By | December 22, 2012
Living with roommates is something that many of us have to go through in life. Whether we are trying to work on our own, going to college or just cutting expenses having a roommate means you can save more of your money for other matters.
However, there are also issues that can arise with living with roommates as well. All too often friendships are broken apart, misunderstandings abound and easily avoidable situations turn into ugly arguments because unspoken lines had been crossed.
This is where a roommate agreement between friends can intercede to stop incidents like this from happening. While it will not solve all the problems that can arise with roommates, at least there will be a baseline of where everyone stands so that it can help defuse the tension before it blows up into something much worse.
Before you create a roommate behavior template so an agreement can be reached, it’s important to understand the benefits of living with roommates in the first place.
The Benefits of Living with Roommates
There are many great benefits from living with roommates. However there are three reasons that really stand out.
- Lowering Expenses
- Shared Responsibilities
- Assistance when Needed
There is little doubt that rent for an apartment or house is far less per person when split two ways instead of one, not to mention any bills or other expenses. Plus, keeping up a residence is easier when sharing responsibilities such as cleaning or making repairs around the home. Finally, if a roommate is in a situation where help is needed, they have someone whom they can turn a person with more than just friendship as and interest in helping.
The Issues that can Arise from Living with Roommates
While there are literally thousands of reasons why problems can arise in a household, most of them are tied together in one simple reason, a roommate has crossed the line in their actions or behavior according to another roommate. Whatever that line is nine times out of ten is unspoken, not covered well or simply ignored.
Plus, the issues usually start with a small incident and generally builds over time, left unchecked until finally something explodes and creates a great deal of strife.
Template for Roommate Behavior
While it cannot solve every issue, knowing where you stand as roommates when you start sharing a residence can cut through a great deal of the tension and help resolve issues long before they get out of control. Here are a few agreements that need to be as part of your behavior template.
- Responsibility for Expenses
- Responsibility for Upkeep
- Responsibility for Behavior
Usually the easiest is deciding how to divvy up paying rent, bills and other expenses, but be sure to put that in writing. Upkeep of the household is usually different since some people are more inclined to do certainly cleaning jobs, but at the very least each roommate should be responsible for their bedrooms.
Finally, behavior is the touchiest subject, but an agreement about drugs and alcohol should be included. As for personal conduct, there should be some leniency with a roommate agreement between friends.