How to Find the Right Roommate

There are a lot of reasons to live with a roommate. The promise of splitting rent and utility costs is a major one, but finding lifelong friends along the way is also a plus. However, living with a roommate you don’t like can make life extremely difficult. Here are a few tips to ensure you have an enjoyable and reliable roommate relationship.

1. Plan Ahead.

Many roommate relationships fail because they are rushed into. If your old roommate suddenly moved out because he or she got a job in another town, you might find yourself scrambling. But slow down and take your time. It’s important to find a reliable, compatible roommate who is a good fit for the long-term.

2. Pay Attention.

Although it may seem silly, interviewing potential roommates is a good idea and will pay off later. Pay attention to potential red flags — lack of cleanliness, quick to talk badly about others, or excessive references to partying. If these issues come up in an interview, that’s a red flag. In many ways, finding a roommate is like dating, so pay close attention.

3. Come Clean about Tidiness and Money.

Cleanliness and money tend to be two issues that can seriously strain a roommate relationship. Be upfront about your cleanliness standards and clearly define what is acceptable and what isn’t. The same goes with costs. It’s important to talk about not only monthly rent and utility payments, but also what expectations exist regarding splitting food and cleaning costs.

4. Living with Best Friends? Proceed with Caution.

It should be no secret that living with best friends can have a laundry list of negatives. However, this does not always mean you should only live with complete strangers. Use your best judgement on whether or not you and a friend should live together. Every friendship has its ups and downs, but you should know whether a permanent living arrangement will strengthen or strain your relationship.

5. Get it in Writing.

Regardless of how much you trust your new roommate, make sure to get the lease payment agreements in writing. Try to include as many of the agreed upon terms as possible. Informal arrangements are never a good start to a new roommate relationship. With these helpful tips, you’ll be sure to find the perfect, reliable roommate for you.

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