Sunday, February 23, 2014

Roommate Etiquette: Rules for Having Guests

If you share your #apartment with another person, it's important to have rules in place regarding guests. has some guidelines for what you should discuss before you invite someone to come stay with you.

First of all, make sure you let your roommate know you will be having guests as far in advance as possible.  If you have a guest drop in out of the blue, call or text your roommate before they come home so they'll know in advance.

Make it clear to your guests what is okay to borrow or use and what is absolutely off limits.  If your guest uses your roommate's stuff without asking, it is your job to fix it.  

Set a limit for how long a guest can stay, one that is agreeable to your roommate as well.  Also, make sure that the person who comes and visits you leaves things exactly as they found them.  Being a good guest includes cleaning up after yourself, and if your guest doesn't hold up their end of the bargain, you need to clean up after them immediately.

Set how often guests can visit.  It can be draining for your roomie if they constantly have to be on their best behavior because you are always having guests.  Guests should be an exception, not the rule, unless both inhabitants agree on operating as a hotel to out-of-town visitors.

Need help finding an apartment with room for guests?  Give Austin Apartment Specialists a call today at 512-241-1111.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Roommate Etiquette: Smoking

The smoking situation can be a tricky one for roommates.  Perhaps you are the smoker and feel that you should be able to smoke inside because you pay half the rent.  Or perhaps your roommate is the smoker and their smoking is bothering you.  Either way, it's something you should get on the same page about. addresses some common roommate etiquette rules such as smoking.

The best thing to do is to just keep smoking outside.  Smoking can make allergies worse, and makes all the furniture and even the walls and carpet smell like smoke.  These odors are difficult to remove when your lease is up and your landlord may take it out of your security deposit.  It also can start a fire if someone falls asleep with a lit cigarette or drops one around flammable objects.  The best policy, even if your roommate says they are okay with it, is to smoke outside.

If you and your roommate do decide to allow smoking inside your apartment, make sure it isn't prohibited by your lease and that you are absolutely clear on the rules about it.  Also, be careful and always make sure any smoking materials are completely extinguished.  Never smoke in bed.  Make sure all guests know the rules and follow them as well.  

Finally be open to revisiting your policy.  If one of you quits smoking, for example, it's highly unlikely they will want to continue to allow smoking inside your home.  There's no one one more militantly anti-smoking than someone who's just given it up!  If you're the quitter, be kind to your roommate who still smokes and if you're the one who still smokes, be respectful when you request a change of the status quo.  You may find that you are no longer compatible as roommates, but still try to be civil with one another until the end of your lease.

Need help finding an apartment?  Give Austin Apartment Specialists a call today at 512-241-1111.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

When your Roommate is your Landlord

Things can get tricky when you are renting a room from a friend who you are also living with.  The Move has some things to consider before deciding to take the plunge with friends.
Make sure to set basic ground rules and that you are clear on how your roommate/landlord wants the property treated. 
 Also consider that if you live with a friend and you have friends in common, you may wind up socializing with the same people all the time.  
Decide how bills will be paid and split.  You can call your utility company to get an estimate for how much bills will be.  Be respectful of your friend and pay your rent on time.  They may be a little more forgiving if you're late, but don't sour your relationship by by chronically turning your check in past the due date.
If your landlord is a couple, make sure you have a contingency plan in case they break up.  Also, stay out of any arguments they may have and don't take sides.
Finally, if you are renting from a friend, you may not have a formal lease contract to sign.  Cover any questions you have and perhaps write them down and sign it so both parties are on the same page.
Need help finding an #apartment so you don't have to rent from a buddy?  Give Austin Apartment Specialists a call today at 512-241-1111!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Small Kitchens

Does your #apartment has a less than spacious kitchen?  Check out our #pinterest board for lots of ideas on organization and storage in #SmallKitchens, plus some tips on decorating to make your space appear larger!

Need help finding an apartment with a kitchen that has plenty of room to cook?  Give Austin Apartment Specialists a call today at 512-241-1111.