Getting a new roommate isn’t too uncommon, but what if your new roommate is joining after you and others already moved in? I recently ran into this scenario when a friend needed a place to stay for a couple months while she was in between job locations. My boyfriend and I have settled into our new place within the last couple months and have an extra bedroom open, so we of course said yes!
Having someone new move in when you have already established your routines can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these tips to ensure a seamless transition!
- Be honest up front. If you are unsure about having another roommate, say so. While you may feel bad telling a friend “no”, it will save both of you problems later on. If you’re ready for another, say so as well! Enthusiasm for your new roommate will make them feel more welcome and excited to move in.
- Split finances fairly. Make sure to plan out what everyone is paying for, because your previous plan (with fewer roommates) will have to change. Do the math and include your new roommate in it. The good news? You’re probably going to start saving some money! But don’t try to take advantage of your new roommate. They should pay the same percentage as you do for the space.
- Make a payment plan. Again, your previous plan is going to have to change. If everyone gives cash to you at the end of the month for rent, make sure the new roommate is on board and understands. If everyone is responsible for their own portion & pays the landlord, let them know that too. As far as utilities, etc., have an open conversation with ALL roommates to decide the best way to split and pay the bills.
- Talk about sharing. New roommates don’t automatically understand how your apartment functions, so it’s smart to go over ground rules as soon as they ask about moving in. Some items to consider are:
– Grocery shopping & sharing
– Meal preparation (if one roommate cooks a pot of chili, is it fair game for everyone)?
– Bathroom/morning routine schedules
– “Policy” on keeping the doors locked/spare keys
– Parking situation
– Replenishing shared goods (like toilet paper, garbage bags, etc.)
– Household chore schedule
- Decide an end date. If this is a temporary situation (like mine is), sit down and AGREE on a move-out date for your new roommate. If it’s not an inconvenience to you, you can leave it loose. But if you think that it may become a hardship, be up-front and insist on a move-out date.
In all, have fun! Living with a new person can be an adventure, so walk through all of the steps above and enjoy your new roommate!