Living in a shared apartment has always been considered a low-cost form of living, but choosing the wrong apartment and the wrong roommates can make the scenario less worthwhile. In order to maximize savings – for which you chose this form of residence – it is worth taking into account several emphases:
Choose partners with a status similar to yours
Financial compatibility between you and your partners is just as important as personalization. Alongside the personal connection that you will surely aspire to have in a shared apartment, basic economic incompatibility between partners is an opening for friction and unpleasantness, and sometimes borders on eliminating certain advantages that exist in shared apartments. For example, while living in a roommate’s apartment may be an opportunity to enjoy an expensive cable package for half or a third of the price, the preferences of a partner with a thinner budget than yours may be different. This way, you’ll have to choose between giving up or fully financing your cable plan. The same is true on the other hand – if you are on a low budget, a partner whose income is significantly larger than yours will not necessarily identify with your desire to save as much as possible, which may lead to disagreements and friction on financial issues in the framework of cohabitation – only from the other side.
Find out the partner’s lifestyle in advance
Don’t be afraid to have a conversation and “interview your partners,” asking who they are and what their habits are, where they work and how much of a job. Pay particular attention to unusual issues such as a partner working from home, which can affect the rise of shared accounts, and problems with hosting at certain times.
It is recommended to clarify and coordinate expectations regarding hosting friends in a routine and hosting spouses, so that you do not find out late that instead of two roommates, you will share the apartment with four roommates, since each of the roommates has a spouse who stays in the apartment every other night at best, but does not participate in paying the rent and bills.
Is the apartment furnished? Whose furniture? Will he stay in the apartment?
Don’t assume that the furniture and appliances you see will remain in the apartment for the duration of your living there. Check with potential partners as well as the landlord. If you are told that the room you want to rent includes furniture, make sure that all furniture is included in the contract. Otherwise – you may discover that the furniture belongs to the tenant you are replacing or one of the other tenants or the landlord has lent it temporarily – and you will find yourself with an empty room. Make sure of the furniture and appliances in the common spaces – it will be very unpleasant to discover that the refrigerator and dining table belong to the tenant who leaves, and leaves the apartment with him.
What are the additional running costs for each partner?
Don’t be shy about coordinating expectations and finding out with potential partners how they tend to do their joint purchases, paying bills and related payments. Check ahead of time if you’re expected to participate in additional payments like cable and internet connections, or regular purchases of consumer and cleaning products used by all partners.
Make sure the contract is a personal contract that is executed only with you
Have you decided to enter the apartment? Ask them to email you the contract and read it carefully. Make sure that the contract is in the form made with you only, and that under the contract you are solely responsible for paying your rent and for damages caused by you alone, and that you are not officially liable for the debts or damages of the partners.
When you move, make sure you perform an account reset
Make sure with both the other partners and the landlord that the partner you are replacing has closed all their debts. Write down the water and electricity meter when you enter the apartment, and when the next bills arrive, make sure that you will not be required to pay for a period prior to your period of residence. Remember that even if it turns out that the previous tenant has an unsettled debt, it is not your responsibility and obligation to take care of this and cover the debt.
The experience of living with roommates is actually living with strangers with different habits than yours. The goal is to reduce friction and gaps as much as possible in advance, and to show maximum consideration for each other. Along with considering partners, put “unpleasant” aside when it comes to financial issues, and be sure to be open and open with your partners, as you expect them to be open and open with you.