Saving money is only one of the pluses of having a roommate. Not only are you able to split the cost of rent and utilities roommates can:
- Help expand each others network of friends, especially if you are new to an area.
- Provide a sense of security for those who might be hesitant to live on there own.
- Split responsibilities – cleaning, bill paying, taking out the garbage, etc.
And, to be honest, there can also be some definite cons when living with someone, but with a little pre-planning before you sign a lease you may be able to avoid some of the typical roommate drama. The key is to honestly communicate ahead of time and not try to “figure things out as you go.”
To avoid problems here are 3 key points to tackle
before you move in together
- Decide who pays for what. All things being equal, you should expect to split the rent evenly with your roommate but if bedroom size, closet space or view greatly differ then this needs to be discussed upfront and a rent allocation given to the roommate who agrees to the less desirable space. Aside from rent, agree on how much each roommate will contribute to other anticipated expenses like utility bills, cleaning supplies, and groceries.
- Decide who is responsible for what. One person should not have to handle all the #adulting when sharing an apartment. Either split cleaning, shopping, bill paying responsibilities or find another equitable way to balance the tasks that go along with being a tenant.
- Put it in Writing. Specify, on paper, any and all arrangements, especially monetary – this will serve as a reference point if a disagreement should occur. It also makes sense to discuss and write down some practical compatibility issues regarding schedules, cleanliness, sleeping patterns, pets, sharing belongings, lifestyle choices, etc… before you and your potential roommate sign a lease.
If your potential roommate seems put out when you suggest a written agreement then that could be a roommate red flag, so proceed with caution.