When moving into a new place, it is important to not only screen your future apartment complex but to also screen your future roommate(s). Here are some friendly tips you should follow to ensure your next rooming situation goes smoothly.
Don’t Automatically Choose to Room with a Friend
You have probably heard the advice, “ never room with your best friend or close friends,” and there is truth to that. Keep in mind, the number one factor that strains friendships are financial issues. If you room with your best friend and their rent comes up short one month, then you may lose more than just a roommate. Instead of risking this potential pitfall, tell your friends that you are looking for roommates and ask if they have any recommendations. It is non-obligating and a far smarter option than asking a random stranger off Craigslist to be your roommate.
Understand Your Prospect Thoroughly
Once you have your prospect, you need to have a casual interview with them and figure out what kind of lifestyle they live. It is important to keep this relaxed and casual. This is not a job interview and certainly not an interrogation, so stay away from any uptight feelings because this is not the right way to keep relations with a potential roommate. Thoroughly understand your prospect by asking questions about their occupation, goals, history, roommate history, past living situations, etc. For example, if your prospect is unemployed, regularly works the graveyard shift, or does not have any goals, then you may want to move on to a different person. As long as you keep a good conversation with them, you will be able to pick up on any red flags that may arise. While no method is foolproof, multiple interviews will help you narrow down prospects for the perfect candidate.
Costs and Documentation
Be absolutely upfront with the costs. If your potential roommate is hesitant or does not fully understand the costs, then find a different roommate. This can potentially put you in financial scrutiny. This would include the base rent, pet costs (if furry friends are moving in), utilities, renters insurance (especially if the apartment requires it), and furniture costs. The second thing you need to do once you have agreed to become roommates is document your roommate agreement. This not only includes the lease but any other agreements that you and your future roommate agree on. This is especially crucial when it comes down to furniture. Since all leases come to an end eventually, it is mandatory for you and your roommate to agree on whose furniture is whose BEFORE moving in and should be noted in the lease documentation. This allows for a peaceful transition when you eventually move out of your apartment, even more so if you and your roommate decide to split furniture costs.
Finding the perfect roommate can happen! Follow our tips outlined above and your roommate search should be smooth.