My potential roommate and I planned to lease a flat for the last of our university time. However he plans to live in the flat even between semesters (not returning home) so that he can get a job to pay for his rent. My issue how much he can afford, since I did not know about his financial situation. The places that are within that range, seem extremely questionable, but if we were to split the rent then we could live in a slightly nicer place (not that much nicer).

I think this should have been mentioned before seriously asking to be roommates, I feel extremely guilty to turning him down knowing his situation and to be fair I did ask first (without knowing this).

Update: sorry for not clarifying, I don't want to live with my roommate because I wish to stay in a nicer place, also we would have to worry about furniture as the places he has looked at are not furnished and may/maynot have a functional kitchen. Also I am far from home and without a car. The area where most of these flats are located are not safe, many robberies and shooting have happened in some of the neighborhoods. It's not that I don't want to pay rent over between semester, I just wanted to give a reason for needing a low rent, where as my situation is more flexible.

Update 2: I assumed that if he was able to cover dorm fees then we could find a reasonable place. I have another friend who was in a similar situation they found a wonderful place that caters to students and I was hoping to live there as well, but that place is over budget as well. I asked about how much flexibility he has and he is set on what he can afford. I did some digging and found a couple of places that might be decent, up to date on fire/safety codes/ within budget, but now he just shuts me down cause he's not in the mood to talk. Yes I've offend him, but I did try.

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    Welcome to IPS! To make sure I understand the question correctly, you want to turn down your roommate because you are afraid he won't be able to pay the rent? Did you talk about this with him before decided to turn him down? If no, why not? If yes, what did he said?
    – Ael
    Commented Nov 1, 2018 at 6:57
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    Do you already know that he can’t afford the standard of accommodation you’d like, or is it a guess at this stage? Working during the holidays seems a reasonable way for a student to raise his own funds. Is the issue that you don’t want to pay any rent at all during the holidays, or that you want a nicer place (or both)?
    – Lawrence
    Commented Nov 2, 2018 at 12:08
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    Hello! I've removed the "relationships" tag from your question for the time being, because on our site that's used for romantic partners, and I don't think that's what you meant here. If I was mistaken, please do clarify and feel free to edit the appropriate tags :)
    – Em C
    Commented Nov 3, 2018 at 1:13

1 Answer 1


Financial reasons, unfortunately, is the number 1 reason for marriage (and even empires) to fail. <-- read this line again.

Back to your issue: if you feel your roommate will not be able to pay his rent then you should have an adult, open conversation about it with him.

Here's a potential script you can use:

John, I think we're jumping ahead of ourselves. We didn't factor properly the finance surrounding our new venture and I have reason to believe that we may fail here. Let me explain you why: The monthly rent is $XXX/month. I may need to break some of my savings in the event we I don't make it so I'm hedged here but I'm not sure how will it work for you. Honestly, I don't feel comfortable with this and I wonder, as your trustworthy roommate, if you can put some light into your strategy and see if your strategy is valid. Alternatively [propose a better solution].

If you don't have this conversation, it is very likely that instead of focusing on your studies, you will be wrapped up with stress and unnecessary awkward moments with him.

Planning is key.

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    The script is a great example, but would you mind editing in some explanation? For example, how did you come up with it, what are the critical points to include that make it "adult" and "open"? That way if this particular script doesn't fit quite right with OP's way of speaking, they can still understand the important elements present in it and craft their own version.
    – Em C
    Commented Nov 3, 2018 at 1:18

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