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Co-Living Advice

Use These Texts To Resolve The Most Common Roommate Conflicts

All you want is to find a good roommate in NYC! It’s not too much to ask, right? We don’t think so. In fact, at Roomi, we’ve been matching New Yorkers with their dream place for years now, and we’ve seen a whole load of success stories. 

But, what if you and your roommate skipping hand-in-hand along Broadway isn’t a reality? What if you’re experiencing conflicts and you’re unsure how to resolve them? Well, it’s 2020 and that means we can sometimes get away with using 2020-type methods of communication: the text message! There are studies that examine roommate conflict management through text messages, and you’d be forgiven for choosing that over a face-to-face confrontation in a number of scenarios.

In this article, Roomi is helping you resolve common roommate conflicts by showing you how to craft the perfect text! 

Their friends or partner are over too often

You agreed to live with one person and all of a sudden, it feels like your place is overrun with their partner, friends, colleagues, classmates, neighbors and grandma’s dog! While most roommates are happy for each other to have guests over, when it happens too often, it can take a toll on you. Loud chatting, higher electricity bills and a bathroom that’s always occupied? If this sounds familiar, grab your phone and type this:

Hey! Are you free to talk about our guest policy in the apartment later? Your [friends/partner] are great, but they’re over a lot and I don’t feel like I get much space at home. I think it would help if we limited the number of times we each have guests over to [x] per week. Is that ok with you?

They don’t clean up after themselves

Dealing with a messy roomi takes its toll – no one likes seeing dirty dishes in the sink or overflowing trash cans in the kitchen. Remember that two people often have different definitions of what “mess” actually is, but there are basic standards that everyone can and should adhere to. If this is becoming an ongoing issue, start typing:

Hey! I don’t mean to nag, but the apartment has been really messy lately and I feel like I’m cleaning up after you often. Those [dishes/frying pans/wine glasses] have been on the counter for a few days, and I can’t get to the sink to do my own washing up. Would you mind checking up on your mess when you’re home?

Heating & cooling debates

You like a cool, comfortable apartment but your roomi cranks up the heating at any given opportunity. If you feel yourself sweating at home, send a text to come to an agreement before a fight really heats up. Remember that some people feel temperature differently; don’t assume that everyone has the same perception as you.

Hey! I noticed the heating in the apartment keeps getting cranked up really high and I’m kinda sweating whenever I’m at home. Maybe I’m naturally hotter than you are, but can we come to an agreement on a constant temperature, so we’re both happy? A good standard room temperature is around 70 – maybe we can try that and see if it’s comfortable for both of us, before I melt!

Damages

So, they’ve broken a lamp, spilled coffee on the sofa or scratched the flooring, but they haven’t brought up the mistake with you. The issue here is that damage that goes beyond general wear-and-tear could affect how much deposit you get back – leaving both of you out of pocket. Wait a day or two after noticing the damage, as they may have already made steps to fix the problem. If you hear nothing, start crafting your text:

Hey! I noticed [x] is damaged. These things happen, but I just wanted to make sure you’ve contacted a [cleaner/tradesperson] to get it fixed? Let me know if you haven’t had a chance and I’ll look for someone who can help and pass the number onto you. I’d like to get it fixed as soon as possible to make sure we get our full deposit back when we leave!

They stole your food

When your snacks and leftovers keep going missing, it can be infuriating; we get it! Skip the face-to-face conflict (no one should have to see you get all red-faced over missing cookies), and instead send them a text that’s straight to the point and designed to deter them from your shelf again:

Hey! My [leftover stir fry/chips and salsa] have gone missing and I wondered if you’ve taken them by mistake? It’s fine if you have, I just want to make sure it doesn’t happen again because I can’t afford to buy more groceries each week. I can start labeling my food to avoid us getting confused in the future, if that helps.

If shooting them a text doesn’t work, a face-to-face conversation should be your next approach. It’s much easier to build connections and convey emotions when someone can actually see us, and (fingers crossed) your roomi will be able to understand why you’re upset, so both of you can come to a mutual agreement.