moving with a roommate

Trust us: Once you find a roommate that you’re compatible with, you’ve struck gold, and you definitely don’t want to give that up. So when it’s time to find a new apartment, why not involve your roomie in the process?

Deciding on a new place when you only have your own wants and needs to consider is hard enough, so multiply that by two (or more!) when you move with someone else. Compromises will have to be made, but here’s how to approach your upcoming move in a way that’ll make both you and your roommate happy.

Agreeing on a new place

When you’re looking for an apartment, the first thing to consider is always the same: Location, location, location. If you and your roommate attend the same school or work in the same area, it should be easy enough to decide on a general vicinity in which to start your apartment search.

If you work or attend school in different parts of town, though, things get a little trickier. Get out a map and decide on a good midpoint between your destinations. How far is too far to drive every day? If one person has to drive farther, who should it be, and is that person OK with it? Make those decisions before you even start looking at apartments.

Once the location is settled, decide what you want in an apartment. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want? What’s the limit to how much you’ll pay per month? Do you have pets to consider? Keep all this in mind to decide on the type of apartment that’ll work for both of you.

Know the difference between necessities and luxuries. If you’d like a third bedroom in your new place for a guest room or multipurpose room, great. But if you can’t find a three-bedroom place that meets all your other criteria, is it a dealbreaker? You might not find a place that’s perfect, but you do need to find one that meets your most basic criteria. Everything on top of that is negotiable.

Above all else, be sensitive to the needs and wants of your roommate as well as your own. Remember, he or she has to live there, too.

Splitting up moving costs

Once you and your roommate have agreed on a new place, it’s time for the awkward part: Talking about money.

The only fair way to do it is to split all the moving costs equally, right down the middle. If you and your roommate want to work out another system – maybe one of you makes more money than the other, and you think it’s better for that person to pay more – you can work that out, but make sure you’re both in agreement before anyone writes any checks.

Keep in mind the following costs:

  • Deposit on the new place
  • Any lingering costs at the old place
  • Moving supplies: boxes, bubble wrap, tape, etc.
  • Renting a truck
  • Hiring movers (or buying pizza for your friends if you decide to enlist their help)

Signing a lease

Whose name goes on the apartment lease? Well, that depends on how the lease is set up.

Some apartment communities allow two people to put their names on the lease; others require one person to step up. Having good credit and a reliable income will go a long way in ensuring you get the apartment you want.

If you’re the one who signs the lease, remember that you’ll be held responsible. It’ll be your responsibility to write the checks each month and drop them off at the office. And if any rent goes unpaid, the person on the hook for that money is you, not your roommate.

If you’re keeping your roommate when you move to a new apartment, hopefully you’ll have worked out all your money issues already, and you can keep your good system working in the new place.

After your move is complete, it’s time to get settled into your new place. The AG Blog has plenty of advice on how to have a smooth relationship with your roommate:

Have you ever moved with a roommate? How did it work out for you?

Image credit: Shutterstock / Tom Penpark



About The Author

Courtney Craig is an editor and writer for the Apartment Guide Blog. She rented apartments for 12 years in 4 cities before buying her first house in Atlanta. Find Courtney on Google.

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