Besides eating the rest of a leftover pizza, a roommate late paying rent is a fairly common roommate misdemeanor. Unfortunately, there are no roommate police as of yet and rent still needs to be paid. For those who have found themselves in this unfortunate circumstance- here is what to do when your roommate is late paying rent.
The approach. The first step to resolving the issue is understanding why it’s occurring. Respectfully reach out to your roommate to genuinely understand why their portion of rent is late. This can help you decide what moral code you are willing to uphold. Keep in mind, your roommate is legally bound by a lease, so don’t take on more than you can handle.
Zero tolerance. With this approach to the situation you have to keep a few things in mind. The first is that this cannot become habit. The ol’ nip-it-in-the-bud tactic is required. It’s understanding when emergencies come up, but handling someone else’s responsibilities, even in a small crisis, is not the way to go about it and may set you up to be a doormat. If the zero tolerance approach is something you’re capable of doing, then execute it swiftly and efficiently. Rent is late, if they do not pay up you find another roommate or arrange to sublease.
One and done. Perhaps the situation your roommate has found themselves in is so bad it’s understandable and almost relatable. You have now agreed to cover them this month- just this once. Get your agreement in writing. Type up a simple contract with its conditions. Though not legally binding, this is a good way to give your roommate a deadline or due date to return to you their portion of rent. Do not accept on the terms that they pay your portion of rent next month. This leaves four weeks for a hit and run to occur. After all, they have already proven their unreliability.
Resolution. Now that you have sought understanding and chosen to be tolerant or not, here are some long term decisions to consider in order to avoid or improve the situation. Have a heart to heart. If your roommates circumstance appears to be that of a habitual nature, express how detrimental being late or not paying rent can be to you and themselves. Evictions and damaged credit are hard hitters the next time you move. Speak to the landlord about adding another roommate- more people, less rent. If your landlord is accommodating it is also possible to modify the lease depending on the circumstance. Be open with your roommate about talking to the landlord in order to protect your own finances.
Avoid guilt trips or personal vendetta’s. Money matters should not be taken personally, it’s simply not worth. Don’t keep the issue from your landlord, and reach out to your roommate to collectively resolve the problem.