Having a roommate comes with several benefits. Splitting the bills is easily the biggest pro. And it's not just rent. Ii's all of the bills that include cable, water, trash, and any other services you may pay for like Netflix or Amazon Prime. Also, 2 and 3 bedroom apartment homes also offer more square footage than a typical studio or 1 bedroom residence. The more space that each of you has the better.
But there may also be an unwanted side as well. If you choose an incompatible roommate, it may leave with you feelings such as anger and stress. Best friends even find out that that living together isn't what they thought it would be.
So we try and take the guessing game out of this whole process and offer you some tips that will help solidify a quality roommate that offers both of you a great rental living experience.
Make sure Money Doesn't Become an Issue
Money can become a driving wedge between roommates. After all, if you pay your rental share on-time every month but your roommate is late, late fees will incur and this can quickly become an issue. Or if they fail to pay their share of the cable, you will find yourself covering the entire amount.
Sit down with your potential roommate and discuss how much money each of you will be making a month. The apartment manager will run a credit check, but you also need to have a heart to heart as well.
It's also a good idea to discuss other bills that all of you may have to pay, like student loans and credit card debt. These conversations aren't comfortable at first, but they can prevent you from a problematic situation in the future.
Discuss who pays the cable or the lights each month. Normally one renter will sign up for the utilities. So it makes sense that one person will be responsible for each specific bill each month. So the best method here is to divide them up as evenly as possible. So one roommate may pay for the cable monthly while the other pays for the lights. There are great apps you can download to your phone like https://www.splitwise.com. They allow you to divide bills and make sure everyone gets paid back fast.
Once you have the money situation figured out, then you can move onto the next topic.
Determine their Lifestyle
Now you will need to find out what kind of person you will be living with. Remember that how they lead their life will affect you too.
People who keep a clean environment simply cannot live with someone who doesn't mind clutter and regularly leaves dirty dishes and clothes lying around the common areas. If you have specific requirements make this known upfront.
Many roommates put up a calendar on the freezer. Determine who cleans the kitchen, bathrooms, and living areas on a weekly basis. It is best to rotate these tasks. That will minimize the complaints. Or you can agree on hiring a cleaning service that will do this weekly.
Don't forget about taking out the trash. Many apartments have valet trash which is nice. But in the event you don't, someone will have to physically transport it to the dumpsters outside.
Remember that discussing the major topics upfront will reduce any foreseeable future issues. That way both of you can live happily in your next home.
If you are planning on moving into a new apartment home and don't know where to start, you can check out Rentkidz or other ILS listing sites to find apartment options, view apartment deals and other great info about a new place.