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Renting with roomates

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I'm not sure if this fits here at all, but it seems like the most likely place. I apologize if this is wrong, but I'm pretty overwhelmed and have nobody to ask.



I'm currently living on campus right now, but next year, i have to move out. I don't know anything about renting or especially sharing, splitting bills and such. Girls on my floor have asked me to live with them, i'm going to go see it tomorrow.



Anyway, I'm just asking for tips/advices. I'm scared to get screwed over at one point. I hear so many horror stories!

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First of all, make sure that there is enough room in there so that you can have your space if you need it- there's nothing worse than being in each others faces all the time.


second, find out when the lease runs out... my cousin moved in with some girls and the lease ended after 2 months and they moved out and my cousin had no idea, and she was lost again with nowhere to live.


third... ask about what they do for food. do they take turns cooking, do they share food or keep it separate? I have found in the houses i've shared in that it's better to keep most things separate if possible- that way no one can overuse stuff and make you pay for it.


Same with bills. The phone etc. Do they just split it equally or do they all pay for their usage by chekcing the phonebill.


They're the main things as far as I can tell...


Oh! also do they have boyfirends and lots of friends in the house all the time. You need to know if strangers are gonna be hanging aorund.


hope this helps somewhat....



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I lived in the dorms at first as well. When I decided to get an apartment, I asked my best guy friend to rent it with me. I couldn't afford a place of my own and I always loved hanging with him. We got a 2 bed 2 bath and split rent and bills 50/50. It worked out really well for 2 years.


The things to know are: do you enjoy being around the roommate, will you have your own bed/bath, are all names on the lease, can you REALLY afford the rent, who does what cleaning, are they late-niters/early birds.


I hope you get into a good living situation, since you are going to school that will be really important.

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Lol oh boy i could tell you some horror stories of my time at university!


Often houses don't work out, its quite common. To try to avoid being in one of those painful situations however..., Firstly only share with someone you ''have'' to live with. That means none of this, i want to live with her... and she wants to bring this other person in so i'm sure it ll be fine... ! No. You have got to work at living together, its almost like a relationship in a way. If theres no liking or friendship in the beginning it will be harder to make it work. Also decide on bills early on. Cooking alone works best i'd say but you are still going to have to do the chores to keep the house clean and hygenic, so implement a chores rota early on. The routine that you fall into the first few weeks generally shows the way the house will continue to go.


Also find out how pressed for money the others are. You do not want to be in a situation where someone cannot pay their rent so the rest of you end up having to loan, etc. Also bills. A lot of students view things like heating as optional because it costs money. Make sure they are not going to make you miserable.


Also try to share with like minded people. The last thing you want is to end up with party animals who have wild bashes nightly and you can't get any work done. Also as was said above, find out about their sexual lives... it is not nice to hear the sex in the next room!


Its great that you've been asked by some girls, a lot of students get upset if they feel excluded or have noone to share with. But make sure this group is right for you. Can you see yourselves being close for the next few years? Is there anyone in the group you don't get on with as well?


etc etc.

girl friend

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I lived with four other blokes at Uni. We rented a nice, big house where we all had nice, sized bedrooms.



Read any contract very carefully. Look, especially carefully at deposits, what will happen if any damage/breakages occur, what you're expected to pay for, how much notice the landlord can give you before "popping over".


Bills wise, we split everything five ways except the phone bill. If we made a phone call, we wrote it down in a book by the phone so there were no quibbles when the bill came. We also had a jar by the telly that everyone was expected to put a pound in each week. That paid for cleaning products, toilet roll, bin bags....all the everyday crap that everyone forgets about.


We also attempted a cleaning rota. I say attempted because, being blokes, we could never be arsed to clean. But we were supposed to rotate each week. If I recall correctly there was kitchen, living room, bathroom, hallway/stairs and taking the rubbish out on the rota. Good idea if you're all going to stick to it and do your job.

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All good advice above.


There are a lot of things to consider when sharing, and I'll try to cover what ones I can think of, but first and foremost, I think it's important to go into these sharing situations with a positive attitude, adaptabilty, and respect for the people you're about to share with, and be prepared to communicate. In my experience, things run a lot more smoothly the more similar you are to you room mates. I like to have friends who are different to me, but I like to live with people who are similar, it just means less things you have to compromise on. But there will always be differences, different ideas of what is good hygiene, different ideas about all things related to the areas of your environment that you will share, and if you aren't adaptable to these differences, as well as able to communicate respectfully about what you want, then you'll find it painful and little issues might become big ones. But at the end of the day, sharing with people can be so much better than living alone. Your room mates will become like your family, and it's just really nice to have friendly faces to come home to. You might all prefer to eat separately, but if you do manage to do a bit of communal eating, or even get into cooking for your room mates once in a while, you'll see how eating together can really bring you all together. Eating together is also a good way to increase the opportunity for more communication if you're otherwise quite busy. Sharing is often challenging, but in the long run it gives you skills with people and co-operation and doing things in groups larger than one which will give you good skills for other things in your life like work.


Ok, for the list of things to ask about...

- how do you deal with bills? do you take turns collecting bill money?

- are all decisions about room mates and other things decided by consensus?

- how do you organise cleaning? do you just do it off your own bat or are there expectations?

- when is bin night?

- are there any responsibilities for the landlord? e.g. mowing the lawn regularly

- does anyone have a drug addiction?

- is it a party house? do you like it quiet all the time?

- do you buy food communally?

- is there anything that bothers you from housemates, i.e. things not to do?

- is there a bond? how much is it?

- when is rent day?

- when does the lease expire?

- will I be able to go on the lease? (if you get your name on the lease, and you are good tennants, it will make it easier for you to take out a lease in the future)


ok, that's what came to mind.....


O, and listen to your guts, if you don't feel right about one of the girls, don't dismiss it straight away. You have to be able to live with them.

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They can be annoying. I'm at uni at the moment, and my flatmates think it's ok to play loud music in the middle of the night and really early in the morning! Try and set some rules to stop stuff like that happening.


That must be reali stressful hun. thats v inconsiderate. If its stopping u from sleeping or studying its too loud. HAve you asked them not to do it? How are you going to resolve it?


girl friend

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I created the following post to a simular question and was told that the advice was helpful. I will pass it along! =)



Although I live alone (and love it), I've seen many friends have issues with roommates. It's wonderful that you have someone who you feel you can live with, but you should set up some guidelines to save the friendship if something should come up.


Discuss how you will split the bills. Who will physically make the payments? How will you exchange money between the all of you?


Discuss how you will pay for any furniture needed. Will you split the costs? Who will keep the furniture afterwards? What if one of you doesn't feel a piece is necessary? Will the other have to pay the full price and call it their own?


How will you share things. Computer access? TV? Who can use what when?


Food. Will you split the food bill? Buy your own food and only eat what you want?


Guests. When is it ok to have guests and in what parts of the apartment. Can guests stay the night? Weekend? Is it appropriate for a significant other to move in?


Be upfront about your pet peeves. I have a friend who can't stand the sound of wind chimes and when his roommate purchased one, it drove him crazy. Sounds like a small problem, but it was just the start of many future problems.


Cleaning. Who will clean what? When? How?


Quiet time. Are there times when one or all of you need to have the place quiet? Maybe you have to be up early or study. Establish some guidelines.


I know there are many other issues, but I find these to be the main ones. It may sound silly to go through all of these things, but I think you can prevent a lot of problems. I suggest writing out what you agree to and signing it. Not because it will be a legal binding agreement, but I think it helps to keep everyone to what they agreed on.


I think it's equally important to discuss how you will handle if someone breaks a rule. What if you need to add something or make changes, how will you work this? Also, discuss what you'll do if one of you decides that this living situation isn't working and how you will handle moving out mid-lease.


I think if you open the lines of communication and keep them open, you'll find the living situation much more bareable. Good luck!

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Look around your area and see if you can find decent student housing. A lot of times in student housing, each tenant has their own lease. That way, if one person skips out on rent the others aren't penalized. Also, in most student housing environments the rent will include all or most of your utilities. If you can't get on your own leases, the suggestions everyone else mentioned in regards to bills are really good.


Do your best to keep communication open between you and your roommates. When I was in college, my roommates and I had dinner together once a month. Either we'd all go out or we'd all just plan to have dinner at the same time. This gave us an opportunity to catch up with each other and talk about any nuisances that had come up during the month.


The only other thing I have to add is ask your landlord if you can get a self-locking lock for your front door! One of my roommates habitually forgot to lock our front door... even when she came in late at night.

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