The agreement is a contract between you and your roommate, and it can help you keep the peace and set realistic expectations. Read my four points to include in a roommate agreement below.
1. Cleaning Responsibilities
No matter where we live, the chores follow us. Talking about cleaning responsibilities and expectations can keep your home in good order and everyone on friendly terms. That’s why one of the key factors to consider when finding a roommate is their organizational habits.
You can create a chore chart that lists cleaning tasks, the person who will complete them, and a timeline. You can rotate responsibilities, or if one person hates a task the other one doesn’t mind, you can assign chores based on preference.
2. Guidelines Regarding Guests
Another consideration to include in your roommate agreement is your guests. Think about the boundaries you want to have in place for different types of guests. Do you allow overnight guests? Where can they sleep, and how long can a guest, such as a family member, visit?
You can also think about what guests can do in your shared home. Can an overnight guest sleep in the living room, or will they have to share a bedroom with the person they’re visiting? Writing these points into the agreement gives you the chance to set the expectation for healthy boundaries.
3. Food Rules
When it comes to food, make sure everyone has a space they can put their goods. Mealtimes in a shared apartment can look very different. If someone likes to eat out and seldom uses the kitchen, then rules regarding kitchen use become less important.
Otherwise, decide if you want to make some meals together or if you want to rotate cooking times. If you want to cook separately, be sure that everyone gets their own time in the kitchen so that no one gets left out.
4. Split Costs
We know we have to split the cost of rent, but we may share some items that we buy for the apartment, too. Communal items include cleaning supplies and staple food items, among other things. Decide on what those items are and how you and your roommate will pay for them. Will you split the bill monthly, or will you take turns shopping?
You can make the process of sharing expenses easier by tracking spending. Documenting on a spreadsheet or in an app and then dividing the expenses between roommates can make the process clearer.