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Sharing a Rental with a Roommate

Sharing a rental property, whether it is an apartment or a house, can be either a dream come true or a living nightmare. There are many advantages to having a roommate; however, there are also disadvantages. When these disadvantages are severe they can result in an uncomfortable living environment in some situations and even a dangerous living environment in other situations. There are a couple of ways a renter can protect themselves when sharing their rental property with a roommate. This includes screening the potential roommate carefully and including the roommate on the rental agreement.

The Advantages and Disadvantages to Having a Roommate

Having a roommate can certainly be advantageous in some situations. The primary advantage is financial. Renters who opt to have a roommate, essentially cut their rent in half if they opt to have one roommate or in thirds if they opt to have two roommates. This is ideal for renters who would like to have a larger apartment but would not be able to afford such an apartment without the assistance of a roommate.

Another advantage to having a roommate is the opportunity to share household responsibilities with the roommate. Of course this is only an advantage when the roommate is willing to do his share of the work on a regular basis. If this is not the case, it may result in a huge disadvantage which will be covered briefly in the section on disadvantages.

One of the most significant disadvantages to having a roommate is a lack of privacy. Those who live alone do not ever have to worry about not having time to themselves while they are in their apartment. However, when a renter has a roommate, there is no guarantee the renter will ever have any time to himself while he is in the apartment.

Another disadvantage to having a roommate is the distribution of household responsibilities may not always be even. Roommates should have a discussion regarding the household responsibilities such as cleaning the common areas but there is always the possibility that one roommate may not do his share of the work. When this happens it can create conflict and resentment among the roommates. This conflict can make the living situation quite uncomfortable.

Select a Compatible Roommate

When selecting a roommate, the renter should be careful to select a compatible roommate. In the previous section we discussed how conflicts can arise when one roommate does not do his share of the cleaning. However, incompatible cleaning styles are only a small portion of the compatibility issues roommates may face. One important issue is entertaining. If one roommate has visitors at the apartment often, it can cause problems if the other roommate is not comfortable with this.

Even the times in which the roommates normally sleep can cause problems. If one roommate goes to bed early and wakes up at 4:00 am, it can be problematic if the other roommate likes to stay up late and not wake up until 9:00 am. In this case the roommates may not only begin to get on each other’s nerves but they may also begin to adversely affect the other’s job or social life.

Include the Roommate on the Rental Agreement

Finally, renters should be sure to include their roommate or roommates on the rental agreement. This is very important because it helps to protect all of the roommates. Inclusion of all of the roommates prevents one roommate from being able to ask another to leave unjustly. This may occur when conflicts arise but inclusion on the rental agreement ensures each of the roommates has a right to live on the property. Placing each of the roommates’ names on the rental agreement also prevents one roommate from not making their rent payments in a timely manner. It will also help to prevent one roommate from being held legally responsible for not paying the rent on time by the leasing agent.

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Rental Swaps

Some vacationers find a rental swap to be an ideal situation when they are traveling. Homeowners, especially in desired locations, may find there is a great deal of interest from others who would like to rent their home for a short period of time. Typically this is about one to three weeks although it may be longer or shorter in some cases. A rental swap is essentially where a homeowner in one location offers the use of their home to another homeowner in exchange for use of the other homeowners home. Ideally these swaps will take place concurrently but in some situations swaps are organized at different times of the year.

A Rental Swap Saves You Money

For many a rental swap is worth considering because it can result in a tremendous financial savings. Lodging often accounts for a large portion of a vacationers travel expenses. By eliminating these costs the vacationers may find they are able to add additional aspects to their vacation. For example, by eliminating lodging costs, a vacationer may have money left over in the travel budget to see a few plays, eat dinner at extravagant restaurants or purchase tickets to sporting events.

A rental swap, however, does not always automatically translate to a financial savings. Consider the cost of staying in a hotel within walking distance to major attractions as opposed to participating in a rental swap 10-20 miles away from most major attractions. In the case of the rental swap, the vacationers will most likely have to rent a car during their stay but might not have to do so when staying in a hotel. The need for a car, whether or not the kitchen in a rental swap will be utilized to cook meals and other factors should be considered in determining whether a rental swap or hotel stay is more financially logical.

A Rental Swap is More Comfortable than a Hotel

In most cases a rental swap usually results in a more comfortable stay than a visit to a hotel. Of course there will always be situations in which the quality and even the size of the hotel may be superior to the conditions of the rental shop but for the most part, vacationers usually feel more comfortable in a rental swap situation. Staying in a home typically provides the vacationers with more privacy as well as the ability to spread out a little more. This can be very beneficial for keeping the peace especially for large families who may quickly feel overcrowded in a hotel situation.

There are Risks to a Rental Swap

While a rental swap may certainly seem appealing, there are some inherent risks to this type of lodging situation. First of all the possibility of the rental property not being exactly as described is a very real risk. Homeowners may exaggerate the appeal of their property either intentionally or unintentionally. Regardless of the intent of the homeowner, the vacationers may still find themselves in a situation where they are disappointed with the accommodations. This may be because the house is not as large or well-appointed as described or because the house is older and less well maintained than depicted.

Another risk to a rental shop is the possibility of the other homeowner not noting the correct dates. Although this is also a possibility with a hotel, it can be more troubling when the vacationers was counting on the rental swap for their accommodations during the stay. While a hotel might make every effort to accommodate the hotel guests when there is a mistake, homeowners in a rental swap may not have the available resources to find an alternate place for the vacationers to stay.

One final risk which exists in a rental swap, is potential damage to your own property when you allow others to use the property. Homeowners can work to minimize the trouble in these situations by screening those who they are considering for a rental swap carefully. Additionally, homeowners can take security measures by alerting the police as well as neighbors that a stranger will be staying in the home. This will help everyone to be more vigilant and aware of the potential for problems.

Services and Features Offered by Most International Airports

Each year, a fairly large number of individuals, families, and couples make the decision to travel internationally.  Are you one of those people?  If so, you will have to use the services offered by an international airport.  An international airport is an airport that not only offers flights in and around the United States, but out of it as well.  If you have never been to an international airport before, you may be wondering what you can do or find inside one.  If so, you are not alone, millions of other Americans are wondering the exact same thing.

Before you can examine the features and services that are offered by international airports, it is important to remember one thing. Not all airports are the same, even international ones. This means that you may be able to find one certain feature, such as a currency exchange counter, at one airport, but not at another.  Outlined below are some of the most common services and features offered by most international airports; however, they are not offered by all.  If you are looking for detailed information on a specific international airport, you are advised to contact that airport directly or search for their online website. 

Perhaps, one of the most common services offered by international airports is currency exchange.  In a way, it makes perfect sense.  Many travelers come to an international airport because they are looking to fly internationally. You will find that not all countries accept the same currency; therefore, you will need to have your currency exchanged.  Many travelers wait until arrive at their destination to do this, but there are benefits to having your currency exchanged beforehand. 

Similar to traditional currency exchange service centers, is full service banks. Full service banks are offered in most international airports, including those in other countries.  Many full service banks will not only allow you to exchange currencies, but withdrawal money from your home bank account, exchange your money for traveler’s checks and much more.  You will find that you can do this, in most, case even if you do not have an account with the bank at the airport. Although international airport banks have different hours, you will find that most are open whenever you need to use them.

Mail service centers can also be found in international airports, all around the world.  Mail services centers have a number of different purposes.  One of those purposes being that you can mail items to your home, especially those that are prohibited aboard an international flight.  While the cost of postage may seem high, especially if you are mailing to or from a foreign country, you won’t have to turn your prohibited belongs over to airport security or discard of them. Many mail service centers are open the majority of the day; however, self-service mail centers are rapidly increasing in popularity. 

Wireless internet is a unique service that you can find in most international airports. Wireless internet allows to you access your email, read the news online, or surf the internet without having to be attached to cables or phone lines.  Not all international airports supply their passengers with free wireless internet, but many are starting to.  If you were planning on leaving your laptop or PDA machine at home, you may want to rethink your decision, especially if the international airport you will be using has wireless internet access for those inside the building.

Wireless internet access, full service banks, currency exchange centers, and mail service centers are just a few of the many services, facilities, and establishments that you can find inside an international airport.  Also, don’t forget retail shops and eateries.  In fact, many international airports now appear as if they have a small mall inside of them.