Seven tips on living with a roommate |
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Seven tips on living with a roommate

by Jillian CariolaPublished: October 11, 2017Updated: October 11, 2017

Living with a roommate is sometimes easier said than done. We hope these tips will make your living arrangement easier to handle as time passes.

Seven tips on living with a roommate MyProperty Philippines

If you are a student renting a condo or apartment alone, you are most likely well-versed on the financial responsibility you have to commit to. Perhaps your parents are paying for your unit or you have an after-school job that helps you make the bills, but if an unexpected expense suddenly crops up, come up with emergency money will be difficult. In this case, you might have to say goodbye to living alone and get a roommate.

We’ve all heard what a nightmare it can be for some to live with a roommate; we’ve got friends’ personal accounts and pop culture to thank for that. Yes, living with another person means sacrificing a bit on privacy and space. And sure, some roommates tend to do things like leave dirty dishes in the sink or be late with their share of the rent. You have to admit, though, that another renter will greatly alleviate the burden on your wallet. Once your mind is set on apartment sharing, here are some ways you can survive living with another person.

Find a new unit to rent

When deciding to get a roommate to share a pad with, it’s better if you find a new apartment that you can share. If you’re living in an apartment and decide to get a roommate, or if you choose to seek out a tenant who’s looking for someone to share their place with, there’s sure to be trouble about who has the last word on everything. Starting in a new place ensures that you both have an equal say on how things will go during your stay in the unit. This is particularly important if you’re planning on living with an acquaintance or friend that doesn’t go to the same college or university as you. In this case, it would be best to find an apartment that provides you both with easy access to your schools.

Seven tips on living with a roommate MyProperty Philippines
Find a rental that you can both comfortably live in. Photo via Depositphotos

Think carefully about renting with a friend

Living with your best friend sounds like a great idea since you have the same tastes and opinion about everything, right? Not necessarily. This is one of those situations for which the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder” was coined. It’s one thing to go out or have sleepovers a couple of times a week, but if you live with them day in and day out, you’ll start to get on each other’s nerves. The little quirks you have that may seem harmless will become increasingly annoying to the other, and it’ll take its toll on your friendship. Instead, try to find out if you have a classmate or friend of a friend who is looking for an apartment. This way, you’ll be living with someone who’s not exactly close to you, but is also not a complete stranger so you still feel a slight sense of comfort.

Seven tips on living with a roommate MyProperty Philippines
Your closest friends might not make the best roommates. Photo via Depositphotos

Figure out how to spilt chores

No one really likes to do chores, but you have to do them; remember, even if a bit of dirt doesn’t bother you, you have an obligation to your landlord to keep the unit in good shape. Don’t resort to sneaking out of the apartment early every Saturday morning to stick the other with cleaning the mess you’ve both been making all week. Create a calendar plotting the chores that you each have to do—sweeping the common areas, taking out the trash, etc.—and do them every day, week, or however often you agree to do them. Want to keep chores from piling up? Enforce a clean-as-you-go rule. Wash every dish after you use them so they don’t sit in the sink for time immemorial. If you cook something for yourself, don’t forget to clean up any spills on the stove or counter. If your bathroom has a divider that separates it from the toilet, put a shower curtain up and close it whenever you take a bath to keep the other side dry.

Seven tips on living with a roommate MyProperty Philippines
Keep a clean apartment by dividing up chores fairly. Photo via Depositphotos

Determine how bills will be shared

A lot of roommate relationships go south because of money matters, so make sure that you discuss everything beforehand. Do you plan on splitting all the bills as soon as they arrive, or would you rather each pay a certain bill every month and then reimburse half later on? Will you be keeping your groceries completely separate, or sharing the cost of some items? If you want to subscribe to cable TV or get a broadband line, discuss the options with each other beforehand so you know what you can afford to pay every month. Also, as much as possible, avoid borrowing from or lending money to each other; if one doesn’t get paid right away, conflict will definitely ensue.

Seven tips on living with a roommate MyProperty Philippines
Handle bills properly if you don't want them to pile up. Photo via Depositphotos

Trade “just in case” details

Sure, you’re not each other’s keeper, but consider it courtesy as two people living together. If you get into an accident or fall ill, it would be helpful for the other person to know who they should call to inform about your condition. Share allergy information that you can keep in mind for nights when you decide to make dinner together. You might also want to make a habit of leaving a note or texting on days when you go out unexpectedly to let the other know if you’ll be home late or if you won’t be home at all.

Seven tips on living with a roommate MyProperty Philippines
Knowing each other's emergency information can help keep each other safe. Photo via Depositphotos


You don’t have to treat each other as your best friend, but you don’t have to alienate each other, either. After all, it would be awkward to completely ignore each other if you happen to share the same classes or pass each other in the halls occasionally. Take some time every week to get together and talk, especially about things relating to the rental; if there is a problem, it’s better to lay it out in the open so you can nip it in the bud.

Seven tips on living with a roommate MyProperty Philippines
Talk things out instead of silently fuming about roommate issues. Photo via Depositphotos

Pick your battles

Compromising is one key to living with someone. Another is dealing with the fact that you probably won’t be able to tweak the other person into your idea of the perfect roommate. If you come home one day and see that they left a kitchen cupboard open or half a glass of water on the table, let it go; it’s not really a hill worth dying on. On the other hand, there are some rules that you both should be mature enough to follow without being asked, such as:

  • Respect each other’s right to privacy; do not just barge into each other’s room without knocking and do not open the other person’s mail.
  • If you are inviting friends over, let them know in advance so they don’t get shocked when they go home to an apartment full of strangers. Relative to this, it’s also important to establish clear rules regarding overnight visitors (boyfriend/girlfriend, friends, relatives, etc.)
  • Keep your noise to a minimum, particularly at night. On that note, wear headphones when you want to listen to music or watch a movie in private.
  • If you have a tendency to hit the snooze button more than once, you might want to unlearn that habit, or at least keep it down to two.
  • If you plan on having your pet live with you in the apartment, make sure your roommate is aware of it, and take full responsibility for taking care of and cleaning up after it.
  • Always keep the front door locked. No questions asked.

Seven tips on living with a roommate MyProperty Philippines
Let your roommate know before inviting people over. Photo via Depositphotos


Main photo via Depositphotos

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