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How to set boundaries with your roommate

December 14, 2022 | By Roomrs


Living with a roommate can be one of the best experiences or the absolute worst. There is no way to ensure that you and your roommate will get along, but there are certain things you can do to reduce possible conflict. One of which is establishing boundaries. But how exactly do you go about doing that?


Keep reading to find out how to set boundaries with your roommate, and help keep the peace.

Communicate what makes you uncomfortable

Although it may be somewhat awkward or uncomfortable, it’s important to speak to your roommate about what bothers you in a living situation. For example, let’s say you have a routine of going to bed at 10pm, but your roommate is a night owl. It would bother you if they were not considerate about your early bedtime, and played loud music or watched TV with the volume turned all the way up. To avoid situations like this escalating to a potential conflict, be open and honest from the beginning. Setting time aside to communicate boundaries shows that you want to be respectful of one another, and do your best to make the living situation pleasant.



Set boundaries

Setting boundaries comes after your initial communication. Now that you know what bothers one another, you can establish boundaries. Establishing boundaries can come in different forms, but it’s recommended that you create a roommate agreement. A roommate agreement serves as a contract that essentially states the house rules. Both you and your roommate should discuss and approve the document before it’s signed. That way, if issues occur, you can reference the agreement. It can include anything from quiet hours, guest rules, chores/clean up, party policy, etc.

Be understanding

Despite the fact that you and your roommate have agreed on certain rules, realistically, things happen. It’s possible that your roommate may have forgotten a rule that you put in your roommate agreement, or may have had to break them just one time. Either way, don’t be unreasonable. If you were in their shoes, you would want to be met with understanding as well.


For example: Let’s say that you have a rule that you will alternate trash days. It’s your roommate’s turn to take out the trash, but when you wake up the next morning the trash is still sitting in the living room. Instead of getting upset, talk to them about the situation. There may be a valid reason they were unable to take it out that day. Maybe they got home late from work, or were up late studying for an exam and fell asleep. Whatever it is that happened, it’s best not to go into the situation angry. Speak to them about it, and mention the roommate agreement that you both came up with. Give them a chance to prove it was a mistake, and that it won’t happen again.

Figure out what to do if boundaries are crossed

Like I said, if it’s a one-time thing, don’t be unreasonable. However, if boundaries are being consistently crossed, it’s critical to speak up. Letting things go too many times, may cause your roommate to take advantage of your silence. That doesn’t mean screaming and yelling, but rather calmly and openly expressing your issues. Remind them of the house rules in a respectful manner, and refer to the roommate agreement if you need to.


It’s possible after having a discussion that you may realize you need to revise the current roommate agreement. Surely, throughout the time of your roommate relationship, things will change. Check in to make sure the rules you’ve established still work for both of you. If not, make changes to the existing rules, or create new ones that work for your current situation better.

Be aware that the process is ongoing

It’s unreasonable to believe that your roommate relationship will be perfect from the beginning. If you don’t know each other very well, you need to communicate to help foster the relationship. If you feel like things may not be going well at first, be patient. Putting in the effort to establish boundaries, and creating a roommate agreement will help.



Rooming With Roomrs

At Roomrs, every applicant must go through a background check before their application can be approved. We want to make sure your living situation is comfortable, therefore, all of our tenants have been carefully screened. On top of that, we work with you directly to find roommates that suit you best.


The process of finding and choosing a roommate is hard enough as it is. So, let Roomrs take care of it! We use all their resources to help you find the perfect roommate. But what if you’ve done everything you can, and you and your roommate still can’t seem to get along? Roomrs guarantees that you can transfer to any available room free of charge for the first 30 days!

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