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When you move in with a new roommate, you want the experience to go well and for there to not be any problems. That’s why sitting down and writing a roommate agreement together right when you move in is such a good idea — it’ll help you avoid some of the difficulties that may otherwise arise. Here are # issues you should be sure to cover in your roommate agreement.
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- Cleanliness. A big issue you will want to address in your roommate agreement is cleanliness. It can be awkward asking your roommate to clean up a mess they made in a common area or do to do the dirty dishes they’ve left in the sink for two days — even if you’re friends and you ask them nicely! To avoid that situation, decide on some rules you can both live with when it comes to keeping your apartment clean. You may want to set up a chore chart that outlines whose turn it is to do what around your home, like vacuuming, dusting, etc. Further, decide in your roommate agreement how you will handle a situation where the other person hasn’t done their chore or isn’t adhering to your cleanliness rules so you don’t have to worry about a messy confrontation.
- Quiet Hours. Even though you don’t live in a dorm, instilling some quiet hours may be beneficial for you and your roommate. Unless you are living alone, noisiness can be a challenge, especially if you’re trying to study or concentrate. During quiet hours, things like having music or the TV on loudly should be avoided. Decide on quiet hours with your roommate for weeknights and a later time on weekends to ensure you both will be able to focus on your schoolwork without having to ask the other person to keep it down.
- Shared Items. When you live with a roommate or two, you usually end up sharing certain items — things like milk, cleaning supplies, a TV, and more. In your roommate agreement, cover which things specifically you’ll be sharing and how you’ll split those costs. Additionally, you’ll want to touch on which items are hand-off or “ask first” so there’s no confusion in the future about which things you keep to yourself and which you share or are equally responsible for.
- Guest Policy. Both you and your roommate should have equal say in your apartment and that applies to having people over. It’s not fair for one of you to constantly have friends at your apartment and use the common areas all the time. Establish some basic rules about how many guests a person is allowed to have over at once, how far in advance they should tell the other person if possible, and an overnight guest policy.
Start your roommate living off right and break the ice by working together to write a roommate agreement covering the above issues that will benefit both of you and make your apartment a peaceful and clean place to be!
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