Living With an Apartment Roommate: What You Need to Know

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image of the feet of two apartment roommates standingPeople choose to live with roommates for a number of reasons. At times, the motivation is purely economic. You want to live in a certain part of town, but can’t afford the rent on your own. You may also be the type who likes having someone else in the house. Whatever the reason, it pays to spend some time finding the right apartment roommate, and making sure that both of you are on the same page when it comes to the basic house rules.

Finding a Compatible Roommate

One approach you can try is seeing if you have a friend or coworker who is interested in renting an apartment with you. Determine how much each of you can contribute toward the rent and the utilities, and what furnishings each of you can bring to the new arrangement. From there, it’s a matter of finding a place that is within the budget and that both of you happen to like.

If you’ve already found one or more Waukesha apartments that you like and know how much financial help you will need to rent it, you can always advertise for someone compatible. Make sure you set expectations when advertising online or in print media like the classified sections of a newspaper. Make it clear you are looking for someone who is working, has their own mode of transportation, and can provide the money needed to cover their share of the rental expenses.

Creating House Rules

The main thing to remember about house rules is that they need to be simple. Forget about writing up a detailed document that addresses every movement that both of you will make. All you really want to cover is the basics.

For example, the house rules could specify that each of you will take care of your own bedrooms. Whoever dirties dishes is responsible for washing them. If the two of you have mutual friends over, then both of you work on the setup and the cleanup afterwards. As for tasks like cleaning the main living area, the two of you can take turns.

You also want to address the issue of overnight company. Talk with your new roommate and establish some sort of time frame to notify the other that someone will be staying over. In an age when texting takes only a few seconds, this is not a hard thing to do. It also helps to prevent any awkward encounters the following morning.

Apartment Roommates and Trial Periods

If your name happens to be the only one on the lease, that makes it possible to see how the two of you get along. Make it clear to your new roommate that they can try the arrangement for three months. If during that time either of you feel like things are not working out, then he or she will make plans to move out. When the period comes to an end, sit down and talk about how things are going. Assuming both of you are happy with the arrangement, feel free to keep going indefinitely.

The right roommate brings a lot to the table. Along with someone to help with the basic expenses, roommates can become close friends and be there for you when things are not going so well. You in turn can be there for them. Take your time in choosing the right person, and you could be gaining a friend for life.