Well, I didn’t, yet there I was having to share space with people who weren’t raised like me. Don’t get me wrong, it was not a total recipe for disaster but I definitely wish I had read a post like this before doing so..
I certainly wasn’t alone. 60% of millennials have roommates. The most important piece of advice I can give you on this is, set out expectations IN WRITING IN ADVANCE that clearly outline relevant topics that have to do with the upcoming lease arrangement. I can’t stress enough how important it is to put this in writing. People say things and then people change or people claim to forget what was said so you do not want a verbal agreement. This tip will save you a lot of heartbreak since you will be working with hard facts versus assumptions. It will also protect your sanity, potential friendship, credit score, and from ending up in court.
Crucial conversations such as how to split the rent, how to deal with pets, guests, and whose turn it is to buy toilet paper are common examples of things that are easier to discuss before any boundaries can be crossed. Afterwards, the claws tend to come out. People can become shady or super passive aggressive, both of which can make the living arrangement toxic pretty fast. Here are a couple more examples of things to consider writing down:
Rent- how much is it? What is each person’s responsibility to contribute to it? Is it split equally, regardless of room size? Or does one with a bigger room pay more?
Chores- Who is cleaning? Who takes out the trash? Scrub bathrooms? Mop? How often? What other chores will you guys be splitting?
Supplies- How much are you buying? Who’s physically going to get it? What sort of supplies do you consider everyone responsible for(cleaning, batteries, tape, scissors)
Utilities- (Electric, Internet, Cable, Gas, etc) How are you dividing these? By bill or split all the totals? If someone doesn’t have a tv in their room, are they paying less?
Food- Share? Own shelves in the cabinets or fridge? Free for all? Who’s doing the food staples(flour, sugar, water,etc) shopping? How often? How do you split it?
Pets- Are there any now? Plan to get any? Pet fee?
Guests- How long can significant others or friends stay? Weeks? Months? Will there be a conversation held if so?
Moving out- How will you guys handle it if one has to leave before the lease is up? Wins the lottery, etc? How will you split the furniture or anything you guys buy together?
Lastly, but certainly not least, I recommend taking your time(if possible) to seek out or join forces with people who have a similar lifestyle such as yourself.
But JusssSoul, whatever do you mean?
I meannnnn if you’re a 21 year old night owl it’s probably not a good idea to cohabit with a 71 year old with a 7pm bedtime. Catch my drift? This also applies if one person is super extroverted while the other one is not. Is one a hippie and the other super traditional? Can you respect each other’s polar opposite religions? Political stances? Smoker/drinker and the other straight edge?
Obviously these are all not deal breakers, just things to keep in mind 🙂