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Now That You Are Housemates

Now That You Are Housemates

We all know that relationships need attention and negotiation from time to time. With the help of this Senior Center program and some research on your part, you will have set the stage for success. A clear agreement with your new housemate will have been established. You will know the financial and service exchange arrangements and the circumstances under which financial re-negotiation may be necessary. You will have house rules by which you both must live for the agreement to remain valid.

Getting Along
Here we offer a few suggestions to help you manage problems as they arise.

While there are many benefits to home sharing, disagreements can arise. We have all experienced conflicts at some time with family, friends, or housemates. Dealing with differences does not have to be a negative experience. In fact, it can be a growing and uplifting experience when approached with clarity and kindness. 

Spend a little time organizing your thoughts and concerns. What has your housemate done to make you unhappy? How have those actions affected you? How have your actions affected your housemate? What specific steps can be taken to resolve the problem?

Now, you can move on to that conversation with your housemate. Here are a few suggestions to deal with small problems before they grow into BIG ones.

■ Articulate the problems as you see them, how you feel, and what you’d like to have done to change the situation.
■ Discuss one issue at a time without being defensive. Focus on the issue, not the person.
■ Make sure you agree on the definition of the problem.
■ Pay attention to what the other person is saying, thinking and feeling about the problem.
■ Discuss the possible solutions. What are the good points about each? Who will do what, and when?
■ Choose a plan with which you are both comfortable.

■ Decide how you will put the plan in place. What are the steps? Who will do what and when?
■ Decide on a time to discuss progress.
■ Recognize what you’ve both accomplished in working out the situation 

Should a problem develop with which you could use some help, please contact a Senior Shared Living representative. Tell them you want to arrange for a meeting with a Case Worker.

A Note About Safety
When agreeing to share a home, there are basic precautions that both householder and home seekers should take:
● Keep jewelry and money in a secure place.
● Store prescription drugs in your own bedroom not in commonly used areas of the house.
● Do not ask your home seeker or householder to help with your finances.
● Do not share your credit card or social security number.
● If any circumstances arise that make you feel uncomfortable, contact a Senior Shared Living representative who will guide you to the appropriate resource.

Renters Insurance
Be aware that homeowner policies do not cover the personal property of tenants, or liabilities that arise from tenants’ actions. For the benefit of both renters and householder, we recommend that tenants buy renters insurance.

The benefits of renters insurance include:
• Protection of personal property from damage or theft;
• Medical expenses resulting from injuries to guests;
• Liability for damage to the residence or adjacent homes;
• Living expenses if your residence becomes uninhabitable due to fire and water damage (under certain conditions);
• Even spoiled food resulting from electrical problems.


Householders will enjoy peace of mind knowing that they and their tenant are protected while sharing the apartment or home.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (iii.org), you should get three quotes from different insurance companies. You might ask friends or relatives for their recommendations to ensure that you locate a reliable and responsive company, not just one that offers the lowest rates. Policies can be purchased for as little as $15-20 a month from a reputable insurance company or added as a rider to an existing automobile insurance policy.

Steps to getting tenants insurance:

1. Make an inventory of your belongings.
2. Estimate the value of those belongings. (Pictures can be helpful, too.)
3. Speak with your insurance agent about your coverage needs and get a quote.

For more information, please refer to the Resources section of this program.