4 Important Roommate Rules To Establish Right Now

By Bethany Fischer

Most college students experience living with a roommate at some point during school. In order to keep the peace, it is important to establish roommate rules for everyone to follow. It can be difficult to live with someone who isn’t related to you for the first time. Having a set of rules that everyone adheres to can help ease any tension and create a comfortable living space for everyone.

Everyone’s living situation is different. Depending on the type of person you are, you may thrive off of different rules than others. That being said, there are some general guidelines that everyone should follow when living with someone else. Here are 4 important roommate rules you should establish right now to have a healthy relationship with your roommate.

College Roommates: 4 Important Roommate Rules To Establish Right Now
1. Communication is key

Like every kind of relationship you have, communication is the most important thing to practice. This roommate rule ensures that everyone is on the same page at all times. While there may be times where you have to have uncomfortable conversations with your roommate, keeping an open line of communication is the best way to avoid any miscommunication that could lead to serious problems.

A lot of issues that roommates have with each other stem from under-communicating. It can be tempting to push your feelings aside for the sake of peace or go for a more passive-aggressive approach when things are bothering you. However, people don’t know what they don’t know. It is likely that your roommate is unaware of your feelings and isn’t intentionally trying to cause problems. The best way to practice this roommate rule is by being honest and transparent. This will help you avoid any conflict or hostility in the future.

2. Give each other space

It’s awesome when you and your roommate get along. In a perfect world, you and your roommate would be best friends. However, even best friends need time away from each other. Giving each other space is one of the most important roommate rules you should have to keep the peace in your home.

Time alone is essential to having a healthy relationship with your roommate. It ensures that everyone is getting time to care for themselves, think through their emotions, and avoids co-dependency. College is stressful for everyone. If you spend every minute of every day with your roommate, you run the risk of overwhelming each other with your own problems and emotions. Giving your roommate space is a great roommate rule that should be implemented at the beginning of your living arrangement.

3. Make a roommate agreement and stick to it

Sometimes, things are clearer when they are written down. This is especially true when it comes to roommates. A good roommate rule to implement is the roommate agreement. A roommate agreement is a signed document that lays out all of the rules, boundaries, and expectations that all roommates should follow. A good roommate agreement makes everything clear and will help navigate or avoid conflict altogether.

Roommate agreements can be personalized depending on the living situation. However, some general roommate rules should always be included, such as:

● Rent/ utility payments
● Overnight guest rules
● Cleaning/chore schedule
● Violation consequences

By using practicing this roommate rule, you and your roommates can avoid any kind of future miscommunication.

4. Pay your share and pay it on time

One of the biggest conflicts that roommates face comes from money and paying bills. Having the money talk can be uncomfortable, but it is necessary to make sure that everyone is paying their fair share. Part of being in college means facing adult situations in a mature way. The best way to implement this roommate rule is by being honest and holding up your end of the payment agreement.

There are so many things that need to be paid for when living on your own. Big things, like rent, internet, electricity, and other utilities should be split amongst all roommates. Other things, like groceries, toiletries, a home decor, can be personalized based on usage. A good way to manage payments amongst roommates is to lay out all of the monthly bills as a list or a spreadsheet. This way, everyone knows what is due, when it’s due, and what their contributions are. Some people’s roommates split bills evenly; others pay based on a percentage of their income. Whichever way you decide to split bills with your roommates, make sure you are paying your fair share and doing it on time every month to avoid unnecessary conflict.

Making the transition to living with roommates isn’t always easy. There will be times when you have to deal with conflict and other uncomfortable situations. However, having clear roommate rules for everyone to follow can help ease any tension and make a more comfortable living environment. Implementing rules like communicating, giving space, making a roommate agreement, and splitting bills fairly can increase your chance of having a positive roommate experience. With clear roommate rules and expectations, you can begin to build a healthy relationship with your roommates.

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