Roommate Agreement

GVSU defines a successful roommate relationship as residents who can co-exist safely and respectfully. To avoid unnecessary conflicts, clear communication and boundaries are important. The HRL Roommate Agreement helps residents set clear expectations, reduce conflicts, and improve communication around key issues that might result in conflict. 


Step One: Roommate Meeting

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Set up a time (60 minutes is recommended) for all roommates to meet, without any guests or other distractions present. It is important the all roommates are present and all voices are heard.

2. Discuss the following concepts, determining expectations and schedules that are agreed upon by all roommates

3. Take notes!

 

CONCEPTS/DISCUSSION PROMPTS

If you are stuck on one or more sections, contact your RA as they may be able to help guide you through the process. 

 

Guests: Determine specific expectations related to guests. The HRL Roommate Agreement form requires the following information:

  • In compliance with the Community Living Standards, will each resident be allowed to have guests over to their unit? 

If yes:

  • Will guests be allowed to use shared bathroom?
  • Will guests be allowed to use shared shower?
  • Will guests be allowed to consume roommates' food? 
  • Will guests be allowed to use general facilities (Kitchen, common area, etc.)? 
  • What else will roommates' guests* be allowed to do with or without permission? 
  • Guests are the number one reason why roommate-related conflicts arise. How will you communicate with your roommates about any issues concerning your or their guests? 
  • Guests are not permitted to stay overnight for two consecutive days. 

 

Noise: Determine specific expectations related to sleeping and studying conditions within the unit. The HRL Roommate Agreement form requires the following information:

  • When will you and your roommate establish a shared quiet time? 
  • How will you address the situation with your roommate(s) when the appropriate noise threshold is surpassed? 
  • When roommate(s) are sleeping, we can... (e.g., play video games, listen to quiet music, talk on the phone, etc.). 
  • When roommate(s) are studying, we can...(e.g., play video games, listen to quiet music, talk on the phone, etc.). *

 

Cleaning: Determine specific expectations related to cleaning including schedule, persons responsible, frequency, products used, and how products will be purchased. The HRL Roommate Agreement form requires the following information:

  • When will the SHARED LIVING SPACE be cleaned? (e.g., living room). 
  • When will the TRASH & RECYCLING be taken out? 
  • When will the FLOORS be swept/vacuumed/mopped? 
  • When will the unit be DUSTED? 
  • When will DISHES be cleaned? 
  • When will counters (or desks, shelves, etc.) be cleaned? 
  • How will you and your roommate(s) delegate these tasks listed above equitably and equally? 
  • General cleanliness is expected of each resident of the unit. How will you address cleanliness issues with your roommate? 

 

Personal Time: Determine specific expectations related to studying time, bedtime, and boundaries.

  • When does each roommate study best? 
  • Where does each roommate study best? 
  • How does each roommate study best? (e.g., background/white noise, some distractions, alone, total quiet, etc.). 
  • When does each roommate go to sleep? 
  • When does each roommate wake up / when is each roommates' first class? 
  • When would each roommate like quiet/alone/personal time? 
  • How will you and your roommate(s) establish personal time and boundaries?

 

Shareable Items: Determine specific expectations related to personal and shared items and supplies. The HRL Roommate Agreement form requires the following information:

  • What specific food items may be shared, under what conditions, and how shared items will be purchased. (i.e. milk, bread, condiments) 
  • What specific household items may be shared, under what conditions, and how shared items will be purchased. (i.e. dish soap, cleaning products, food storage bags, etc.) 
  • What specific technologies and appliances may be shared and under what conditions. (i.e. laptop, tablet, gaming consoles, etc.) 
  • What specific personal items may be shared and under what conditions. (i.e. clothing,toiletry items, etc.) 

Technology & Social Media: Determine specific expectations related to online privacy. The HRL Roommate Agreement form requires the following information:

  • When can roommates post pictures and/or videos of each other on social media? 
  • When can roommates post status updates of each other on social media?
  • When can roommates post stories of/about each other on social media?

Health Precautions: Determine specific expectations related to COVID-19 precautions. The HRL Roommate Agreement form requires the following information:

  • What does each roommate expect in regards to face coverings used in common spaces of units?
  • What does each roommate expect in regards to additional cleaning/disinfecting of the unit due to COVID-19? 
  • What does each roommate expect of guests* in regard to health precautions? 
  • Are there any other considerations to discuss about health and safety?

General Discussion: Determine specific expectations related to miscellaneous concerns, communication, and dialogue between roommates. The HRL Roommate Agreement form requires the following information:

  • How will each roommate address concerns as they happen? 
  • How will each roommate communicate when these concerns occur? 
  • How will you hold yourself and your roommate(s) accountable to this roommate agreement? 

Step Two: Submission of Roommate Agreement Form

1. One roommate will need to sign in using GVSU credentials. (Only one HRL Roommate Agreement form is needed per unit)
2. Roommate completes form in its entirety, including roommate names and email addresses so all roommates receive a copy of the submitted form
3. Complete with roommate(s) within the first two weeks. Due October 1, 2021

You will not be able to go back and edit your roommate agreement, but you can always resubmit one if needed.
 

When filling out the roommate agreement, it is important to have all roommates present in order to get an accurate portrayal of how the unit will operate. If all roommates are not present, there may be roommate disagreements early on that could potentially have been avoided. Please take the time to go over each section to talk about how you would like this year to go. Filling out this form as accurately and honestly as possible is ideal as your RAs will refer to your agreement if conflict arises. If you have any questions, contact your RA or LCD.