How to Be a Courteous Roommate While Moving Out

Smiling attractive girl sitting on sofa and packing luggageHousing situations where you get along well with your roommates are something to definitely treasure! You begin to form friendships or work on existing ones, and your apartment starts to suddenly feel more like a home. Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t work out when you live with others, whether they’re your best friends or total strangers and you may decide that moving out is the right thing to do. And you know what? That’s OK! One thing to make sure of is that your move doesn’t cause any more trouble for your roommates. If you’re deciding to move out of your current place, here are a few things to consider so that you remain a courteous roommate down to the last day of your lease!

1. Check in with your roommates to see if they found someone to take over your lease

While it may be tempting to not care about what your roommates will be doing once you are gone, it would still be nice to check in with them and your landlord to see how the new roommate interviewing is going. They could be struggling to find someone to replace you, especially if you gave them short notice, and may need additional help finding a new roommate. They can also have a hard time finding someone based on the time of year, or the asking price for the room. No one wants to be responsible for the unpaid share of rent in an apartment, so your roommates may appreciate the extra help if they are having trouble finding a replacement.

2. Determine what needs to be done to prepare for the next tenant

Does your room need to be cleaned? Repainted? Repairs made? You might want to talk with your roommates and landlord about what needs to be done in your room prior to the next tenant moving in, and when these actions need to take place. While you usually have the room until the last day of your rental lease, it may be nice for you to give the others an extra day or two to make any repairs or changes in your room, especially if the new tenant needs to be in the very first day of the new lease. The important thing is to come up with a timeline and make sure that it works for everyone!

3. Return any keys, garage openers, mailbox keys and gate sensors

This one is self-explanatory, but remember to return anything that was given to you to use for your apartment. Believe me, there isn’t anything more annoying than tracking down your roommate across town for that extra garage door opener!

4. Clean out your food in the fridge and pantry

Your roommates most likely don’t want to find your leftover moldy stir-fry three weeks after you moved out. Make sure you throw out any perishable food that you purchased, and if you don’t want to waste anything that is still edible, ask if your roommates want it or donate it (a great option for canned food)!

5. Take the time to say goodbye to your roommates and wish them luck

While it may be temping to just move out and never look back, especially if you were in a bad living situation, it will be nice to give your roommates one final goodbye before you part ways. Who knows, you may run into them another day and become better friends once you are no longer living under the same roof! More than anything, it’s better to leave on good terms and know that things are cordial between you and that any negative feelings are put to rest.

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Author My First Apartment
Anna R.

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Anna R. is currently a research assistant in a biology lab in the Bay Area and is interested in pursuing a Ph.D in Genetics. When she’s not daydreaming about food and browsing recipes on Pinterest, she likes to spend her free time dancing, paddle boarding and swimming. She’s been through a number of different housing situations and is eager to share her experiences with other MFA readers!

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