Living with roommates can be a great experience, but it’s important to discuss a wide range of topics before you sign the lease and move in together. Open and honest conversations will help set expectations and hopefully decrease problems down the road.
Here are some of our suggestions for questions to ask both yourself and your potential future roommate(s):
- Whose name will be on the lease (or will all tenants)?
- What bills are not covered by the rent payment (gas, electricity, recycling, water, cable, internet, etc)?
- Whose name will be on these bills? How do other roommates pay these costs?
- How financially stable are you? What are your income sources or other debts?
- How will food and other disposable items be paid for and/or shared (milk, cleaning supplies, paper towels, toilet paper, etc)?
- If you rent a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom apartment, who gets the big bedroom? Who shares the bathroom? Do all roommates have the same costs?
- Who will occupy which areas of the apartment?
- How long with each individual remain a resident of the unit? Is anyone going on an internship or studying abroad? Are your roommates graduating next year? What are your plans?
- Does anyone plan to sublet? If so, when?
- How will disputes be resolved?
- What methods of communication do you prefer? (texting, in-person, email)
- Do you and your roommates have the same understanding of your relations? Are you looking for a best friend to live with, someone with whom to do things on weekends, or just a roommate?
- What's an average day look like for you? (e.g. early bird vs. night owl, class schedule, etc.)
- What kinds of leisure activities might you want to do in the apartment/house?
- In what order would you put these activities: work, play, clean, and rest?
- How do you spend your weekends/days off?
- How many nights a week do you go out?
- Is it okay to leave your books/projects laid out in the shared areas?
- What are your feelings about the use of tobacco, alcohol, and/or other drugs?
- What kinds of guidelines do you and your roommates want to set for guests and/or significant others?
- Which bathroom will guests use?
- How will you and your roommates divide cleaning/cooking/other household responsibilities?
- Are you messy or clean?
- Do you cook at home?
- Which items, electronics, and appliances can be shared? What cannot be shared?
- Are pets allowed? Will you or your roommates have a pet? Will everyone help with the responsibilities?
- Any allergies or special dietary needs?