Renewing Your Lease in the Madison Campus/Downtown Area

high rise housing renewingIt’s that time of year. You’ve just moved into your apartment, are finally settling in, and suddenly you’re already being asked about renewing your lease for the 2018-2019 lease term! You may be thinking “I don’t even know if I’m going to like who I’m living with or where I’m living now, so how am I supposed to choose for next year already?”. We totally understand!

Madison’s campus area market is a unique one. Almost all apartments in the campus area begin leasing for the following fall nearly 11 months in advance. It seems crazy, we know, but MPM adheres to this schedule in order to be as fair and efficient as possible for our residents and property owners.

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Renting an Apartment “Sight Unseen”

sight unseenFinding a new apartment can sometimes be challenging.  What’s more challenging is if you are unable to view a unit before signing a lease for it.  Whether you are unable to get off work during the available showing hours, you live out of state, or you are moving from another country, we have a few tips for you when it comes to signing for an apartment “sight unseen”.

What does “Sight Unseen” actually mean?

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Home Office Solutions for Your Apartment

home office in your apartmentIt can be difficult to work from home when you live in a smaller space, or have to share a space with roommates.  Although it may seem impossible, it definitely is possible.  Below are some ideas, tips and tricks to turn your small or shared space in your apartment into a comfortable home office area.

Finding the Perfect Space for Your Home Office Area

Think about where your ideal work space would be in your apartment.  A place where you can work comfortably and efficiently.  Do you need a quiet space? Do you want to be away from any noises that others are making in the home while you work?  Or are you okay with a little noise and can work through anything?  These are just a few of the things to consider when choosing where your home office space will be.  The second thing to think about is space.

If you are wanting something quiet and away from any other action in the house, think about using a spare bedroom, unused closet, or part of your bedroom.  Think of somewhere that you will not be distracted.  If you are okay working in an area that has lots of traffic or noise when anyone is home, then try to find an area in your living room or hallway that would fit your office space.
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Roommates, Shared Space and a Happy Face

These three ideas should define apartment living, but all too often, the dynamic between roommates can change after the honeymoon stage of a live-in friendship has worn off. Cohabitation isn’t the easiest thing to master, but we have a few suggestions to keep in mind as you navigate the ups and downs of sharing your space with others.

The most important aspect of a relationship with your roomies is communication. A lack of good, clear communication is the root of many heated debates and can cause extreme tension between cohabiters.

It might seem silly, but being upfront about your expectations is crucial before moving in with someone.  To make sure everyone remains on the same page, we recommend reviewing these expectations within the first week of living in your new home.  Setting ground rules makes it much easier to have a mutual understanding of your shared space, and exceptions to these rules can always be discussed on a case-by-case basis when unique circumstances arise.

Conflict can occur, even between the most amicable of roommates.  If a roomie does something that irks you, it’s important to address the issue right away so resentment doesn’t build over time.  Although it’s important to be open and honest, we recommend doing so with a conversation rather than a confrontation.   Whether it’s asking your roommates to check with you before throwing a party on a Tuesday night or having a conversation about which food items you are and aren’t willing to share, your roommates are much more likely to understand your point of view if you talk with them respectfully.  Along the same lines, be open to a little constructive criticism from your cohabiters and be and willing to compromise or make some changes in your behavior.Roommates

The following are little tricks you and your roommates can implement to maintain positive communication in your household:

Cleaning/Chores

  • Create a chore chart so each person can clearly see what needs to be done.
  • Assign permanent duties for each person. (e.g. you will always clean this and your roommate will always clean ) This system will ensure that responsibilities are clear and easy to remember.
  • Set clear expectations for when regular cleaning should occur.
  • Clean up after yourself.

makeupBathroom usage and Organization

  • Talk about schedules and come up with a routine so your roommate isn’t late to work because he or she has to wait for you to finish your 30 minute shower in the morning.
  • Make sure each person has a designated shelf/drawer/etc. so finding your own toiletries is easy.
  • Have a caddy or bin that you can easily access so you can take part of your morning routine into your bedroom as needed.
  • Be courteous of your roommates’ privacy, and understand that their hygiene routines may be different from yours.

Kitchen Use

  • Decide if you and your roomies will buy food together and share it or if you’d prefer to keep your groceries separate. Either option can work well (as long as all parties are on the same page).
  • Talk about doing dishes, sharing appliances, filling water pitchers, re-stocking ice cube trays, and other shared responsibilities.

Paying Bills

  • If you are sharing and splitting bills, make a calendar that denotes when bills are due.
  • Stick to payment deadlines.
  • Have a white board on your fridge where you can clearly write out/divide the bills so each person knows exactly how much he or she owes and why.

Shared Space– Parallel play

  • You don’t have to hide out in your own bedroom to do something that you want to do alone, and it’s important to feel comfortable near your roommates without feeling the need to partake in their every activity. A great way to hang out together while still taking some time for yourself is called parallel play. Realize that it is completely okay to be in the same room with your roommates while doing different things.  Parallel play can even be a bonding experience of sorts.

If you and your roomies utilize some of these tips this year, we’re confident that your living experience will be a great one!

 

Best Friends Make the Best Roommates? Not so fast…

It’s that time a year again, where students rush to get their housing for next year locked down and compete for leases in the best spots on campus. Finding a place to live is only half the battle, however, as your new home won’t be a very fun place if you aren’t compatible with the people you share it with. While you may think that living with your BFF is a great idea, differences in lifestyle and conflict resolution could turn them into your worst enemy. Here are a few tips from Madison Property Management and backing those up are MPM resident Olivia Johnson with some roommate experiences of her own. Continue reading