CBC Commons offers a starter apartment with two bedrooms – which is the ideal situation for getting a roommate. While the prices for all of our apartments are reasonable for a college student’s income, it’s always great to save as much cash as possible. Finding a roommate can cut your already low monthly rent bill in half, and who doesn’t love that kind of cash being put back into their pocket?


Of course, if you aren’t going to be living with a roommate you already know as a person or friend, it can be a little bit of a wildcard situation. There’s obviously a reason for a roommate interview process – you don’t want to start living with someone dangerous or obviously insensitive, rude, sloppy…you can insert any negative adjective into that list, and it’d work.


Of course, roommate interviews are much like job interviews. The person who wants to room with you is going to put their best foot forward, regardless of their actual disposition. Whether they’re a saint or a sinner, the interview will consist of them smiling and showing you their good side.


Which presents a problem – you could potentially find a roommate that’s not so good for you.


Bad roommates are essentially an unavoidable part of life if you’re going to be involved in communal living. They leave their trash everywhere, they’re rude to you and your guests, they don’t follow any of your agreed upon rules – some roomies even break lease agreement rules, which can put you in hot water. This is why it’s essential to know how to handle bad roommates and the steps to follow to hopefully help the situation.


Start with a simple talk.


Say you’ve got a roommate who continuously leaves their dirty dishes and trash around the communal areas of the apartment. It’s likely you’ve made passing comments about it. “Are these yours?” you ask as you slide their soiled dishes into the sink. “Hey, can you take care of this?” you ask as you stare at their trash strewn across the couch.


This isn’t the best way to handle the situation. While it’s important to make sure your roommate notices their flaws, don’t leave it up to subtleties. Remain calm and simply ask if you can talk to them about their habits. Don’t frame it in a negative way. For instance, the messy example above might require you to ask if they’d like an extra trashcan around to help keep things tidy, or if you can help them with anything if they’re too overloaded to clean.


Always set clear boundaries.


Because this is likely your first time living as the head of a household, you may not know how to truly lay down the law. Just because your roommate is a peer doesn’t mean you have to be buddy-buddy constantly. Take responsibility and make sure they know the rules of the apartment.


This can be more of a discussion than a talking to. Make sure your wants and needs are made clear, but also ask what they need when you create rules for the apartment. For instance, if they work nights and need to sleep during the day, agree to stay quiet and not play loud music during morning hours. This can help clear up any rule misunderstandings and give you a leg to stand on when “infractions” do occur.


Don’t be afraid to tell the management.


This is especially important if your roommate is breaking CBC Commons rules. Don’t sit idly by and be affected by your roommates misbehavior. Talk to the management and complain – a higher authority stepping in and giving your bad roommate a talking to can help rectify the situation. Also discuss anonymous reporting with our staff so you aren’t the target of their tantrums or ire because they know you reported them.