Living with a roommate is a rite of passage for many people. When you share a home with another person, you can save money and enjoy the security of knowing that you’re not alone. Yet, learning how to live with someone who’s not part of your family requires time and clearly established rules.
Of course, you have certain expectations like paying your share of the rent on time, respecting your roommate’s privacy and cleaning up your messes in the common areas. However, having these expectations may not be enough, according to professionals working in residential property management in Denver. Ask these 5 questions before you take on a roommate.
What are the common areas?
When you share space with another person, you have private and common areas. Decide before you move in which rooms are for your individual use and which you will share. In most cases, the living room, kitchen and patio or balcony are shared spaces. Treat them as such as you decide what furniture to put there and who will be responsible for cleaning it. Respect each other’s right to use the common areas.
How will you settle accounts?
From shared expenses for cleaning supplies to split checks for takeout and paying for your portion of the utilities, you need a way to settle accounts each month. Some roommates set up a bank account where each person can deposit their contributions and pay these shared bills. Others rely on apps where they can transfer money to each other. Still others choose to keep track of these expenses on a spreadsheet. Choose a method that’s convenient for everyone.
How much space do you want?
Some roommates like to be friends while others prefer to nod their heads as they walk to their bedrooms. Talk about your privacy preferences with potential roommates before you move in. This includes what to do when one of you is sick, dealing with extra pressure at work or school and going through a personal loss. You’ll be better prepared to handle emergency situations and avoid awkward moments at home when you understand your roles in the relationship.
What will you do when guests are visiting?
Guests are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through unpleasant visits. Establish ground rules for visitors in your home, including which bathroom they will use, how long they’re allowed to stay and what types of behavior are allowed. For example, you may need to agree to watch your language or dress differently when someone’s mother is over. This discussion should also include significant others.
How will you communicate?
Communication is the key to any successful relationship. This doesn’t mean you have to speak on a daily basis or engage in deep conversation with your roommate. However, you do need a plan for how and when to discuss certain topics like when family is coming into town. You may decide to eat dinner together a few times a week, schedule monthly roommate meetings or send messages through social media. Figure out what works for you and stick with it.
Living with a roommate can be a practical and fulfilling arrangement when you understand what each person expects from the situation. At Woodruff Property Management, we won’t find you a roommate, but we can help you find a place to live. Call today and speak to a member of our residential property management in Denver team.