Roommates Living in DC

Do I need a roommate?

When contemplating life off campus, you might find yourself wondering if you need a roommate. Living with another person has its perks and its challenges. There is not a one-size-fits-all answer. Consider these questions to make your decision:

  • Are you ok with sharing a room or an apartment?
  • How much are you looking to spend on housing? Based on the average monthly rent in DC (2015): you probably need to share a room for a budget under $1,000; you should be able to split an apartment comfortably for a budget of $1,000-$1,400; you can probably afford a studio apartment for a budget over $1,400.
  • What are you looking for in a potential roommate? You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, but you should be able to live together cooperatively.

Connect with other students looking for a roommate on the Off-Campus Housing Services site.

Living with a Roommate

Once you have found a roommate, it is vital that you discuss expectations and ground rules.

If you and your roommate(s) run into a problem that you cannot resolve on your own, you can always schedule an appointment with Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution Services.

One way to clarify responsibilities is to make a written agreement with your roommate(s). Check out AU's roommate agreement and our guide to roommate agreements. Think about and discuss the questions below.

  • Are you splitting it 50/50?
  • Are you determining it by room size?
  • Are you determining it by who is in which room?
  • How and when will you pay?
  • What are your guidelines for guests?
  • Are you okay with overnight guests?
  • How much advance notice should you have?
  • What about parties or large gatherings?
  • How will you divide chores?
  • Will you divide chores by room or by task?
  • Is a chore wheel something you might use?
  • How often will you clean?
  • How will you keep stocked up on cleaning supplies?
  • What objects are you willing to share?
  • If something breaks, who and how should it be replaced?
  • If you split the cost of buying something, who will keep it when you are no longer roommates?
  • What conditions and agreements can you clarify?

Subletting Your Property

  1. Permission: Check your lease to know if you are allowed to sublet. Talk with your landlord before listing. If you have a roommate, have a discussion about your intentions. Involve your roommate in the process.
  2. Listing: Advertise your apartment by telling your friends, using social media, and listing it on the Off-Campus Posting site.
  3. Interview: Once people respond to your listing, you and your roommate should set up meetings with your potential subletter. Decide who you think would be a good fit. Let those who did not get the sublease know that you won't be making an offer.
  4. Contract: Define the dates of the arrangement, if payment will be paid to you or the landlord, and room condition expectations for when you return. Set our your expectations in a written agreement.
  5. Leave: Stay in contact with your roommate (if you have one), as well as your subletter to make sure that everything is going smoothly.