Living off campus with one or more roommates can be a rewarding experience! Not only does living with roommates make off campus life more affordable, it also presents the opportunity to foster community and develop valuable communication skills.
Consider creating a written agreement about living decisions, especially since verbal discussions can be quickly forgotten. Living with others can also bring challenges and conflict. This is a normal part of developing relationships. While Off Campus Student Life does not provide roommate mediation services, we encourage you to be proactive about discussing your living preferences with your roommates. Here are some examples of items to include in an agreement:
- Decide how rent will be paid. If it must be paid by one person, determine who holds the responsibility of working with the landlord. If it can be paid by multiple people, think about setting a date before rent is due by which everyone must pay their share.
- Determine each person’s share of the rent.
- Identify who is responsible for various utilities.
- Arrange who lives in which bedroom and how parking will be shared.
- Communicate how much notice is necessary in case someone decides to move out. This will allow time to find a replacement roommate.
- Establish ground rules. This could include topics like:
- Security and Lockouts — always lock doors/windows when leaving apartment
- Guests (How much notice? Overnight? How long can they stay?)
- Cleaning duties
- Quiet periods
- Community/shared items