Want to test any kind of relationship with any kind of person? Live with them. Roommationships are hard to form, and a good roommationship is hard to find. Sometimes it takes dozens of roommationships to finally learn how to live functionally with another person. Schedule conflicts, lifestyle differences, house guests, cleaning duties, all of these can add tension to a roommationship, and if not addressed properly, can be the demise of a living situation.
However, when you form a good roommationship, but then decide that it’s time to move on — perhaps moving in with a significant other or deciding to live on your own for a while — you are, once again, put in a tricky situation. Nobody wants to offend a roommate when they decide to move out, and you certainly don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, so here are some tips to leave a good roommationship on a high note.
1. Make sure your roommate is able to find someone to take your place – if that’s what they want to do.
While it might be tempting to not care about what your roommate will be doing once you’re gone, it’s still a good idea to check with them and your landlord to make sure that the new roommate search is going well. Perhaps they’re struggling to find a new roommate, especially if they were given short notice. There are a lot of factors that can make a roommate search difficult: time of the year, cost of rent, location, pets, etc. A nice gesture would be to offer to help them find a roommate, even just a post on Facebook explaining the pros of living in the home that you’re leaving and maybe throw in some personal kindness about your roommate, encouraging new potential roommates that your roommate is someone who is easy to live with.
2. Find out what needs to be done to prepare for the next tenant.
Does your room need to be cleaned to a certain standard? Repainted? Repairs made? Keep in mind any kind of damage that may have happened since you paid your damage deposit. You may want to chat with your roommate and landlord to see what you’re accountable for upon move-out. While usually tenants have their room until the last day of your rental lease, it might be nice to give the new roommate an extra day or two to make repairs or changes in your room, especially if the new tenant needs to be in the very first day of the lease. The important thing is to come up with a timeline and make sure that it works for everyone.
3. Return house keys, mailbox keys and fobs.
This one is pretty obvious, but it’s still important to remember to return anything that was given to you upon move-in. There are few things more irritating than having to track someone down to get keys to your own home because they forgot to leave them behind. That definitely doesn’t start your new living situation on a good note.
4. Clean out your food in the fridge and cupboards.
Nothing is less appetizing than a dirty, sticky fridge, covered in mysterious food from the tenant before you. The considerate thing to do is clean up any mess that you made. Empty out all of the food in your pantry, and wipe the surfaces down. Even if it wasn’t spotless when you moved in — that isn’t the standard you should hold yourself to as a good roommate.
5. Take time to say goodbye to your roommate, and thank them for the positive experience.
We all know how rare it is to find a good roommate, so make sure to let your roommate know that they contributed to a happy and healthy living situation. And if you want to go even further, offer to spend a bit of time with the new roommate and fully explain all the benefits of what it’s like living in that home, and how stellar your roommate was/is.