Very few people want to live with roommates. We do it in order to keep our costs down. It is usually a temporary measure. However, that does not mean it has to be hard. Living with roommates can be a lot of fun, if they are the right kind of people.
Unfortunately, you don’t always have the choice. You can get stuck with people who drive you mad, either because of certain traits or habits, or because they just strike a nerve in you.
But what can you do if you have annoying roommates? It may not be easy, but here are 4 tips for dealing with them while living your best life.
1. Set financial ground rules
Living with roommates can be a great way to save money. However, some roommates can end up costing you. They may drive the utilities bills up or eat your groceries.
In order to avoid this, set financial ground rules that make the most out of your living situation. You can evenly split all the fixed costs, starting with the rent itself. Usually, it is not possible to split renters insurance with roommates. Your insurance is yours alone and can’t be shared. However, you can split things like the security deposit.
When it comes to costs that are not fixed, you should determine how to split them. One option with utilities is that each person pays for what they use, although it can be difficult to calculate. Another option is splitting a base price, and having the person who uses the most heat or water to pay the remainder. Alternatively, you can set ground rules over the usage of the utilities themselves.
You can also tell your roommates not to eat your groceries. This is much easier than trying to share the burden.
2. Bring issues up immediately
It is common for people to let problems simmer for a while before bringing them up. If you do this with your roommates, you are setting yourself up for a big blowout. The longer you take to bring up your issue, the angrier you will get. When you eventually do bring it up, you will be on the verge of exploding.
They will also become aware that you’ve been silently judging them about this matter for some time. They are therefore more likely to get defensive rather than hearing what you say as constructive criticism.
It may feel awkward to complain about something. However, if you broach it with kindness, they will appreciate your honesty and do something about it if they can.
3. Get noise canceling headphones
Noisy roommates can be particularly annoying. Whether they speak really loudly or watch TV at a high volume, you may find yourself getting angry all the time. The problem is that they have the right to use the space in whatever way they want, with certain limits. If they’re not doing anything that is actually wrong, you may not be able to say anything. After all, you can’t tell someone that they laugh too loudly.
Noise canceling headphones can change your life. While these headphones are made to cancel out the type of noise that comes from cars and planes and not people’s voices, they will do a good enough job to keep you sane. They can be expensive, but if you consider them an investment, the years of use you will get out of them are more than worth the value.
4. Clarify rules regarding guests
One of the most common problems that comes up between roommates is that of the person’s guests. Their guests may be significant others, friends, or mere acquaintances. Whatever the case, they use your common spaces and can make a lot of noise.
As a shared renter of the space, you can complain about guests. If they stay over too often, they are making use of your home without paying rent. If they stay late talking and laughing loudly, they are affecting your life. You should clarify the rules regarding guests with your roommates, making sure that you are tough but fair.
Remember to remain sensitive when dealing with a person’s significant other. It may be unfair for them to stay without paying rent, but your roommate will be particularly sensitive and this requires a soft touch.
There are not always easy solutions when living with annoying roommates in a rental property. However, if you set reasonable boundaries, you can create a peaceful living environment.