Guidelines for Selecting Roommates
Unlike living alone, sharing a home with a roommate provides companionship, security, and fulfills a variety of individual needs. Living with others can be a fun, rewarding experience if your roommate selection is made with careful planning.
When considering your prospective roommate, take the time to discuss each of the following guidelines. Understand, these guidelines are not a formula to guarantee compatibility but they are a way to determine lifestyle differences that may indicate potentiel problem areas if you decide to live together.
Before making your final.decision, be sure all parties are in agreement of your living arrangements. If there are major differences, now is the time to spell them out — once the lease is signed, all parties are equally liable to fulfill the terms of the lease.
Lifestyles. Needs & Expectations
- Discuss individual lifestyles including hobbies, religious beliefs, pets, music preferences, and friends. Make it a point to air your views on smoking, drinking, parties, etc. This is a good time to review any medical or physical conditions and special needs as they relate to these problems.
- Find out what outside interest or activities such as social, scholastic, church, or charity organizations your roommate is involved in. This may mean that your home will be used for meetings or that your roommate will be away in the evenings to meet certain obligations with these organizations.
- Those who are students should define their education goals, study habits, and their anticipated date of graduation.
- Each person’s work and/or class schedule will be different and certain hours will be devoted to meet individual needs to complete work projects or assignments. Every person requires different amounts of sleep to meet their individual needs. Find out if you will be living with a night owl, early riser or a daytime sleeper. Will their sleep patterns and work or school schedules be compatible with yours? You should also set ground rules for overnight guests. Keep in mind that every person has a right to their privacy and you must be sensitive to their needs. Remember — only those named on the lease contract are permitted to” live” in the leased premises and there are restrictions for the length of time a guest may stay with you.
- Consider weekend activites and holidays. This would include jobs, studying, going out of town, weekend guests, and other commitments. Determine if everyone will be comfortable with these arrangements and how specific obligations will be handled during these times.
- Each person will bring into the household their personal possessions. Many times roommates share or borrow such things as clothing, jewelery, or other personal property. It’s a good idea to agree on this practice in advance and determine what items you are willing to share and what things are” off limits”. You may also want to have an understanding as to how repairs or replacement of damaged or lost items will be covered.
- Find out if your roommate will have their own transportaion and if not, if they will depend on you to take them where they need to go. If this is the case, you may want to set an amount to be charged to help cover the cost of gasoline and upkeep on your vehicle.
- Even in the best relationships, misunderstandings and conflicts happen. An open line of communication is the best way to maintain a happy, healthy relationship. Before such a situation arises, determine how you will handle problems so they may be resolved quickly.
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