Living With Roommates


“You will make new friendships that last a lifetime and have plenty of support for those tough assignments and exams.” – Marine Drive resident

Roommate Assignments

Meeting and living with new people is one of the best parts about university living. Students who don’t request a roommate should expect to live with students who are the same gender, around the same age. We do our best to pair roommates who report similar lifestyle habits on the application form but can’t make guarantees. Roommates can use the Online Service Centre to contact each other before moving in.

Roommate Requests

Students can request to live together but we cannot guarantee requests will be accommodated. Roommate requests work best when you follow these steps:

  1. Submit all applications on the same date – with identical preferences (residence area, room type). (In the Online Service Centre, apply under Prospective Residents>Application>Apply.)
  2. Include each other’s student ID numbers.
  • Winter Session applicants: Submit roommate requests before the May 1 deadline.
  • Year Round applicants: Each person must choose the same move in date.

If you apply using a PDF form, staple the forms together and submit them at the same time.

Shared Living

Shared Living is your guide to living with roommates at UBC.

Check it out for:

  • Tips on getting to know roommates
  • Strategies for managing conflict
  • A pre-made cleaning schedule
  • Your roommate agreement form

Download your copy of Shared Living

Tips for living with roommates

Getting Acquainted

First encounters can sometimes be a bit awkward and first impressions deceiving. Try easing into the initial conversation with new roommates by using simple conversation starters, then exchange more detailed information when you feel comfortable around each other.

Begin with easy questions

  • Where do you call home?
  • What’s your major?
  • Why did you choose UBC?
  • What are your favourite things to do?

Set basic expectations

  • How should the unit common space be used?
  • How loud is too loud?
  • How do we feel about parties or gatherings in the room/unit?
  • How we will keep our unit safe and secure?

Plan activities together

  • Have lunch, take a walk, or attend a residence program together.
  • 1st year residents: Attend Roommate Bootcamp together during the Week of Welcome.
  • Upper year residents in suite-style communities: Arrange a unit visit with your Residence Advisor.

Discuss sleep and study habits

  • Are you a morning or night person?
  • Are you a heavy or light sleeper?
  • Will you be studying in our unit or elsewhere?
  • Can you study with music on or with guests in our unit?

Talk about alcohol

  • Do you drink alcohol?
  • How would you describe your drinking habits?
  • Do you think it’s okay to drink alcohol in our unit?

Discuss safety & security

  • Talk about always locking the door when you leave your unit and when you’re sleeping. Ensure your roommate(s) know to always take their keys.
  • What is the policy for letting guests into your unit?
  • How will you communicate if you’re uncomfortable with a particular guest in your unit?
  • Always check in with each other, especially if you haven’t seen one another recently.
  • Let each other know when you’re going to be away, when you’re planning to return, and what to do if you don’t see one another for a while.

Guests and sharing

  • How do you feel about overnight guests?
  • Is there a time that guests of other genders cannot be in our room?
  • Can guests of other genders use our washroom?
  • Are there times when you’d prefer not to have guests?
  • Do you prefer to be asked before someone borrows something?
  • What items are going to be shared?

Discuss cleaning responsibilities

  • How do you prefer to arrange our unit?
  • How do we define a clean unit?
  • How do we rotate cleaning and household chores?
  • Who is responsible for buying the toilet paper and cleaning supplies?


Sometimes there’s conflict between roommates, typically due to noise levels, unwanted guests and cleaning responsibilities. If you’re having trouble, speak to your roommate(s) about the issue before getting other people involved. It’s always best when roommates take a direct and tactful approach to conflict resolution before asking a Residence Advisor for help.


  • Divide the work and take turns.
  • Set a cleaning schedule and clear expectations (what happens when someone fails to do their part).
  • Hire someone to clean, then split the bill.
  • Decide how household items (cleaning supplies, toilet paper, dish soap, etc.) will be purchased.
  • Create a schedule for composting, recycling, and waste removal and assign roles to tackle each.

Daytime noise

Some daytime noise is reasonable, however:

  • Set limits on reasonable volume from TV, music, Skype calls, video games, etc.
  • Choose to go to a residence study room or library to study.

Evening noise

  • Set limits on reasonable volume from TV, music, Skype calls, video games, etc.
  • Consult with your roommate(s) before inviting guests over.
  • Decide on computer cut-off times in a shared room.
  • Use headphones or earplugs to reduce noise.


  • Only on weekends?
  • Only on weeknights, before 10 pm?
  • Only during the daytime?