A Guide to Choosing a Roommate Who is Compatible

Choosing a compatible roommate can be a real challenge but is important to your overall happiness. If your lifestyles, work schedules, and financial stability don’t match up, there could be some serious problems down the road. Choosing a Roommate, TJ Woods Insurance, Worcester, MA

A good thing to consider is that if you work full time and assume little to no social life, then you will end up spending close to 128 hours a week in your house.  Now, 56 or so hours will be spent asleep, but that leaves 72 hours where you’ll be awake and sharing your home with another person.  Life is good, until you find yourself at odds because your roommate is refusing to pay utilities or clean up their mess.  Thus, it’s important that you two see eye-to-eye on at least the key issues.

When choosing a compatible roommate, some basic things you ought to discuss are:

  • Bills: How are you going to split the rent? (By square footage? Half and half?) How do you plan to split the utilities?  Who’s going to make sure the checks get in on time?  All of these considerations are best ironed out before you ever move in, so there’s no bickering over things like who’s using more electricity or renegotiating rent mid-lease.
  • Schedules: Some roommates might have completely opposite schedules, one being 9am-5pm and the other 5pm-9am, and it can work perfectly, assuming they stay out of one another’s hair.  However, if one of the roommates is constantly coming in late and waking the other up, it might not be the best match.
  • Guests: It’s important to discuss guest policies before the issue comes up.  Common considerations might include things like letting a friend crash on the couch while they are in town or having your family stay during their visit.  Potential roommates should discuss time limits, number of visitors, or whether guests should stay in common areas or individual rooms.
  • Significant Others: Will your roommate’s boyfriend or girlfriend be like an extra roommate?  If so, should they pay extra rent or utilities?  These are important considerations before moving in together.
  • Noise: What are your expectations?  Do you need quiet hours during the day?  Are parties acceptable?  It’s important to remember you’re not just considering your own preferences here, but also the expectations of your neighbors.  If the person in the apartment above you calls in a noise complaint, it’s not just your roommate who gets the blame.
  • Drinking or Smoking: Are you comfortable with your potential roommate’s lifestyle?  If not, it could become a point of contention after living together for a while.
  • Chores: Cleanliness compatibility is so important to a roommate match.  Communal chores like taking out the trash, cleaning shared spaces, cleaning the fridge, and other general chores need to be done.  Work out an agreement before you move in and hold one another accountable.  If you know cleanliness is important to you, then living with someone who doesn’t value it will end up leaving you with all the work, which can breed resentment.  Head it off by talking out your expectations before you sign the lease.
  • Insurance: Another thing that many first-time renters don’t realize is that it is important to have renters insurance, even if you only plan on living in the apartment for a short period of time. Renters insurance will cover your personal items should they be damaged, and will also provide you with a place to stay if your apartment becomes unlivable.

All of these are important things to discuss before signing a lease with any potential roommate.  Do the hard work upfront to make sure you’re on the same page before signing the lease.  If you’re curious about how to get renter’s insurance and what it covers, feel free to contact us.  The agents at TJ Woods Insurance would be happy to help you!