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How to Create a Roommate Contract

August 03, 2017

Tornados, it is almost that time! Move-in day is just around the corner, and for some of you, sharing a room is something you never have had to worry about before. For others, you might have had less than stellar experiences bunking with your siblings.

Our advice? Establish a Roommate Contract!

The contract should include

  • Distractions. Explain what things could interfere with studying (music, TV, friends, etc.) and how to approach each other about these distractions if they are becoming a problem.

  • Quiet hours. Do you have a certain time of the afternoon or night when you like to hit the books? Do you go to bed at the same time every day on school nights? Do you enjoy sleeping in on weekends? Now is the time to define what is acceptable during these quiet hours.

  • Cleanliness. Converse about how clean the space and shared appliances should be.

  • Visitor etiquette. When is it okay to have friends over? How many people can be over at one time? When should friends leave? Do you want to get a head’s up before someone is coming over?

  • Rules for anything you will share in the room. TV, fridge, microwave, etc. It’s better to know ahead of time that your roomie expects the remote control to be theirs every Tuesday at 8 p.m. when American Horror Story is running.

  • Steps for resolving arguments. Do you like to be left alone after a fight? Do you like to solve the conflict immediately? Will you be able to win an argument with some kolaches? Discuss, discuss.

  • Borrowing. Can you take anything from each other with or without asking? Food? Clothes? Movies? Now is the time to ask!

How do you bring up writing out a contract?

  • Don’t bring up the contract up until you’ve actually met. Sit down over one of your first lunches or dinners back on campus to compare schedules, get to know one another and have some real discussion before jumping into the contract.
  • Emphasize that the contract is mutually beneficial.
  • Share this blog post.


  • Be honest when making the contract. It is tempting to seem chill and accepting, but this can lead to resentment later on. Don’t pretend to be a night owl if late nights actually make you grumpy! If you don’t like people in your space all of the time, don’t say you’re okay with visitors 24/7.
  • A contract can be edited! Sometimes it needs to be. Don’t be afraid to adjust and add as the year goes on.
  • Sometimes the rules will get broken. If this happens, handle it as maturely as possible. Sit down together and discuss the violation. If something was damaged, offer to replace it. Keep your cool.