Living with a roommate can be a great experience if you do it right. You can establish a strong and lasting relationship with your roommate and save money while you both work toward total independence. For every person looking for a roommate, there are a hundred horror stories of bad roommates that drove the other person crazy. Follow some simple tips for being a good roommate and you’ll be enjoying your two-person apartment life in no time.
Pay Your Share
If the roommate horror story isn’t about someone who is messy, it’s about a leech that doesn’t pay their half of the bills. Don’t be this person—make it clear how much each person pays, agree on it, and then pay what you owe each month. It is not fair to the other party if they have to pay for everything when the point of having a roommate is often for the express purpose of saving money.
Establish Ground Rules
Even if your roommate is your best friend it’s critical to establish ground rules if you’ve never lived together before. Spending a lot of time together won’t prepare you for co-habitation but it can give you ideas about where issues might crop up. For example, if one person keeps a messy place while the other prefers things tidy, this should be addressed right away. For a complete stranger or someone you don’t know as well, these ground rules are critical and you’ll need to really think about what you absolutely cannot live with. Remember to listen carefully to your roommate during this conversation. Starting off with a discussion where both parties feel heard and considered will go a long way in establishing a solid relationship.
Never assume your roommate is okay with something that will affect them. If you want to have people over, get a pet, borrow their things or eat their food—consult them. If you’ve thrown several parties before and your roommate has always been okay with it, you still need to consult them. They might need to work early the next day, have finals to study for, or they might be dealing with relationship or family stresses that have left them needing some peace and quiet. Bringing in something as life-changing as a pet should undergo heavy discussion and both parties should be fully on board with it. This will likely require a secondary set of rules.
Respect Their Privacy
Sharing an apartment does not mean you can barge in on your roommate whenever you want to. Everyone has things they prefer to keep behind closed doors, including you, so be respectful and stay out of your roommate’s private business. Always be sure to do simple things like knocking on their bedroom door before entering, and leaving their personal belongings alone. Rifling through someone’s things will put you on the fast track to a trustless relationship.
Clean Up After Yourself
We’ve all heard the horror stories of the roommate who refuses to do their fair share of cleaning, leaves out dirty dishes covered in food, and is just a general slob. Don’t be that guy. Avoid letting cleaning tasks pile up by rinsing your dishes when you’re done with them, doing laundry on a regular schedule, and keeping a task list for both occupants so everyone is doing a little job here and there to keep the place clean.
Take Care of Your Pet
If one or both of you have a pet, there will need to be rules about pet-related responsibilities. The owner of the pet should be the main caretaker, but if a roommate is willing to help out while you’re busy by taking them outside for bathroom breaks, feeding them, playing with them, or even going on walks, be sure to thank them and do something nice for them on occasion. Pets are adorable and wonderful, but we have to balance our lives around them and they can be destructive if left unchecked, so make sure both parties are ready for a pet before you bring one home.
Let Us Be Your Apartment Home!
Whether you need your very first apartment home or are relocating to the area, Apartments of Harborside Village would love to be your dream apartment home. Are you looking for beautiful waterfront apartments in Joppa, Maryland? Let us show you one of our spacious and affordable apartments at the Apartments of Harborside Village. To learn more about our residence options, visit us online, give us a call at 410-679-1130, or email us. For a peek into what it’s like to live in our community, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.