Tips for Renting with Roommates in NYC

Tips for Renting with Roommates in NYC

Published: 09 Dec, 2019

Last Updated: 17 Sep, 2023

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Tips for renting with roommates in New York City is a much-discussed topic for people living in NYC or looking to relocate here.

Then again, with the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens ranked some of the most expensive places to live in the United States, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

City life in New York does come with a lot of dollar signs compared to most other corners of the country. For this reason, many New Yorkers find living with a roommate (or two) a necessity. Not that some fancy it much, but circumstances just force them to.

Living with someone isn’t always a smooth experience due to the inherent differences. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to make everyone’s tenancy, er, tenable.

Here are 4 tips for renting with roommates in New York City.


1. Hold the Money Talk

Living with roommates is not much different from marriage as far as finances go. It is a discussion you will need to have to avoid hiccups in the relationship.

When renting with roommates, it is important to discuss how you intend to go about splitting the costs.

And this doesn’t apply to the rent only. The gas bill, electricity bill, Internet and cable bills will need sorting out, as will fees are required for maintenance, while other expenses like groceries could be opt-in.

Agree on how the bills will be split up and have it down in writing if need be. This ensures there are no mix-ups about who pays what or how much each roomie contributes.


2. Set Some House Rules

It would be remiss to talk about tips for renting with roommates in New York City and fail to factor in this very important point.

As trite as it may sound, it never hurts to set the theme everyone should be adhering to.

Apartments are not schools, sure, but one of the things that makes cohabiting a pain are the inevitable differences – in personality, lifestyle, beliefs and so on.

Talk about the common goals and values you should uphold in the household – things like hygiene, having a pet, bringing visitors over, friend sleepovers, and all those other little things.

It is for the benefit of everyone if the living space is welcoming and positive. When everyone is reading from the same page, unnecessary confrontations and conflicts are avoided.

Which leads us to the next point.


3. Use Roommate Matching Services

Again, as with romantic relationships, compatibility amongst roommates has a bearing on the household’s happiness scale. It determines a lot how “livable” the digs will be.

When searching for roommates, make use of the available roommate matching services available these days to find a better fit. These services match roommates based on common interests and generally what’s important to you as we have alluded to in the previous point.

Having roommates, who subscribe to the same view of life as you, makes cohabiting a more comfortable affair.


4. Allocate Chores

Apartments require maintenance on a regular – the floor needs to be swept, the shower needs cleaning, the trash must be taken out, among a host of other things.

These duties need to be delineated in a way that allows everyone to take up responsibility for the shared space.

You can assign chores on a per-person basis – for example, you can take up the dishes as your roommate assumes recycling and trash duties.

Or alternatively, you can come up with a rotating task calendar to help distribute the chores evenly and ensure no one person is tasked with cleaning the toilet bowl every week.


5. Learn Their Schedules

Most New Yorkers lead a buzzing lifestyle, pursuing work goals and chasing artistic dreams. It is good to learn about your roommate’s schedule and to put their needs into consideration. And vice-versa.

For example, are quiet evenings for them important because they have to get up early in the morning?

Laying these things on the table is important for the happiness and wellbeing of everyone.

While there is no surety that you will live happily ever after, these tips for renting with roommates in New York City will help make everyone’s sojourn much better.

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