Having a roommate is a great idea if you are looking to save money, you can also save some time because you will split the chores, and if you are a person that feels lonely when you live alone, then having a roommate could be a good company and you can even build a strong friendship.
However, having a roommate also comes with challenges. You can end up living with a terrible roommate who misses the payments, never cleans, always hosts a party, and doesn’t respect your sleep schedule. If you don’t want to live that nightmare, it is important to take your time to find a reliable roomie that will actually be good company.
Get Recommendations From Friends
Word-of-mouth is a great way to find the right roommate for you, ask your friends if they know someone who is looking to move in your area or looking for a roomie, maybe you even find out that one of your friends is about to move and is willing to be your roomie. When you get recommendations from a person you trust such as a family member or friend you know they will give you an honest review on that person.
Use a Roommate Finder App or Platform
Here are some of the most useful apps to find a roommate:
- Roomi: Thanks to an algorithm this app for roommates will find the roomie that could be more compatible with you. You just have to answer a few questions about yourself to get the ideal match. This app performs background checks so you can be sure the person you find is reliable.
- Roomie Match: Employees from the company manually review all the profiles to make sure they are reliable and then you can receive the top matching profiles for yours.
- Symbi: This app lets you link to your social media profiles and you can enter basic information such as sleep habits, if you would love to frequently take guests, etc.
- Circle for Roommates: You have to link your Facebook account to this app and they will show you users who are on your same location and you can either like or dislike the user.
Check Social Media
Social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram are great to let people know that you are looking for a roommate and maybe you encounter some candidates who are from your social circle.
Facebook groups are also an excellent resource to find potential roomies. Join a group of people that live in your same location, and frequently discuss renting an apartment or having a roommate. You can join student groups from your same colleague or people who recently graduated. That way you can connect with people that have the same lifestyle as you.
Be as Honest as Possible in Your Listing
Be honest about some things that will be a deal-breaker for you such as smoking habits, if pets are allowed, or if you prefer that your roomie is a student, working person, etc. Being honest about what you are looking for in a roomie will save you time dealing with candidates that won’t be a good fit for you.
Ask for References
Just as a landlord would ask you for references to ensure you will be a reliable renter, you should ask any potential roommate for references to verify their background and ensure they will be financially responsible and respect your agreement.
When the potential roomie submits a lease application it should also include a list of references, then proceed to verify the information and contact each person on the list. Ask detailed questions to previous landlords and roommates such as their behavior, if they caused an issue, if the person always pays rent in time, disruptive behaviors, etc.
Take note of everything for when you are taking the final choice of whether the potential roomie would be a good fit for you. You can also run a background and credit check on him.
Interview the Prospective Roomie
Once you have a few potential roomies it is time to interview each one of them. This is an important step because it could be the crucial factor to choose a roomie over another. Some important questions you should ask are:
- Cleaning Habits: Even if you aren’t a cleaning freak, asking about cleaning habits will ensure you will split the chores and you won’t have future conflicts over unwashed dishes or a messy living room. Ask what chores they like and which ones they hate. You should ask if they would be willing to pay for a professional cleaning service. The most important thing is that you have similar cleaning habits.
- Smoking Habits: If you don’t smoke but your roomie does, you could be frequently disturbed by the smell. Some buildings also forbade smoking indoors. If your roomie doesn’t smoke but you do, be honest about it.
- Bedtime Schedule: Are they a night owl or a morning person? Look for someone who has similar sleep habits to you, or if they don’t, make sure they are quiet and respect your bedtime.
- Social Life: Will that person bring friends twice a week or twice a month? Are his friends allowed to stay there? Set down a few rules regarding the visits.
- Ability to Pay Rent: Try to find out as much information as possible about the person’s occupation, ask for a letter of employment, the LinkedIn profile, and even a bank statement to prove that they can pay for rent.
Finding the right roomie will bring so many benefits regarding your budget and finding a good friend. But never get a roommate without first considering the details listed above and doing your due diligence. ‘
Once your roommate moves in, they will have certain tenant rights that could potentially give them a lot of control over your living situation. The last thing you want in a situation like this is to be dealing with a roommate who is making your life difficult and whose frustrating actions and habits you have to put up with.