Most college students can’t afford to rent an apartment or house independently, but they find a roommate to share the financial responsibility instead.
Finding that perfect roommate can be a challenge though, especially if you have to find a stranger to live with.
Use these tips to take the stress away from finding and living with your college roommate.
Screen potential roommates carefully
Whether you’re looking for a roommate to share your space or seeking someone to move in with, make sure that you learn enough about the person to make an informed decision.
Post an ad that highlights your ideal qualities for a roommate. For instance, you may prefer someone who is tidy, has similar interests as you, and has a stable income. Interview any applicants and consider asking similar questions that a landlord asks during the tenant screening process.
If you’ve signed a lease, it’s important that your roommate complies with the terms of your lease agreement. Go over the existing contract with them and inform your landlord of the new occupant on the premises. If your roommate plans to pay the landlord for their share of the rent directly, you may need to amend the lease to list your roommate as a tenant. In this case, your roommate will have the same tenant rights and obligations as you.
Benefits of having common personality traits as your roommate
Having similar personality traits as your roommate helps avoid tension and conflict during your time together.
Living with someone who is the complete opposite of you may be fun for a time. But if you’re an introvert and your roomie is an extrovert, you may have trouble sleeping or studying when your roommate brings loud guests over.
In addition to asking applicants about their ability to pay rent and comply with lease terms, ask about their class schedule, cleaning habits, and personal boundaries. These questions will give you an idea of the type of roommate they’ll be.
Read more: Are Verbal Agreements Legally Binding?
Clearly define rules and expectations
It’s important to set house rules so that everyone is clear on personal boundaries and responsibilities.
A Roommate Agreement can include house rules about:
- Private time and quiet hours
- Guests and significant others
- Cleaning and chores
- Bathroom and kitchen schedules
- Thermostat expectations
- Conflict resolution
Discuss all of the terms before signing the agreement. Everyone should agree to the rules for the contract to be valid. It might seem formal to have a written contract, but it’s the best way to keep roommates on the same page and avoid future conflicts.
Establish expectations with a Roommate Agreement
Customize LawDepot’s Roommate Agreement template to suit your needs
Survive and thrive with your college roommate
A roommate not only helps when times are tight with money, but they can also be a great companion to have while struggling through your college years. Ensure you find the perfect roommate by screening applicants carefully and setting up a solid Roommate Agreement.