UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Roommates

 

Choosing someone to live with may be one of the biggest decisions you'll make in moving off campus. You need to give this topic careful consideration, especially as there are legal, financial, and personal implications that affect people living together. Even if your best friend appears to be the perfect roommate, she or he may not live up to your expectations.

It is very important that you are aware of what your liability may be should your roommate vacate the premises early or fail to meet the financial obligations of rent and other expenses such as cable and utility bills.

Roommate issues to consider:

  • Privacy
  • Guests
  • Personal belongings
  • Parties
  • Cleaning
  • Messages
  • Noise
  • Pets
  • Smoking/alcohol/drugs
  • Bills/deposits
  • Groceries
  • Parking

One way to avoid potential issues with your roommates is to complete a roommate agreementdocument.  The financial responsibilities for each roommate can be clearly defined and agreed upon to avoid conflict at a later time.  For example, the responsibilities of a roommate with a pet that may cause damage to the carpet or flooring may be something you would want to specify. Other areas you should consider including in the agreement are expectations for cleanliness, smoking, drinking, drug use, overnight guests and visitors, and noise/study times.