Be upfront and friendly, right from the start
Usually, roommates are great. They help make off-campus living more affordable and they become your community. Ensure your roommate experience lives up to your expectations by following these simple tips.
It's your choice
Ultimately, you choose who you live with. If you're interviewing for roommates, be sure to have a clear list of priorities, requirements and deal breakers. Be upfront at the very beginning about quirks and expectations. If you're thinking about becoming a roommate, you should do the same. And take an honest look at the conditions of the apartment or house you'd be living in. If it's messy now, it'll probably be that way while you're there.
Talk, in person, regularly
Communication is critical and should be a priority. If you have a few roommates, plan a time every month to get together and discuss issues and ideas. Remember that you might see things differently from others. Ask questions to find compromises. What is your idea of neat and clean? What annoys you? What are your study habits? Then come up with solutions that will respect all your answers.
Make rules & assign responsibilities
Will you have quiet hours? Who is going to take out the garbage? How will you divide groceries? Will there be a cleaning schedule? What's private and off limits? What's for sharing? Talk about these issues and agree on the best way to ensure everyone is happy and willing to help out.
Keep finances separate
It's better to sign individual leases than to assume responsibility for others. If you don't have that option, at least be sure everyone's name is on the lease. Rent payments should be secured with pre-dated cheques for the duration of the lease. If you're paying the landlord, plan to cash your roommates cheques at least a week before your rent cheque will be withdrawn.