By | June 18, 2014
If you’re like most young people starting out, you probably can’t afford to live on your own and like most in this situation, if living with parents isn’t an option, you’ll end up getting a roommate (or two). While having roommates can save money and actually be a lot of fun, the wrong roommate can cause a lot of problems, even if you started out as best friends. It’s one thing to be friends, quite another to live together under one roof. It’s even more challenging if you’ve found your roommate on a student union board at your college or on Craigslist that you hardly know.
Before you sign a lease agreement with a roommate, you need to establish ground rules. As a matter of fact, before you even look for a roommate, put together a list of rules that are important to you and some traits you could live with. Don’t wait until your roommate forgets to pay their share of the rent, doesn’t do the dishes, parties, too much or has their loud and obnoxious friends over too often. If you go over the rules before you sign the lease, at least you’ve given them fair warning.
As odd as it may sound, breaking up with a roommate can be just as difficult as a romantic breakup. After all, your lives are intertwined, you’re using the same refrigerator, sometimes cooking, partying and watching TV together, you even share the same bathroom in most cases. So, before you flip out and ask them to leave (kicking them out won’t be easy either), think about what’s driven you to this point and whether the situation is worth saving. Instead, sit down with your roommate, maybe even in a local coffee shop instead of in the residence you share, and let them know how you feel. You should also let them know in advance what you want to talk to them about, but in a positive, not confrontational manner.
There are certainly times when troubled roommate situations can be worked out, but you need to be able to have a voice in the situation. Speak up as soon as an issue arises and give the problem roommate a warning, letting them know that, while you like them, you’re not going to be able to live with the behavior if it continues. It’s important that you present your case clearly and without reacting in anger, addressing all of the issues that are making the living arrangement impossible to deal with.
If you feel that the roommate arrangement is beyond repair, when you share your feelings be direct but not cold. Let them know that you’ve given it a lot of thought and that you want to make a change, either when the lease ends or at the end of the month if no lease is involved, giving them time to prepare as well. Keeping your tone of voice and emotions in check will help avoid at least some of the drama that can be expected from situations like this.
Your roommate may not turn out to be as great as you thought they would be, but can you work with the real version? Is it possible that your expectations are too high when it comes to what you feel the perfect roommate is? Maybe you need to make some adjustments yourself. On the other hand, if your roommate is always late paying their share of the rent, never does the dishes, clean the bathroom, buy household items, party’s to often and too loud and doesn’t respond to your requests to clean up their act, it’s definitely time to call it quits.
By | June 2, 2014
Whether you are going off to college or simply moving out on your own, finding a roommate to help pay expenses is often a necessity in this day age. However, living with someone else whether a friend or a complete stranger can turn into a nightmare unless you start out cultivating a positive relationship with you roommate right from the start. Here are simple tips, on how to to get a more positive relationship with a new roommate.
Start with Simple Respect
Most problems with roommates begin when your roommate doesn’t feel that you show them the simple respect that they feel they deserve. Showing respect is more than simply talking polite to the person with whom you are sharing living quarters. Not only should you speak them to them in a friendly and welcome manner but, you should also respect their possessions not using their things without gaining consent. Respecting their needs, which may include limiting the times that you have company so that they can study or get the rest they need to go to work the next the day, and doing your share of the clean up in the common areas you share. Showing your roommate that you respect them are willing to go that extra step or two to so they can meet their own needs will go a long way in helping you to develop a positive relationship.
Find Common Interests
Even if you are an outdoors person that enjoys being active and your roommate is complete computer geek, chances are if you look hard enough you can find some common interest you both can share. Perhaps you both fancy yourselves budding gourmet cooks and can spend one night a week preparing a minor feast together. Or perhaps you both have a weakness for classic movies, or cars. Whatever it may be finding a common interest will go along way in building a budding friendship and having a much more positive and healthy relationship with your roommate.
Give them Their Space
There are times when everyone just wants to left alone, to contemplate the future, work through a problem or simply chill. While you can certainly offer to listen to your roommate when they need or want to talk, you also need to allow them to have a bit alone time to work through those things they need to or simply to recharge their batteries. Just make it known, that when they are ready to be sociable again that you are certainly there for them and then go about doing your own thing and allowing them to do theirs.
Make the Friends Feel Comfortable
When your roommate does have the odd friend or two over, make sure that they feel comfortable and at ease. Even if your roommates friends aren’t someone you want to spend time with, you can be welcoming and friendly and then excuse yourself to follow your own pursuits. Making your roommates friends feel welcome shows you roommate that you care and concerned about them and their comfort which helps to develop those positive feelings you are looking for in a relationship.
Don’t Get Carried Away With Rules
There are occasions when it is necessary to have a few house rules to make living together simpler. However, you should to keep specific rules to as few possible and only to those things you both agree upon such as over night guests, or house keeping chores.
If you want a roommate that you get you can get along with, and live with in harmony then simply treat them as you yourself would like to be treated while keeping in mind that they are going to have different needs and wants than you do yourself.
By | May 20, 2014
Does this sound familiar? You’ve found a great apartment, with all the amenities, maybe even close to work, but can’t afford to pay the rent on your own. You can solve the problem by finding a roommate, many do, but if you want to avoid a bad “roomy” situation you’ll want to choose a compatible roommate (just because they’re a friend of family member doesn’t mean they’re compatible); even then you consider coming up with a sharing apartment contract before you make your final decision and sign an actual rental lease. Sharing an apartment contracts can be very effective tools when it comes committing to a positive room mate situation.
What Should Be in a Sharing Rental Agreement?
Your shared apartment agreement needs to include more guidelines than just splitting the rent, although it is a good starting point and you can skip including the terms of eviction in your agreement because only landlords can actually enforce an eviction. Some of the important points that should be addressed in your sharing apartment contract include the following.
Phone/Internet/Cable TV Expenses/Utilities
If you have a phone line (most people use their personal cell phones now) you’ll want to note that when it comes to long distance calls, the person making the calls is required to pay for them. In addition, you’ll want to divide the costs of internet/cable services, utilities, etc., including any applicable deposits.
Any possible grocery expenses should be addressed and which are available to be enjoyed together or only by the person who purchased the items.
You might as well add a section that addresses who is responsible for doing the dishes, cleaning the refrigerator, vacuuming, etc. If you don’t someone’s going to feel frustrated and this will lead to an unhappy household.
Visitors vs. Guests
You’ll definitely want to discuss visitor situations and at what point a “visitor” turns into an “extended” guest. It’s one thing to have someone stop by for a few hours or to spend the night, quite another if they end up staying beyond their welcome, not chipping in on food etc. In addition, you’ll want to make clear what’s acceptable and what’s not regarding drinking, drugs and other actions that can be offensive.
Even if you have a pet now, your roommate (s) might not be thrilled if you bring another one in later and visa versa. What do you do if something unexpected comes up in regards to adding a pet to the household? It’s best to discuss this in advance and make it a part of any sharing an apartment contracts.
One room mate’s negative behavior can affect everybody’s tenancy; a good example is when it comes to one not paying the rent. Most landlords only accept one check for the rent per apartment or rental property so if you have a roommate that can’t come up with their share of the rent, someone will have to cover it or the other roommates will have to cover late fees or face eviction.
Another thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that, while you can list out several stipulations regarding splitting the rent, sharing chores, pets, guests and who get what bedroom in sharing an apartment contracts, the landlord isn’t bound by the contract and can’t enforce it. That being said, it’s important to have the agreement in place because it can help make you and your room mate’s take their co-tenancy responsibilities seriously.
By | May 15, 2014
So you’ve decided to get a roommate. This can be a really great idea. You can save tons of money on rent and utilities, have a built-in friend that helps improve your social life, and have someone around the house to help with the chores. But beware! Even your best friend that you get along with perfectly at school or work can turn into a nightmare if you don’t set up simple roommate rules to ensure that things run smoothly. Before you sit down to sign that lease together, sit down and and start creating roommate rules. Here are some roommate rules guidelines that you should cover when discussing and deciding whether moving in together is a good idea.
You might be similar personalities with your potential roommate, but the more important factor when creating roommate rules is similar behaviors and respect for each other. If you’re a party animal and your potential roommate is a homebody, that might not be ideal. But it can work if you set up guidelines such as only inviting guests or throwing parties with advanced notice and the permission of the other. Talk about what type of lifestyle you generally lead at home, and respect each other’s preferences. When sharing common areas, be respectful. Set up a TV schedule so that each person gets to watch their favorite shows. Make quiet hours during work or school days so that you don’t bother each other incessantly. Look, you don’t want to have to tip-toe around your own roommate in your own home, so set up rules at the start so that you can feel comfortable together.
Nothing is more bothersome to a clean person than a messy person, and it can create real tension when one roommate is doing all the chores and the other is completely oblivious to the mess they make. It might be a good idea to discuss whether you’re similarly messy or neat-freaks before living together, and simple roommate rules should definitely include a cleaning schedule and agreement so that both roommates are on the same page about the chores. Maybe one person always does dishes and the other always takes out the trash, or maybe you agree that whoever runs the dishwasher unloads it and whoever fills the trash to the top takes it out. Or maybe you make a chart to rotate chores every week. It doesn’t matter the specifics, it only matters that you agree to a set of cleaning rules before you move in together.
Being roommates means that you share a home, and while for some people that means you also share everything else, others don’t feel that way. You have to discuss what you will and will not share, and what sharing requires permission from the other when you live together. Make simple roommate rules that define when food can be shared, how it should be replaced, if clothes are fair game for sharing, and what other household items can be used by everyone. It will reduce tension significantly if there are fair rules in place so that one person isn’t always taking and not replacing and the other is giving, giving, giving.
It may seem like a lot of work to set up so many roommate rules guidelines, but if you take the time and set the rules now, you won’t have trouble later. The more details and specific rules you set up, the smoother things will run and the more accountable roommates will be. Keep in mind though that it’s not the military and not all rules need to be followed 100% of the time, especially if you’re getting along just fine. But to avoid potential roommate nightmares (and we’ve all been there) sit down together for that session of creating roommate rules before you sign a lease.
By | January 21, 2014
Roommates make lots of informal agreements about splitting the rent cost, share chores and bedrooms. It is best to put your agreements in writing, because oral agreements can be easily forgotten or wrong after the fact. Here are some important decisions to consider when drafting an agreement. See the examples of roommate terms and conditions below.
A roommate agreement is a written document in which the rights and duties of two or more people who share of the housing. These agreements are not the same as sub tenancy agreements, leases or leases, that primary address financial and maintenance responsibility between the landlord and tenant or a tenant and sub tenant. Instead, roommate agreement often on issues that is unique to unrelated people living together, such as rules about overnight guests or performing chores in addition to financial arrangements. By a written, signed agreement, you and your roommates avoid misunderstandings and future conflict. You can also seal the agreement in some short of way to protect your rights in court.
If you have your house rent and have a roommate, the nature of the legal relationship between three parties which is you, your roommate and your landlord based on your rental or lease agreement. If you and your roommate every signed a lease with the landlord, you are considered co tenants. In a sub tenant relationship has only one roommate has a direct agreement with the landlord sublet space in the House while the other party. If your roommate you rental sublets space in your home, you have the authority to have him expelled.
An example of roommate terms and conditions agreements must explain the financial obligations of each roommate, including everyone’s share of the rent, utilities, and other expenses. In addition to the amount of money owed, the roommate agreement should also enter the date on which these monies are due and how the payments should be processed. Arrears and other penalties for late or missed payments must also be included in the agreement roommate. Other clauses to disclaim responsibility for chores and concludes with policy towards visitors, smoking, alcohol use and noise levels. Finally, make sure that the lease specifies the dates on which the agreement begins and ends. You can set the start and end date so that if it coincident at the end of your lease, so that you can negotiate a new roommate agreement based on a rent increase or other changes in the cost or responsibilities.
If you have a serious disagreement and a roommate and one of you decide to submit to Court, take with you the roommate agreement. The judge will not force “house rules” such as washing dishes after every meal, but can enforce financial clauses. Go to Court is often more expensive and time-consuming, although sometimes only the threat of going to court can push your roommate or roommates to pay no money they have for rent or damage due. Discuss how your household will solve conflicts and violations of the agreement. Take this as the last part of your roommate agreement to develop solutions together and then write them down to be signed together.
By | January 14, 2014
Sharing a room or apartment with a friend or more can be cost savings. Rather than to pay for your own apartment bills, having a room-mate or friend living in one apartment or room can be split in two or even more; which in the end can save you a lot of money. But having a room-mate sharing an apartment is not as easy as it looks. Remember that we are dealing with people here. People have different needs, different necessities, different habits, or maybe a totally different way of life that might cause you friction with your own living style. That way it is necessary to ‘adjust’ your room-mate so that you won’t have difficulties living with them in the same space.
Living with roommates presents many challenges, but also many rewards. If you are with friends that common positions on the individual and common room share lives, will live no doubt much simpler. However, even if you think much alike that, you are bound to experience on how to handle various problems that roommates have to deal with. To discuss House rules before you begin living together will ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them.
And to make things easier and avoid any unnecessary conflict between you and your future roommate, here are the tips to make rules to share an apartment that you might want to consider making:
You can decide whether eating together or personal, whether you share all your food or have a separate storage space for your own food. When eating together, discuss how you will decide how much each will pay for the food per month. In addition talk whether you prepare and eat together, take turns fixing dinner or each will responsible for your own meals.
Decide how often the House needs to be cleaned, and make a cleaning schedule. You could have each person do cleaning each day to keep the House neat, such as sweeping or taking out the garbage. You will also need to decide how often the bathroom and other common areas a thorough cleaning. Take a note to keep track of who has cleaned, and when, everyone will be aware of when it is their turn to clean up.
Decide how much noise is acceptable at different times of the day. If the apartment is large, you might allow people be louder in a certain area, like the basement or a downstairs room. And you agree that you are always sensitive to the needs of anyone who need to study or is bothered by noise.
Set up rules to share an apartment about inviting people or throwing parties. Ask yourself how often are allowed to remain friends, and or a roommate can decide to invite friends without asking the others. Flexible about having one or two people without prior notice, but specify that roommates need to discuss larger meetings in advance.
And of course you should discuss about the bills. Whether its apartment rent bills, electricity, water, gas or any kind of expenses necessity that might occurs due to your stay. Make everything clear about the share and your agreement to pay it on time. Of course you should include about the consequences too if it’s overdue, and what might cause you.
By | December 11, 2013
Roommate conflicts are unfortunately part of many people’s college experience and can be very frustrating. A little patience and the right communication can go a long way into creating a healthy environment when living with roommates. Most common problems are related to food, space and noise. It can be said that most of these problems are as a result of one dorm mate being inconsiderate of the other. Some people know they are causing problems to their roommate while others are clueless.
In the shared areas, problems can arise in terms of how much space one partner takes over the other. An example would be when your room has two shelves and the roommate spreads her things in both of them. Your friend might be calling in friends who come to your room and make all sorts of noise when you want peace. Speak to your friend in unthreatening manner about how much the guests are affecting your stay. If possible come up with a schedule of when they can visit. Negotiate on a system that is convenient to both parties.
The problem of the territory can expand to use of your roommates personal properties and food. While it’s possible for mates to share the cost for items like dishes, electronic or other devices, certain things like perfume, clothes and toiletries are personal property. It can be very frustrating to realize your mate is dipping into your personal items in the refrigeration, like your Greek yogurt, which does not come cheaply by the way. You can solve this problem by labeling your food and always tell your colleagues to ask whenever they want your stuff, otherwise report to the residential advisor because it can be termed as theft.
Noise can be very stressful especially when you want to rest. The common problem with noise is wrong timing. Roommate A wants to study in silence while roommate B has already invited friends for a chat as they listen to music. This is where the power of negotiation comes in handy. Remind your partners that you are uncomfortable and that the room belongs to you too and deserve to be comfortable. If this happens often, remind your mate to ask for permission before inviting guests.
A messy and untidy roommate is another common occurrence. A standard rule that has to be established is that shared space must be kept neat and clean. Schedule cleaning days and spare one day to wash the place together. Talking out might be a little awkward but this is totally fine and normal.
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.