Consider These Risks Before Moving in with Roommates
All of us are likely to share our home with roommates at some point in our lives. Some people might avoid it by moving straight from their parents to living alone or with a partner. However, a lot of individuals need roommates to be able to afford to rent. Inner city areas, in particular, can have high rents that make living alone or even as a couple difficult. Your roommates might be your friends, but they’re often people you don’t know. Moving in with strangers can be hard, but the important thing is that you do have somewhere to live. However, there are some risks associated with living with others. Here are some of the things you should consider and how to mitigate them.
Vetting a Potential Roommate
Before you move in somewhere, the landlord will always check you out. They want to know that they can trust you with their property. So they will look at your credit score and other factors to decide whether to rent to you. The thing that many tenants don’t consider is that they can do the same thing. Not only can you vet your potential landlord, but you can also assess any roommates. Whether you move in with them, or they are moving in with you, you should take the time to investigate them. Not only can you speak to them face to face but you can also check out their background. For example, you can find out whether they have had past evictions.
Who Is on the Lease?
When you move in with roommates, it’s essential to consider how the lease works. You could all share a lease together, or you could have individual leases. If you have a single lease, it’s likely you’re renting your bedroom, plus use of the common areas. It can help to protect you if any of your roommates start skipping on the rent. You shouldn’t be responsible for their share of the rent, and separate leases can help with that. You also need to be wary of people moving in without signing a lease at all. If their name isn’t on the lease, you’ll be on the hook for the rent. However, you also won’t be able to get them to leave without legally evicting them.
Purchases for the Property
If you’re teaming up with a friend to move in somewhere, you might want to buy things for the property. For example, the property might be unfurnished, and you need to get furniture. It’s easy to agree to split the costs of everything you buy. However, when it’s time to move out and go your separate ways, who owns what? You could sell everything and split the cash between you. You could each take the pieces that you bought, or agree that you can take your favorite pieces. But there could be a conflict if you both want to keep the same items. It could be a good idea to sign a contract agreeing who will get what. Before anyone gets attached to anything, you can have a sensible discussion about what will happen.
Come Up with Roommate Rules
No one wants to be like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, but there is something to be said for a roommate agreement. Furniture purchases aren’t the only thing you want to agree on. There are lots of things you need to discuss with someone you move in with. For example, you need to work out how to pay the bills. Of course, there are non-financial matters to talk about too. Cleaning can become a contentious issue with any roommates. You might also need to think about the hours that you keep. You might have different working hours or perhaps one of you is a night owl while the other is a morning person.
Watch Out for Guests
When you live alone, you have control over who comes into your home. However, if you live with roommates, you can’t really dictate their visitors. Everyone is going to have friends and perhaps a girlfriend or boyfriend to visit now and then. The most important thing you need to watch out for is frequent overnight visitors. You might not mind boyfriends or girlfriends staying over a couple of nights a week. However, you need to be careful that they don’t sneakily move in. You don’t want to acquire another roommate accidentally, so you might wish to make an agreement about how often you can have guests. There might be something in your lease that sets out the rules.
Don’t jump into living with roommates without thinking about the important issues, especially if you don’t know them. Even if you really need somewhere to live, try to take your time.
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