In a city with high real estate prices, it’s necessary to share living space. Roommates and other co-living setups are the most affordable way to find housing. How do you find reliable, sane roommates? What should you look for in a roommate to make sure you’ll get along?
The obvious answer is to get to know a potential roommate before committing to living together. There’s a fine line between gathering basic intel on a roommate’s lifestyle and being intrusive. Once you’ve created an ad in the online classifieds and lined up some meet-ups, here are some useful questions to get to the heart of the matter.
The first thing you need to establish is whether your potential roommate is capable of paying rent. It politely opens the door to inquire if their job situation is long-term and secure. What they do for a living will tell you a lot about their lifestyle and schedule. Finally, you can find out if they intend to work from home.
If their current rent is significantly less, then they might be overreaching.
You can learn more about what they like or dislike about co-living. If they dwell on past grievances or refuse to talk about it, it raises a red flag.
It happens at job interviews; it makes sense for roommates as well. Ask for contact details for former roommates. You may also want to check your potential roommate’s social media profile while you’re at it.
You need a rent back-up plan if they lose their job. You need a back-up plan if the roommate situation falls apart and you have to pay double rent after evicting them while hunting for another roommate.
Conflicts over cleaning are a leading cause of break ups in marriages and any other co-living situation. Very few people will tell you they are slobs, so asking how often they clean is a way to determine if they prioritize cleanliness. If you’re both slobs, it can work. If you’re both tidy it can work. You can also invest in a house cleaning service together.
This is a self explanatory way to get them to open up about their expectations of you.
Good to know for housing laws and allergies.
Often a deal breaker.
A double-whammy of linked questions to find out if you’re on the same wavelength with social activities and social activities at home – i.e. your apartment becoming party central. Again, no judgements about party animals or homebodies, you just need to mesh with one another.
Adding a new roommate is one thing. Adding a new roommate and their significant other means you should be conducting two interviews.
You need to know how often there will be a visitor on the couch.
A good way to determine if and when you’ll have alone time or quiet time in the apartment. Their habits affect yours.
If you’re both aspiring chefs, you may butt heads in a small kitchen. On the other hand, if one is a cook and the other isn’t, it can work well.
A fast and flexible answer will reveal if you’re dealing with someone who can get things done quickly and easily.
A basic personality question to get your potential roommate to talk about themselves a little. Introverts and extroverts can get along well if they respect one another’s boundaries.
This is the basic psychopath test. You can come up with any predator prey combo. T-rex or diplodocus? A cheetah or an antelope? If they laugh, you’re probably safe. If they obsess about the predator in the pairing, swim away.
A catch-all safety question to find out if they have any specific issues or concerns.