Renting with Roommates: How to Keep the Peace in Your Boston Apartment
In a top- ranked city like Boston, sharing an apartment with roommates is a common and practical way to make city living more affordable. Quality of life is considered to be amongst the best in the United States. For that reason, Boston draws in thousands of new people each year, even though it can’t keep up with such a high housing demand and prices are skyrocketing. This means that many Boston residents have decided to cut costs and share their Boston apartment costs with others. Even if it wasn’t their first choice, this can be a great way to save money and make life-long friends- but sharing a space with other people isn’t always easy. Arguments and tensions can rise if clear boundaries and rules for living in the apartment aren’t set from the beginning.
Here are our tips on how you can keep the peace with your roommates in your Boston apartment.
Establish Your Boundaries
Being clear about what you’re comfortable and not comfortable with, even before living with your roommates, is always a good idea. The ability to have a conversation about boundaries can serve as a good litmus test for whether you would even be good roommates at all, which could save you a long year of arguments with roommates you wouldn’t get along with. It can also be useful in understanding one another, especially if you didn’t know your roommates prior to sharing a Boston apartment.
Be upfront, and ask that they are just as honest with you about how they like to live. They may play music at night, even though you like to go to bed early, for instance. Getting these preferences out in the open is a smart way to avoid arguments, later on.
Communication is Key
Communicating clearly to your roommates is also essential throughout your time living together. What does communicating clearly mean? It means being honest about how you feel about something they are doing or plan on doing in a way that aims to simply solve the problem.
For instance, if they leave the kitchen in your Boston apartment dirty after cooking, don’t clean the kitchen and quietly resent them for the mess. That will only build tension in your home, and lead to further arguments. Rather, talk to them about your expectations and come to an agreement about reasonable cleaning timeframes.
Respect Each Other’s Space
Respecting each other’s personal space is vital to living together. Typically, roommates sharing a Boston apartment have their own bedroom. If you need something from them, always knock on their door. If you need something from their room, make sure they are there with you. Call or text them to ask for their permission to enter, if they’re not there. This is all part of clear and open communication. It solves a lot of small problems, which will prevent bigger arguments in the future.
The Power of the Chore Chart
Everyone has different levels of comfort when it comes to the tidiness and cleanliness of their Boston apartment. This can also lead to a lot of arguments as the state of an apartment can upset one roommate, and they may direct that frustration at you. In line with the theme of establishing an open and clear line of communication, a good way to prevent that argument from happening is to establish a chore chart.
Chore charts are simply calendars that break down what household chores (cleaning, organizing, taking out the trash), by whom, and by when they need to be done. If you can all agree on this schedule, it becomes very difficult for any of your roommates to not keep your Boston apartment in a good state. What’s more, your landlord will thank you for keeping their property clean and tidy.
A good way to assign tasks is to first ask your roommates which chores they prefer doing; if you can all be in charge of the chores you’re most comfortable doing, the chore chart is much more likely to be respected by everyone.
Consider Everyone’s Finances
When you rent a Boston apartment with roommates, you’re at the very least splitting the rent, but more likely splitting other expenses, as well: utilities, food…etc. First, agree on what is shared, and what is not shared. Some roommates may prefer to buy and eat their own food because they have specific dietary requirements, while others may find it better to share everything to lower their costs.
If you have an apartment with different-sized bedrooms, and one or more of your roommates would prefer to pay less, you can split the rent in a way that is more equitable based on room size (the bigger your room, the higher your rent). If you’re splitting everything, you can create a list that is easy to follow for paying your roommates back for certain expenses. There are also really helpful applications, such as Splitwise, which can track how much everyone is contributing to different types of cost stored in one place.
There are many reasons for you to share a Boston apartment with roommates- finances, convenience, or you simply don’t like living alone. However, it is important to establish boundaries early on, respect each others’ private spaces, and communicate clearly to avoid any misunderstandings down the line. Keeping the peace sometimes takes a bit of work, but it is always worth it to have a tension- free environment at home.
Remember, good friends don’t necessarily make good roommates- and if you tried living together and it didn’t work out, there’s no shame in that. At Boston Pads, we can help you find a Boston apartment more suited to your needs and even offer roommate matching services should you need them. Finding the perfect roommate is easier said than done, unless work with Boston Pads. We look forward to working with you!