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Tips on sharing a space with a roommate

Sharing a living space with a roommate can be a great way to save money on rent and build new friendships. However, it can also be a challenging experience if you don’t have a clear plan in place for managing shared responsibilities, personal boundaries, and conflicts that may arise.  Whether you’ve been friends for years or just met, the biggest key to success when living with a roommate is good communication!  Here are a few tips on making your home a happy place to live:

  • Set clear expectations from the beginning. One of the most important things you can do to avoid conflicts with your roommate is to set clear expectations from day one. This includes discussing your respective schedules, habits, and preferences for living arrangements, such as cleaning schedules, grocery shopping, and use of shared spaces like the living room or kitchen. Be honest about your needs and listen to your roommate’s perspective as well. This will help you establish a foundation of mutual respect and understanding.
  • Asking the right questions is crucial, you’ll want to spend time getting to know each other to ensure you are a good match.

What is your daily routine like? Knowing your potential roommate’s daily routine will help you understand their habits and lifestyle. This includes when they wake up, go to bed, work or go to school, and any hobbies or activities they enjoy. It’s important to make sure that your routines are compatible and that your schedules won’t clash.

How do you like to keep the living space clean? Everyone has different expectations for cleanliness in a living space, so it’s important to make sure that you and your potential roommate are on the same page. 

How do you feel about having guests over? If you enjoy having guests over, it’s important to ask your potential roommate how they feel about it. 

How do you like to unwind and relax? This should include asking about their hobbies and interests, how they like to spend their free time, and any preferences they have for quiet time or alone time. 

What are your expectations for splitting expenses? Sharing a living space means sharing expenses, so it’s important to be clear about your expectations from the beginning. 


  • Divide responsibilities. Once you’ve established your expectations, it’s important to divide responsibilities for maintaining the living space. This includes tasks like cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, taking out the trash, and buying groceries. Consider creating a chore chart or schedule to ensure that both roommates are contributing equally. Be flexible and willing to adjust if one roommate is having a particularly busy week or needs help with a particular task.
  • Discuss preferred communication strategies.  Effective communication is key to any successful roommate relationship. Be honest and direct when communicating with your roommate, but also be respectful and non-judgmental.  It’s also important to be mindful that not everyone communicates in the same way.  Discuss with your roommate whether you prefer to communicate through writing (text, email etc.) when problems arise or start with an in-person conversation.  The more you learn about each other the less space there will be for miscommunication.
  • Be mindful of shared expenses.  Sharing a living space also means sharing expenses. Be mindful of your shared expenses, such as rent, utilities, and groceries, and make sure that you’re both contributing fairly. If you’re having trouble agreeing on a budget or splitting expenses, try to have an open and honest conversation about it to find a solution that works for both of you.
  • Respect shared spaces. Shared spaces like the living room and kitchen should be respected and kept clean for both roommates to use. Try to keep these spaces tidy and clean up after yourself to avoid conflicts. If you have guests over, make sure to clean up after them and ask your roommate if it’s okay to use shared spaces for entertaining. 
  • Plan activities together.  Sharing a living space doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with your roommate, but it can be helpful to plan some activities together!  These can be simple ways to spend some time getting to know each other:

– Cooking together

– Exploring the neighbourhood

– Having a games night

– Having a movie night

– Have a housewarming get together


  • Find the right space for you both.  From the right layout to making sure the apartment is big enough to comfortably house more than one person, starting with a great apartment will set you up for success.  
Blog image- tips for sharing a space with a roommate

If you’re looking for a great rental space, Canadian Apartment Properties REIT offers a variety of rentals including units that are 2 + bedrooms and townhomes!  Across the country we offer warm, welcoming rentals for you to call home.   


Find the right space for you at 


Related content: 

Back to school – tips to find your perfect apartment and set yourself up for a great year! 

The process of finding a place to live can be exciting as well as challenging. There are so many factors to consider including your budget, location, amenities and finding roommates you will be able to live happily with.  Read more on our blog – 


Are you and your roommate interested in greener living? Check out this blog article: How to live a zero-waste lifestyle: Small steps towards a greener future 


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