Roommate Conflict Resolution

Having roommates can be both rewarding and challenging. Whether you live with friends you have known for years, or people you just met, conflict can arise due to difference of opinion and living style. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommates, but there are steps you can take to resolve conflicts that come up.


Tell your roommates how you feel instead of letting your frustration build up inside. Use “I” statements to avoid placing blame on anyone and let your roommates speak without interrupting them. Define what the problems are and make sure everyone has the opportunity to voice their opinion. Once you have defined the problems, brainstorm the solutions. Communicate the places you are not willing to negotiate but be open to compromising where you can.

Take Action

Once you have established a solution, make it very clear how each roommate intends to work towards that solution. You can do this by creating SMART goals which are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.

Check In

Once you have started to employ your SMART goals, check in with your roommates. Make sure everyone is holding up their end of the deal and reevaluate your goals if some of them are not realistic. Continue to communicate regularly with your roommates to avoid future conflicts.  For more advice, read “Learn From My Mistakes and Avoid These Common Roommate Problems” by Melina Delkic. Remember that being successful roommates is a long process and you must continuously work towards it.

It is never too late to establish living expectations. Pick up a roommate agreement from the Neighborhood Housing Office in Union WG85! Looking for roommates? Find them on our listing service!