Room for Roommates?

Do you have room for a roommate? More and more people are taking on roommates for different reasons. The most common is to split finances and make living on your own easier. But splitting a household can actually come with some hidden expense and stress. Here are some tips to help make the roommate experience a positive one.

  1. Utilities

The good news is that your utilities will be cut in half. However, if your roommate loves to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter this may not work to your advantage. Be really clear upfront and agree upon a certain temperature in the house. The same goes for Wi-Fi and TV cable packages – especially important now that more people are skipping cable, replacing it with Netflix or similar services (the cost of which could be split as well).

  1. Groceries

Don’t expect to split the grocery bill 50/50. People often have different eating habits and nutrition requirements. Purchase your groceries separately and creating specific areas where you will each put your food to avoid arguments.

The same goes with alcohol.

  1. Furniture

You don’t necessarily want to go in on furniture or any household items together. Instead what should happen is one person spends her money on the couch, the other person spends her money on an easy chair. That way clear about who owns what. Especially when a roommate moves out.

  1. Friends and Partners

If your roommate constantly has friends or a significant other hanging around, to what extent are they responsible for extra utility expenses or food costs? To avoid conflicts, talk openly about building into the roommate agreement the general issue of people staying the night. Also specify, who is given apartment keys unless the roommate starts paying a larger portion of the rent.

  1. Rent / Security Deposit

Paying rent on time is the vital to making this relationship work. Protect yourself upfront that if the roommate is to be late more than a month and they should have paid a ‘last month’s rent’ so the money is there to pay the rent.

  1. Lease

Ensure the landlord or property manager is aware of everyone who is living in a rental unit be named on the lease agreement – either as a tenant or occupant. Landlords have the right to know how many people are living in the rental unit and who is living in it. If a person is named as a tenant on the lease agreement, that person is subject to all of the rights and obligations of a tenant.

It’s quite common for roommates to enter into roommate agreements so that each tenant knows their rights and obligations. A roommate agreement can include things like:

  • When rent is due and how it is to be spilt and paid to the property manager.
  • How bills will be split
  • How the rental property will be shared
  • When notice to move out must be given to the other roommate(s)
  • How the security deposit will be handled if one roommate leaves
  • And how chores will be split in the rental property

For more advice or information on managing your property, contact Kodiak Property Management today! Reach us by calling 306-522-6080 or email [email protected].