Finding a Compatible Roommate
If you are considering sharing your space with a roommate, here is a brief
guide to help you find
your best match.
Please understand that we do not intend to seem paternal here.
most roommate disasters are the result of a desperate, sloppy or
Throughout this website Lee Street Management has tried to maintain a
approach to our style of writing. We make a slight exception here to
how casual and intimate living with another person can become. For
sake, you must ask those awkward questions. You must establish mutually
expectations and you must be prepared to say no.
The Bare Minimum
Roommates cannot really know each other until they become roommates.
however, exchange some important information before you make the leap.
your candidate at least a few times before you decide. Allow plenty of
for a relaxed, candid conversation. The more you talk, the better you
each otherís basic nature, habits and lifestyle. The time you invest
go a long way toward helping avoid unpleasant surprises.
- The first meeting should be in a public place. Both of you will
feel more comfortable and you can exit more easily if you sense
- Daytime meetings are preferable, especially if your candidate
is the opposite sex.
- Allow plenty of time and try to have an agenda. Small talk is
helpful, but you want to be sure to cover mutual expectations and
- Exchange former roommate or other references and check them carefully.
- At least one meeting should be at their place. Seeing how someone
lives today will tell you what your apartment will look like when
they live with you.
- Obey your instincts. A marriage is much easier than a divorce.
- Do not worry about a credit report. Part of Lee Street Managementís approval
process is to perform a complete review of your candidateís formal
- Together, try to create a list of agreeable rules, pet peeves
and accommodations. This might help avoid a later debate over what
you thought he said.
- Term: We recommend a trial period of 30 to 90 days. This is not a
alternative in most cases but arrange it if you are able.
- Rent: You will be jointly and severally liable for rent. Lee Street
will reserve the right to collect any unpaid rent or damages from
- Lease: Your roommate must agree to abide by all the terms of the
You will both bear responsibility for problems your roommate may
roommate will not be added to the lease until you renew for another
- Security Deposit: Pro-rate his security deposit and get it in
Street Management will make any security deposit refunds only to you.
- Move-Outs: Agree in advance how, when and if the relationship will
The Joy of Living Together
Where do you draw the line... Whose space is whose? Is it my turn in
the bathroom? I did not make those calls to Spain! Have you paid the
bills this month? Should we mix laundry? Can I borrow your car again?
Hey, thatís my toothbrush! My girlfriend is coming over tonight; can
you find somewhere else to sleep? Fine then, Iíll buy my own milk. Stop
walking around naked; itís kind of weird. I lost my job. What smells?
Did I ask for your opinion? But you didnít pay me back the last time.
Are you still mad about the litter-box thing? Yeah I know I promised
When it comes to bathrooms, phones, clothes, food and TV, the less
- Housekeeping: Will you share cleaning responsibilities? Will you
hire a maid?
- Guests: Are overnight guests allowed? Where are guests entitled
to hang out? What if you donít like your roommateís friend? What if
you really like your roommateís friend?
- Smoking/Drinking/Drugs: Be very clear about these items, and be
clear that guests must also abide by the rules.
- Kitchen Rights and Responsibilities: With pizza and pretzels, come
cleaning chores, garbage removal and old-fashioned consideration.
- Bathroom: Who gets it, when and for how long? Can she brush her
teeth while you're in the tub?
- Peace and Quiet: If you let your roommate get a good night's sleep,
up happy. Happy roommates have enormous staying power.
- Trust: This is absolutely essential. Be careful to keep things such
as checking accounts, credit cards and PIN numbers, etc., separate.
- Don't be nosey, either by snooping around or by expecting an explanation
of personal matters. Respect your roommate's privacy.
- Do not wait to be asked. Volunteer to carry the household burden.
A good roommate will reciprocate.
Put it in Writing
Try to prepare a modest Roommate Agreement. It is not realistic to
possibility, but seeing the rules in black and white will help each of
the other how seriously you take this arrangement.
Listen to your little voice, make your most sincere effort and be worthy. You
might make a friend for life.
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