Apartment living with roommates has some considerable advantages. If you are looking to save money on rent, utilities, and household needs, then this may be a viable option for you. Having a roommate who you can get along with makes the experience even better. It would be nice to have someone to talk to and have fun with. However, apartment living with roommates does not come without challenges. Even if this roommate is a close friend, a significant other, or a family member, living with them will require a lot of patience, consideration, and compromise. Here is a list of dos and don’ts for apartment living with roommates.
Dos for Apartment Living with Roommates
House rules should be the first thing you discuss with your roommate before you move in. Take some time to sit down and develop a set of house rules you both can agree to. Consider what you place the most importance on and be willing to compromise for the benefit of everyone involved. For instance, you could set 10 pm onwards as downtime, meaning that noise should be minimized by then. Alternatively, you can also set rules for the loudness of appliances during the day especially when it is work hours and one of you works remotely. Having a schedule for chores also helps avoid brewing tension and makes sure that the apartment runs smoothly.
The apartment space is not just yours since you have a roommate. As such, it is then important to ask your roommate for permission before you invite guests over. Make sure that they are completely fine with it and that you and your guests would not intrude in their activities. Permission also applies when you borrow something from your roommate. Never assume that your roommate is okay with sharing belongings with you unless your roommate explicitly says so. If you and your roommate have different sleep schedules, investing in a pair of earplugs or headphones would be quite helpful to you, productivity and sleep-wise.
Common areas include the kitchen, the bathroom, and the living room. When it comes to supplies, replace what you use. When you’re the last person to use something, and it runs out, it’s easier for you to remember and replace it. It doesn’t matter what it is that you used; it could be cereal or tissue paper. Once you’ve finished it, replace it. It would be tricky when you have a shared bathroom and have to get ready at a similar or the same time, so have a shower schedule and a time limit for showering.
Rearranging or redecorating the living room isn’t something you randomly decide to do, too. Instead, it should be a shared ordeal between you and your roommate. Discuss what changes you’d like to make and agree on something before you start moving furniture or repainting. Lastly, keep all common areas clean. Don’t leave used clothing or food scraps randomly lying around. Clothes and other personal items stay in your rooms, and food shouldn’t leave the kitchen or dining area.
Don’ts for Apartment Living with Roommates
When you watch TV, play video games, or play music, don’t turn up the volume. It is best to use headphones when you feel like the sounds aren’t loud enough for you. Unless your roommate says that they don’t mind the volume or you’re entirely sure that they won’t hear the sound, then keep the volume at a minimal level.
Aside from asking for your roommate’s permission, there are a few more guest-related things to consider. Never give any of your friends, family, or your partner a copy of your apartment keys. This is both a security risk and an invasion of your roommate’s privacy. If you absolutely have to let someone borrow your keys, notify your roommate that you are having someone over and that this person is currently in possession of your keys.
Also, don’t leave the door unlocked when you leave or when your guests leave. This places both you and your roommate’s belongings in danger and makes the possibility of a stranger walking into your apartment likely. When your significant other comes over, minimize having PDAs in the common areas. Doing so keeps your roommate from feeling uncomfortable. Once you and your partner are inside your room, play some music so that they wouldn’t hear you.
Be mindful of the consumables and other perishable items that you use. When it comes to food, never eat your roommate’s food. Assume that anything your roommate bought is for their consumption unless you have agreed to share the expenses on groceries. The best way to avoid these kinds of mishaps is to have an organized fridge that keeps either of you from taking something from each other.
Make sure that you and your roommate understand and accept the rental agreement. Keep yourselves from losing your security deposit or, worse, getting kicked out by following the rules set by the landlord and the apartment community. If your roommate breaks a rule, inform them that you could both be kicked out if it continues. If this doesn’t work, consider having a conversation with your landlord regarding your roommate’s behavior.