Moving in with two roommates - one friend, and one other guy the two of us just met. What haven't I thought of, and what should I be prepared to deal with? Long list of stuff inside.
posted by Urban Winter to human relations (27 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The new guy (I'll call him James) is 20, I'm 22, and my friend (I'll call him Tim) is 24. James works full time and will be going to school next semester (and reducing his hours a little to do so). I work and go to school. Tim works and is on his way out of grad school.
We met James the other night for coffee, and got along pretty well. Tim is very quiet, so it was mostly me and James talking, and both of us checking in with Tim to make sure he was on board with what we were saying. (It should be noted that, while Tim is quiet, he will give an honest opinion if prompted, and I've tried to get in the habit of prompting frequently for this purpose.)
We agreed that the electric bill should be in my or James' name, since we both have good credit. We'll be splitting everything three ways evenly (which I'll have in writing, of course). We'll keep the place cool through the winter to cut down on utility bills, watch ourselves and each other to remember to unplug things when we're done using them, etc. We're going to set up a group grocery "fund," and anything that only one of us wants they can buy themselves (like soda, for example, which neither James nor I drink). Cleaning will be up to the individual in their own room, and the common areas are to be kept free of junk (mostly; study materials lying around is to be expected, but generally the rule is "pick up your shit"). Cleaning we're going to figure out more specifically later, but James and I already agreed that I would do dishes if he'd clean the bathroom.
Privacy: If the door's closed, don't go in. If you need something, knock, and if there's no answer, too bad. Bathroom privacy: whomever is in there, leave them alone until they're done. We'll compare schedules for morning getting-ready time when we see what we've got to work with (I can brush my teeth at the kitchen sink while someone else showers, for example). We agreed to keep each other abreast of busy times and to be quiet when others are sleeping, to respect study times, etc. None of us plan on playing loud music in general, but if we want to, or want to turn up the volume on a movie or video game we'll check first.
What do I need to know about having alcohol in an apartment where one person isn't yet legal? None of us are partiers. We agreed that if we're thinking of bringing a friend or friends over, we'll ask first (or if we know we don't want anyone over on a given night, tell the other two beforehand). We haven't discussed overnight stays yet, but I plan on bringing it up and keeping a "couple nights a week or she helps pay rent" policy if that's agreeable with the others. None of us smoke, but the policy for friends who do is that they can take it outside. I was very clear that I don't want to smell any smoke, so closing windows, making friends walk away a little, etc has already been discussed. I am a hard-ass about this, and have told James this (Tim already knows).
I have a cat. I will handle the litter box, but will ask the others if they are okay with taking care of it if I am away for a night. Same for if she pukes anywhere. I will also vaccuum a little extra to compensate for the hair. I have made it very clear that she is an indoor cat, and will be mentioning that she likes to bolt, and thus the door/windows should never be left open (without a screen, of course).
We'll all be making sure to lock doors, windows, etc. I was thinking of either requesting that the landlord change the locks immediately when we move in, or doing it ourselves and handing a spare key to the landlord. Too much? I've heard horror stories of landlords who just use the same 3-4 locks all the time, or who give out keys to the wrong apartment. What's the right level of caution here?
I am bringing most (possibly all) of the furniture. Tim is bringing some cookware. I may be bringing dishes (James doesn't own much that could be considered apartment furnishing). We agreed that if we need anything else we'll go three ways on it, and when we move out/split up the person who gets it will buy the others out. If anyone spills/breaks/damages anything, we agreed that they'll pay for it to be repaired. What if something is broken irreprably? I don't honestly see it being a potential problem, but let's say worst case scenario here. Or what if a friend breaks something? The odd glass or plate doesn't count; everybody drops things.
I feel pretty prepared overall, but I'd still like to make sure everything is squared away. What should I have in a written agreement, and what can be verbal? What am I not thinking of?
Oh, and what would be the best way to pay rent? I'm thinking either each of us contributing cash to a "rent envelope" or two people giving cash to the third, who then writes a check to the landlord. Good idea? Bad idea? Alternatives?