7 things you must discuss with your roommates
After landing your first post-college job you’re finally ready to move out from your parents’ house. But renting on your own with an entry-level job could be financially stressful, so you and a couple of your young professional friends decided to move in together. While it does sound like fun and financially savvy, there a few essential subjects you need to cover before taking the plunge. Here are a few topics that need addressing:
- Before scheduling any walk-throughs, talk about what each of you would like to spend on housing and respect it. Visiting a community that is out of the price range of one your gang and/or trying to pressure them into agreeing to it will lead to cabin fever before you even move in together.
- Talk through what each of you needs in your future apartment and what each would like. Prioritize and compromise. For example, if some of you would like a community that has loads of outdoor green space but it would mean being far removed from mass transit that one of your future roommates needs, the latter should take priority.
- Recommend getting renter’s insurance. Detail all the benefits renter’s insurance such as Resident Shield gives you: protection against the financial risk associated with property damage such as fires or theft, full replacement value for your personal property and that of your neighbors, even coverage of temporary living expenses in case an event makes your apartment uninhabitable. Decide whether you would all like to get a joint policy or individual one. While both have their benefits, you might prefer not sharing a policy with your future gaming roomie and his extremely expensive electronics.
- Talk pets. Clarify whether or not anybody has strong feelings about having one or not and what everybody’s expectations would be in case someone should adopt one. I.e. if certain rooms are off limits, size and breed of pet, etc. If a pet will be sharing your apartment, be adamant about getting Pet Damage Coverage. This way if Rex decides to chew up your guest’s French designer bag, it will seem like less of a disaster.
- Talk over your guest and party policy. Knowing beforehand if one of you feels uncomfortable with having people over or would prefer having their room off-limits during parties will eliminate lots of tense repartee.
- Establish an outline of chore distributions. It might harken back to the days of living with your parents, but do you really want to be faced with mountains of unwashed dishes every second day?
- Talk about any special medical or dietary needs. If your roomie is violently allergic to nuts you should know beforehand not to bring any in the house. If your roomie has chemical allergies, you might have to orientate yourself towards a community that uses eco-friendly cleaning product, for example.