Living with a roommate not only lowers costs, but is also a great opportunity to form lasting relationships. While it can be challenging at times, living with a roommate can be a rewarding experience.
If you are new to UMass Boston or the Boston area, there is a chance you will be looking for potential roommates. The Office of Student Housing can help you find roommates through our Roommate Matching Program. For more information about roommate matching, click here.
If you already have people in mind who you want to live with, it is important to consider how well you will get along in an apartment or house. Even if someone is your best friend, you should have open and honest discussions about your expectations of one another. You should also fill out a roommate agreement in order to set these expectations down in writing. By having these conversations early on in your roommate relationship, you reduce the chance that a minor disagreement evolves into a major roommate conflict. It is smart to discuss topics such as guests, cleaning, neatness, food, groceries, cooking, household supplies, borrowing personal items, music, television, study time, sleeping time smoking, alcohol and drugs, privacy, and pets. You should know where your roommate stands on each of these topics and what the expectations are before you sign a lease together. Click here to learn more about roommate agreements.
Constant communication with your roommates will help to avoid any misunderstandings. You should also be prepared to compromise on a number of issues. Being a good roommate also requires everyone in the living situation to commit to taking the relationship seriously and working through any disputes as they arise.
If a dispute comes up that you are unable to resolve amongst yourselves, you can utilize roommate mediation services offered by the Office of Student Housing. For more information of roommate mediation, click here.
The Off Campus Housing (OCH) Gateway is designed to serve as a connecting point among UMass Boston students who are looking for roommates. This web-based self-service portal is intended to enhance students' collegiate experience as well as help students to better afford housing by sharing costs.
The OCH Gateway system allows students to create a profile, answer a questionnaire about living styles and preferences, and even upload pictures to share. Once a student has created a profile, the system generates a list of the top ten most compatible roommates who have similar needs and interests. To ensure accuracy in generating matches, it is important that students answer the questions honestly. OSH does not make any guarantees as to roommate compatibility, but offers this service only to help students locate potential roommates. We recommend that students engage in open and honest dialog with potential roommates before entering into a lease.
Once you have located potential roommate matches, you should have discussions about your expectations of roommates and personal likes and dislikes. Start with the areas where you know you both / all agree and then move on to the areas where you disagree. It is important to remember that everyone will need to compromise in these areas. Each individual can hold onto their values, but should be willing to reexamine their thoughts and feelings about things.
There are times when it is impossible to compromise. If this situation arises with a potential roommate, you should both consider what types of conflict may arise and whether or not you want to pursue living together. Choosing not to live together doesn’t mean that you can’t be friends; it simply means that you are not compatible as roommates.
Students can also use the OCH Gateway system to browse available rental opportunities in the UMass Boston surrounding neighborhoods. Local landlords, apartment brokers, and complexes post available properties. OSH does not guarantee the quality of housing units or management practices, so we encourage you to visit and talk to landlords to make sure the option is right for you.
Please click here to request a key code to create a login for the OCH Gateway website. Once you fill out the form, you will receive a key code via email within 2 business days.
We know that living with a lot of personalities can be difficult. Thankfully, most roommate conflicts are small and can be easily addressed on your own. You should always enter every roommate conflict situation with an open mind and a willingness to compromise.
The first step in any roommate conflict is to have an open and honest conversation. If you haven’t done so already, sit down with your roommates and discuss what’s bothering you. You may be surprised about the things that can be solved fairly easily just by compromising.
The next step is to fill out a Roommate Agreement if you haven’t done so already. The roommate agreement helps put expectations in writing so that everyone can agree to them.
If you have tried to solve the problem on your own and have been unsuccessful, you can set up a roommate mediation with the Office of Student Housing. We will schedule a time when you and your roommates can some in and discuss the problem. We can’t promise that you will solve your issues immediately, but we can work with you all to try to come to a compromise that will work for all parties involved. You can set up a roommate mediation meeting by sending an email to our office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a brief description of the problem as well as times you and your roommates are available to come in to discuss your situation.