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While it used to be a rite of passage for those heading off to college to anxiously await whether or not their roommate in dorms would be manageable or not, nowadays more and more people are sharing living spaces well into their adult life. The cost of living is often a factor, as is the fact that people tend to delay marriage and spend more time cohabiting with friends lately. And couples are deciding that living together is a much better way to figure out whether or not one another are marriage material, meaning that a large number of couples who live together could be counted as roommates, considering their official status.

If you’re deciding to live with someone you know well, then you might not be as concerned about home security issues in the same way that you would be looking for a roommate in the newspaper or on Craigslist. But it’s still very important, no matter who you are living with, to have open communication and discussions that detail exactly what household responsibilities are. After all, sometimes the best friends make the lousiest roommates. And testing a friendship by deciding to live together, or a relationship for that matter, is often a quick way to figure out that there isn’t much compatibility there to begin with.

For those who are moving into other people’s homes or apartments, there are a few things to consider. Be sure that you get a good look at the entire space, not just your room, and figure out whether or not it appears that people share common areas or if one person seems to be dominating them. Figure out whether or not your name would be on a lease or separate contract, meaning that you are more than just a tenant-at-will. After all, home security is about more than keeping out burglars; it’s also about making sure you don’t arrive home to the apartment that you’ve paid for, only to find that your belongings are on the curb and the person renting to you has decided to move someone else in. Make sure that there is paperwork in place to prevent these sorts of problems, and living in someone else’s home suddenly becomes a lot more manageable.

At the same time, it is crucial for those who are on a lease looking for roommates to fill vacant homes to take precautions for themselves. Be sure to actually call references, rather than just assuming that someone’s first impression tells the whole story. Talk to potential roommates you don’t know and find out more about them, if they have steady employment, if there are any secret pets or significant others who are going to be trying to spend every night. Establish a set of house rules and present them in a non-confrontational way, just to establish the standards. If other roommates are moving out, be sure to change the password on any home alarm system that might be installed, and consider changing the locks, depending on the circumstances for the move-out.

Balancing the need for a roommate with a regard for the safety of a personal space sometimes takes a period of trial and error, but remembering to always look out for yourself while effectively communicating is an excellent way to ensure that your home is not just safe, but also a happy and comfortable space.

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Source by Laila Jefferson