Neighborhood Services and Collaboration strongly urges tenants to sign a roommate contract with all roommates, even if you are friends prior to living together. A Roommate Contract allows one to be clear on expectations from the very beginning in order to avoid conflict later. Some topics to consider with your roommates include but are not limited to:
- Food policy: will the roommates be sharing food such as milk, butter, etc. or will there be a hands-off policy?
- Cleaning schedule: will the roommates have a cleaning schedule and if so, will this be daily, weekly, monthly, etc.?
- Who gets what room in the apartment/house (and do they pay extra for bigger/special rooms)?
- Showering schedule: will the roommates come up with a showering schedule, and if so, will it be on a semester basis (this is especially important if there is only one bathroom in the apartment/house)?
- Overnight guests: are they allowed, and if so, are there restrictions? Will roommates be permitted to have an overnight guest, once a week, once a month, etc.?
- Parties: are all the roommates on the same page when it comes to parties? Will parties be permitted, and if so, how often? How large will the guest list be? Who will serve as the sober host? Who will make sure the clean-up after the party is completed in a timely fashion?
- Thermostat: what temperature will the heat be set to during the winter? What temperature will the air-conditioning be set to during the summer? What if one individual has a window air-conditioning unit; will they be responsible for paying a larger portion of the electric bill?
- Utility bills: who will put which bill(s) in their name?
- Cable/internet packages: discuss expectations on what type of package(s) you will be getting so that everyone can budget this in and can make sure they can afford it.
- House meetings: will roommates set up house meetings on a regular basis (i.e. quarterly, monthly, bi-weekly)? House meetings may seem unnecessary but can assist in avoiding conflict in the future. Touching base and making sure everyone is on the same page on a consistent basis can be very helpful.
- How will conflict be resolved (i.e. majority rules)?
- Smoking and drinking policy.
*For a full list of roommate contract guidelines, refer to the "Roommate Contract" document on this page!