7 things to consider before accepting a new roommate
When deciding to share a house or flat with other students, there are various aspects to take into consideration. Sure, it is a decision that can help you in numerous ways such as enhancing your social network and most importantly reducing your living costs.
Therefore, when the moment comes it is crucial to bear in mind the following:
People have different lifestyles, different routines and different preferences. It is important to make sure that all of these can work well with the person you are thinking to become a roommate with.
For example, food preferences, allergies (gluten, milk, soy, or any other type of allergy that does not include food), work habits and timetables, sleeping habits (setting up a clear schedule of morning and evening times and for when is it ok for the roommates to start or stop making noise of all kinds), sports, hobbies, music or other distractions – all the points above have to be discussed to be able to live in complete harmony and avoid annoying and disturbing complication for anyone.
It is obvious that you do not have to have the same lifestyle as your roommate, however, it is important to understand if there is compatibility.
Another point you want to consider when deciding to live with someone is the kind of relationship that you would like to have with that person.
For example, you are going to London for the first time and you would like to live with someone and be able to create a friendly relationship with your roommate because you do not know anyone and it could be a great opportunity to start socialising and going around with that person that is ok as long as the other person wants the same thing.
On the other hand, you might already have your life settled and want to focus strictly on work or other things and do not want to create this particular “friendly relationship” with your roommate, it is also fine.
However, these things have to be settled and talked about before deciding whether to live together or not. Either relationship you choose, being polite and kind is not a question, it is a MUST.
To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is extremely important to tackle the financial aspect of living together with your potential roommate. It can be an uncomfortable discussion to have but it is crucial to discuss it and have it settled before moving in.
Moreover, different things can be done to make this part less ‘heavy’: have a clear plan of who pays what, when, and how. Depending on your financial situation, there can be some arrangements as to who take the bigger rooms pays a little extra and so on.
These things are up to the future roommates to discuss but they have to be dealt with utmost importance in order to ensure that they are both in a position to meet the financial responsibilities of sharing a home.
Moving on, let’s talk about guests. When it comes to guests (whether they are house guests, family, friends, romantic partners, etc.) it is key for a good relationship with your roommate to discuss their respective preferences.
For example, if you are planning to organize a dinner with some friends, make sure your roommate is ok with that decision (he/she might have an early meeting and has to stay up to work for it and would not necessarily like to have people around making noise that particular evening).
If either of you is planning to have guests, discuss all the different points together: how long are they allowed to stay, is music ok, and if yes how loud? Etc…
Moreover, it could be a great idea to make a weekly plan of how many nights a week are people allowed in? It is also great to talk about the romantic partner side a little deeper because you both might not currently be in a relationship at the moment but you might be in the future.
Here comes another crucial point. Cleanliness. Most people have different definitions and opinions of what ‘clean’ means. Some people like their place cleaned once a week, others that think that once a month is ok.
Another example, some people can tolerate dishes not being washed every day and staying in the sink for days while others will find this inadmissible. This is a very subjective matter that has to be dealt with once again before moving in.
Once you have a few ideas of potential roommates, you can ask to speak to past landlords or roommates to have a clearer idea of whether you are compatible or not.
Another thing you can do is check their social media account to see what their lifestyle looks like and get an idea of whether or not you living together would work
7 Avoiding conflict
It is human nature that you will both face some challenges at some point while living together (either because of guests in the house, problems with the house, or simply getting annoyed or frustrated).
The most important thing to do in this case is to take a mature approach to the conflict, maybe leave the other person be for a little while and then sit down together and discuss the different matters that are bothering you.
Moreover, while you are discussing your issues it would also be ideal to discuss the different ways in order to avoid fights or conflicts happening again in the future.
Top 10 Questions to Ask a Potential Roommate?
- How often do you clean?
- Have you ever had any difficulty paying the rent on time?
- What’s your typical schedule?
- Do you have pets?
- Do your friends come over often?
- Do you smoke?
- Do you think we would get along well?
- What indoor temperature do you like best?
- What would your previous landlord say about you if I called him/her?
- Do you have any food restrictions?