use these best practices to help you make the most of your subletting experience.

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