Living with Roommates: How to Keep the Peace

We’ve all seen the sitcoms, where the characters have one argument after another as a result of someone in the household not living up to their responsibilities. It’s funny on TV, but not so much in real life.

Dishes left unwashed, late rent payments, and loud late-night conversations are only a few of the many issues that can make your living arrangement less than harmonious.

Of course, having roommates has many benefits, including companionship and smart money management.

The key is to lay out each resident’s preferences, duties, and compromises in advance. Setting ground rules will help you establish a more positive framework.

We’re not talking anything as extensive and unbendable as Sheldon’s Roommate Agreement here, but maybe the Big Bang Theory character’s quirks can serve as inspiration — on a much smaller level.

Before you move in together or accept a new roommate, sit down and have a long discussion about the following issues, along with any other unique concerns you may have.

  1. Talk about work, sleep, and showering schedules. If Roommate Adam works the night shift, Roommate Barbara might have to be careful not to make excessive noise during the day when Adam is trying to sleep, for example. This is going to be important, as it will determine your compatibility, as well as which level your ideal apartment will be.

  2. Determine how you will divide the rent and utility bills, as well as who will be responsible for giving the payment to the apartment community manager.

    How utility bills are paid can be somewhat tricky. For example, one person might work from home and therefore use more electricity and internet. You may wish to divide the payment fairly.

    However, to make life more copacetic, it may be easier to simply divide everything up evenly regardless of how things are used. Becoming hyper-focused on the little details will definitely get complicated, but this issue is something the two of you should agree on before you move in.

  3. Discuss meal preparation, as well as grocery and toiletry shopping. Figure out how you will pay, who will ensure that products in the home have not expired, who will do the cooking, and so on. In some cases, you will both prefer to eat out on a regular basis, but what about the basics like snacks, water, hand soap, and first-aid items?

  4. Divide up the chores fairly. You may wish to alternate by day, such as by saying Adam will wash the dishes on Mondays and Barbara will wash them on Tuesdays.

    An easier method would be determining which one of you will complete certain chores. Adam may like to take out the trash, while Barbara would prefer to vacuum the carpet, for example.

    Another option may even be that one person is responsible for a majority of the chores, but the other pays more of the rent.

    It doesn’t matter how you divide up the chores, as long as you do it equitably and reasonably.

  5. Talk about each other’s personal preferences regarding privacy. Will you both come and go freely? Or will you check in with each other if you’re going to be out for the night or a week?

  6. Make sure you are compatible regarding visitors. Do you both like to have people visit regularly? Are you both OK with walking in and finding visitors in your apartment? Or will you discuss visitors beforehand? It may even be the opposite situation, where you would prefer a relaxed, quiet living arrangement. Whatever the case may be, you should both be on the same page regarding visitors.

  7. Talk about what will be off limits, such as toiletries and living space. Ideally, each of you would have a bedroom, for example, so you should avoid going into each other’s bedrooms without permission.

In addition to gathering a miniature roommate agreement, you may wish to download helpful apps on your phone, such as Venmo. Through this app, you can pay each other for rent, groceries, utility bills, and so on.

Finally, one of the best ways to maintain harmony among roommates is to be somewhat flexible. If one of you skips a chore one time in a month, go ahead and do it for them, for example. Creating a harmonious roommate relationship, or any relationship for that matter, requires some give and take.

As long as you both give as well as take, everything should be fine.

COVID Message; Residents

Dear residents, we are continuing to monitor developments with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Due to the state of emergency currently in effect in our state, we are modifying certain services in order to try to keep everyone safe. We request that residents who are sick with flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, etc., call or email us instead of coming directly into the office. The office has discontinued serving snacks and/or beverages for the time being. Although maintenance requests will remain available, our employees are required to confirm that no one is sick with flu-like symptoms in your home before completing the request. If you are ill and have a non-emergency maintenance request, please understand we will not be able to complete your request until you let management know that everyone in the household has been symptom free for at least fourteen days. If we do not hear back from you, we will follow up to check your health status, maintenance needs, and to schedule a maintenance visit. If you have chosen to self-quarantine, please notify us when requesting maintenance so we can avoid your home until your quarantine is over. Lastly, we have increased our cleaning strategies in our office, closed non-essential common areas, and are currently discontinuing all resident group activities for the time being. While we continue to work through this evolving situation, we have implemented a “no handshake policy” to help prevent the spread of germs.

Not sure about something? Ask

The office and maintenance team are here to help you, so if you want to paint a wall, adopt a cat, or upgrade an existing light fixture and you’re not sure if you’re allowed to, ask. Also, check your lease for specific guidelines. You can style your apartment to reflect your personality by adding cool furnishings and homey decorations, but just make sure your efforts are not counter to your lease agreement. Let’s talk!

Don’t be a bad neighbor

Be the person that you’d like to live next door to, whether your neighbors are other residents in the same building or people who live in another area of your community. What does that entail? It’s more than just giving a smile when you run into someone in the hallway or in the parking lot. Being a good neighbor is about residing in your home in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with anyone else. Keep your music at a reasonable level, don’t throw a ton of raucous parties, and be mindful of doing your part to keep common areas clean. If you are concerned about a neighbor issue, please see the office staff for help.

Getting a four-legged friend?

When it comes to having a dog and living in an apartment home, it is important to choose a dog that has the right temperament. Sure, any dog could live in an apartment home, but some breeds are more suited to small space living than others. You will need to consider several things when it comes to choosing a dog and no matter what dog you choose, having the time to give your dog enough exercise is important. Even very active breeds can survive living in smaller spaces when they are well exercised.

These five breeds are listed as the best when it comes to living in apartment homes according to the American Kennel Club: Shit Tzu, English Bulldog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Pug, and Greyhound. These dog breeds tend to have easygoing and friendly personalities and relatively low energy levels which makes them great apartment home companions. Remember, you are taking on the responsibility of a living thing – make sure you’re ready. Check with us for Fido rules.

COVID Message; Residents

Dear residents, we are continuing to monitor developments with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Due to the state of emergency currently in effect in our state, we are modifying certain services in order to try to keep everyone safe. We request that residents who are sick with flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, etc., call or email us instead of coming directly into the office. The office has discontinued serving snacks and/or beverages for the time being. Although maintenance requests will remain available, our employees are required to confirm that no one is sick with flu-like symptoms in your home before completing the request. If you are ill and have a non-emergency maintenance request, please understand we will not be able to complete your request until you let management know that everyone in the household has been symptom free for at least fourteen days. If we do not hear back from you, we will follow up to check your health status, maintenance needs, and to schedule a maintenance visit. If you have chosen to self-quarantine, please notify us when requesting maintenance so we can avoid your home until your quarantine is over. Lastly, we have increased our cleaning strategies in our office, closed non-essential common areas, and are currently discontinuing all resident group activities for the time being. While we continue to work through this evolving situation, we have implemented a “no handshake policy” to help prevent the spread of germs.

KEEP YOUR PET LOVING LIFE!

Dog Walker Group Offers Services
People love their pets, but that love can get somewhat strained when that fur baby scratches up the couch or mangles a new pair of shoes.

KEEP YOUR PET LOVING LIFE!

Dog Walker Group Offers Services
People love their pets, but that love can get somewhat strained when that fur baby scratches up the couch or mangles a new pair of shoes.

POLICE ANNOUNCE NEW PROGRAM

Travel? Troy Police Will Help!
The Auburn Hills Police Department is pleased to announce that it is joining free Neighbors APP by Ring!

WINE STROLL IN ROYAL OAK

July 4th 2019 | Troy
Sample featured wines and signature hors d’oeuvres from top downtown Royal Oak restaurants, in this self-guided walking tour.