10 Unspoken Roommate Rules You Need to Know

  • by Renisha Jesvita Fernandes
  • 08-10-2021
  • 6 minutes
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Living with a roommate is fun and exciting. It can be a little scary and overwhelming at the same time. Communication sure is an integral part of living with a roommate. However, there are some unspoken roommate rules that you need to be aware of.


1. Forgive Their Small Mistakes

No one in this world is perfect. Confrontation is needed for all kinds of mistakes but resentment? Well, that’s not necessary. Holding resentment against your roommate will only create different problems and will disrupt your entire stay with them. If you were planning to stay with them for a couple of years and you hold resentment against them for every single thing, then well, let’s be honest here. The stay won’t be easy for both.

When you decide to live with someone else, the first few weeks can be nice. However, the longer you stay with people, the more real it gets. You will see the worst sides of your roommate, and so will they see your worst sides. Fights will happen, conflicts will arise. Most of the time, rude words will be exchanged. The best thing to do in these scenarios is to talk with others. Try solving it and don’t pin the blame on one person every time. Take a step back and evaluate yourself. You are a person, and you can make mistakes too. Accept it and learn from it.


2. Hold Each Other Accountable


Best friends or strangers. Accountability is a must in all aspects of a roommate rules. It’s fun living with your roommate, but it also means additional responsibilities for you. If your roommate was supposed to come home by 9:00 pm, but it’s 11:00, she hasn’t come back yet. The wisest thing would be to call and confirm. If she needs help, she will let you know; otherwise, you can sleep in peace.

Another situation of accountability would be to accept you are at fault. There can be a lot of instances when you live together where conflicts might arise. One example would be of making an egg dish unaware your roommate doesn’t like it. Though you did not know of it, it is normal for your roommate to be upset about it. The best thing to say is the following “I am sorry that I did not ask you if you were fine with the food I was making. I was unaware that you did not like eggs.” Ask them if they want any other food or see if there is an alternative. Taking accountability for your actions prevents conflicts and arguments.


3. Never Compromise On Money

Money is money. And that’s is one of the most important roommate rules you should always remember. It’s your money that you are lending to someone. Do not compromise on this. Giving money too often can lead to you being your roommate’s bank machine and creditor. Lending money is not an issue. It becomes one when it is open-ended; it has no return time, and you feel uncomfortable to ask them for the money back. 

There are various roommate bill splitting apps that are very useful in this matter. One roommate can pay the bill when going out, and the other roommate can pay their share right over there. 

The best thing to do is to make sure there is a particular repayment date. Treat the money you give to your roommate just like money you would give to the bank. Have a specific date of repayment or instalments. Keep track of how much they owe you, and once they give the money back, you can cut it off. Most importantly, don’t forget to ask for repayment. You deserve to have your money repaid.


4. What Happens In The House Stays In The House


When you and your roommate start living together, it is essential to know that conflicts, fights and arguments will happen. How you let the situation go forward is upon you. The best thing to do is to talk it out. Holding resentment causes unwanted problems in your life. 

There might have been so many times you have fought with your roommate, but you have later solved it by whatever method you decided to use to solve your fights. Have you thought about what would have happened if you had let a third person know about the fight? Talking with others for advice is fantastic, but don’t let them decide the solution to your issue. What happens often is that when you ask your loved one for advice, they will try to support you and won’t be seeing the situation objectively. 

No one is stopping you from asking advice from others but don’t let them dictate your life in how you see situations.


5. Food Belongs To Those Who Bought It.


It is important to note that though you might be living with your roommate, all their stuff doesn’t magically become yours. Sure, clothes can be an excuse but not food. This is especially true when someone has bought food from outside and kept it in the fridge, knowing that it is only for them. If you want to eat it, you should ask your roommate first if it is OK to eat that particular item. If they are OK with it, go ahead and eat a portion of it, not the whole thing. If you go ahead and eat their food without their permission, don’t be surprised when they go ballistic over you.


6. No Forcing Friendships


Do not ever be the person who tries to force a friendship with someone. It is essential to know that not all roommates are the best of friends. Some of them are just people who are cordial with each other. At the end of the day, it is more important to have a normal compatible relationship with your roommate than to have someone who is just clingy and does not respect your privacy. Most importantly, don’t ever go into a roommate relationship hoping that you will find a long lost sister or brother. If you go with that mindset, don’t be surprised if you end up with disappointment.


7. Be A Good Roommate

You want a good roommate, but do you know you need to be a good one too? Just like you are searching for a good roommate, so is your potential roommate. There are many ways you can be a good roommate. One of them is to communicate with your roommate. Even if you are not good at conversations, a hi or a good morning helps keep your relationship cordial. The most important thing to remember is to divide responsibilities. Don’t make your roommate do everything. If you do that, then know that is one good way to earn the worst roommate rep.


8. Privacy Needs To Be Respected

This is not a new thing to know, but it is essential to know it. Just because you and your roommate live together, this does not mean you are entitled to everything they own or that they owe you all their time. Asking them before borrowing their things shows you respect their privacy. Knocking their door before entering their room means you are respecting their privacy. Most importantly, just don’t go into their room when they are not around and take their stuff. Sure, you might return it, but how would you feel if someone took your phone without your permission and told you that they would return it later? You definitely wouldn’t like it, so don’t expect your roommate to enjoy this kind of behaviour.


9. Check Whether Your Roommate Has Allergies


The question about allergies should be asked beforehand. It is essential to know if your roommate has specific allergies. This is because some allergies can cause severe reactions, and you don’t want that to happen, especially in your watch. Asking them about allergies is vital because, in the same conversation, you can ask them what to do if they have a reaction. If you are bringing food they are allergic to, mark it on top of the food container just so they don’t eat them. Some individuals have allergies to dust which can result in sinus allergies. In this case, it is crucial to keep the place clean; otherwise, their sneezes will be never-ending. Just be safe and help your roommate be safe.


10. Create A Group Chat

We don’t even need to say this, which is precisely why it is one of the unspoken roommate rules. When a group of people are living together, having a group chat is a must. Having a group chat allows you to say one thing only once rather than texting your other roommates individually. In case of any emergency, a simple message allows everyone to know of the trouble. The best thing is that group chats will enable you to keep track of the groceries you need, the events you will plan, and many other things.

If only two people live together in an apartment and use roommate apps,. Then you should use their chat feature to be organised and on track. At the end of the day, the truth is that having a group chat has countless advantages and zero disadvantages.



Living with a compatible roommate is a delight. It is important to note that this in no way means you can be clueless. There are unspoken roommate rules you need to be aware of. 

If you have some more roommate rules you would like to add, add them in the comment section!

Don’t forget to check out our blog on 5 Healthy Signs of Roommate Relationship to get insights into whether you have a healthy roommate relationship with your roommate.

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