Living with your best friend can be an amazing experience!

Being both friends and roommates comes with great benefits and unique challenges, so before you start packing your bags, Park Property Management suggests first thinking about how you envision living together.


Being a best friend is an important and special relationship, so make sure you protect that connection when deciding to live together. There are two things you can do to help you ensure that you'll stay BFFs while sharing a living space: set boundaries and understand expectations. 


Setting Boundaries

As close friends, you already share more things together than with others. This is great, but be careful not to move from your friendship space, into personal space. Everyone needs to have time to themselves, time to spend with others and respect for work, school and social schedules.

It's a good idea to discuss what kind of boundaries you need with your friend and listen to their needs too. Together, come up with some scenarios that could happen and see if you can agree on solutions that work for both of you. 

Things to consider:

  • Do you plan on eating meals together? What happens if one of you cancels dinner at the last minute or doesn't contribute to cooking the meals?

  • Will you share the food in the apartment? Will you want to designate some food as "just yours"?

  • Are you okay with your roommate hanging out in your bedroom? Should you have a 'knock to enter with permission' policy in place? 

  • If you share clothes or other personal items, is anything off-limits? Or a rule in place if an item gets ruined or lost by the borrower?

  • How do you feel about outside friends and boyfriends/girlfriends coming over? Staying the night? Staying many nights? 

  • Do you have a time during the day that you want to have to yourself? 

  • Budget boundaries are a big one -- be respectful of each other's bank accounts! How will you split up the living costs like rent, utilities, food, etc.? 


Understanding Expectations

Everyone has different habits when it comes to the day-to-day routine: sleeping, eating, working, fitness, socializing, relaxing, etc. Even the best roommates can end up disagreeing because they have differing expectations on their apartment life and each other. It's important to understand what you both expect before you move-in together.

We suggest you both sit down and have an open discussion about how you envision day-to-day life as roommates, the things you expect and consider writing up a roommate agreement. An agreement can help you in times when emotions are running high, feelings are hurt or you're stuck in disagreement. Note that a roommate agreement isn't a legal contract or meant to 'punish' any violations. It's a document you can use to help remind you of the terms you both agreed to. 

Things to consider:

  • Having boyfriends/girlfriends stay over: Is there a limit to how many days in a row they can stay? Is there a no overnight rule during weekdays? 

  • Handling of chores: Friendships have ended over dirty dishes in the sink or mouldy towels on the floor. Don't let that happen to you! Create a chore checklist with the understanding that sometimes it will need to be flexible. Help each other out, but also make sure you ask for help when necessary!

  • Paying rent and other items on time: Both of you will be on the apartment lease and will be responsible for paying rent on time. Have a contingency plan if one of you is unable to 1) pay the full amount owed or 2) unable to pay on time. Communication is key here - make sure you discuss budgeting and payment scenarios that could come up and how you will handle those.

  • Have a "do not" list: This should be a quick list of things you don't want to happen or your roommate to do in your shared apartment. Choose 1-5 things that are your biggest pet peeves or pain points (your roommate should do the same), discuss and agree on the items to include in your roommate agreement. Examples: "Do not enter my room or borrow an item without permission" or "Do not use our karaoke machine between 11pm - 8am". 

  • Conflict Resolution: What will you do if you have a fight? What happens if you cannot agree on something that is bothering both or one of you? Having a plan for when you're not getting along is very important.

    Use the 3 T's:

    • Timeout - Walk away and go to a space where you have privacy and cannot hear or see the other person

    • Think about it - Take some time to reflect on the issue, why the disagreement or argument happened, consider the other person's standpoint and feelings and come to a conclusion on a compromise that would work for both of you. Write down your thoughts so you don't forget for the next step...

    • Talk it out - Once things have cooled down and you've had some time to reflect, it's time to calmly talk to your roommate about the issue and how it can be resolved.

    • Bonus: An apology goes a long way. Even if you weren't in the wrong, saying you're sorry for letting things get heated can help you both move towards repairing any damage done.

  • Dividing up shared space: If you're sharing 1 bathroom, chances are you don't want your roommates items taking up all the counterspace. Decide on how you will handle shared spaces in your apartment - what is allowed and what isn't. 

Remember: Be considerate of your friend's feelings and needs; communicate openly and honestly; don't be afraid to voice your opinion respectfully; compromise is key!

Taking these steps before you move in will help you enjoy living with your best friend and can bring you even closer together!

Remember to contact us when you and your BFF are ready to look for an apartment!