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ROOMMATE DISPUTES

There are several common roommate disputes that can arise when living with other people. Whether your roommate is your best friend or whether you have never met him before, it is important to familiarize yourself with the common roommate disputes and how to solve them.

Settling Roommate Disputes

Communication is key when it comes to solving any roommate dispute. If you are planning on having friends over or having your partner spend the night, let your roommate know ahead of time. If you are looking to sleep in on a Saturday, explain this to him so he avoids cleaning the house, playing loud music or doing any other noisy activity during this time. Your roommate will most likely respect your desires as long as you do the same for him. This means not only validating his requests but also respecting his lifestyle choices and coming to an agreement with each other in regards to allowing pets in rental spaces.

One of the biggest problems that arise when living with someone else is the question of common property. You may only have one television, one fridge and one bathroom so what happens when you both want to use it at the same time? One way to solve the problems that arise from sharing common property is to let your roommate know ahead of time about your plans. If you are planning a Sunday football party and need the television, let him know. If you want to watch a weekly television series on Monday nights, make a note of it.

Cleaning duties is another concern when it comes to common roommate disputes. No one wants to scrub the toilet, vacuum the floors and do the dishes, especially when the other person hardly lifts a finger. One way to solve this issue is to make a schedule. Allocate certain jobs to each roommate and alternate each week so everyone lifts their own weight and the house remains clean and liveable.

You may also notice that your roommate is constantly ‘borrowing’ your items. While some people are perfectly happy to lend their personal belongings, others are not. Let your roommate know what is off limits. Furthermore, if you are borrowing his items, be sure to always return them in as good a condition and in a timely manner to avoid any problems with trust and respect down the road.

In terms of sharing a fridge and food, one way to solve this constant issue is to split up the fridge by shelves. Keep the top shelf for your food, the bottom shelf for his food and the middle shelf for common items such as mustard, ketchup and butter. Do the communal shopping together (for items such as toilet paper, cleaning products, shampoo, laundry detergent, milk, cheese and bread) to avoid any problems with money.

Serious Roommate Concerns

Minor roommate disputes can result in serious arguments and battles in some situations. Money is often the cause of a serious roommate dispute which is why it is important to always communicate your current financial situation. If you receive an unexpected bill, for example, share the charges. If you are worried that your roommate is wasting too much power which is reflected on your electricity bill, talk to him about it.

Common roommate disputes may turn into bigger problems if you have constantly voiced your concerns and your roommate has not changed or even attempted to fix the problem. Being late on rent on more than three occasions, having loud parties even though you have said no and breaking the lease agreement by smoking inside the house or buying a pet are all valid concerns that may require the assistance of your landlord.

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