Living with roommates can be one of the highlights of life in a rental apartment. It can also, however, pose serious problems for each inhabitant if you’re not careful. Once things between roommates take a turn for the worse, close proximity and many shared responsibilities can escalate the decline quickly. For that reason, it’s super important to start your roommate relationship on a high note. We’ve put together a few easy tips and tricks that will keep you and your roommate in the honeymoon phase for the duration of your lease.
1. Know Who You Are Rooming With
It can be tempting to agree to room with the first prospective person that shows interest in your rental apartment. This can be a very bad idea for quite a few reasons. Even if you’ve known this person for a long time, remember that living together is an entirely different scenario. If you are extremely neat and your roommate is a slob, or if you are a night owl and your roommate gets up for work at the crack of dawn, you may be inviting future troubles to the table. Sit down with your potential roomie and have an open discussion about schedules, lifestyle, and tendencies before you sign the lease.
2. Set Ground Rules
Once you’ve decided on your roommate, take some time to sit down with them and set the ground rules for your rental apartment. Decide if and when guests will be allowed over and how significant others will be dealt with. There’s nothing worse than agreeing to one roommate and getting two unexpectedly. Talk about noise levels and determine what of your items will be shared and which are exclusively yours or your roommates. So many squabbles happen between roomies because of these two things and they are both extremely avoidable. Determine who will be responsible for cleaning and maintenance as well (consider trading off week to week so nobody feels resentful), and who will handle which bills.
3. Keep It Clean
You likely want the common spaces of your rental apartment to feel like a cozy oasis rather than an extension of your roommates’ bedroom. Chances are good that your roommate feels the same. Lead by example by keeping your belongings where they belong and cleaning up any messes you make in the space. Nobody wants to come home to a sink full of dirty dishes, sticky floors, and wet towels slung over the couch. Be respectful of your roommate and they will likely follow suit.
4. Communicate Openly
When you’re living in a rental apartment with a roommate, the importance of open communication cannot be stressed enough! If a problem arises, both you and your roomie need to be forthcoming about it and ready to address it immediately. Failure to do this will only lead to festering anxiety and tension and will ultimately likely result in a big, unnecessary blowout. If your roommate has a habit that is driving you nuts, politely let them know and see if you can come up with some sort of a mutual resolution. Let them know from the beginning that they have your permission to do the same to you should they ever feel the need.
5. Forge a Friendship
While you and your roommate won’t necessarily want to spend every waking moment together, it may help if you can find some common ground between you. After all, living with somebody that you don’t like is never any fun! Take some time to get out of your rental apartment and do something fun together once in a while. Alternately, if you’re more of a homebody, consider hosting a movie night and inviting your roommate and his/her friends. Merging your social groups every once in a while could be the key to a successful roommate relationship.
6. Respect Each Other’s Differences
Taking the last tip into consideration, you have to also remember that you are not the same people and will likely not share all of the same interests. That’s perfectly okay and can, in fact, be helpful. It’s important that you each have your own things to do and that you can be mutually respectful of that. In other words, if movie nights are your thing and they sound awful to your roommate, plan ahead to let them know when you will be hosting so that they can make other plans. Allow them to do the same and give you a heads up before game night.
Searching for a Rental Apartment in the Hattiesburg Area?
So you’ve found the perfect roommate, now it’s time to find the right rental apartment! Let Hattiesburg Apartments help! We have many exclusive properties to show you, all in incredible locations and offering amazing amenities at affordable prices. Take a look through our property database today and contact a team member to begin your hunt!