There are a lot of great advantages of having a roommate. For instance, it can lower your rent or house payments, as well as other monthly bills. Assuming you get along well you may also have a shoulder or two to cry on when you need one.
When you are a student or new graduate, it is almost necessary to have a roommate to share the bills with. Rent in college towns can be higher than other areas making sharing a good way to save money.
On the other hand, everything isn’t always hunky-dory when you have roommates. You may find that the differences you have bug the crap out of each other. In addition you may find that they don’t treat you well.
Fortunately there are ways to handle roommates who take advantage of you.
1. Put Your Foot Down
One method to handle roommates who take advantage of you is to put your foot down. Though they agreed to split costs with you they may not realize their actions are inconsiderate.
Let’s say your roommate frequently comes in at all hours of the night or fails to make it home at all on occasion. When they don’t let you know, it may cause needless worrying about their safety.
But to your roommate it’s their right to do whatever they want now that they are on their own. It may not have occurred to them that someone would be worried about them.
No matter what it is driving a wedge between you, have a heart to heart conversation with them. Let them know you aren’t trying to be their parent but instead a concerned friend. Just make sure you talk when neither of you is tired or emotional.
2. Develop House Rules
Another way to handle roommates who take advantage of you is to develop some house rules together. Of course, if possible, it’s the most effective to do this before you even move in together. This way if you discover a difference that no one is willing to compromise on you can find another roommate.
Make a written agreement on how monthly bills like utilities, food, rent, curfews and shared spaces should be handled. Don’t forget to document how it will be handled if one person moves out. That may cut down considerably on any disagreements you could have.
However, if your living arrangements have already been chose you can still develop some rules to abide by. Just get together, make a plan and have everybody there sign off on it. Make sure to include consequences for failure to uphold the agreement.
3. Don’t Be Bullied
If you can’t get cooperation from get roommates who take advantage of you there are less options for what to do. Obviously one option is to move out, but moving isn’t cheap so don’t do it if you can avoid it.
When roommates financially abuse you it may be possible to get them kicked out. Talk to your landlord about the situation to see what your options are. Maybe they will let you replace the roommate with another to keep their own money rolling in.
Simply not holding up their share of split costs might prompt you to take less drastic action. Keep your food separate and lock it up. Do the same with personal items and valuables.
Whatever you do, don’t let yourself be bullied into action you don’t want to take.
Having roommates can ease the strain on finances whether you are a student or simply trying to make ends meet. But there are ways to handle roommates who take advantage of you.
Have you ever been taken advantage of by a roommate? What did you do?
Photo courtesy of: StockSnap