Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => The Ehell Guide to Never Behaving Badly => Topic started by: JoanOfArc on April 26, 2009, 10:38:36 AM

Title: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: JoanOfArc on April 26, 2009, 10:38:36 AM
Modified to take the great suggestions! 

I didn't see this topic addressed; having lived with a couple of roommate/housemate situations, I thought I'd put out my ideas for a sucessful roommate/housemate rel@tionship. 

Roommate/Housemate Etiquette

1.  Treat your roommate/housemate as you wish to be treated. 

2.  Establish ground rules, such as how to deal with common areas, cleaning duties etc.  These will ensure that you and your roommate/housemate are on the same page. 

3.  Be respectful of each other’s space.  Do not sit on your roommate’s bed without permission; do not enter your housemate’s room without permission. 

4.  Be respectful of your roommate’s/housemate’s schedule.  If you and your roommate/housemate have opposite schedules, be quiet when he or she resting.  Use headphones at those times when listening to music/watching videos. 

5.  Discuss having overnight guests before you invite them.  Decide how long they will stay and where they will sleep.  This goes for friends as well as romantic partners. 

6.  If you have pets (and are allowed to do so), take care of them.  Do not leave your dog for 36 hours and assume your housemate will be around to let the dog out.  Do not assume the housemate will feed your cat.   Ask first. 

7.  Do not bring illegal substances into the house or room without discussing it with your roommate.  And if your housemate or roommate is strongly opposed to the use of illegal substances, respect that and keep it out of the house.  If you cannot/ will not, find a new place to live.  Some people’s careers can be ruined by association with drugs.  A disscussion about allergies and how to deal with allergens in the house is also a good idea. 

8.  Do not eat your roommate/housemate’s food without permission.  Some roommate share staples, but that should be discussed before hand.  If you use something up, replace it ASAP. 

9.  Be friendly, but aware everyone has days/times when they do not want to talk.  Respect that.
 
10.  Successful housemate/roommate rel@tionships boil down to respect and communication.  When in doubt, talk about the issue.  Being passive aggressive is rude and ineffective.  Best friends or buddies is not the goal with communication lines, it is to keep the shared living areas running smoothly. A situation where you each take responsibility for your own possessions, parties and daily living helps increase respect between suitemates.   

11) Just because X bedroom is "your space" it does not give you the right to be a total slob there(leaving half eaten plates of food around, not cleaning your cat's litter box, allowing dirty clothing to gain sentience). If it bad enough that it can be noticed outside your room with the door closed, it needs to be cleaned up. If you want to be that dirty, live alone/with like-minded slobs).

12) When discussing living together prior to actually signing a lease/moving in, be honest. Don't claim that your last apartment was so gross because (anything not your fault). You lived their, you could have done something.

13) You don't have to be buddy-buddy, but excluding one roommate while including all the other roommates in something(unless there are only 3 of you, but even then) is rude(barring it being an activity they can't participate in, like having some of your mom's awesome peanut butter fudge when they're allergic).

14) If you are having trouble with your boyfriend/girlfriend, deal with the issue yourself.  Do not leave it up to your roommate to run interference.

15) If you decide that you want to live alone, discuss possible solutions with your roommate.  Do not try drive your roommate out of the home by locking him or her out. Do not sleep with your roommate's boyfriend/girlfriend/fiancé

16.  If you own the home and are renting a room to someone, remember that they don't pay you rent to be a guest in your house. As long as they are paying, it is their home too. It is not their house, but it is their home. Treat them the same way you wish to be treated in your home

17.  Do not handle your roommate's property without their permission or invade their private spaces

Did I miss anything?  Are these good rules? 
Joan
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Black Delphinium on April 26, 2009, 10:47:28 AM
7a) Ditto major allergens.

11) Just because X bedroom is "your space" it does not give you the right to be a total slob there(leaving half eaten plates of food around, not cleaning your cat's litter box, allowing dirty clothing to gain sentience). If it bad enough that it can be noticed outside your room with the door closed, it needs to be cleaned up. If you want to be that dirty, live alone/with like-minded slobs).

12) When discussing living together prior to actually signing a lease/moving in, be honest. Don't claim that your last apartment was so gross because (anything not your fault). You lived their, you could have done something.

13) You don't have to be buddy-buddy, but excluding one roommate while including all the other roommates in something(unless there are only 3 of you, but even then) is rude(barring it being an activity they can't participate in, like having some of your mom's awesome peanut butter fudge when they're allergic).

Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Hawkwatcher on April 26, 2009, 11:36:29 AM
4 a) Music/television: please turn down your music and/or television down late at night so that your roommate can sleep.

14) If you are having trouble with your boyfriend/girlfriend, deal with the issue yourself.  Do not leave it up to your roommate to run interference.

15) If you decide that you want to live alone, discuss possible solutions with your roommate.  Do not try drive your roommate out of the home by locking him or her out. Do not sleep with your roommate's boyfriend/girlfriend/fiancé (yes, I know of a case where this happened).

Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Daffydilly on April 26, 2009, 01:07:32 PM
If you are in a situation where you are required to share a common area/bathroom/room with someone else, communication is good. When you refuse to clean, follow up discussions about the living spaces or acknowledge them in any way, it can be frustrating to the other person.
Best friends or buddies is not the goal with communication lines, it is to keep the shared living areas running smoothly. A situation where you each take responsibility for your own possessions, parties and daily living helps increase respect between suitemates.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: gollymolly2 on April 26, 2009, 01:32:07 PM
Communicate. If you have a problem with something, say it. Just because you think something should be obvious doesnt mean it is.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on April 26, 2009, 05:50:40 PM
Do not handle your roommate's property without their permission or invade their private spaces.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Black Delphinium on April 26, 2009, 08:53:58 PM
Do not handle your roommate's property without their permission or invade their private spaces.
There needs to be a "within reason" clause here. If my roommate has filled the sink with dirty dishes, I should be able to move them out, wash my dishes, then put them back.

Or, in my previous rule 11), if there is something breeding flies in my roommates room, I'd like to be able to remove it.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: YogaChick on April 26, 2009, 10:29:09 PM
-No "double standards."  So, if one roommate is going to blast rap music into the wee hours of the morning, she shouldn't get mad at another roommate for walking on the tiled floor wearing shoes while getting ready for school at nine o'clock on a Tuesday morning.

-"Pre-drinking," by its very nature, implies "a precursor to another phase of drinking," which should take place OUTSIDE of the apartment.  Some people want to sleep.

-No blatantly antagonistic behaviour.  It's fine to cook bacon if you like it, but your vegetarian roommate can't stand the smell, so please, clean up that greasy mess when you're done.  Also, this lack of animal protein has not addled your vegetarian roommate's brain any--if you suddenly start eating bacon three meals a day for a week straight (and not cleaning it up), she's going to figure out that you're trying to get rid of her.

-If you're allergic to something, SPEAK UP!!!  For example, if air freshener makes you sick, a good time to say something would be either on move-in day, or before that.  Mid-spray is too late.

-If you're going to be a slob in communal areas, don't forbid other roommates from cleaning up the mess.  Some people want to cook, so don't get uppity if they need to move your week-old stack of dirty plates to do it.

-Don't monopolize communal areas either.  Yes, that jigsaw puzzle is very nice, but don't leave it set up on the kitchen table for days on end.  People need that space to eat, study, clean their instruments, etc.

-If your roommate lets you watch her DVD's, treat them with respect--don't take them into your room, leave them lying around, out of their cases, and then yell at her for moving them.

-Sharing should be reciprocal.  So, it's not cool to use your roommate's belongings, but keep yours sacrosanct.  Also, cliques aren't cool--a "three against one" dynamic just isn't kosher, especially when Number Four is "one of the group" when you want to use her things, but not at any other time.

-If one roommate has different lifestyle habits than you do, don't make fun of her.  She doesn't pass judgement on you for drinking until the room spins (except to ask if you're okay when she sees you throwing up at two in the morning, mere feet from her bedroom), so don't judge her for exercising, trying to eat right, and avoiding *most* harmful substances.

-"Might" does not make "right."  Maybe you're six feet tall and 220 pounds, and maybe you happen to be remarkably adept with a horse whip.  Please don't use this as a means of intimidating your smaller and less pugnacious roommates.

 
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: readingchick on April 27, 2009, 08:17:17 AM
Making snarky comments when your roommate (or tenant, whatever the case may be) goes out either with a group of friends or with a significant other is not cool. It will not earn you brownie points with the aforementioned group of friends or significant other.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: YogaChick on April 27, 2009, 12:27:15 PM
P.S.  All my "rules" are based on true stories--including the one about the horse whip.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Bexx27 on April 27, 2009, 02:17:13 PM
-If you use your room mate's cooking equipment (pots, pans, collanders, etc.), please wash them promptly so your room mate doesn't have to clean up after you in order to cook his/her own meal.

-If you have your own bathroom, don't take toilet paper from your room mates' bathroom without replacing it. Again, promptly.

-Don't put up controversial or offensive decorations in common areas.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: NsWife on April 27, 2009, 02:23:38 PM
Please make it a point to never leave dirty dishes in the sink.....and make sure all your household chores (like taking out trash, vacuuming, and dusting) are done promptly too!
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: snowball's chance on April 27, 2009, 02:49:55 PM
2(a):

Don't change ground rules without permission from all parties.  I.E.,

- if you & your roommate(s) decided to live together because it would be a Smoking Inside house, it's wonderful if one roommate decides to quit, & it'd be wonderful if everyone agreed to follow suit, but they don't have to.
- if you made a No Overnight Opposite-Sex Guests rule, or put a limit on X Nights a week, you don't get a waiver because you & your new squeeze can't spend a night apart or your S.O. lives w/ his parents.

If you are visting a friend, relative, or S.O. and they have a roommate, respect the ground rules and boundaries of the dwelling -- don't eat or use anything w/o permission.  Don't assume if you have seen the host use his/her roommate's phone or computer that you are allowed to as well.  Put clothes on to visit the bathroom.

If you invite an overnight guest, and your roommate(s) if it's ok if the guest leaves after you in the morning.  If you are a guest and leaving after your host leaves in the morning for work, upon waking, shower & get ready for the day quietly and quickly.  Your host's roommate(s) probably won't appreciate it if you hang out all day.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: JoanOfArc on April 28, 2009, 05:41:01 PM
Please make it a point to never leave dirty dishes in the sink[/u

I have to disagree.  In many houses, including mine, it is OK to leave a few dirty dishes in the sink, if you wash them later that day.  I see no reason why adults can't leave a bowl in the sink from breakfast until washing the dinner dishes, provided there are enough dishes clean.  I think this falls under 'communicate your desires and expectations for the house' and can be decided between roommates.

Joan   
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Sycorax on April 28, 2009, 06:26:44 PM
From a long experience with housemates I have to add a few things too:

a) If you come home drunk as a skunk at 3 o'clock in the morning and you see that your housemate still is sitting on her/his desk, don't automatically assume that she/he waited all night for you to come and "entertain" her/his with your drunken rumblings.

b) If you're allowed to keep a pet, please do keep its food properly too! It's definitely no fun for your housemates to chase your chameleon's crickets under her/his desk and behind his/her closets all the time (and yes, I was once had to do that - and I can't tell you how much one single cricket in your study can go on your nerves!).

c) Close your door when playing scrabble with your s.o. or whoever you chose to do so. As "good" as you may be in vocalizing your pleasure - listening to it isn't a pleasure for people not involved in the game.

d) If you think you must take every friend of your housemate in your bed as quickly as possible, don't complain to your housemate afterwards about "this jerk" who's his/her friend not calling you. Don't expect your housemate to break up with this friend because he isn't interested in you.

e) If your housemate likes a certain, rather expansive brand of coffee, think about if you want to buy it too before drinking it. If you don't want to pay so much for coffee, get your own cheap brand, but don't drink the housemate's good stuff and replace it with something cheap. It's not fair.

f) You're religious? Fine - but please, don't try to decorate the common rooms with crosses, kitschy pictures with prayers on it and such stuff when your housemate obviously isn't fond of such decoration.

g) If your housemate answers the question if your partner can stay overnight or even for a weekend with "But of course, that's no problem" don't take this as permission to make your partner stay around for weeks - especially not when this partner of yours obviously thinks that cleaning the shower after having taken one or getting the kitchen back in the shape it was before the partner was cooking is beneath him.

h) In our area garbage needs to become sorted: Glass, paper, things for the compost, certain packages marked with a green spot, other garbage. I didn't make this rule, but I'm responsible for all the garbage in my house being sorted. I'm the one who gets in trouble if the garbage isn't sorted, so I think I can expect a housemate the follow the rules too, as uncomfortable as they may be. If you don't like them, don't complain to me, but to the people who made these rules!

i) Don't behave as if you wouldn't know that electricity is 1. expansive and 2. something one should spare for the sake of the entire world. It's really not necessary to let all the lights in the flat on from the moment you come home to the moment you go in bed, it's really not necessary to heat your room up until you can run around bar feeted and with only a thin t-shirt even in the deepest winter; it's really not necessary to get the heater in the bathroom on if you only want to brush your teeth there.

Sycorax
rather too experienced with housemates
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Nannerdoman on May 20, 2009, 05:59:31 PM
You had a bad day.  I, your roommate, am sorry and I sympathize.  However, I honestly do not want to hear about it All.  Evening.  Long.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: M-theory on May 21, 2009, 02:27:17 AM
a) If you come home drunk as a skunk at 3 o'clock in the morning and you see that your housemate still is sitting on her/his desk, don't automatically assume that she/he waited all night for you to come and "entertain" her/his with your drunken rumblings.

This is the truest thing anyone has ever said. Many people, upon becoming drunk, believe that it makes them unbearably intelligent, interesting, and witty to anyone else who doesn't flee as soon as the drunk person enters the room. Well, the only part of that belief that's true is the unbearable.

(BG: I lived at home with my father for a while after becoming an adult. My "office" was in the dining room because there was no other place for it - my bedroom was too small for a desk. He'd get drunk and come rant at me about topic du jour, get mad when I'd ask him to leave me alone so I could work. Later, after sobering up, he'd complain that I didn't ever seem to make enough money to move out. I get paid by the line, which means that if you're distracting me during work you're costing me money!)
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Emmy on May 23, 2009, 08:44:16 AM
* You may have had a bad day of school, work, or just be a moody person.  However, it is unfair to go back to the apartment and take it out on your roommates.  You have the right to be alone and not talk to anybody if you in a bad mood.

* Follow the rules of the place you are living.  It's unfair and inconsiderate to bring pets, drugs, ect. into an apartment or dorm when there are rules forbidding it.  In some colleges all roommates are punished if one is caught with something illegal in the apartment (even if other roommates did not know about it and/or are not present when guilty roommate is caught).  It's a stupid rule to punish the innocent in my opinion, but it's a reality and it is completely selfish for one person to put their roommates in that position.

* Moving out etiquette -
   -  If all roommates are moving out at the same time, contribute fairly to the workload of cleaning up.  Don't leave your junk behind for your other roommates to deal with.  On the same note, don't try to take food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and other useful things you did not purchase. 

   -  If one roommate is moving out, be careful to take only the stuff you purchased.  Make sure your rent and other bills are payed up.  Make sure your room is clean and you aren't leaving behind a bunch of junk for your other roommates to deal with.

These are based on my experiences with roommates.

* One piece of advice for those considering a roommate.  More often than not, when a potential roommate complains that her other roommates were mean to her, they were unfair, and didn't like her for no reason, usually there is a reason.  Twice I've decided to live with 'victim' roommates who past roommates were 'mean' to them and they had nowhere else to go and twice it was regretting (both them were bat poo crazy, one was an uber drama queen who started forming her own clique with another roommate and the other was a druggie).

Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Mahdoumi on June 01, 2009, 08:53:06 PM
Out of five housemates, I've only had one I adored.  She was my age and had returned to school.  Her DH and she owned a lovely home in Westchester; her school was on LI, so she lived with my DD and me during the week and back with her DH on weekends.  I had another housemate who fled her DH with her two kids and moved out a year and a half later with three.  She was very nice, but the house was crowded, and clearly it was not a season of Kate & Allie.  Two different parenting styles and expectations was rough, too.  The other three were positively out of their minds. One was dangerous and would break a major appliance, loosen ceiling fixtures, or not flush after a BM whenever I was compelled to reiterate the no-smoking-in-the-house rule.  Don't know how I broke that agreement without the house being burnt down.

At any rate:

When sharing an older home with two bathrooms, do not gleefully flush your toilet when you KNOW your housemate is in the shower.

Remove your clothing promptly from the washer/dryer, and don't run a gas dryer for one garment each morning because you were too lazy to fold/hang your clothes properly.

It's much easier to clean your dedicated bathroom every week or two rather than damage the fixtures because it was necessary to use Brillo upon moving after a year's negligence.

Be mindful that if the cesspool attached to the house where you grew up couldn't accommodate sanitary products/extra thick tissue/paper towels/your bulimia issues, neither can the cesspool attached to the house you've just moved into. (Yes, this is snarky, but the repairs were equivalent to two months' mortgage for me).

Each should respect the other's dietary choices.  Comments about the stupidity of a tofu turkey and faux gagging and running out of the house while a steak broils are completely unnecessary and stressful.

Each should respect the other's schedule.  If you get home at 5:30pm, don't wait to prepare your dinner until 7:30pm when you know your housemate gets home and has to cook for her child before helping with homework.  Equally on that subject, when you know your housemate will be rushing in to prepare dinner for her child only to find the pots/utensils/glasses/plates used and sitting in the sink, don't sigh and bash things around while cleaning up your mess because it's interrupting Wheel of Fortune.

If your standards for cleanliness are at a persnickity, obsessive level, be prepared to hold that standard all by yourself (I'm the persnickety, obsessively clean one although years of housemates has calmed me down A LOT).

Edited because I insanely used "two" instead of "too."
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on June 01, 2009, 11:15:51 PM
All roommates need to be on the same page when one plans to entertain in their shared quarters-and all roommates should either be explicitly invited to the event, or .their presence needs to be tolerated
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: KitFox on June 08, 2009, 12:04:46 PM
* Roommate does not equal psychiatric patient. If your roommate is a private person who would rather not discuss her personal life, that's her business. And remember, if you are not a licensed psychiatrist and your roommate is not your client, you are not qualified to discuss what her mundane behaviors "really mean."

* If you and your roommates have agreed on some form of signal to indicate when scrabble-playing is going on, please do not take that as an invitation to attempt to interrupt the scrabble game because "it's funny" or because since you have no one to play with, you feel no one should be allowed to play.

* Unless the pet in question is doing something to bother you, don't attempt to discipline a roommate's animal. Especially if your "discipline" is also known as "animal cruelty."

ETA the underlined text.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: M-theory on June 08, 2009, 12:06:32 PM
* Roommate does not equal psychiatric patient. If your roommate is a private person who would rather not discuss her personal life, that's her business. And remember, if you are not a licensed psychiatrist, you are not qualified to discuss what her mundane behaviors "really mean."

And even if you are a licensed psychiatrist (in which case you should really be able to afford your own apartment), mind your own dingdangity business.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: blarg314 on July 07, 2009, 02:47:26 AM

Be realistic about your own requirements about your living space.

If you need absolute silence to sleep,  freak out at the sight of an empty glass next to the sink, or have to have things done exactly in a certain way or you get stressed, then you are probably better off living alone. If you do decide to have roommates, recognize that other people have different ways of doing things, that these can be perfectly valid, and that you cannot and should not impose all of your weird quirks on your room-mates.

-----

Just because you are room-mates doesn't mean that you are going to be friends. Sometimes room-mates click well, and form a social bond. Other times, you really have nothing in common. Be polite, and considerate, but if someone doesn't want to be best buddies, do things with you, or spend hours chatting, that is their privilege. Don't push it.

-------

Don't spend all your time camping out in the common areas. This is particularly true if you work from home or spend a lot of time there, whether relaxing or studying.  Be considerate of the other people's desire to sit in the living room, surf through the TV channels, or prepare dinner.










Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: KitFox on July 07, 2009, 08:47:04 AM
I might have missed this one, but it's a biggie for me these days:

##: a) If there are things that are in the common area that belong to one roommate, but are left available for general use (movies, shelves, throws, etc) be at least as careful with them as you are with your own stuff.
b) If you do damage something that belongs to your roommate, TELL THEM IMMEDIATELY, apologize, and repair/replace the item if at all possible.
c) Do not call a roommate "petty" for being angry if you break something inexpensive, but sentimental and irreplaceable.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Mopsy428 on July 12, 2009, 04:17:12 PM
a. If you have someone taking over your lease, discuss it with your roommates! They are the ones who are going to have to live with the new person, so they should have some say in it. Do not say to your roommates the Thursday after they return from vacation, "I'm moving out. And by the way, the new girl will be here on Saturday!"

b. Do not bad-mouth/lie about your roommates to the person who is moving in.

c. Do not break the rules of the house or the law and then whine, "But that's how we do it in ________!!" Guess what? You aren't in _______ anymore! (And you agreed to abide by the rules!)

d. Return the keys when you move out.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: blarg314 on July 13, 2009, 02:30:21 AM
c) Do not call a roommate "petty" for being angry if you break something inexpensive, but sentimental and irreplaceable.

And as an follow-on: 

If you agree to share the use of items you own personally, from dishes, to books and DVDs, to furniture, accept that normal wear and tear is inevitable, and accidents happen. You can expect your roommates to be careful, but you can't make them promise, for example, that they will never trip and drop a glass.

If something is either extremely valuable, irreplaceable, or of deep sentimental value, it is better kept in your private area to protect it, rather than in the common areas.


And as general notes:

Renting a room or having roommates is a legal agreement, not just a social one. Therefore, there are things you need to have in writing, in a lease, rather than either assuming that other people have the same idea you are, or that they will follow your expectations. This is for all the roommates and the landlord, and includes

Rent: how much, when and how will it be paid.
Utilities: what are they, and how will they be paid/split.
Leasing: duration of the lease, renewal, how to give notice, how long in advance, subletting, who can have keys
Behaviour: Non-smoking, non-drinking, vegetarian, no recreational drugs should be settled in advance
Other people: policy on entertaining, overnight guests, long term guests and SOs, as well as what happens if someone wants to move an SO in.

And finally, the biggest thing is to not assume that other people do things the way you do, or have the same ideas. Ask them. Discuss things before moving in, so you have an idea about whether your style of living and boundaries match well before moving in. Odd Couple scenarios may look well on TV, but aren't fun to live in.
 
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Hawkwatcher on July 13, 2009, 05:41:27 AM
If you are no longer interested in your boyfriend/girlfriend, please break up with that person.  Do not leave it up to your roommate to deal with that person.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: KitFox on July 13, 2009, 10:02:19 AM
c) Do not call a roommate "petty" for being angry if you break something inexpensive, but sentimental and irreplaceable.

And as an follow-on: 

If you agree to share the use of items you own personally, from dishes, to books and DVDs, to furniture, accept that normal wear and tear is inevitable, and accidents happen. You can expect your roommates to be careful, but you can't make them promise, for example, that they will never trip and drop a glass.

If something is either extremely valuable, irreplaceable, or of deep sentimental value, it is better kept in your private area to protect it, rather than in the common areas.

I'm thinking of my own situation, in which we have a display mantle and our boarder came barreling into the common area, slammed against the wall, and knocked a bunch of stuff down, breaking a small glass rose that belonged to DH's deceased mom. We still don't know why he decided to run into the wall.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Mopsy428 on July 13, 2009, 12:01:44 PM
Another thing: Don't do something reckless and then claim that it was OK because you never specifically agreed to refrain from doing it. Use common sense! Doing things such as kicking/throwing balls in the house and turning cartwheels in the common areas are great ways to knock things over, make a mess, and break things. It goes without saying that you should not do these things.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Sirius on July 27, 2009, 08:51:23 PM
This might have already been covered, but "you mess, you clean."  If you sew and your machine is in the common area, throw away the scraps and make sure there aren't any pins on the floor.  If you make a big mess with craft items, don't expect your roommate to help clean up.  One of the biggest rows my former roomie and I had was over the fact that she'd made a big mess making Christmas craft items, and felt I should help clean it up.  I felt otherwise. 

My roomie and I moved in together not knowing each other from Adam, and we became close friends and stayed close friends until the day she died.  That doesn't always happen.  We were also very different from each other; I was an incredibly naive 25-year-old who hadn't had a date since she was 21, and my roomie had more lovers than I had bright socks (a lot of both.)  We lived together for a year and got along fine for the most part, although we did have our differences.  However, most of our differences had to do with making messes and cleaning up.  I always cleaned up after myself, and expected her to do the same, and after we came to an understanding she did the same.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: look in the tunk on July 28, 2009, 09:48:48 PM
Your housemate is not a free cab ride that can be used at your convenience. It doesn't matter if you don't drive, don't own a car or live in the boonies. Don't ask them to take you to the club at 2 am.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: CakeEater on August 05, 2009, 04:09:10 AM
Don't leave extremely personal items laying around in the common area.

Don't play scrabble with married men at 4 in the morning, then bring his child to visit later in the day.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: kitty-cat on August 05, 2009, 09:19:54 AM
Things I'm anticipating dealing with starting August 15th,

If you must wear half a gallon of eau de stink, please open a window and let it sit on you for a minute before leaving your room.  (my stepsister is notorious for making a cloud of perfume that goes from her room to the front door.  And me with asthma...)

Please respect the times that your roommate has things to do; ie studying, trying to sleep.

Just because one roommate likes to cook, don't depend on that one person for every single meal.

If your pet has an accident/makes a mess clean it up.  Or at least thank the roommate who doesn't want the carpet to get ruined when precious puppykins has an accident. 

Your roommate is a person.  Not just some little subhuman who *gasp* sees no reason to go out and get drunk with you.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: KitFox on August 05, 2009, 02:54:49 PM
Your mommy is not on the lease. Do not send her to talk to your roommates because they did something you didn't like.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Cherry on August 10, 2009, 07:53:46 PM
Here are some things I learned one night last semester:

My [former] roommate and her boyfriend were celebrating their anniversary. Her b/f drove up to our school, took her out to dinner, and then they hung out in our room. After it became night, I realized that my RM's b/f hadn't left yet. A few hours pass. I ask RM when b/f is leaving, and she replies in this you-can't-argue tone, "It's too late for him to drive back". If they had been responsible, they would have kept an eye on time. The two slept in my RM's bed, making out each time I walked in. I did not want to sleep in the same room with a guy I didn't know, so I had to sleep in my friends' room. My one friend who lives in that room was somewhere else that night, so I slept in her bed. I wasn't really angry about the situation because I got lucky; my friend and I basically had a sleepover :P If I hadn't been lucky, where would I have slept? I also felt bad coming into my own room to get pjs and my tooth brush because I was interrupting my roommate's special time (I was afraid they would get mad at me). I could have talked to the RA and had the boyfriend thrown out of the room (boys are not allowed in the floor after a certain time).

Lessons Learned:

- Always talk to your roommate(s) about when your beloved will be visiting the room.

- Be responsible with time.

- Make out in private. It's okay to ask your RM for an hour of private time ;) It's actually very considerate because your RM won't walk in on any moments.

- NEVER let your beloved spend the night unless your RM states she/he will not be there that night. It's your RM's room too. You have no right to tell her or him to sleep somewhere else.

Also, don't expect your RM to stay in the room if your beloved is spending in the night cause it's plain awkward for the three of you to sleep in the same room.

- You (and your RM) has the right to go to the RA if the opposite sex is spending the night. I should have gone to the RA that night regardless if my roommate got angry. She should have known better.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: snowball's chance on August 11, 2009, 08:04:18 PM
Your housemate is not a free cab ride that can be used at your convenience. It doesn't matter if you don't drive, don't own a car or live in the boonies. Don't ask them to take you to the club at 2 am.

Same applies to a roommate's guest.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Dawse on August 18, 2009, 04:21:01 AM
If you're going to be away for a few days, tell your room mates.

One of my friends has this problem with one of her house mates. I've met her a few times and she seems okay, like she'd be okay to live with, but she just doesn't see it necessary to tell anyone if she won't be home over night - she'll just not come home one evening after classes, then be back a couple of days later without any warning. The first time she didn't turn up, the rest of her house mates were going frantic - they thought maybe she'd been in an accident or something, given it was well past her usual time to be home.

They've just had to learn to put up with it because she doesn't see why she should tell anyone about her weekend plans or whatever, and she's right, she doesn't have to, all she has to say it 'I'm not going to be here thursday night, I'll be back on friday' so her HMs don't worry about her.

Please, just let someone know where you're going to be and for how long; one so they don't worry unnecessarily, and two, in case an emergency comes up (for example the house flooding, unlikely but you never know), somebody knows where you're supposed to be so they can get hold of you more easily.

Also, if you're already away and you plan on staying an extra night or two, PHONE - my brother does this all the time to my mum (and I'll admit, I used to do it as well until I figured just how much it made my mum worry). It's not that hard just to pick a phone and tell someone you'll be home a day later - not doing so just makes people worry, plus it's pretty rude if someone is expecting you for dinner or the like on the night you were originally due home.
Title: Keys,locking the house up and general security
Post by: Itzpapalotl on October 03, 2009, 04:21:26 AM
1.Understand that most roommates prefer to keep the common entrance locked.
2.Keep track of your house key. It's understandable if one forgets the keys a few times, but it shoudn't be every other day.
3.If there is an understanding that a roomate's SO has a key, that SO should be responsible with the key.
4.Don't be mad that if a key is lost and one roommate wants to change the lock, everyone needs to chip in for the lock and key replacement. This is a safety concern.
5.Sometimes it's not safe to leave windows open in nice weather 24/7; It's a smart idea to leave windows locked and barred when no one is home; If it's too warm for pets and/plants, there are alternative safety measures.
Title: Re: Keys,locking the house up and general security
Post by: blarg314 on October 06, 2009, 03:05:28 AM
3.If there is an understanding that a roomate's SO has a key, that SO should be responsible with the key.

4.Don't be mad that if a key is lost and one roommate wants to change the lock, everyone needs to chip in for the lock and key replacement. This is a safety concern.

For 3. I would say that if additional house-keys are being handed out, to SOs or visitors, it should be with the knowledge and agreement of the other room-mates. Random people should not be given free access to the apartment without everyone's consent.

For 4. The person who loses the key should be responsible for the cost of replacing the lock. Yes, it's a safety issue, but one person's carelessness should not be paid for by the other roommates.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: kitty-cat on October 06, 2009, 07:43:26 AM
Oh, I just thought of this one

- Do not complain about the dishes being in the sink when you are already in the kitchen.  I am tired after 3 classes/1 really long class and I do enough biking to where I just want to rest for a bit.  If the dishes bother you so much, can you at least unload the diswasher to make it easier for me?

(thats not what happened last night... never...)
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Itzpapalotl on October 13, 2009, 04:16:00 AM
@blarg314
Very good point. I was thinking of a specific living situation that involved only myself and 1 roommate; I did not consider a situation involving more roommates.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: kitty-cat on October 13, 2009, 08:55:55 AM
Gee, I seem to be loving my step-sister rite now, but I do have a new one.

If there is a deadbolt that doesn't have a key on it, please leave it unlocked unless you are going to bed.  Standing outside the door for 5 minutes is not fun while the dog barks and you take your sweet time to unlock it.  I leave it undone for you, I would like the same curtesy. 

(I'm starting to think that it is a good thing that our schedules mean we only see each other at night...)
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: blarg314 on October 14, 2009, 01:50:45 AM
Oh, I just thought of this one

- Do not complain about the dishes being in the sink when you are already in the kitchen.  I am tired after 3 classes/1 really long class and I do enough biking to where I just want to rest for a bit.  If the dishes bother you so much, can you at least unload the diswasher to make it easier for me?


That depends. Have you just cooked dinner and are taking a break before cleaning up your mess?  If that's the case, then no, you should clean up your mess before taking a break.

If it they are general dishes then it's a different thing.

Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: kitty-cat on October 14, 2009, 07:57:17 AM
General dishes- like a bowl from breakfast, a plate or two that we didn't put in the dishwaser the night before.  I don't mind cleaning up after myself; its when my stepsister is standing right next to the mess with time to spare and is telling me to do it that I mind....
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: ccpb1214 on October 31, 2009, 10:01:37 PM
If your roommate does something that bothers you, tell them right away: "What you did there was not cool."

Don't save up grievances over the past couple of months and write them in a letter.








Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Mad Goat Woman on November 01, 2009, 02:40:45 AM
If your housemate asks you to turn the music down and happens to be deaf-- turn it down, it should not be loud enough that even the deaf housemate can hear it from their bedroom sans hearing aids.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Nannerdoman on November 02, 2009, 11:18:26 AM
If your roommate does something that bothers you, tell them right away: "What you did there was not cool."

Don't save up grievances over the past couple of months and write them in a letter.

That sounds like the Voice of Experience.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: KitFox on November 02, 2009, 11:22:40 AM
If your roommate does something that bothers you, tell them right away: "What you did there was not cool."

Don't save up grievances over the past couple of months and write them in a letter.

Major agreement here. There's nothing worse than being treated to a laundry list of complaints that has been saved up over MONTHS. Especially when some of the complaints were blown so out of proportion because the saver has been stewing.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: blarg314 on November 02, 2009, 10:17:15 PM
If your roommate does something that bothers you, tell them right away: "What you did there was not cool."

Don't save up grievances over the past couple of months and write them in a letter.

Major agreement here. There's nothing worse than being treated to a laundry list of complaints that has been saved up over MONTHS. Especially when some of the complaints were blown so out of proportion because the saver has been stewing.

I would go so far as to say that the laundry list of complaint is something that shouldn't ever be used.

It's basically a really passive aggressive way to unload all your complaints and irritations on someone else, while ensuring that they are not there to defend themselves or respond to accusations.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Mrs. Pilgrim on November 04, 2009, 10:04:08 AM
If your roommate does something that bothers you, tell them right away: "What you did there was not cool."

Don't save up grievances over the past couple of months and write them in a letter.

Major agreement here. There's nothing worse than being treated to a laundry list of complaints that has been saved up over MONTHS. Especially when some of the complaints were blown so out of proportion because the saver has been stewing.

I would go so far as to say that the laundry list of complaint is something that shouldn't ever be used.

It's basically a really passive aggressive way to unload all your complaints and irritations on someone else, while ensuring that they are not there to defend themselves or respond to accusations.


Passive-aggressive listmakers are just asking for a public fisking.

Oh, here's a rule from my brief roomie career:  If you know your roommate's parents are coming for a visit, please only appear before them fully clothed.  (My dorm room had only one room, in which we both slept, and she slept in her underwear.  My parents came for a visit--of which she was apprised long before--and during their entire visit, she continued to lie in bed in her bra and undies.  We kept roughly the same hours, so there was no reason for this behavior.)

Edited to clarify who needed fisking, and also to add my rule input.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: ccpb1214 on February 14, 2010, 10:15:56 PM
If your roommate does something that bothers you, tell them right away: "What you did there was not cool."

Don't save up grievances over the past couple of months and write them in a letter.

That sounds like the Voice of Experience.

Yes. Yes, it is.


I'll be the first to admit I'm no angel, but if someone tells me what I'm doing is bothering them, I won't do it anymore.



I know writing letters venting your feelings is very therapeutic, but I don't think you're supposed to send them.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: TylerBelle on May 10, 2013, 04:12:20 PM
I saw a show recently where a character asked his roommate to be scarce from the shared apartment that evening because the guy had a date coming over. The situation reminded me of this thread.

Unless arrangements are already made, such as a roommate going out of town, or something, I don't think one roommate should request another to stay out of the house for a period of time, especially out-of-the-blue. If one wants to entertain their date / family members / book club / etc., then find another venue, so to speak. I believe no one should be denied returning to their own home. :D 
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: emwithme on May 12, 2013, 06:51:03 AM
I'll start my post by saying that I shared (various) houses with my (now) BFF for 12 years.  We started sharing because I had just split with my (then) fiance, she was living in a room in a shared house with people she HATED and it just made sense for us to share rent.

It wasn't sunshine and roses all the way through - particularly when I was dealing with mental health issues - but she is now my "sister" and I love her more than (almost) anyone - it is a Very Close Call between her and DH, just because she's been there for me for longer than him. 

Early on, we decided that we would live "en famille" - with all bills being split 50:50, us eating together wherever possible, and sharing the chores.  I tended to do the cooking (because I like it more than she does), she did the washing up.  I cleaned the bathrooms, she cleaned the kitchen.  As long as there were no health issues (mouldy food etc) we could keep our bedrooms as we liked.  We shared the cleaning of the joint living areas (doing it together on a weekend morning). 

We set up a joint account for household expenses - including groceries - and both had a debit card linked to the account.  This meant there weren't arguments about who bought the last set of toilet rolls or that the other person hadn't bought milk or butter for months but was still using it. 

If your roommate does something that bothers you, tell them right away: "What you did there was not cool."

Don't save up grievances over the past couple of months and write them in a letter.

At first, this was hard.  But it got to the point where, like family, we could say what was on our mind, potentially have an argument, get it out of our systems and then get on with life.  DH still doesn't quite get this.  However, if you're not the type of person who can do this, then it can be quite difficult. 


You had a bad day.  I, your roommate, am sorry and I sympathize.  However, I honestly do not want to hear about it All.  Evening.  Long.

BFF and I brought in an arrangement whereby we would each have 15 minutes straight after work where we could bi*ch about our day and get it out of our systems.  Generally, this would be while we were preparing dinner (I would do dinner prep while she did kitchen cleaning or dealt with the cats or whatever).  This meant that by the time it got to eating, we were out of the "stress-work" headset and ready to enjoy our evenings.

My biggest tip for anyone in a room-mate situate is choose your person carefully.  You may *love* partying with this person, but you can't party ALL WEEK.  You have to go to work or college or whatever.  Find someone who has similar opinions in terms of living style; if politics (or whatever issue) is important to you, it will be harder to live with someone apathetic about that than to live with someone who is equally passionate but of an opposite opinion.  However, if you're obsessive about tidying and cleanliness and you live with someone who tends towards slobbiness, there will be problems. 
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Waterlight on May 12, 2013, 06:15:43 PM
* Follow the rules of the place you are living.  It's unfair and inconsiderate to bring pets, drugs, ect. into an apartment or dorm when there are rules forbidding it.  In some colleges all roommates are punished if one is caught with something illegal in the apartment (even if other roommates did not know about it and/or are not present when guilty roommate is caught).  It's a stupid rule to punish the innocent in my opinion, but it's a reality and it is completely selfish for one person to put their roommates in that position.

POD, POD, POD, and POD!  I lived with an SS my sophomore year of college who seemed to think these rules didn't apply to her.  The campus of the college we attended was "dry" (i.e. no alcohol allowed), but on one memorable occasion, she threw a drinking party in our room.  The only reason I wasn't punished too is that I didn't know about the party; I was at work at the time.

Other rules that IMHO should apply to college roommates, but SS didn't think applied to her:

If you are going to play scrabble, and you share a dorm room with someone, PLEASE either wait to play scrabble until your roommate is out of the room, or go to a motel.

Do not expect your roommate to cover for you in class if you skip class.

And rules I think are universal, that this SS also violated:

Do not expect your roommate to lend you money, or to do any other favors for you, just because you live with him or her.  You have the right to ask, but your roommate has the right to say no.

If you do borrow something that belongs to your roommate, please return it in the same condition in which you borrowed it, as soon as possible.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: AngelicGamer on May 12, 2013, 11:56:22 PM
From my experience from sharing a place - if the dirty dishes in the sink bother you, speak up before you stack them in front of your roommate's door, take a picture of it, and think you can laugh about it with everyone else while they'll take your side.

The dishes?  A glass, plate, fork, and knife from a very quick breakfast that morning before a 12 hour workday.  I was outside for most of it until it got too dark for me to see (so from around 9 am to around 6 or 7) while she was inside unless she wanted to go out.  It was a very hot southern Indiana summer and I wanted to change and take 15 minutes to decompress before heating up the dinner I brought home.  I fell asleep for a hour and she was gone with others when I woke up.  Why she couldn't have just asked me to clean up before decompressing - we exchanged plans on what we were going to do for the night - I have no idea as I would have been more than happy to do as she asked.

The next day, I was told I was going to have to find another place to stay, find another city to go to that was in the program, or go home.  Why I stayed out the rest of the time instead of just going home was beyond me.  I was not liked by the head person and she was one of the people who laughed about how the roommate did such a good thing.  Her seconds in command were disgusted with her (one of them was the one who texted me) and helped me find a new place with a really nice college professor who was okay with volunteering a room.  She was upfront about everything - including asking if I would help out with her cats (more than happy to!) and the last month of the program went a lot better than the first.

So, yes, communicate!  It should be rule 0 of living with people.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: JeseC on May 19, 2013, 03:26:18 PM
 - Learn to take "no" for an answer.  Sometimes people will do things that bother you and aren't going to want to stop or change.  If it bothers you, find a way to move out.  Don't go about trying to make your roommate miserable because you think you have a right to, say, dead silence after midnight.

 - Medical issues are medical issues, not things to negotiate about.  If you insist on bringing scented products into our college dorm room I will have the RA make you throw them away.  Ditto with perfumed body stuff - if I tell you to not bathe your hair in highly scented hairspray in our room, just do it.  I'm not "being difficult," I'm trying to breathe, and again I will tell the housing people to make you move.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: camlan on May 20, 2013, 06:39:18 AM


 - Medical issues are medical issues, not things to negotiate about.  If you insist on bringing scented products into our college dorm room I will have the RA make you throw them away.  Ditto with perfumed body stuff - if I tell you to not bathe your hair in highly scented hairspray in our room, just do it.  I'm not "being difficult," I'm trying to breathe, and again I will tell the housing people to make you move.

In a college dorm situation, there should be a way for a roommate to say that they can't accommodate your disability and ask to be moved. However, most of the colleges I know have a very strict policy of making roommates work out disagreements, and for something like this, they might not let the non-allergic person move.

If someone really likes scented products, they should have the opportunity to say that they can't really live with someone who is allergic to them. Same with someone who loves peanut butter, when paired with someone who is allergic to it.

A dorm room is home for 8-9 months of the year. A random roommate should not be forced to accommodate an allergy or disability without having the chance to know about the accommodations beforehand and have a chance to think about whether or not they can deal with the changes required. It's a safety issue for the allergic person--someone who is forced to use/not use something against their will is far more likely to forget and use the forbidden substance, or not realize a common product has that substance in it.

A friend of mine has a guide dog. Her university gave her a roommate who was very, very afraid of dogs and who could not deal with a large German Shepherd Dog in her dorm room. The university followed its standard policy of making the two of them live together for a month before letting the roommate move into another room. During that month, the two women never actually were in the room at the same time, because of the dog. They stayed with friends and alternated who got to use their room and when.

It would have made a ton more sense to let the roommate know about the dog before she moved in, and then taken steps to find a roommate who liked dogs. My friend was assigned a triple room, but with only one other person, so there was more space than in the average dorm room, so there were compensations.

For the scented product user, it's a big change to not use scented products for 8 months or so--and expensive, if she'd come to college with scented lotion, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent, fabric softener, etc. While she certainly should not have been using them around you, there should have been a system in place for the two of you to easily part company and find new rooms/roommates.

I don't think forcing someone to accommodate another person's allergy in their own living space is fair to either party. The allergic person has to worry all the time if the roommate will forget and use/eat the allergen, and the other person has to make huge changes in their lifestyle that they didn't ask for and weren't warned about. It's one thing to not be about to eat peanut butter in a classroom; it's another to completely change nearly every personal care product you use for months on end, without prior warning.

I blame the college or university for this sort of thing. They need to have a better policy to deal with roommate issues like this.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Tea Drinker on May 20, 2013, 11:28:50 AM
I go to a science fiction convention whose advice for members includes both that some members have asthma or allergies that can be triggered by scented products, so please refrain if possible, and that some other members use scent for pain management, so everyone should be aware that not everyone will refrain, even aside from inconveniences and possible expense of finding new products.

Some of the adjustments are easier than others: unscented soap in the public bathrooms, for example. I can make a point of washing and conditioning my hair pre-con rather than bringing my scented hair conditioner, and I use an unscented deodorant anyhow. But even with good will, there isn't a perfect answer. (For example, not everyone will be comfortable going days without conditioning their hair.)

But that's for 800-1000 people sharing space for a long weekend; people who are sharing rooms get to select their own roommates, they aren't assigned by a well-meaning stranger who might inadvertently put someone who uses a guide dog in the same room as someone with allergy-triggered asthma.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: JeseC on May 20, 2013, 04:39:33 PM


 - Medical issues are medical issues, not things to negotiate about.  If you insist on bringing scented products into our college dorm room I will have the RA make you throw them away.  Ditto with perfumed body stuff - if I tell you to not bathe your hair in highly scented hairspray in our room, just do it.  I'm not "being difficult," I'm trying to breathe, and again I will tell the housing people to make you move.

In a college dorm situation, there should be a way for a roommate to say that they can't accommodate your disability and ask to be moved. However, most of the colleges I know have a very strict policy of making roommates work out disagreements, and for something like this, they might not let the non-allergic person move.

If someone really likes scented products, they should have the opportunity to say that they can't really live with someone who is allergic to them. Same with someone who loves peanut butter, when paired with someone who is allergic to it.

A dorm room is home for 8-9 months of the year. A random roommate should not be forced to accommodate an allergy or disability without having the chance to know about the accommodations beforehand and have a chance to think about whether or not they can deal with the changes required. It's a safety issue for the allergic person--someone who is forced to use/not use something against their will is far more likely to forget and use the forbidden substance, or not realize a common product has that substance in it.

A friend of mine has a guide dog. Her university gave her a roommate who was very, very afraid of dogs and who could not deal with a large German Shepherd Dog in her dorm room. The university followed its standard policy of making the two of them live together for a month before letting the roommate move into another room. During that month, the two women never actually were in the room at the same time, because of the dog. They stayed with friends and alternated who got to use their room and when.

It would have made a ton more sense to let the roommate know about the dog before she moved in, and then taken steps to find a roommate who liked dogs. My friend was assigned a triple room, but with only one other person, so there was more space than in the average dorm room, so there were compensations.

For the scented product user, it's a big change to not use scented products for 8 months or so--and expensive, if she'd come to college with scented lotion, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent, fabric softener, etc. While she certainly should not have been using them around you, there should have been a system in place for the two of you to easily part company and find new rooms/roommates.

I don't think forcing someone to accommodate another person's allergy in their own living space is fair to either party. The allergic person has to worry all the time if the roommate will forget and use/eat the allergen, and the other person has to make huge changes in their lifestyle that they didn't ask for and weren't warned about. It's one thing to not be about to eat peanut butter in a classroom; it's another to completely change nearly every personal care product you use for months on end, without prior warning.

I blame the college or university for this sort of thing. They need to have a better policy to deal with roommate issues like this.

I should clarify - this happened to me in college.  The request was not to refrain from wearing scented products, merely to not apply them in the room.  My roommate had super-long curly hair that she bathed in hairspray, and it would leave a scented cloud in the middle of the room and on me bedding and whatnot.  I'd have been fine with her wearing it, I was just telling her to please put it on in the bathroom rather than in the dorm room.

I've had a lot of issues with roommates not realizing what they're getting into, though.  A surprising number of people don't get what "scented products" entail - so I've had cases before where the roommate was warned and proceeded to be an issue anyway, because they couldn't believe that their air freshener was a  scented product.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Cherry91 on August 05, 2013, 06:53:42 AM
-If you make a habit of talking about your roommates behind their backs to the other roommates, you will get caught. Especially if you're doing this to ALL your roommates. Most especially if you're regularly rude to all your housemates, so they have no reason to feel any sort of loyalty towards you.

(Yup, had a jerk of a housemate who would regularly complain to me about the other members of the house, including speculation about things (illness, money, etc) that were none of his business, and in spite of my repeated indications that I wanted no part of the conversation - he was the kind of person who talked at you instead of to. I tried to give a subtle heads up to my other housemates that he was doing this (he didn't limit himself to inside the house, if I ran into him at university he would loudly discuss other housemate's private matters), only to learn he was doing the exact same thing about me when I was out! Turns out he had regular gossip sessions with someone I used to live with who was on his course, and would then pass them on to my housemates, in spite of their protests that they didn't want to hear it.

He seemed shocked to realise we all preferred each other to him. That wasn't even the worst thing he did...  >:( )
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: snowdragon on August 25, 2013, 10:41:36 PM
Your room mate is not your babysitter..your kid, you take care of them,,,not tell your roommate "I need you here at 3pm pick up Chelsea from the bus,,,,so don't go making other plans or staying after class" This is not their responsibility same with your kids meals, activities, laundry, homework or what not.

Also your guests are not their job to entertain, chauffeur or provide for.
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Gyburc on September 23, 2013, 08:17:34 AM
Do not hog communal equipment or furniture, especially when you are not even present!

Many years ago, DH and I shared a house with two housemates. One of them was obsessed with a number of TV shows that were on at that time, and watched them whenever they came on. Fair enough, we could work round his schedule.

What we couldn't work round was when he went away for a long weekend, and we rented a couple of films to watch, only to find that he had set up the TV and video player/recorder to record about five different things over the course of the three days when he would be away. Since we didn't know exactly what he was recording, we couldn't undo the settings, record his shows and watch our films in between. This was well before the era of universal mobile phone use, so we couldn't contact him either. So we returned the films to the rental shop unwatched.  :(

Possibly we should have checked with him before he went, but it had never occurred to us that he would do that!
Title: Re: Everyday: Roommate/Housemate Etiquette
Post by: Julia Mercer on September 23, 2013, 09:29:45 AM
I had a roommate (the former roommate from hell that I talked about before) that would go away for a weekend, and we would have dial up internet, and voice mail with extensions, so whenever she would get a call, and they would leave a message, the message notification would prevent the modem from being able to dial through, so the first time, I figured out her password and saved the message (without listening to it), and she changed it after that.

She was a piece of work,  being food, computer, tv police to me, but sucking up to our other roommate (who eventually, after we all went our separate ways), realized what FRFH was all about. She also pulled a lot of BS on her so called best friend, and thus ended a long friendship as well.