Thinking About Living with Someone? Consider these 7 Tips Before You Do
You may be considering on living with someone, but you don’t quite know everything you want to ask this person before you move in with him or her. There are some very important things you may want to discuss with your future roommate to avoid possible problems.
If you were told that the rent would be split in half each month upon move in or some other arrangement had been made, then you may want to get anything said in writing. You can do this simply by texting or sending an email asking that your roommate just confirm the agreement. For example, you may say something like, “So when we spoke last time about rent, I wanted to be sure you said that you would be paying me… or I would be paying you…” This is an informal way to get your arrangement in writing, but it would be best to get a formal agreement with both parties’ signatures present on the document. You will also include other things that you are expected to pay as well. Some people will even have their documents notarized by a third party.
Two. Work schedule.
Some people work late while others leave before the birds awake. This is important to know because you may be a late night owl or early riser and the last thing you want to do is annoy your roommate.
Everyone has those things they do that are fun for them, but boring for others. Sometimes these habits may be noisy. Whatever the habits, find out from your roommate what he or she enjoys and try to work something out in your schedules that won’t cause a disturbance to the other.
Four. Family and friends.
A roommate may want them to come over to the place that the two of you share. If this is the case, you will want to define what rooms are off limits and if you both share the grocery bill and other items, be sure that your roommate advises his or her guests not to help themselves to what’s in the kitchen, on a desk, a countertop or in a drawer.
Not everyone believes that cleanliness is the next thing to godliness, so if you or your roommate isn’t big on cleaning, then you will need to know how might chores be shared and when are you expected to do your part.
Six. Unexpected pregnancy, illness or family emergency.
These things may happen especially if your roommate is also your lover. What if the girlfriend becomes pregnant? What might happen if your roommate becomes ill? What if a family emergency causes a relative to show up at your doorstep? What if your roommate has to tend to family emergency and doesn’t have the rent money? Be sure that you have a savings plan for those unexpected, unanticipated occurrences.
Seven. Exs and children of previous relationships.
Some people don’t know what kind of problems they are inheriting when they decide to live with someone. Unresolved conflicts from the past creep up out of nowhere! There is the exs that come over without calling first or phone calls from children wanting “to see my daddy…where is my mommy?” In addition to this, your roommate may be short of cash because he or she continues to help out an ex financially and also pays child support. Know what kind of challenges your roommate is up against and whether he or she has those issues under control before you move in.
Now that you have some things to think about, take the time to discuss each issue with your roommate. Whatever you can get in writing, do it. You may also need to take photos of anything that was damaged, before you moved in as well. It’s unfortunate, but if you should ever have to go to court, you will have some proof of the agreed upon household contribution.
To save yourself from future credit problems, avoid sharing a bank account or opening one for your roommate. Avoid the temptation to let your roommate use your credit or debit cards. Change your pin numbers in case he or she has used your cards in the past. Do not put utilities or cable in your name unless you can afford to pay them. Also, refrain from co-signing on loans of any kind. Keep your tax information, savings and investment statements, and family financial business to yourself. All of this information may be used against you one day or if this person becomes angry with you may try to use it against you and/or your family.
You may trust your future roommate with your first born, love this person immensely, and may even die for him or her, but love can blind the most good-hearted of people. Guard your heart while keeping your eyes wide open.
By Nicholl McGuire