If you’re tirelessly having to ask for bill money, seeing someone have a 3-week sleepover, or wondering where the smell of cigarettes is coming from, you may have not taken the time to create a roommate agreement.

Having roommates in NYC is often an economical necessity. Choosing the right roommates is half the battle among dodging potential creepy landlords and cat-lady neighbors. Now that you’ve settled with a few people with whom you share enough common ground to cohabitate, it’s time to team up and create a roommate agreement, to avoid any major arguments in the foreseeable future.

10 Things to Include in a Roommate Agreement

Just as you sign an agreement to lease a rental with your roommate, you need an internal agreement too. Here are 10 things to include in a roommate agreement.

#1 – Splitting shared expenses

Your finances are why you chose roommates in the first place. Keep your wallet and boundaries in check by including in your game plan for when, where, and who pays up. 

Source: Pexels

Splitting utilities with roommates can be trickier than collecting for rent, so make sure all the details are worked out in the agreement. List the person responsible for collecting payment from everyone, the utility/company the payment is for, the exact amount to be paid, and date of each month it’s due.

#2 – Household chores

Unless you’re a fan of cleaning up messes you didn’t make, household chores are a priority to include in your roommate agreement.

It would be wise to keep a chore list separate from your roommate agreement. The chart as well as the consequences for following it should be mentioned in the agreement. Cleaning charts should be as specific as the bill schedule listing who does what, when. You could give the “clean up your own mess” theory the ol’ college try, but if it doesn’t workout then amend your roommate agreement.

#3 – Guests and entertaining

Next up is one for the visitors, parents, boyfriends/girlfriends, and one-night friends. Set limitations on length of stay and details to be considered during a visit. This includes letting guests know there are house rules.

Here, you and your roommates can iron out a lot of other details like booze or no booze in the house, where to smoke (always outside and away from front door), and noise level or curfew. Keep in mind each other’s schedules, your Saturday off may be someone’s Monday at work. Not a bad idea to keep everyone’s schedules in-sight before throwing a get-together and inviting a bunch of guests.

#4 – Communication styles (especially with conflicts!)

Encourage open and honest communication by setting up regular roommate meetings to discuss any issues or concerns that may arise. This doesn’t have to be formal meetings with a confrontational approach, it could just be a simple meal together.

But when issues arise, having these regular ‘roommate meetings’ can help resolve any internal issues you may have. Remember, communication is key! Talk about your problems and make sure that all of you are open to sorting it out to ensure a smooth relationship in the apartment.

#5 – Sharing food

Source: Unsplash

Discuss how you’ll handle sharing food and groceries. This could include each person having their designated shelf in the refrigerator or setting up a system for sharing expenses. But if you decide to share everything, make arrangements on a grocery shopping schedule. Or you could also arrange an inventory of all the food that you have and take turns buying food for the apartment.

#6 – Pets

Although having a pet can be a source of entertainment and happiness, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. So, whether you or your roommate has a pet or is planning to get one, it’s necessary to include this in your roommate agreement.

You have to consider allergies, potty times, noises a pet can bring, and all the other factors included in taking care of one.

#7 – Bathroom and kitchen schedules

One of the most common things to argue about among roommates is the bathroom or kitchen times. So before any major argument arises, it’s better to include a schedule in your roommate agreement. Most especially if you have multiple roommates and just limited bathroom and kitchen space, making a schedule can help save the apartment from a disastrous morning rush.

To get started, make a schedule of everyone’s work or school time then figure out the order of who gets to use the bathroom and kitchen first. This makes everything more efficient and prevents anyone from being late to their schedules for the day.

#8 – Moving out early

Moving out should be included in your roommate agreement as it can get a bit tricky without it. Your lease may state the basics, but it’s important to have everything down to a T, like who’s responsible for what among the roommates.

Here, determine what steps need to be taken if one roommate decides to move out, including how to handle finding a replacement or dividing any remaining lease responsibilities. Consider these as well:

  • How much notice should be given before formally moving out
  • Finding a replacement
  • How to divide communal items
  • Returning the security deposit

#9 – Quiet hours

We all value our sleep, and no one wants to sleep with loud music or noises around them. So, it’s better to determine appropriate times for quiet hours to ensure that everyone has an opportunity for rest and relaxation.

Here, talk about who are light sleepers, who has early morning shifts, or just decide on a quiet time for the whole apartment. This could also just be a group chat message or quick chat to settle on a few hours of peace and quiet.

#10 – Violations of the roommate agreement

When you sign an agreement to lease a rental with your roommate, you agree to certain rules and regulations. Failing to meet those standards can get you kicked out. Well, the same should be the case for failing to uphold the roommate agreement as well. While this is a seriously uncomfortable situation to be in, it must be done.

Having a roommate who doesn’t honor the roommate agreement can be infuriating to live with. If you’re roommate is a repeat offender, even with multiple house meetings and enough time to correct their wrong doings, it’s completely possible to ask for them to leave.

Clearly, someone who isn’t following the set rules is living as uncomfortably as those who prefer them. The agreement has been agreed upon and will result in consequences and really unfavorable living conditions.

Roommate Agreements

Creating a strong and comprehensive roommate agreement is essential for a harmonious living situation in 2024. By including the 10 key elements discussed in this article, you can set clear expectations and ensure a positive environment for everyone involved. But before you can set roommate agreements, you first need to find roommates.

Source: Roomi

With Roomi, finding fitting roommates who you can vibe with are quick and simple. It’s the ultimate roommate and apartment finder that matches you with potential roommates according to your lifestyle preferences. The app is also equipped with filters to narrow down your search and various features to make roommate searching easier. Some are:

  • Can show only ID verified users
  • Select an age range
  • Can input your max budget
  • Choose your lifestyle preferences

Aside from these, Roomi takes the safety and privacy of its users seriously. It conducts background checks for all its users, ID verification, uses Global ID, and has an in-app messaging feature to avoid fraud, scams, and fake profiles. Roomi has it all when it comes to room and roommate hunting.

So, don’t wait any longer to start building a solid foundation for your living arrangement – sign up today and take the first step towards a successful roommate agreement in 2024!

Create a comfortable living environment with Roomi today.