The rental reality for many people – young and old – is that roommates are necessary to pay the rent. To help outline the pros and cons of shared accommodation and to provide some helpful tips, we’ve collaborated with a new company called Happy Roommates, dedicated to finding the right, shared accommodation for their clients.
Pros of Roommates
1. Save on rent and utilities. Rent and bills will be split, reducing monthly costs considerably.
2. Safety. Homes with more than one occupant are far less likely to be robbed as the chances of someone being home are higher.
3. Share the chores. Basic chores related to the upkeep of your residence can be shared. The onus is no longer just on you.
4. Share furnishings. Fewer big ticket purchases to make on your own.
5. Space. 2+ bedroom units are larger than studios and single bedrooms, typically featuring larger common areas like living rooms and kitchens.
6. Companionship. Living alone can be lonely. With roommates, you have always have a sounding board, someone to talk to and provide an objective perspective.
7. Convenience. Having a roommate can offer convenience in a number of ways. To name a few, if you travel, there’ll be someone to look after your plants or your pet and if you both study or work in the same area, you have the option to carpool.
8. Network. Having a roommate is like learning a language – a whole new world can open for you. More opportunities to expand your friend and professional network.
Cons of Roommates
1. Dependability. Now that bills are split, you will always have to ensure money is collected from roommates in order to pay the bills.
2. Lack of privacy. You will have to be more aware of your actions and behaviour in order to maintain a respectful, functioning relationship with your roommate(s).
3. More mess. Another person(s) will be contributing to mess and clutter in your living space.
4. Excess furniture. It is likely you will have to sell some items or store them elsewhere in order for the space to be functional.
Whether you choose your roommates before you find a place or seek them afterwards, there will always be challenges. And don’t be fooled into thinking it will be easier with your best friend; in fact, it can often be worse given the heightened expectations of compatibility.
3 Tips for Living with Roommates
Here are 3 Tips to help ensure your shared living arrangement goes smoothly:
1. Create a Roommate Agreement
A Roommate Agreement sets out the ground rules and expectations you want all roommates to agree to before moving in together. This should be drafted when two+ roommates are starting a tenancy together or when a new roommate joins.
Here is a downloadable template from BC’s Residential Tenancy Branch – Roommate Agreement Template.
2. Communication is great, but Compromise is Key
Remember your roommate cannot read your mind, it’s important to keep communication with your roommate. However, compromse is key when living in a shared space – remember to meet your roommate in the middle.
3. Discuss Lease Commitments
Moving out before a lease causes many complications, disputes between co-tenants are not covered by the Residential Tenancy Act. For example, a dispute resulting from a missed rent payment by one roommate would not be settled in the Residential Tenancy Branch.
If, a roommate does not give proper notice in writing, the tenancy will continue as is, but the remaining tenants will be responsible to cover the entire rent. It’s important to have these conversations with your roommate(s) before signing the lease together.
With these tips in mind, you are on your way to the perfect roommate living experience. Here are a handful of roommate-friendly rentals listed on liv.rent.
Roommate-Friendly Units For Rent:
Check out liv.rent for the latest roommate-friendly rentals! Be sure to customize your search for bedrooms, pets, furnishings, amenities, and more.
For more valuable tips on living with roommates, check out our posts:
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