Tips for house-sharing in NYC

Students often find themselves in need of at least one roommate. Even if you can afford to pay the rent on your own, having that bit of extra money certainly comes in handy. Otherwise, after paying the rent, some students will find that they can no longer treat themselves to a nice meal or a fun night out. What’s more, even if money is not an issue, some students will simply enjoy the company of others, provided that they’re a good match for them. However, even if your roommate is seemingly perfect for you, there are still some tips for house-sharing that you’ll need to have in mind if you want to maintain a harmonious relationship.

#01 Don’t leave a mess in joint rooms

Moving in with your roommate with ease isn’t a problem nowadays. There are many companies that would be more than happy to help you do it. The first of our tips for house-sharing concerns tidiness. We’ll assume that you’re a relatively tidy person. If you and your roommate(s) don’t care about cleanliness, you can move to the next tip. Whatever your standards in this regard are, however, it is important to find a roommate with similar views on what “tidy” means. What is tidy to one person is a chaotic mess to another. So, before looking at listings, try to find a roommate who shares your views on cleanliness.

Remember to compromise

Of course, finding such a roommate isn’t always possible. If that doesn’t happen, you’ll have to compromise so as to keep both sides happy. That is, as long as the expectations are not unrealistic. The state of your room shouldn’t be of too much importance to your roommate, and vice versa. The shared rooms, on the other hand, will need to be equally maintained by all roommates. This includes cleaning after yourself after showering or shaving, washing your dishes soon after using them (as leaving them unwashed for a longer period of time isn’t healthy), and so on.

A mess in a room, left by someone who didn't read our tips for house-sharing.
Don’t leave such a mess in shared rooms, as doing so will most likely irritate your roommate.

Even if you’re in a hurry, it is important to be properly organized so that you have enough time to clean after yourself. If you’ll be traveling and it’s time to, for example, prepare for your NY relocation, having that in mind will provide you with enough time to take care of the mess you’ve left behind, even if you are in a hurry.

#02 Financial tips for house-sharing

Roommates often have arguments about bills. These happen because of a failure to communicate properly. In order to avoid that, you should have a discussion as soon as possible with all tenants on how to split the bills. Usually, it is only fair that they are split half-way. However, if one of the tenants is barely scraping enough to get by, sometimes it’s no shame to pay more than half of the bill.

And while we’re talking about money, it’s a good idea to join forces when it’s time to buy some essential items for your shared household. Again, depending on your and your roommate’s financial situation, you can use common sense to determine how to split the expenses when buying the things that all of you will need. Pans, pots, spices, and similar items will probably be used by all of you equally, so it’s only natural to buy them together. Doing so will prevent anyone from feeling wronged and you’ll avoid a bad atmosphere.

Dollar bills.
Use common sense and goodwill when you’re dividing the expenses.

Apart from dividing the usual expenses, you can also split the cost of hiring a cleaner. Doing so will prevent many potential arguments. These arguments often arise because of a seemingly unfair division of house jobs. Hiring a cleaner (which isn’t expensive when two or more roommates contribute some money), will guarantee that house chores are fairly divided – the cleaner will take care of all of them.

#03 Compromise when it comes to social issues

As we said, situations when you and your roommate have significantly different personalities are sometimes unavoidable. If you’re, for example, a quiet person who likes to go to bed early and is maintaining a regular schedule, and the other tenant is somewhat of a party maniac, this can cause a divide between the two of you. Luckily, if both of you are reasonable, this divide can be easily bridged.

“Compromise” is again the keyword here. This means that, sometimes, you’ll agree that your roommate throws a party or invites guests that will stay in your apartment well into the night. As long as that doesn’t happen too often, being tolerant is the way to go.

People cheering with wine glasses.
Even if you love your peace and quiet, allow your roommate to throw a party once in a while.

Your or your roommate’s partners can also cause arguments and dissatisfaction. Namely, if he or she is spending the night so frequently in your apartment that it seems like you’re living with that person as well, that can cause a problem due to the lack of space, the cost of hot water, and bathroom availability. What’s more, if someone is practically living with you, then that person should also be paying rent (because of all the possible problems we’ve mentioned). Explaining your point of view to your roommate calmly and rationally will yield the best results.

#04 Respect is key

Finally, we’ll conclude with the best of all the tips for house-sharing – respect your roommate. It all starts with finding the right apartment for you and your roommate and should continue even after you stop being roommates. This means that you should knock if the door to his/her room is shut. If you’re having friends over, try not to be too loud. If your roommate doesn’t want you to smoke in his/her room or in the communal area – don’t do it. Basically, treat others the way you want them to treat you.

At the same time, respect yourself as well. If you have an issue with your roommate, don’t be afraid to speak up. Living with someone who constantly doesn’t show you enough respect is an extremely unpleasant situation to be in, so stand up for yourself! Whatever problem arises, if there’s mutual respect between the tenants, all problems can be solved easily. With this way of thinking, everything should be fine (of course, as long as all roommates understand the benefits of mutual respect).

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