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Apartment Guest Problems

A fun part of college life is having guests in your home. Learn how to set good boundaries with your roommates when they want to have friends over and successfully resolve potential problems.
Have You Experienced?
  1. Late night interruptions by roommates’ parties, watching movies, or playing video games
  2. Constant interruptions by roommates’ guests
  3. Privacy issues with roommate guests
  4. A roommate’s fiancé is at the apartment all the time
  5. Or a roommate doesn’t like guests at the apartment
  • Hold an apartment council at the beginning of the semester
  • Seek healthy ways to address uncomfortable situations
  • Identify and develop shared boundaries
  • Respectfully discuss problems when they arise

Discuss Apartment Guests in an Apartment Council

Roommates talking together in their apartment living room.

Before an uncomfortable situation arises about apartment guests (whether the guest be yours or a roommate’s), hold an apartment council at the beginning of the semester to talk openly about how to handle having people over. Apartment councils allow you to honestly share your feelings about having apartment guests and become united as roommates in how and when to invite guests over. Learn more about how to hold effective apartment councils.

Address Uncomfortable Situations

Mary and Jim

This video is a humorous example of displays of affection between a roommate and their significant other. How might you handle situations where the interactions of the couple make roommates uncomfortable or which are contrary to moral standards?

How can roommates encourage appropriate dating standards and support the relationships of roommates as well as make the apartment a comfortable environment?

Identify and Develop Shared Boundaries

Work together as roommates to set good boundaries that align with the CES Honor Code, Apartment Living Standards, and For the Strength of Youth Guidelines. Boundaries can help roommates respect each other and foster positive roommate relations.

Examples of Good Boundaries
  1. Respect personal space. Bedrooms and other personal spaces should be off limits to guests.
  2. Respect others’ time. Discuss times when guests can visit the apartment and not disrupt other roommates’ schedules.
  3. Respect shared spaces. Understand that shared spaces in your apartment are for all roommates to enjoy. Make sure they are always comfortable and inviting for your roommates.
  4. Give roommates advanced notice if you have a guest. Determine together how much notice your roommates need.
  5. Respect roommates' guests. When roommates have a guest, be courteous and warm. Don’t make your roommate or their guest uncomfortable.

How to Discuss Guest Problems with a Roommate

It can be difficult to know how to discuss problems with a roommate’s guests. Remember to treat your roommate the way you’d like to be treated if you were in a similar situation. Jesus Christ has provided counsel for how to address this situation with love. This is commonly called the Matthew 18 Principle.

Step 1: Address Guest Problems with Honesty and Love

"Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone." (Matthew 18:15)

 Identify an appropriate time you can speak privately with your roommate about apartment guest problems. In a calm and kind voice, talk with your roommate about the situation and how it affects you.

Be clear about boundaries and expectations discussed in the apartment council.

Urban myth has it that if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will instantly leap out. But if you put it in a pot filled with pleasantly tepid water and gradually heat it, the frog will remain in the water until it boils to death. Allegedly, the frog is not able to detect the gradual increase in temperature until it's too late.

How can you help roommates avoid situations where it would be easy to sin and violate the law of chastity? What does this have to do with being your “brother’s (or sister’s) keeper?”
Step 2: Hold an Apartment Council to Talk About the Problem. 

"But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more." (Matthew 18:16)

Hold an apartment council to discuss apartment guest problems with kindness and understanding. Take responsibility for your feelings and avoid a situation that might be embarrassing for your roommates. It is more likely your roommate will listen when it’s more than just you that is being affected by an apartment guest problem.

Visitors to an apartment of the opposite gender must adhere to the following standards:
  1. There must always be at least three people in an apartment being visited by a member of the opposite gender.
  2. Men and women may visit apartments of the opposite gender between 10 am and curfew.
  3. Visitors of the opposite gender are not allowed in bedrooms at any time.
  4. If a public restroom is not readily available, visitors of the opposite gender may use the bathroom in the apartment.
  5. Where applicable, blinds must be open during visits by the opposite gender.

Step 3: Seek Help

"And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church." (Matthew 18:17)

Get help from your housing manager and the Housing and Student Living Office, or an ecclesiastical leader such as a bishop that can help you and your roommate resolve conflict. Refer to the Roommate Guide for additional tips and ideas to resolve conflict.