In the SMU Apartments, the contract you sign makes you and your roommate "equally and severally liable." This means that if your roommate doesn't pay rent or damages the apartment, you are equally responsible. Before you sign a contract with someone, make sure that you trust them!
Even if (or especially if!) you are living with your best friend, it is important to discuss expectations and guidelines from the very beginning. A few topics would include
Financial Obligations: Will each roommate pay an equal amount of rent? Will you have DSL, Cable Modem, phone, or TV? If so, who pays for these? What furniture do you have/need? Who will provide/pay for the furniture? Will you pay rent by the month or by the semester?
Visitors: When may visitors be in your apartment? Are overnight guests of the same gender permitted? Opposite gender? Is there a restriction of how often or how long guests may be at the apartment. Some roommates end up feeling like their roommates boyfriend/girlfriend becomes a third roommate. It is important to discuss these topics up front.
Academic/Study Time: When do you prefer to study? How much time do you expect to spend studying? Where do you like to study? What kind of environment do you need to study?
Cleanliness: How clean do you like your living space to be? How often do you clean? How will you divide the cleaning responsibilities?
Borrowing and Sharing: What items are ok to borrow without asking? What items are ok to borrow with permission? What items are not ok to borrow? Consider items like food, computer, soap, shampoo, clothes, CD's, electronics, etc.
Having a roommate can be great experience and most people enjoy it. If you and your roommates need help working through any issues, your Apartment Community Assistant can help.
Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, roommates will decide not to live together any more. In those cases, the roommates need to come to a decision about how to make that change. All roommates will complete a Roommate Addendum together to change the contract. One roommate cannot be removed from the contract unless all other roommates agree.