02.12.2017 | 3 Minute Read | By Rent Editorial Team

While having a roommate isn’t a negative in and of itself, it’s a positive in the sense you get to significantly lower your cost of living. But living with another person, or multiple people, can be a daunting task when you realize all of the different habits that people have. It’s even worse when boyfriends and girlfriends are involved.

At times, living with a roommate who is in a relationship can sometimes feel like you’re living with a couple. But there are ways to prevent awkward situations from arising and tactics to keep in mind when addressing any issues that may arise. When a roommate has guests over all the time, they need to understand the etiquette that’s involved, so they don’t step on your toes.

Below are just a few of those tips to help make sure you and your roommate have the best living experience possible:

Say Something

The idea that honesty is the best policy is true. It always has been and always will be. You’ll be much happier if you are honest with your roommates about your needs. If you find that you can’t stand having an unwelcome guest spending days on end at your place, speak up! Your roommate problems won’t go away if the other parties aren’t aware there’s an issue. Of course, you should be wise in approaching the conversation. Don’t barge into the room and demand that the guest leave. Find a time when it’s just the two of you to bring up the issue.

Start with a line like, “Hey, your boyfriend has been here a few days now and while I like him, the situation is becoming inconvenient for me. I’d really like it if he left soon so it can be just us again.” Have a list of reasons why the guest has caused distress. Be open to questions and prepare for your roommate to get defensive. Be the calm one in the situation and you’ll carry no fault. That’s not to say you should turn into a noodle–be assertive and hold your ground!

I didn’t talk to my roommate about the unwanted guest, Todd, she had over all of the time, and my frustration with him built up over time. Eventually, Todd left and I found I was always angry with my roommate for relatively small things. Don’t let the tension build! Let your roommate know why it’s important to practice proper guest etiquette:

  1. Frequent guests become a strain on utilities: If you and your roommate split the utilities 50/50, let her know that her frequent guests have put unnecessary strains on your finances, as you have to pay more for electricity, gas, etc. that you didn’t even use. Verbalize your dissatisfaction and ensure that guests who stay frequently contribute in some fashion.
  2. Overuse of common areas: It’s bad enough when you have to share the apartment with one other person, but random house guests can cut into your morning routine, leaving you without hot water or coffee. It’s okay once or twice, but when you routinely show up to work late and drowsy, you may start to reconsider the whole roommate thing. Make it a point to have an agreement in writing about use of common areas.,
  3. Dude, where’s my parking space: If your apartment complex has limited parking, you may find yourself battling over spaces more than you’d like. That’s compounded when your roommate has unannounced guests over. Make sure your roommate knows that guests should park in the guest spots, and not take the space of the actual tenants.

Find a Compromise

The danger of confronting your roommate is that the situation could get complicated. You may ask that their boyfriend or girlfriend comes over less, but that vagueness could lead to a plethora of additional questions.

How much less? Should I be worried when he or she does come over? Will it be uncomfortable when he or she stops in? Avoid being vague and give options or suggest compromise. For example, you could propose that the guest stay every other night or that your roommate go to the boyfriend or girlfriend’s apartment a few times a week.

Furthermore, let your roommate know that you don’t necessarily dislike the guest (as long as it’s true); you just didn’t sign the lease with this person. Don’t let your home life get out of hand – stand up for yourself and make it clear that there’s proper etiquette involved when having guests over.

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