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.
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.