Keys to the Perfect Roommate Agreement

Navigating your roommate relationship can be one of the trickiest parts of moving into a new apartment. Up until now, thanks to Bedly, you’ve managed to dodge the typical NYC living drama–no brokers, no need to search for furniture, and now you’re ready to settle in to exploring around you. As an additional Bedly perk, they’ve set you up for success with helping you find a roommate, but once you’re settled, It’s up to you all to keep the relationship strong.

It can seem scary at first–especially since there are all kinds of roommate personalities out there (and some roommate drama can be the stuff of nightmares). But not to worry, your roommates can easily become your best friends. It’s just best to set some ground rules early–the honeymoon period after your first few hangouts and perfect housewarming party will come to an end before you know it once you all hit that daily grind full of delayed trains and job search drama. The key piece of keeping everybody happy is to have a clearly written out Roommate Agreement.

Take it from this former College RA–your Roommate Agreement has the potential to make or break this relationship. Think of it as a mini lease agreement–you go through and write out every detail that you can think of during those first few weeks, come to compromises,schedule time to check in on the agreement every few weeks/months, sign it, and hang it on your refrigerator. It may seem silly–but it’s a great accountability tool, and can help you bridge some of those uncomfortable roomie conversations. Here are some key points to make sure you include to make your roommate experience the stuff of dreams.

Common spaces:

Lucky for you, Bedly has taken the tricky conversation of whose furniture is who’s out of the question–but you’re common spaces are still just that–common. Which means you should come up with some basic ground rules of keeping the area clean and organized!

Guests in the apartment:

This is a big one. One of the best parts of living in the city is that you’ll have friends clamoring to visit and get your expert experience of the big city–but after too many weekends in a row this can get exhausting for you and your roommates. So come up with an agreement that seems fair for long term guests. What’s the maximum time you’re comfortable with them crashing? How many guests is too many? How far in advance should everyone know?

And then there’s the matter of the overnight guests. Whether it’s a significant other or a first time fling, there are many different aspects to consider: how often is it comfortable for significant others to spend the night? Is the apartment comfortable with strangers? Is there a code word for needing to get a fling out sooner than later?

These don’t all have to be established right away, but it’s good to get an idea early on of everyone’s comfort levels.

Bathroom Ground Rules:

There are few things more intimate that sharing a bathroom–and there are few topics more delicate than bathroom care. It’s important that no one feels more responsible for cleaning the bathroom than the other–so come to an agreement early!

It’s also a good call to come up with a rotation for who will buy bathroom necessities–aka toilet paper, hand soap, etc—this way you’re never out of what you need when you need it

Cleaning/chores:

This is a BIG one. Some of the biggest roommate fights come from people perpetually not doing their dishes, leaving their clothes all over the living room space, never taking out the trash and a general disregard for general cleanliness. It can get really passive aggressive really quickly, so it’s best to get ahead of this one in any way you can. Some successful options are chore wheels—it may feel like you’re living back at home but your parents knew what they were doing. Chore wheels keep everything democratic and keep them from getting dramatic. And if that’s not quite your style that’s no problem–just make sure you have a routine established from day one. Another great option (if it’s in your budget) is to have a cleaning service come by once a month or so–this way you don’t have to do the dreaded deep scrubbing after a long day on the grind.

Refrigerator space and groceries:

Let’s be honest: if there’s one thing young millennials are territorial of, it’s our food. And for good reason! Food is life. Literally. And while sharing is caring, there is nothing more disappointing than coming home after spending an entire day looking forward to eating your favorite leftovers to find that someone else ate them. It’s devastating. So it’s a good call to split the refrigerator so everyone has their own shelf, and then maybe if you can have a communal shelf–this way, it’s clear what’s for sharing and what’s not.

This applies to shelf space as well—the more clear everything is, the more successful you’ll be at avoiding a knock down drag out on who ate who’s leftover lasagna.

Parties:

Parties are the grand finale of the roomie pact. Everyone loves a good shindig, but it’s important that the entire apartment is on board with parties in the apartment. Since everyone is on their own NYC grind with different sleep schedules and days off (if any) it’s important to set a precedent early of what everyone is ok with in regards to parties.

Should you avoid weekday nights? When would roommates prefer guests be out of the apartment? Who is coordinating clean up? What are the building rules for parties if any?

These simple questions will go a long way into keep harmony in the apartment and keep every party as hyped up as it was intended to be.

These are just a few key points on how to keep the peace with your new roommate(s). This is one of the most important relationships you’ll form in the city because this is who and what you’re coming home to. Any efforts you put in from day one will ensure the apartment is a safe and cohesive living space for everyone, so you can really take advantage of the stress free living situation that Bedly has helped you form from day one!

And if you’re still on the hunt for the best housing in NYC, you’re in the right place! Check out Bedly’s NYC listings now, you won’t be sorry!

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