Has the time come for you to fly the nest? Not the warm, familiar nest of your parents – but that adult one with your roommates. Maybe you’re ready to upgrade to something bigger, maybe you want to move in with your S.O., or maybe you just can’t resolve those common roommate issues you’ve been having.
It’s a difficult step – whether you’ve built a close bromance or you simply share the space. You want to do the right thing by your roomi to ensure they’re not left having to foot your part of the bill. So, check your contract to find out what’s what, and let’s walk through the roommate break-up process.
- Check your lease agreement
Before you make any hasty moves, you need to check that everything you’re about to do is legal – and won’t come back to bite you in the behind. Most rental agreements last for one-year, although this varies between properties. You’ll need to know what kind of lease you signed up for, and, if you’re leaving before the end of your agreed-upon tenancy, you’ll need to find out what the process is.
Make sure you check:
- The end-of-lease date
- Any clauses about breaking a lease early
- The costs associated with transferring a name on a lease
- The length of notice you need to give if you wish to vacate the property
- Make sure it’s the right decision
Before telling your roommates that you’re ready to go, it’s time to have some internal conversations to make sure it’s really what you want to do. If there are any issues that could be resolved, consider staying put and working them out instead.
Moving out can be pretty stressful – especially if you’re trying to leave before the end of your tenancy agreement. There can be costs involved with name transfers, hiring moving companies, and you can often expect some cleaning costs to be deducted from your deposit (unless you guys have been super careful.)
If you’ve made up your mind and you just can’t wait to move in with your partner and a cockapoo puppy, then you’re ready for the conversation. You already have your reasons for wanting to leave, so at this point, you probably won’t succumb to your roommate(s) potential persuasions that might come your way.
- Give them lots of notice
Parting on good terms starts with giving your roomis plenty of notice before you leave. It makes the whole process a little lighter on everyone, and affords enough time for you to find a replacement.
Try giving at least four weeks notice, and then you can work together to get the room filled and lessen the financial strain on everyone involved.
- “It’s not you, it’s me.”
Telling your roommates you’re leaving is similar to a break-up – really. It’s a tough conversation and it’s natural to feel anxious beforehand. You already know what you’re going to say, so stick to the script.
Tell them exactly why you’re leaving, and leave anything negative out of it. Explain that you’ve made great memories in this apartment but it’s time for you to move on because of x reason. Whatever you do, keep the conversation light-hearted, because you don’t want your next four weeks to be awkward.
Have the conversation in your home where you both feel comfortable, and keep it as short and painless as possible.
- Help to ease the strain
Your lease agreement may or may not require that you find a replacement should you wish to move out, but either way, we recommend helping your soon-to-be-ex-roommates fill your room.
You can try posting advertisements on Facebook groups or you can use a roommate finding tool like Roomi, which uses a verified community of people looking for homes or housemates. Either way, share the responsibility with your roommates and make sure when you leave, you clean out all of your stuff, so they’re not left with any junk.