Mark Roemer image of a note left on the refrigerator by a roommate

Roommate Problems and How to Solve Them

As someone who has lived with my fair share of roommates, I, Mark Roemer know that it can be a little tricky. Depending on when you get your first roommate, you may be a little bit set in your ways. The younger you are when you start sharing living quarters, the better off you will be. If, for whatever reason, you are still having a problem with your roommate, continue reading below. There, you will find some common issues that people tend to have with their roommates. I will even take the time to come up with some creative solutions on how you can handle the problems in the most respectable way possible.


When it comes to cleaning, different people have different standards. What one person may consider a clean floor, the other can perceive as acceptable. When it comes to roommates, this is one of the most common arguments that I have found.

I once had a roommate that would gladly leave the dishes in the sink for up to a week. It would finally get on my nerves, and I would wash the dishes for them. Of course, when I did do them, they would say they were going to do them that night. After a while, it became a chore that I would take on. It created a lot of animosity between them and me. Sometimes, we would have screaming matches about why I was the one that always had to do the dishes.

However, it doesn’t have to come to that for you. I think the simple solution would be to communicate better. While some could argue that a screaming match is a communication, most would agree that it generally accomplishes very little. Both parties end up being upset, and besides, things could escalate beyond words rather quickly.


As with all other living arrangements, money is a critical factor in household happiness. Money is not just something that married couples fight about. The problem with roommates, however, comes when trying to decide who used what and therefore needs to pay more or less. For example, if you feel that you are never home and your roommate is, perhaps you fell, you don’t owe as much for electricity. We all know that there is a base payment that must be made whether you use power or not. Other bills could be fought over as well.

The solution, in this case, is quite simple. When you first start living with someone, make it clear that all utilities, both parties pay an equal amount. However, when it comes to food and household supplies, it would probably be best if the roommates paid for their things. It becomes tough to try to work out who paid for toilet paper the last time and could be a source of friction. It is just best that each person supplied their food and household products.

Love Life

Another pretty common issue is relationships. If you live with someone long enough, one of the people in the house is going to become romantically involved with someone. This may lead to another person in the house. It may start innocently enough with the lover only spending a few hours over a week to the person living at the home. Of course, with more people comes increased utility bills.

The solution for this can be as simple as watching television. If you watched the Big Bang Theory, Penny was spending a lot of time at Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment. This led Sheldon to revamp the “roommate agreement.” Instead of individual bills being split two ways, they were now going to be split three ways. This is the only fair solution for all involved parties. So, instead of arguing about the new person living in the home, divide the bills by one more person than you currently have.

Unexpected Guest

To go along with the relationship advice I provided you above, I thought I would mention random guests. This assumes that you and your roommate do not run in the same circles. They may be out one night and want to have people over. If this is a Friday or Saturday, it shouldn’t be an issue. Of course, this is also assuming that you don’t have a job that you need to work on the weekends. Either way, you should not have to deal with this more than once or twice a month. Any more than that, you might need to lay down some ground rules.

The solution is simple, have a chat with your roommate. Let them know that you are not interested in having people over every night or partying until the wee hours of the morning. They should respect you enough to know that they need to honor that request. Sometimes, a simple rule of not being at your place past 9 pm or staying in the front room can work as well.

Accidents or Mistakes

Let’s face it; no one is perfect. There are bound to be accidents that happen. This can be anything from spilling grape juice on the floor to knocking a lamp over. Either way, you should never get too upset.

Again, a simple solution for this is to fix the accident and get over it. There doesn’t need to be a big drawn-out fight over something that someone didn’t mean to do. Whoever had the accident should pay for the repairs, and forgiveness should be granted.


I, Mark Roemer, have some great memories of people I have spent time with in the past. I remember my first roommate like it was yesterday. Of course, if we would have had these rules set up in advance, perhaps there would not have been as much fighting. However, over the years, I have adapted to living with people. When I got married, it wasn’t a problem anymore. My wife and I rarely, if ever, argue about any of the things I have listed above. Though if we do, I know it is my fault. I am a little set in my ways.