How to Handle Your Roommate Breaking the Complex's Rules

By Danielle Wirsansky on November 27, 2018

Your relationship with your roommate is very important. Whether you are close or not, friends or not, similar or not, you want to be on the same page as them so that there are very few waves to knock you off course during your school year as you have got a lot of (more) important things going on in your life. But what happens when you are your roommate are not on the same page? In fact, what happens when your roommate is flagrantly breaking rules? And more to the point, they are breaking the rules of the apartment complex you both live in?

This is a tough situation to be put in and you want to handle it the best you can so that you do not have an unpleasant or stressful living situation. So, if you are not sure what to do in this situation, read on to learn how to handle your  roommate breaking the complex’s rules.

Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

Get to the Bottom

The first thing you want to do is ascertain if and how your roommate is breaking the rules of the complex. It is a serious charge to levy against them, so you want to make sure they truly are breaking any rules before you make any decisions on how to handle it. And then, if they are breaking the rules of the complex, you need to figure out if they are aware they are breaking the rules as well.

So first, go over all the rules and guidelines that you have about living in the property. Most complexes give you a handy-dandy rule book when you move in. Find that, reference it. See if there are any rules pertaining to what your roommate may or may not be doing. If there is no handbook (or you simply cannot find it), you can check the complex’s website as they often have a list of their rules there as well so that potential tenants can understand what living there will be like and what rules they will have to abide by in order to live there. You should also look at the lease that you signed as that is the most binding set of agreements that you have. Complex policies or rules can change after you have signed a lease or moved in. Whatever is on the lease that you signed is absolute and grandfathered in (usually), regardless of how the rules have changed to now.

If they are not breaking the rules, then phew! Now you know. You and your roommate are safe and not at any risk with the apartment complex. Now if you do not like whatever they are doing that you thought might be against the rules, you will still have to deal with. But if you have no problem with their actions other than that you were concerned about rule breaking, you are in the clear!

However, if they are breaking the rules, you have to decide for yourself how you want to deal with the situation.

Be Understanding

If you have ascertained that your roommate is breaking the rules of the complex you live in, you do not want to go flying off the handle, if possible. You have already done the investigation, you know that they are indeed breaking the rules. Now you want to check in with them and try to be understanding of what they are doing what they are doing.

Are they aware that they are even breaking the rules? A lot of times, people do not realize that they are breaking any rules. They might not have thought to consider the rules before making a decision. A lot of people do not carefully read the lease before they sign it, so they might not have realized they had agreed to abide by a specific rule. Or they interpreted a rule differently than it was meant to be taken. Help clarify it for them.

If they are blatantly breaking the rules, try and understand why they are doing so. How likely will it be that they get caught and in trouble? And what will the repercussions be, not just for them, but for you too? Is your roommate willing take on that responsibility? Is it temporary? Is it only a minor infraction? Is it something you do not think is a big deal? There are a lot of factors to consider. Just do your best to be understanding, up until the point that it puts you in hot water too.

In the end, you have to decide what to do and what decision you can live with. It is a tough spot to be put in. Do you upset your roommate that you have to live with for the rest of the year? Or do you get in trouble with the complex you live in? Do your best to try and solve the problem without getting anyone into trouble first. It will, in all ways, make your life so much easier.

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