By | November 4, 2013
Times are tough and one way to help yourself out in the finance department is to find a roommate that will ease your burden with the rent and utilities. Now there are really only two ways to find a roommate and they are: The RIGHT WAY and The WRONG WAY.
The Wrong way you simply place an ad in the classifieds or on-line and take a total stranger as roommate, only to find out they are everything you loath. While doing it the Right Way requires a little work on your part, but then again, don’t you want to feel at ease when you fast asleep in your bed? I thought so. Here are 5 ways how to find a best roommates:
1.What are YOUR needs?
Since you are the one in need of a roommate to offset your expenses by sharing the rent, what do you need in a roommate? Are smokers okay? What about cat owners, recreational drug users, or someone that plays the flute?
Get your list ready and let your friends know that you are looking for a roommate. It may be a lot easier to work that angle first since you will already have something in common with the possible new roommates. However, be aware of the awkwardness that may arise should the arrangement not workout.
2.PLACE YOUR AD
Sure, this is the first step doing it the WRONG way, but it’s also a step in doing it the right way. Don’t list everything that you are looking for in your roommate within the ad. Doing so will lead to every candidate loving everything you enjoy and despising everything you dislike as a way to become your new roomy. Then once they are on the lease and have a key, their true colors come out, and you’re stuck.
3.SET UP YOUR INTERVIEWS
Treat this just like a job interview. Field applicants and schedule interviews with them so you meet with them to learn more about them. Remember that list I informed you to make? Bring that with and make sure to use that when interviewing them. If you find multiple candidates, schedule a second interview and let them know that there are other potential candidates for the opening. Maybe one may be willing to pay a little more of the rent and utilities or cover the groceries.
You didn’t think it would be that simple did you? You’ve been on plenty of job interviews where you might have said one thing or held back on your answering in hopes of getting the position, so you know these candidates won’t be 100% truthful when sitting down with you.
You need to run background checks on these people to ensure they are who they say they are. You also want to check their credit as having a roommate skip a few months on their portion of the rent will ruin your credit just as bad as if you were the one late on the rent. Ask them for references so you can learn more about them and what type of person they are. Feel free to check out their Facebook page to see what they are into and
5.TAKE IT FOR A TEST DRIVE
Don’t let them move in right away. Spend some time hanging out so you can get a better feel of the person. Remember the way you presented yourself during your job interview versus the way you presented yourself 3-months into the job?
Once you feel comfortable, make them the offer.
By | October 11, 2013
Living with a non-family and even a family member at times can be stressful with all of the confusion of what individual is paying the bills, or who is curbing the trash. Not only does this confusion turn into the finger pointing and blame game but it sets both parties up for a horrible environment and deals can get worse and nobody will come out as a winner. So to fix this, you can brainstorm ideas that help and are productive with your room mate.
Living on a small pot of cash and your expenses are depleting your funds fast then to pay the bills roommates are economical to have. The roommate me be your personal bailout plan so you don’t lose any assets or have to sell all of your personal belongings.
Getting a roommate to share responsibilities can be quite difficult if you are on different living patterns like work shifts, classes, and activities etc. It’s stressful living with and unbalanced lifestyle. House cleaning is always a fight because roommates start keeping score of who does the most work. One trick to keeping the house clean is to have a party and tell your roommate to share in the responsibilities so they don’t look like slobs.
But what about the bills? Usually the utilities are in the name of the first renter or home owner, and the norm is that new roommates just pay a certain amount each month to help pay for cable and internet. This can fail because the utility owner will get taken advantage of and lose money. They can pull the cord and disable that making it inconvenient so just be up front with your roommate and tell them to pay half of cable. Any extra PPP movies will also be paid for by the roommate that purchased it.
Open up the lines of communication too. If everyone is open and receptive to certain situations it can be a great quality of life for both parties and you can help each other out with other negotiations like who pays for snow removal or lawn care.
Either way, don’t set yourself to have a roommate neglect payments and take advantage of you. Have integrity with handling bills and show the statements to the roommate so they can trust that you are paying the utilities. The rent can be split down the middle and the utilities can be split down the middle either way, communicate!
By | October 9, 2013
While we would all love to have our own living space, there are situations that arise which often mean having to share a home with one or more people. This can create a rather unpleasant level of friction if there are no ground rules put in place at the beginning. Everyone staying in the home should have a clear idea of what is expected of them, with a roommate agreement the best way to ensure that everyone knows exactly what those are. This is especially true if you are renting out a space which bears your name on the lease or mortgage. The agreement should be in place to create guidelines and to protect your investment.
The most important part of a roommate agreement usually has to do with what amount of rent is to be paid and when it is due. The amount you charge may come down to the amount of access each roommate has to certain parts of the home, as well as if they are responsible for partial payment of utilities used in the property. You can set the rent based on whatever criteria suits you best, but it very clearly has to be laid out in the agreement. There should also be a section that clearly outlines penalties – additional payments, eviction, etc. – should the rent terms not be met on time.
As mentioned, the rent paid often determines which areas of the home the roommate is granted access to. For example, if they are renting a basement suite, you may ask that they keep themselves to that area of the home and only use a single entrance into the property. If they are given more of a free reign in the home, then you need to consider such things as groceries, cleaning supplies and other details that might affect your bottom line. This section can be as detailed as you wish, and may not even be necessary if your roommate is someone who is a friend or family member.
We spoke earlier about protecting your investment, which means you may have to ask for a damage deposit before the roommate moves in. This is usually refundable once they give proper notice (another issues that should be addressed in the agreement), with a portion removed should they have created any damage during their stay. If you wish to include a damage deposit on the agreement, you will have to do a detailed inspection before and after the roommate moves out so that all new damages can be readily identified.
You may add as many details to the roommate agreement as you wish, with things such as pets, overnight visitors, smoking and other considerations often taken into account. Once your new roommate has agreed to the terms and conditions put in place, you both need to sign at the bottom of the agreement. This should be enough to protect you both in case of any issues, but if you wish to have a further level of protection, sign the agreement in front of a witness or notary.
By | September 23, 2013
Sharing a room with a number college student is one source of pride and wealth of experiences for many university students. This is one relationship that can offer you with lots of experiences and can provide an opportunity to learn. And depending on the kind of arrangement you have, you can use this as a platform to learn and discover new cultures. But it doesn’t mean that only the goods things can be yours when you share a college room with another student. There is no perfect relationship, and this is true for a rooming arrangement with another college student. Conflicts and problems will arise, and it is best that you prepare for these things. And you can prepare for these through a number of strategies like preparing a roommate agreement contract template. The template will serve as the backbone for the contract that you will prepare for the sharing arrangement.
So Why Prepare a Contract?
Some people will question the wisdom in the preparation of this kind of contract. Though it will take some time and effort, making a contract will serve the both of you in the long run. With a contract in place, you can be sure that some of the common conflict points will be managed well. If there are issues and problems that will crop up along the way, the contract will provide the answers and clarifications. The contract will serve as a guide on how to live the life inside the university, and how to live a college life with another student.
What to Include in the Roommate Agreement Contract Template?
You will find a number of professionals that can provide a complete contract, but it pays to learn a few things about the contract and its contents. Here are some details and important information that you should include in the contract:
- Study hours and quite time. This should be explained in detail to avoid misunderstanding
- Is it accepted to bring some friends (or girlfriend for men)? This is a source of conflict too that should be explained in the contract.
- Cleaning and maintenance time. It is important that the room should be cleaned and managed too- but who will assume the role?
- Other rules in using some of the appliances and resources inside the room? How will you share some of these items like the microwave, refrigerator and the TV? The contract should list down the rules that will govern the use of these items.
- Locking the door. This is also critical information that should be included in the contract in order to avoid inconveniences.
- Are there rules that can be followed when it comes to sharing of clothes or food?
These are just some of the details that you can explore and include in the contract. Often, the specific features that will be included in the contract will depend on the needs and requirements. But for a more basic contract, you can rely on these sample details so that you can come up with a contract.
By | September 3, 2013
Sharing a room or an apartment in college with another student is a liberating and exciting experience. This is a wonderful arrangement that can work many ways- with a roommate, you share the costs of the apartment which can be unbearably costly and more importantly you can win a friend in the process. Sharing a room with another college student is also a good way to learn another culture and build a relationship. And in the tough world of university education, having a friend you can call your own and you can depend on can make the difference! But there are problems when it comes to sharing an apartment, and these problems come in the form of conflicts. Conflict is expected since the two of you comes from different backgrounds, with different personalities and different wants. If you don’t agree on certain rules before the start of the living arrangements, different kinds of conflicts will crop up.
So what should you do to avoid conflicts with your roommates? Invite him for a talk and lay down the rules. You need to talk things over, and draft some rules that will govern your stay in the apartment. Here are some of the common talking points that you need to cover when you are talking about the roommate rules.
Discuss Substance Use
College years are years of discovery and exploration, and these are the years when some students will try substance use. There’s a big chance that your future roommate will smoke or even drink alcohol. And there’s also a big chance that you will smoke and drink and the rules inside the apartment should be discussed immediately. If both of you are smokers, then there’s no need to discuss more. But if only one of few will smoke, then that’s an opportunity to lay down the rules and indicate if indeed smoking is allowed inside the apartment.
What Are Your Usual Activities?
It is also important that the regular lifestyle activities should be discussed. This is a great opportunity to talk about your living styles and preferences- are you a night person or do you spend most of the time studying the lessons? Are you the type of person who stays most of the time in the apartment or do you usually go out? Do you cook or you are into Chinese take-outs? These are other things you need to discuss with your roommate in order to avoid conflicts and inconveniences. It is also best to discuss your concerns about a pet. Will you allow a pet inside the apartment?
Finally, you also need to talk about obligations. If there are rights inside the apartment, then there are obligations too that should be faced. For example, you need to specify who is in charge with maintaining cleanliness during certain days of the week. If you can discuss all these concerns and you can set up the rules for staying in the apartment then you can promote a friendlier atmosphere that can help you go through college life.
By | August 30, 2013
Finding a roommate is a big task, and finding a good one is even bigger. Having someone to stay with who is almost alike or even compatible is a blessing, in case you feel you might be stuck then you need to clear the demarcations on the first day itself. Not all the people have the same time table, some work late hours or weekends while others are regular 9-5 people. Try to understand each other before getting yourself into it. There are more benefits for you and your roommate to set up a roommate rules agreement early. Here are the important lists to draft a Roommate Rules and Regulations:
Sharing: because you have common fridge and utensils, don’t take it for granted that you will share food always. The toiletries, cosmetics, and towel are things that are not shared. In case of an emergency, ask for them. For vehicles, even if you fill up the gas there are chances of an accident and you will have more troubles than anticipated.
Security: make sure the last one looks up the room/house. If something gets lost or is stolen be open enough to discuss it.
Noise: may you work late but your roommate likes to party till wee hours at home. Make a chart of your schedules and discuss till what time the music can be loud or guests can be entertained, so none of you gets disturbed or feels offended.
Household work: it is not the duty of one person to keep the house clean. Wash the dishes, clear the garbage or change the sheets. Divide your tasks equally so you do your share of work and to avoid the monotony exchange the tasks weekly or whatever is comfortable.
Smoking and drinking: one of you might be a teetotaller or the other a tanker or allergic to smoke. Either have a smoking area at home or outdoor smoking. Don’t make each other uncomfortable with your habits.
Damages: you might break something that belonged to your roommate; ideally you should replace it but in case that’s not possible share the damage or your stuff to compensate.
Deposits: it is not your sole responsibility to pay the bills every time. You can either collect a lump sum amount from your room mate after dividing all the bills or simply make the deposits in circulation. This will save time for both of them.
Roommate gossips: don’t be the first one to start and then complain, if you back-bitch your buddy, you will have to face that too. Create a harmony at home that is where you come to relax.
Sickness: show compassion when your roommate is ill. Helping each other in times of need is the best bonding opportunity. Your roommate can be your best friend.
By | August 7, 2013
Sharing a place with a roommate can give you some of the best things in life, and it can be rewarding that can provide you with memories that can last for a long time. Whether rooming with someone will form part of your college life or as a way to jumpstart your professional life, having a roommate will give you a number of life lessons and experiences that cannot be earned in college or in any kind of job. With your roommate, you can discover a friend and learn more about different things and culture.
However, just like other relationships and arrangements, rooming with someone can also offer you with lots of challenges. Roommate conflicts are inevitable, and it is best that you should be ready for this. Even at the start of the rooming experience all is well between you and your new roommate, keep in mind that life will soon turn sour. Remember, the both of you come from different backgrounds and with different persuasions thus roommate conflicts will form part of the experience.
Conflict Happens When You Are Rooming Together
Sooner or later, conflict will happen. But remember, this is a natural occurrence when it comes to relationships and sharing a room with another person. The reason of bad roommate relationships may vary– it can be about petty things or can grow into serious issues. For example, you may feel upset regarding your roommate’s attitude towards clutter, or you may feel that your personal rights and privacy are violated. Whatever the source of conflict is, it is important that this is immediately addressed.
Learn How to Diffuse First the Conflict (and Difficult Situation)
If you are facing an inevitable conflict, then it’s recommended that you address it calmly. It is never a good step to attack it in an angry manner. It is best that you approach the problem and talk to your roommate when you are already calmer. Here are some tricks to keep in mind and to keep you grounded when you learn how to solve roommate conflicts.
- Breathe and approach the subject in a calmer manner
- Control your speaking voice, and deliver your side in a slow and soft manner
- Respect the side of others while trying to state your side
- Learn to admit mistakes if you are wrong
- Choose the best time and place to thresh out the problem
- Try to talk in private, and never involve other people
Other Tips to Keep In Mind
Always speak using the ‘I’ statements to show ownership and to share your feelings and thoughts. This will not put the other party on a defensive position, and will ensure that your complaints will be heard. Also, try to level with the person. Make sure that you tell the other person that you understand his situation and you are willing to help.
Roommate conflicts are not contests- it’s all about building a compromise. It is best to find a common ground where you can talk and settle differences.
By | July 30, 2013
Roommate agreements for three people or more living together are incredibly important when having roommates. Although people usually make informal agreements about splitting rent, cleaning schedules, sharing chores, and noise, it is actually very difficult to enforce any of these agreements without a formal agreement. Creating a formal roommate agreement will force you and your roommates to take the responsibilities and parameters of your living situation seriously.
It’s best to create an agreement with your potential roommates before you move in with them. Having a set boundaries before the actual move in date will prevent many problems from even developing in the first place. Some of the more common issues to tackle when setting up an agreement are rent, chores, food sharing, noise, and overnight guests. Having a sample roommate agreement for three people or more would be very helpful in creating your own roommate agreement.
Try to anticipate any major issues that you or your roommates may experience with each other. There a lot of things that some people do that a lot of people have issues with. Take leaving the toilet seat up for example. Some households are okay with leaving the seats up, others have a zero tolerance policy regarding it. In addition, having different clauses, such as being able to request an earlier quiet time due to finals or assignments due are invaluable, especially if you are student.
After listing out all the agreements that you and your roommates agree on, creating an actual agreement that you all can sign is the next step. Clearly and succinctly list the agreed upon terms so that the wording can not be misunderstood or given another meaning. Use exact dates of when the actual agreement will actually be in effect, and make sure that the dates are correct and accurate. Lastly, have a clear space for the signatures of you and your roommates.
Finally, sign and date the roommate agreement. Make sure it is kept in a safe place in the event of a roommate not following to the terms.
By | July 22, 2013
Whether you are in college or a working professional there may come a time when you find that you need to get a roommates. Roommates can be great and they often make living expenses more manageable. However, there is always the chance that you can run into issues with your roommate. These issues can range from small things like they do not clean their dishes all the time to bigger more serious issues like they do not pay their rent on time or they random leave without any kind of notice and they do not find a sublease. Usually this can be solved by a roommate agreement between two people.
A roommate agreement between two people is a great way to lay out the rules and expectations of a roommate when they move in. This is also a great way to ensure that they follow rules and that they cover certain utilities and pay their half of the rent. This is especially important to do if an individual is moving in but not putting their name of the apartment lease or if they are subleasing from someone else. Roommate agreements are quick and easy to work up and you can find a sample of roommate agreement between two people online and a lot of times there are already templates and forms that you only have to print off and have your roommate agree to and sign. A sample of roommate agreement between two people is a great way to figure out what you want to include on your agreement and how to word and organize the agreement.
When typing up a roommate agreement between two people it is important to include things that you would like them to pay for. For example you can include a clause that says how much of the utilities they will be paying or if you will pay the utilities if they pay for the cable and the internet. It is also the time to decide how much will be paid in rent. Will it be split 50/50 or will the individual with the bigger room have to pay more. Roommate agreements are also key in deciding how the situation will be handled if one of the roommates decides to leave before the lease is up. An agreement is perfect for letting them know that they will be responsible for finding a subleaser and if they cannot do so before they leave they are still responsible for paying their have of the rent whether they live there or not. Agreements can also be beneficial when it comes to discussing how the fees will be divided if there are any extra charges once one or both of you move out sometimes there may be additional cleaning charges if there are damages to the apartment.
A roommate agreement between two people is a great way to discuss and decide who will be responsible for different aspects of the apartment. It can also potentially help with any arguments that may come up in the future.
By | June 30, 2013
Anybody who has ever had roommates can tell you that it is not always easy. Whenever you are living with people that you may not know well, conflicts are bound to arise. There will be conflicts that have to do with clashing personality types, lifestyles, and personal habits, splitting the bills, cleaning, the use of common space, and other issues.
How then, does one manage to get along with roommates, making life easier for everybody? It is possible, and the friendship contract template is perhaps your best answer. Arguments are inevitable when you have roommates so have a plan in place ahead of time to deal with it and that is where the friendship contract template comes in.
The Friendship Contract Template / Roommate Agreement Template
This is a simple way to head off roommate conflicts before they start. Granted, when you move in with roommates, you are most likely not friends with them. However, given that you are going to be living together, you need to consider each other as friends, hence, the friendship contract template.
Having a plan in place to get along with your roommates is smart. Your agreement contract can be constantly evolving, and it is for everybody’s benefit, not just yours. It is a concept that might be new, but once explained, the others should be on board because it is a great tool to manage conflicts!
Your roommate contract template will allow you and your roommates to set ground rules that you must all follow. You will all need to sign the contract and anytime something is amended, you will all need to either sign again or initial the changes.
Essentially, your friendship contract breaks down what is expected of each of you. Cover all of the main areas where conflict might arise; the sections that follow this one will give you some ideas of what you might need to cover. As you begin living together, you will be able to amend your contract to cover specific areas that you need to. You cannot anticipate exactly how you will, or will not, get along without living together first.
When problems arise, if it is something handled in the contract, then just remind them that it was something they agreed to. Stop fights before they get out of control! If it is something that is not in the friendship agreement contract, then sit down and work out how it needs to be added and what can be done to prevent this fight from happening again in the future.
The rules of the friendship agreement contract are up to you and your roommates. Some people choose to have “punishments” for those who break the terms of the contract. Such as treating everybody to pizza, or getting dish duty for a few days. That is something that needs to be worked out between you all, just remember, you are not exempt either!
The terms of the contract can be anything, but you have to have terms and consequences for breaking the rules. In life, if you break a rule, you have to face the music. Same with roommates, you cannot just have one that thinks they are the exception; which is why you all draft this together, and you all stick to it. No matter what the terms are, you all stick to them, consequences, and all.
This is something that you cannot really ask people to change. What you can do is put in a clause about being tolerant of each other. Just because you are outgoing, your roommates may not be. A laid-back roommate and a stricter roommate can get along very easily, with the roommate agreement contract template; it will help prevent personality clashes from turning into big fights.
Lifestyles & Personal Habits
One of you is messy and the other neat. Using your friendship contract template will help this common cause of roommate fighting as well. You can cover things such as having guests over, noise at night, borrowing stuff without asking and other issues using your contract.
If everybody gives a little bit and compromises, then you can make your roommate situation conflict free. If a conflict does arise, you will have your contract to fall back upon to help you resolve it, quickly and with no long-drawn issues.
Common issues tend to arise when it comes to the common spaces, such the kitchen, living room, and bathrooms. When one person tends to take longer than others in a bathroom, it can be stressful, especially if more than one of you are trying to get ready for work. Keeping common areas clean should also be addressed in the contract.
The goal is to work out the rules before issues come up and have a way of handling them already in place. This makes conflict resolution easy and quick, the terms are already set, and the party who broke the terms will already know what their consequences are.
The rent is easy, divide by the number of roommates and there you go. However, utility bills are a tougher nut to crack. If you have one roommate that constantly has on their TV and a laptop all the time while the others rarely do, it is not fair to split the electricity three ways.
If you have somebody who is using more than their fair share of the utilities, then work something out and put it in the template. Either they agree to pay more than just an even split or they agree to curb their electricity use.
When it comes to water and gas, the best way is to all agree to limit showers to fewer than ten minutes. When you all agree to limit your shower times, it means that there will be few reasons why you need to argue about that bill.
Another big conflict issue because nobody likes to clean and nobody likes to constantly clean up after others. Ensure that the rules for keeping common areas are clearly noted in your friendship contract agreement as well as the consequences for somebody who fails to keep their end of the bargain.
Now you have an idea of why roommates fight and how to script your friendship contract template. When you do not have that contract in place, you have no clearly defined way or means of handling conflict. Small conflicts can turn into larger ones very quickly, so use your friendship contract template as a way to make sure that you and your roommates get along and everybody stays content.