How to set up House Rules with Roommates

May 05, 2021

You and a roommate are ready to move into your apartment at The Fields. Your new adventure is about to begin, congratulations.

How to set up House Rules with Roommates

Your place, your rules!

Life happens, so being prepared is smart. Fortunately, The Fields makes things simple by facilitating a lease with each person which reduces complications.

Once that’s sorted, it’s time to put your own rules in place. At home, there were rules like no loud music after 10pm and tasks like washing dishes that kept the family mostly happy and sane. Living with a roommate is no different. Writing and agreeing to some basic rules is vital, don’t leave it, do it on your first day, you’ll be happy you did, it’s the smart thing to do!

Best way, list each rule in an email, agree the specifics, send it to each person and then each should respond that they agree with the rules in full and promise to adhere to them. Of course, if you prefer to, write them down and each person signs. Either way, attach a copy to the kitchen wall or fridge that way you can’t forget.

The first rule about rules and agreements, make them on the KISS (keep it simple stupid) principle. The more complicated they are to stick to the less they will. Let’s begin with what should be in this agreement.

Nothing is free! Let’s talk about money

Did you know the number one topic of argument in household worldwide is money? Don’t let it be yours, you’ll save yourselves an enormous amount of stress.

Running a household requires things such as cleaning materials. Make a list of what you require and do the first shop together (don’t include food). Then you’ll have a good idea what the cost is, split it 50/50. Our advice, share the shopping one month you, the other your roommate.

Then other costs that have to be covered are:

  • DStv
  • Streaming TV
  • Insurance etc

Consider these carefully, ensure you leave nothing out and use exact amounts that each will contribute. Make a basic spreadsheet and the more diligent of the two of you should be responsible to maintain it, that way if there any extras you need like light bulbs for instance, you can instantly see who owes what.

You may have noticed we left out WiFi. That’s because at The Fields apartments we include uncapped WiFi in your monthly rental cost, one less thing to worry about.

Chores, they just got to get done, unfortunately!

Yip, you guessed it. After money, the next biggest household argument revolves around chores. Chores suck! Who wouldn’t rather watch some TV than clean dishes? But a dirty kitchen and house with last night’s half eaten take away and cans lying all over the couch is simply gross.

Make a list of chores that got to get done (if you forget any, you can add them afterwards). Make the schedule simple, such as one week you, the next your roommate. To make your life easy while staying at The Fields, we offer certain services such as replacing lightbulbs at a cost, so chat to us first see what we offer and together decide if you’d like us to handle some chores for you.

It’s your place – you get to decide who visits and when

First, check your lease with The Fields as it contains information regarding guests. You live in a shared space, so respect for the other’s space is vital. Rules covering guests should include as a minimum:

  • Boyfriends and girlfriends
  • Study guests and groups
  • Mealtime guests

Sometimes it’s difficult to stick to these at all times, situations change you may have a new romance and want the person to come over more often than your agreement allows for. Don’t just presume it is okay with your roommate, talk to her or him first, that way you’re respecting their space and them. In cases such as these, you can renegotiate the rules if necessary.

Sharing is caring!

Another field of conflict, which is sure to arise without rules, is appliances and common spaces. There will be appliances you’ll both use, such as

  • Kettle
  • Toaster
  • Stove/Oven
  • Microwave
  • Entertainment – TV, Bluetooth speaker etc.

Create a list of the items and who bought them into the apartment. When you live with a roommate, there are things that you have to share such as TV time, the toaster and the microwave even if you’re the actual owner. You must clean appliances after using them owner or not. Include and agree on these rules.

Unfortunately, all things end

Yes, all things end, you will part ways eventually, that’s life. Your lease with The Fields will state your legal notice period and rules around the deposit. Ensure you check it and comply with the lease period as laid out in the agreement.

While legally you may not have to give your roommate notice, there are various things that will affect her or him, when you leave, and you may take your TV and toaster with you, there also may be some outstanding monies that has to be settled. Include a notice period in your agreement, it’s the right thing to do.

When one person leaves, depending on your lease agreement with The Fields, this may leave the other with a shortfall on the rental. Chat to The Fields management about this so you are both clear about the consequences should one person leave before the other.

The Fields, Unique, Affordable & Safe Lifestyle Student Apartments

The Fields make student’s apartment living how it should be – comfortable, affordable and easy for you and your roommate. The Fields offer more than a place to stay. It’s where you can enjoy your independence, while still being part of a vibrant community.

Open-plan apartments give you the freedom to live by yourself or share with like-minded individuals. Choose from a variety of accommodation styles and sizes, all including an en-suite bathroom and kitchen with quality finishes.

Uncapped WiFi and water are included in the monthly rate, prepaid electricity and secure parking are available. There’s even a generator in communal areas to keep things up and running during electricity outages.

We’d love to have you as part of our vibrant community. Give us a shout we are here to help.

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