Set Yourself up for Roommate Success
Before you move in, set the tone for a good year with your roommates by making sure you compile a roommate agreement. While it might not seem necessary now, it can only help down the road! Most lease agreements only define responsibilities between the tenant group as a whole and their landlord, not between tenants themselves. Do yourself a favor, and make sure you cover these ground rules as soon as you move-in.
Rent: How will you be dividing the rent? Bills: Who is responsible for paying which bills? How should that person go about collecting money from their roommates? Property Damage: Who will be responsible for photographing the apartment upon move in? Upon move out? Who will pay for damages should they occur? Cleaning: Who will be responsible for cleaning what? How often? Shared Spaces: What’s the expectation for how roommates treat shared spaces? (Think about bathrooms, kitchens, dishes in the sink, living room cleanliness, etc.). Guests: Can we have guests? How many? When? How can roommates alert each other to needs to privacy, quiet, or alone time? Smoking: How does the group feel about smoking? Can it be done, and if so, where and when?
Make sure you also cover how you’ll go about resolving disputes should they arise down the road! Do you have an unattached third party to help you resolve issues? How will you communicate problems or concerns? If you want to see an example roommate agreement, visit the “Resources” section of the bc.edu/offcampushousing website - there’s a full one there to help you and your roommates sail smoothly into your new apartment!