Renting with Others
By Tonya Miller
Living with others can be difficult if you aren’t careful about the roommates you choose, how often you communicate and laying the ground rules. Use these tips to help you navigate living with roommates.
Picking the Right Roommates
The right roommates aren’t always going to be your closest friends. You may find your friends have living habits that don’t necessarily line up with what you like. You want to find a person with a mindset and lifestyle that complements yours. After all, you will be living and spending most of your days with them.
The ideal roommate is someone responsible and dependable, with a steady source of income and good communication skills.
Finding the right roommates may mean you have to ask a few tough questions. Don’t be afraid to really get to know the person that could potentially be your roommate. You will need to ask more than if they are a tidy person.
Here is a list of subjects you can use to interview potential roommates:
- Work schedules.
- Life goals.
- Whether they smoke, drink or use drugs.
- Sharing household items.
- How often guests will be invited.
- Health issues or concerns.
This list of subjects will help you open up with potential roommates, and get an idea of their goals and ideas about home life.
Living with Others
Sitting down with your roommates and setting the ground rules early will give you time to talk about subjects such as personal items that can and cannot be shared, cleanliness, music and TV volume preferences, and more.
Communication is key when living with others. Take time to sit with your roommates and discuss everything you can. Make sure you give your roommate the same respect and listen to their preferences and suggestions. Come together and create rules for everyone in the apartment and guests to follow.
If you and your roommates aren’t close, it can be difficult to communicate with one another. It’s important you and your roommates spend time together. Set aside a day to allow you and your roommates to come together. It can be anything from binging a show on Netflix, going out to your local mall or having a board game night. Whatever it may be, make sure it allows for you and your roommates to talk.
Budgeting with others
Although you might have more room in your individual budgets by splitting rent with others, it is important to discuss and know what your spending limits are.
Create a budget day at the beginning of each month with your roommates to discuss how rent and bills will be split. It can become a little more complicated if there are more than two roommates. Take time to come up with a fair spilt for all tenants.
After you established rent, choose a day to go grocery shopping, how often you will go, what items will be bought for the household and what items will be bought for individuals. Cleaning supplies should also be split amongst the household and included when buying groceries.
REAL ESTATE 101
Setting the Ground Rules
The University of Denver offers a Roommate Workbook to help students get along with their dorm roommates. The advice is useful for roommates in any situation. It includes practicing good communication and writing up a contract between roommates. The workbook also includes points for roommates to dis-cuss and agree upon, such as their studying (or work) habits, sleeping schedules, frequency of visitors, cleanliness guidelines, policies on sharing food and use of space, and financial agreements. See the workbook at www.bit.ly/2WEuYSj.