Rentals.com Company Blog

Rental's Tips, Renter's Corner

By Amber

Sharing a rental home can provide people with plenty of living space, but each still has to deal fairly with others in order to live harmoniously. We’ve assembled some basic items to remember so that you can keep your rental situation happy and healthy.

Put house rules in writing

Though we might prefer to do our deal-making with a handshake and a nod, avoiding awkward details won’t help anyone in the long run. Whether you’re moving into an existing situation or taking on a new roommate or two, start off on the right foot with house policies on food, noise, guests, housework and any other areas of contention you can think of. 

Maybe you have your own ideas or want to brainstorm with your new roommates on what works best for all of you. Don’t be afraid of putting off your roommates with what they may see as an uncool formality. The fact is, there is nothing less cool than a living situation where no one is talking to each other because of a lot of unhappiness and pent-up frustration. If you have a roommate who seems resistant to putting it all on paper, remind him or her of this fact. 

Split the chores

Unfair division of labor when it comes to cleaning the house has divided families, couples and roommates. It’s no surprise that everyone really is happier (even subconsciously) with a cleaner home. And when the mess gets out of hand and one or more people are shirking their duties, resentment isn’t far behind. 

There are all kinds of ways to divide up the work. Find out if there are natural favorites among the roommates (“I love to sort recycling!”) and then fairly divvy up the ones that no one is crazy about like scrubbing the tub/shower/toilet or taking out the trash.

You can also do the traditional job wheel, which can be put on a dry-erase board or done digitally so that the jobs and/or the days of the week they’re performed on can be shifted as necessary. 

Another idea to consider is maid service. Don’t automatically dismiss this idea because of the cost until you call for pricing from services near you. Some offer student and seasonal specials and can give you a quote based on the frequency you’d like them to visit. You might be surprised at how worth the cost it could feel to have someone else do a great job cleaning your rental home, minus the time and squabbling it would take otherwise. Just make sure that everyone in your house is happy about chipping in for the expense. 

Respect political/spiritual differences

Nothing can rub roommates the wrong way faster than the feeling that their respective political or religious positions are not taken seriously. So whether the issue is election-year discussions or holiday decorations, be sure that you are sensitive to what the other people in your house believe, and speak up if you don’t feel that your beliefs are being acknowledged. 

When you live with roommates, you share more than the rent. Spell out house policies on the areas that can cause conflict BEFORE you reach an impasse, and everyone in the house will stay happy to live there.

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