Having roommates can be a great way to meet new people, learn and practice effective communication skills, and save on living expenses. As in any relationship, communication is key.
Roommate Matching vs. Roommate Placement
Many apartment complexes in Gainesville offer roommate matching or roommate placement to help you find a roommate. Roommate matching means you fill out a form of preferences including living habits, cleanliness, interests, etc. Apartment management attempts to match you with compatible roommates using this form.
Roommate placement means apartment management will place you in any vacant space with no considerations of your living habits. In either situation, make sure you can switch if the apartment management places you with roommates with whom you are not compatible.
Picking a Roommate
Think of your daily living habits. Are you messy or neat? Do you like having people over or do you prefer your home to be your personal place of solitude? Think of someone who has a similar lifestyle and whose habits you can live with. Communicate your needs and expectations to ensure a healthy living situation.
If you are considering having a roommate(s), do not assume another person knows what you’re thinking. Share your expectations about all lifestyle topics including household chores, rent/bill payment schedule, groceries, having friends over, etc. Make sure each party understands one another’s expectations, wants, and needs. A compromise might be necessary to make sure that all parties are being fairly heard and respected.
Off Campus Life has roommate matching services on their Housing Locator. This is a FREE service for UF students that you can utilize to help find roommates.
Completing a Roommate Agreement
The Office of Off Campus Life recommends that students complete a roommate agreement. You can download a Roommate Agreement created by OCL staff by clicking here. The contract is designed to give you the opportunity to establish some basic guidelines about the details of your living arrangements. We encourage you to sit down and discuss each section while remaining as truthful as possible. Be sure to post the written agreement in a prominent place, such as the refrigerator.
You can also download a Roommate Chore Chart for your use.
What To Do When You Can’t Solve Roommate Issues
All relationships, including the one with your roommates, require communication and effort. When issues arise and you’re not sure how to resolve them, try talking it out with your roommates. Some resources and options available to help you resolve roommate conflict are:
- Mediation: Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (SCCR) offers FREE mediation services.
- Counseling and Wellness Center: Free counseling services are provided to UF students. If you are concerned about your roommate and want to help but don’t know how to consult the UF Counseling and Wellness Center.
- Transfer: Talk with apartment management to see if a transfer is possible. Depending on your lease, this may or may not be an option.
- Sublease: Make sure that you are able to sublease your apartment according to your lease terms. Bring a copy of your lease to Student Legal Services on the 3rd level of the Reitz Union to see if this is an option.
- Tough it Out: If you cannot move and have to stay, make the most of the situation and act maturely. There is no sense in making the situation worse than it already is so continue trying to communicate positively and respectfully.