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Roommates: The Do's and Don'ts

Updated on October 26, 2014
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Deciding to live with roommates can be a life changing decision. It can be one of the most exciting or challenging times in your life. Whether living with friends or with people whom you are yet to meet, there are a few do's and don'ts that can make searching and living with roommates easier and help you create happy memories that can last a lifetime.

Let's start by looking at how you can find the right roommate/s for you or your share house.

5 Tips That Make Finding Roommates Easier - Your "Must Do's" When Looking For Your Perfect Roommate

Looking for a roommate is more than just placing an ad or asking your friends and family. It's about doing your homework, making sure that you're ready and making a conscious decision on who would make the most suitable roommate for you and your share house. Here a few tips you may wish to add to your to-do list.

Must-Have Ingredients for Your Perfect Roommate Recipe
Gender
Age
Smoking and Drinking Habits
Personality Traits
Interests and Lifestyle
  • Create your own "perfect roommate recipe" before you starting looking for a roommate so that you can find the right person to share an apartment or house.
  • Prepare for interviews so that you make the right first impression.
  • Take a friend along for a second opinion when meeting potential roommates.
  • Choose a roommate that has a similar personality, lifestyle and habits to you.
  • Check references before you ask a person to move in with you as a roommate

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing Roommates - Your List of "Do Nots" When Looking For Roommates

Sometimes you may feel that you'll never find the right roommate. While you may feel disheartened, keeping a positive attitude can help you keep on tract and eventually find the right person or people. When looking for roommates, it's important that you do not:

  • Turn up to interviews late or make promises you can not keep - it makes a bad impression on potential roommates.
  • Choose a roommate to move in that everyone in your household does not like.
  • Decide to move in with a person as a roommate where you will be unhappy as you can not find a better place to live or it's an easy way out.
  • Choose a roommate on impulse - take a look at the pros and cons first.
  • Choose a place to live or a roommate purely for financial reasons. Personality traits and lifestyle are just as important.

5 Secrets To Successfully Living With Roommates - Your "To-Do" List To Make Sharing With Roommates More Enjoyable

The key to creating an enjoyable living environment when sharing an apartment or house with roommates is open communication and a set of plans. Your plans should include this set of dos:

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  • Make a plan with your roommates for dealing with disputes and conflicts.
  • Set up rules with your roommates for entertaining, relationships, shopping, cleaning and finances.
  • Create a budget and money management system to ensure bills are paid on time.
  • Take time out from your roommates during stressful times in your household.
  • Discuss issues with your roommates that make you unhappy rather than keeping them yourself that in return can create an intense living environment.

5 Habits To Avoid When Living With Roommates - Your "Must Not Do" List When Sharing With Roommates

Everyone wants living with roommates to be a happy and enjoyable. Especially in the beginning roommates may not always see eye-to-eye and conflicts may arise when differences of opinion can not be sorted out. To help ensure a harmonious living environment, it's a good idea when sharing an apartment or house not to:

  • Talk to your roommates about an issue when you or your roommates are angry, upset or stressed. It's better to discuss a problem in your household when everyone is calm.
  • Discuss or raise issues with roommates about your household in front of your roommates' friends.
  • Spend money for household expenses on a "as-needed" basis - its the easiest way to run out of money before the end of the month.
  • Fix any items that are broken like windows, curtains, doors before talking to your landlord, real estate agent or residential advisor.
  • Plan parties/gatherings or buy household goods before consulting your roommates.

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Your Roommate Glossary

Roommate
A person who shares an apartment or house with 1 or more people to whom they are not related

Flatmate
A term commonly used to describes roommates in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom

Housemate
Roommates that share the same house

Share Accommodation
An apartment, townhouse, duplex or house where roommates live

Share House
A house where 2 or more roommates live

Flatshare
An apartment where 2 or more roommates live

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