5 Things You Need to Know about Your Future Roommates

So you are looking for your first apartment and you don’t know where to start. Well, here are 5 things anyone looking for a roommate share should find out about their future roommates.

Rent Payments

You must know how they will pay the rent and when. Are they getting any help paying the rent?  If they cannot make their payment on time, how are they going to make up the difference? Would they expect you to front the payment for them? Can you afford the extra payment if they are not on time?


You must know if your schedules coordinate. Do they stay up all night? Are they party animals? If they have people over all the time or they are making lots of noise and you need to study they are not a good fit for you. If they work all the time and you enjoy having friends over that won’t work either. If your schedules are compatible, it’s easier to spend some time with your roommates. If you picked some really cool roommates they could even become some of your best friends.

Food Preferences

You must know if they have strong food preferences or aversions. Are they opposed to smelling meat cooking in the house? If you are a carnivore and you move in with a vegan who throws up at the sight or smell of meat you have made a mistake. They might even try to convince you to become vegan and you don’t even like vegetables. What if you tried to convince your roommate to eat meat? You guys would be wrapped up in endless arguments.

Cleanliness Standards

You must know if they are a hoarders or a neat freaks. If you are a hoarder and they are neat freaks, the relationship will never last. They will suffocate in your stuff or you will pass out from the chore wheel. Even if there are certain chores that you would never do they might cause problems. Make sure you guys discuss what kind of chores you will do and how often you will do them to make sure one person is not doing all of the work.

Conflict Resolution

How do you address problems? Do you have house meetings? Do you leave notes on the fridge?  It is important to know how to address problems before anything happens. Even a simple issue can become a problem if one roommate is unable to confront another roommate. If you have a set time to discuss how the living arrangement is going it helps prevent passive-aggressive behavior and festering problems.

Let us know in the comments anything you’d like to add based on your roommate living experiences.

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Author My First Apartment

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Dana Kearney was born and raised in Oakland, Ca. and graduated from UC Davis. After moving away from home, Dana has lived in dorms, in a co-op, in apartments and more apartments. She spends her free time writing, reading, and designing clothes.

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