12 Roommate Rules to Keep the Peace
At some point in your life, you will likely end up with a roommate. Roommates help reduce the cost of renting an apartment, and you can also share other cost of living expenses like groceries and the internet. Before moving in together, it is extremely important to create roommate rules that everyone in the apartment agrees with. These 12 tips can help you create rules to help keep the peace in the house.
1. Sign a colocation contract
Whether you’re moving into someone’s space, moving into yours, or looking for an apartment together, sit down and ask the important questions and create a roommate agreement. The document helps set some important ground rules, like overnight guests and cleaning duties, to clarify what everyone expects from each other. It is essential to periodically review the agreement and update it if the situation changes. Use this handy roommate ground rules template to get you started.
2. Pay your share of the bills
In the agreement, be sure to establish when the rent is paid and what percentage each of you will pay. You should also outline the plan for utility bills, such as gas, water, electricity, and the Internet. In your agreement, indicate how you plan to split these invoices and in what name they will appear.
3. Create bathroom, kitchen and laundry schedules
Creating washroom and kitchen schedules is one of the rules of living with a roommate who can help keep the peace. If there is only one bathroom and you all need to get ready for work or school, figure out who should use the bathroom first and how much time they can spend in it. Establish cooking times as well, especially if you have dietary restrictions.
If your apartment has a washer and dryer, set times that you can do your own and don’t leave clothes in the appliances. Remove them quickly so your roommate has time to do laundry. This is one of the roommate rules that will save you time and frustration.
4. Create a refrigerator and pantry space
Everyone needs space in the fridge and pantry or kitchen shelves, and unless you’ve all agreed to share everything, mark out an area or space for your foods, drinks, and condiments. . Throw out any old food and always ask if you can eat your roommate’s food, even leftovers. Substitute your roommate’s food that you have finished, as if you had eaten the last cookie in the package. If you spill anything in the fridge or freezer, clean it up immediately.
5. Create cleaning and chore schedules
Make sure you have some sort of schedule or routine for cleaning common areas. For example, you could be in charge of the living room and bathroom for a week, while your roommate cleans the kitchen. Then you can change.
6. Clean up after yourself
When you’re done with your meal, wash and put away your dishes, clean foods from the sink, and wipe down counters and table. After your time in the bathroom, pick up wet towels and dirty clothes, clean the shower or tub, and wipe down the sink. Keep your toiletries and personal items in a separate area, unless you have agreed to share them.
seven. Ask to borrow things
Even if you and your roommate wear the same size clothes and shoes, always ask to borrow something. You are responsible for cleaning the item after using it and if you damage it, you must replace it.
8. Establish rules for your significant other and your guests
In your roommate agreement, be sure to indicate how often a significant other may visit you or stay overnight. It’s important to make sure everyone is comfortable having someone else in the house, even for dinner and a movie. The same goes for friends or family. Setting the rules and expectations of roommates early on will help keep the peace in the long run.
9. Accept volume and temperature commands
Listening to music or your favorite TV show is a great way to relax or brighten up your mood. However, if someone is trying to sleep, study, or spend some quiet time, be respectful and set the volume to a comfortable level. It can be helpful to include hours of silence in your chord so that everyone knows when it’s time to put on their headphones to listen to music.
The same goes for temperature. Some people like their shared living space warmer or cooler than others. Find a reasonable temperature that everyone can live with comfortably and keep the thermostat set. You may also want to consider your electricity or gas bill to find the right apartment temperature.
10. Define confidentiality limits
Even if you live with someone, everyone needs space and privacy. If the bedroom door is closed, your roommate probably wants their own space. If your roommate has headphones on and seems to be in thought or concentration, interrupting them can cause them to lose focus.
11. Respect shared spaces
In most colocation situations, you will agree on shared spaces like the living room, kitchen and bathroom. Speak with your roommate before hanging artwork or moving furniture to see if they feel comfortable with the changes. Pick up and try not to hog the sofa and the TV. If either of you want to throw a party, discuss the rules of the event, such as the duration of the event, the number of people allowed, and whether there will be food and drink. The host should also educate their guests so that everyone is on the same page.
12. Establish safety rules
Determine who will lock the doors at night, draw the blinds, and turn on the security lights at night. Ask if your roommate feels comfortable with you giving someone else a set of apartment keys. Display emergency phone numbers so that anyone can find them easily.
Having these roommate rules in place can make the experience enjoyable, friendly and profitable. Keep the lines of communication open, learn how to resolve conflicts or arguments, and follow the rules listed in the roommate agreement to help keep the peace in the household.
Are you looking for a new place? Find thousands of apartments and houses for rent on Zumper and settle into your new home