The Roommate Agreement

09-Dec-2012 | 3 min read

Our Blogs > The Roommate Agreement
Regardless of whether you choose to live with good friends, acquaintances or complete strangers, sharing a living space presents some unique challenges. It can also be great fun, so make sure you take the time and put in the effort to understand your roommates habits, routines and what 'makes them tick'. Things will go much smoother if you figure out boundaries, and have mutual respect for each others living spaces. When you sign your lease or your housing contract with the University's housing department, you are signing an agreement that governs your behavior between you and University property. This does not create any agreement that oversees the relationship between you and your roommate. Many schools now require roommates to sign such an agreement. However, if your school does not - it might be an idea for you to voluntarily create one to ensure that you and your roommate understand each other and how you both want to live. Here is a downloadable example of a Roommate agreement that is commonly used in US colleges : Roommate Agreement While this process might seem overly formal, it can still be useful! It may help by bringing up potential problems that have not already been considered, and possibly prevent them. In the event that a roommates friendship deteriorates, this document could be vital to the resolution of issues such as payment, maintenance, belongings etc. Here's some ideas to include in your roommate agreement :

Living Arrangements : Make sure that you both agree on who gets what furniture and make sure that the agreement and the layout of the room makes sense to fit everyone's needs.

Overnight guests : Set preliminary expectations on how often guests are welcome to stay the night. Be sure to discuss how long a guest can stay for, and if the agreement changes at the weekends or on holidays. Cleaning : One of the most common reasons that roommates don't get along is because they don't clean up after themselves. Agree and commit to cleaning up after yourselves, and set some cleaning tasks that need to be completed on a regular basis. Quiet Time : Pull out your class schedules and agree on the times that should be respected as 'quiet times' when no loud music, tv or late night partying would be acceptable. Your roommate may have exams or presentations to prepare for and you keeping them up all night will not be well received! Sharing Food : Some roomies are good at working together on sharing the cost of food and other supplies, whilst others prefer to buy their own. Find out which category you and your roomates fall into, before arguments start about mooching! Whether you chose to sit down and draw up a formal agreement, or just have these conversations - it is important to try your best to make your living arrangements as smooth as possible for you and your roomie, which will lead to much fonder times at College than if you spend it arguing!  

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Allen MacDougall

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