Roommate code of conduct

Communication is the key to a happy home.

Before you and your roomie get into one of those silent treatment standoffs because he or she never replaces the toilet paper roll, we suggest you learn how to live in harmony now. According to Rent.com’s recent roommate survey, about half of the respondents (45 percent) admitted to having issues with a current or past roommate. Their biggest pet peeves: a messy mate (20 percent), followed by someone who doesn’t pay bills on time (10 percent) and someone who uses things without asking (9 percent). Rounding out the complaints was a roommate who constantly has people over (6 percent). If you’re guilty of one or more  of these, it’s time to make your roommate a batch of brownies — and clean the bathroom already.

Here is Rent.com‘s advice to cohabitating bliss:

Keep it real
Before you sign a lease, it’s important for your roommate to understand your schedule. If you are an “early to bed, early to rise” kind of person, a roommate who works on mixing his DJ tracks at night may not be your best bet.

Divvy the bills
Decide on when and how bills and rent will be paid for before making the roommate bond permanent. For instance, if one person is in charge of utilities, make the other in charge of submitting the rent check each month.

Clean up
As indicated by the survey, keeping clean is a must. It’s important to divide cleaning responsibilities so the burden is shared. Be sure to discuss expectations for cleaning before you sign on the dotted line. Talk about who will clean what and how often, and what’s acceptable in terms of daily and weekly upkeep. 

Talk it out
Working to communicate your needs and expectations to one another is crucial for a happy roommate relationship. For example, if your roommate is a student and wants to use the kitchen table to study, don’t watch TV loudly in the same room during study hours. Likewise, if you’re hosting a small “Bachelorette” season finale party, give your roommate fair warning to make other plans.


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