Sharing an Apartment: Drawbacks of Having a Roommate

In continuation with my series of thoughts on having a roommate I’ve given the readers the Roommate Questionnaire, which covered how to interview a potential roommate, and most recently answered the question of why have a roommate to begin with.

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Helpful Tips on Finding a good Roommate


The hardest things to consider when deciding to share or not to share your living space are the drawbacks of having a roommate. Unfortunately there are a few of these to consider before taking the plunge into a shared apartment.

The main problem I’ve discovered is personality clashes. Even with friends as roommates, the inevitable argument will surface, and sometimes it can go so deep as to not be solvable. In this case, a good conversation/argument idea should be set in place so that you can talk out your problems and not allow them to fester and become a disruption to your friendship and your apartment living. Often you will meet someone and become instant friends. This perfect friend then becomes your roommate, and months down the line you discover that your roommate isn’t quite the person he or she seemed to be.  This is perhaps the biggest disadvantage to having a roommate.  If you or the other person decide that living together just isn’t working out, another set of problems will set in.

If you break your arrangement, you have to consider if you can continue to pay the rent on your own. Before this happens, a strategic Roommate Agreement should be signed and a lease should be signed by both parties. This way, if your roommate leaves, he or she will still be obligated to pay, which will be a financial relief at least. A Roommate Agreement will hold each roommate accountable for bills, rent, household duties, entertainment schedules and privacy issues, as well as the possible moving out problem that may arise. In another post I’ll address the ways to approach a Roommate Agreement.

Another disadvantage to have a roommate is lack of privacy. If you love to have people around all the time, this will not be so much of a problem, but there will be moments when you wish to be alone, and coming home to a roommate and her possible friends that she’s entertaining will not be a welcome factor. There will be times when you need your own space, so setting boundaries in advance can help to alleviate possible arguments. You each should be entitled to your own private space, such as your bedrooms, that must be acknowledged by both of you and maintained with the utmost honor.

Having a roommate can be a wonderful experience. You can develop a friendship that will last a lifetime. Consider all the drawbacks that sharing your apartment will entail before making the final commitment and be sure to sign a Roommate Agreement and a rental lease with your potential roommate. As I said, a post will follow on this idea. Thanks for reading.

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