Student Roommates

By on Sep 20, 2018 in News

Many student housing providers offer conflict mitigation as a way to keep the peace between roommates. If you don’t, it’s a good idea to start. Roommate conflicts increase turnover and impact your bottom line.

Below are three tips to share with your student residents. They promote clear communication between roommates. More importantly, they cut turnover costs for you and preserve your reputation with prospects.

Don’t overtax your friendship.

Their message: Your friend may be the most compassionate and forgiving person that you know—don’t take advantage of that. Don’t splurge your rent money on SXSW tickets and then pay late on rent because “she’ll understand.” Certainly don’t eat the last of her Greek yogurt.

Strained relationships add stress to living arrangements and can affect your academic performance. Honor your friendship like it matters.

Your benefit: Bills are paid on time which is a huge plus in student housing. With better relationships between roommates, there are fewer squabbles that require third party negotiation. Your staff is free to focus on loyalty initiatives and new leases.

Learn to talk about money together

Their message: You will have to negotiate how much you’re willing to spend each month on cable, internet, and optional fees like trash removal (rather than doing it yourself). When you’re comfortable talking to each other about money upfront, there are fewer chances for spending beyond your roommate’s ability to keep up. You can room together happier, longer.

Your benefit: This is especially important when rent does not include utilities and other fees in a single bundle. If one resident is more wasteful than the others due to poor roommate pairing, turnover is inevitable. By having money conversations upfront, roommates can pair with other like-minded (or like-budgeted) individuals and reduce the need to switch roommates.

Keep track of purchases that benefit the household

Their message: Arguing over shared possessions is a headache for everyone involved. Skip the drama with a few payment options:

  • If splitting the cost for a purchase, have all roommates pay up within the week of the transaction. Use Venmo or similar service, rather than cash, to make record keeping easier. Lingering debts cause strife.
  • If one person makes a purchase for an item that will be temporarily used by the group (like a couch) send an email to all the roommates establishing the agreement in writing. That way, there are fewer disagreements over possessions when someone moves out.

Your benefit: Having the police active in your community never looks good to prospects. When a resident feels that an item has been stolen and chooses to file a report, that’s precisely what can happen. Cut back on police visits by having roommates settle debts and establish ownership of items before things get complicated.