How to Handle Common Roommate Problems

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Many people enjoy living in an apartment with a roommate. After all, roommates provide companionship and convenience, not to mention savings in rent and other monthly apartment expenses.

When you choose to share an apartment with another person, there's a chance that a conflict may arise. Whether a conflict has to do with finances or personalities, it can grow serious enough to make your apartment living unpleasant. Even worse, if a roommate conflict doesn't get resolved, it could put your living arrangement at risk.

  • 01 of 05

    Messy vs. Neat

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    Are you at odds with your roommate when it comes to how neat and clean you want your apartment to be? It's ideal to choose a roommate who agrees with you on housekeeping matters, but things don't always work out that way.

    If you find yourself with a roommate who doesn't see eye-to-eye with you when it comes to the messy vs. neat debate, it doesn't have to spell the end of your living arrangement.

  • 02 of 05

    The Who-Pays-What Conflict

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    Are you having the who-pays-what conflict? If you're having trouble agreeing on how much you and your roommate should contribute toward apartment expenses, you could be. Perhaps you casually discussed the issue before you signed a lease, and your roommate "conveniently" forgot some of the conversations.

    Although it may be tempting to figure things out as you go, putting your agreements in writing is the best way to make sure you pay your bills in full and avoid misunderstandings and arguments that can threaten your roommate relationship.

  • 03 of 05

    Stops Paying Rent

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    When you split rent with a roommate, you're both responsible for getting the full amount of the rent to your landlord on time. Even if you pay your share each month, if your roommate stops paying rent, you could put your tenancy at risk, too.

    Since a tenant is on the hook for a roommate's portion of the total monthly rent, one tenant's poor financial habits can lead to both tenants' evictions.

  • 04 of 05

    Rommates With Strong, Opposing Political Views

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    You don't have to be a political junkie to encounter problems with a roommate over politics. Many people are passionate about abortion, healthcare reform, the war on terror, and gay marriage, among other hot-button issues.

    If you discover you're living with a roommate with strong, opposing political views, conflict may ensue. Not only might you start to detest your roommate for his views, but you might argue when you or your roommate wants to promote your political party or favorite candidate by posting signs, buttons, and other items in your apartment.

    There's no reason people of different—even opposite—political persuasions can't live together.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Opposing Holiday Decor Ideas

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    When roommates celebrate different holidays or have opposing holiday decor ideas, it can lead to arguments.

    There's no reason you can't try to compromise when you're living with a roommate who disagrees with you about holiday decor.