Roommate Rift: Guests

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When you are paying rent it seems like you should have control of who goes in and out of your apartment. However when you are living with roommates, this is an area that you will likely have to compromise on. 

Long-term and overnight guests in particular can be great sources of conflict. However, even short term guest can lead to conflict. Some roommates may feel uncomfortable using common areas when their roommates have guests over. Or a roommate waking up from an afternoon nap might find himself in an awkward and uncomfortable situation when he stumbles upon guests on the way to get a glass of water. 

Writing a roommate agreement and establishing ground rules for guests is a great idea, especially when you and your roommates have conflicting social personalities. Here are some things to consider when coming up with your agreement:

For Roommates Hosting Guests:
  • It is your roommate’s place just as much yours, so it’s absolutely key that you give the proper advance warning that there will be another person (or several people) around 
  • Discuss what advance notice means to your roommate well before inviting your friend(s) over 
  • Speak with roommates about mutually agreed upon visiting hours 
  • When your guests arrive, brief them on written/unwritten apartment expectations 
  • Take responsibility for cleaning up after your guests, replacing shared food they may have consumed, or repairing any damage they may cause 

For Roommates Hosting Overnight Guests:
  • You must notify others if your guest is staying overnight...this will reduce any awkward encounters in the bathroom overnight or in the morning 
  • How long before that guest starts feeling like an additional roommate? Discuss in advance how long and how often guests are allowed to stay over 
  • As much as possible keep your guest in areas of the house that is not shared space 

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