How to Find Roommates You Won’t Hate Living With
You want to come home to a space where you feel comfortable and welcome. For this it’s essential that you have good relationships with those you share your home with. Learn here how to find roommates that won’t make you crazy and who you’ll love spending your downtime with.
You may have seen the sitcom ‘Friends’, but unfortunately not all roommate scenarios turn out that way. What if your roommate has turned into your arch enemy? Or you can’t handle their choice of music that’s always blaring from their room.
Avoid a lot of tension and conflict with housemates by implementing our tips. We’ll tell you about how to find roommates that will become friends and one day even feel like family—just like Monica and Rachel and Joey and Chandler.
Tips on Finding the Perfect Roommates
You’re about to spend weeks, months or even years with the people you pick as roommates. What if you’re entirely incompatible?
Luckily, these expert guidelines can safeguard you against many possible issues in terms of picking house mates.
Don’t Rush the Process
The secret of how to find roommates you’ll enjoy living with is to start looking long before you need to fill the spot. If you don’t have to rush the process just to make your budget work, you won’t feel pressured to pick someone you’re not sure is a good fit for you.
Decide what YOU Want
Whether you’re moving into someone else’s place or you’re the one renting out rooms, write down a general idea of the type of roommate you’ll prefer living with. Consider:
- Personality traits that suit yours
- Do you prefer a roommate who doesn’t want to host a party every weekend?
- If you’re vegan, you may want to simplify dinner time by only living with other vegans or vegetarians?
Also think about practical aspects such as whether you want to rent in a furnished apartment or bring your own bed, cupboards and more. And if you’re inviting others to rent space in your apartment, how much of their own furniture will you be comfortable adding to the space?
You don’t want the rooms to become too cluttered.
Create an Ad—the More Details the Better
When you know what you’re after, create an informative ad that will draw reaction from the right type of roommate:
- State the size of the rooms you’re renting out.
- Mention nearby amenities.
- Share something about yourself, such as interests, so someone reading it can compare it to what they’re looking for in a roommate.
- Be clear about availability of parking.
- Is it dog friendly?
The more you say, the less time you’ll spend on the phone explaining to callers what you’re offering.
Find Roommates Online
Now you can share that advertisement online, using social media and other platforms specially designed to connecting roommates with each other.
A large percentage of people go online to find information these days, rather than looking at community notice boards or newspapers. Plus, you can spread the word about your roommate search without paying anything.
Ask Family and Friends for References
Asking your own network to ask around is also a good idea when planning how to find roommates. If they refer someone to you that they know—even slightly—you at least have one trustworthy reference of that person’s character. This will simplify the process once you get to the interview stage.
Background Check and social media ‘Stalking’
Once the applications start flooding in, do some online research to get some idea of the individuals’ lifestyles and habits. You can learn a lot from someone’s social media profile and posts if they share it publicly.
For example, if they seem like the type that picks a fight with anyone on Facebook, just to cause some drama, you know you won’t want that atmosphere in your home on a daily basis.
Now it’s time for face-to-face interviews with the applicants you placed on your shortlist. You can do virtual interviews as well. However, if they can meet you in person, you’ll get a better, more honest reflection of the person’s general attitude and manners. You may be able to gauge within the first few minutes whether you feel comfortable around them or not.
Use a Roommate Questionnaire
During the interview, a questionnaire is an easy way to get to know each other a little better and spark conversation.
Ask questions on aspects like:
- General lifestyle, for example whether they’re students who need a lot of quiet to study.
- What are their priorities in life, so you know whether they’ll prioritize their chores as well as their jobs in order to maintain their income and be able to pay rent.
- Habits in terms of general hygiene. See if you’re compatible. If one person is always nagging another to clean the shower drain or take out the trash, the atmosphere can become quite strained.
Make Financials a Priority
A common topic that roommates experience conflict over is rent payments. A tip on how to find roommates that will always help you cover monthly costs is to do credit checks. You can do them yourself or ask applicants to supply you with the relevant information. Even copies of a few months’ bank statements will help gauge whether someone will be able to afford the rent.
Enzo tip: if someone refuses to have a credit check done, it’s a good sign that there are financial problems that will quickly result in YOU not getting the rent they owe you.
During the interview, also talk about their viewpoint on covering expenses such as:
- Groceries and cleaning materials that all roommates will use
- Meal ingredients
- Take aways
- A party that the roommates host together
Pick a roommate that has the same viewpoint as you on who is responsible for these expenses, so you avoid unnecessary conflict later on.
Have Your House Rules Ready
While you decide what you expect from a roommate (see above), you can also jot down some basic rules for roommates. Even though you’re all adults, you need to protect your own and their rights. Also, rules can prevent arguments if all roommates agree to them. Set out your expectations with regards to:
- What will help create a beneficial living environment in your opinion?
- Until what time can roommates play music?
- Can everyone leave their personal clutter in the communal areas?
- How will you organize individuals’ food in the kitchen cupboards and fridge? Should each person have their own section, or must you label food items with people’s names?
- Can roommates have friends or family stay over without consulting anyone else?
Enzo tip: It’s a good idea to ask their opinion on the rules during the interview. They may have some suggestions that are to everyone’s benefit, and they’ll feel more willing to abide by the rules if they’re consulted in drawing up the list.
All roommates should sign the house rules as proof that they agree to follow them. Then no one has an excuse for breaking them in future. On Enzo you can easily share the rules via the app.
Get the Contract Signed
Apart from the house rules, make sure to have signed copies of the rental agreement. This protects both parties’ rights.
Tips on How to Find Roommates in a New City
The process above makes it a bit easier when you’re wondering how to find roommates, but it is even more daunting if you’re doing it in a new city, you recently moved to. We compiled a few tips that will help you in this scenario, especially if you don’t have any support network in town yet:
- Did you move for work or to study? Start off by asking colleagues or other students about possible roommates to share a house or apartment with.
- Many cities and towns have community centers. Check the bulletin boards of the ones closest to your place of work or study. There’s a chance there are rooms or apartments to rent close to that establishment.
- Utilize modern resources like apps and social media. Thanks to location features they can get you in touch with relevant individuals in your area.
- Contact a few local churches, because they may know of congregation members who have available space to rent out.
Using these sources as the start of your search, implement our other tips on how to find roommates you’ll one day call friends. Be smart about who you pick and pretty soon the new city will feel like home.
Ready to Make Roommates Your Friends?
The ‘Friends’ episodes brought audiences a lot of entertainment over the years. Perhaps Monica would have had less stress if she could have managed house chores between her roommates more effectively. You can, if you use Enzo. And now that you know how to find roommates that will work for your lifestyle, you can also use our app to share your house rules and other information with them.
Learn all about the Enzo features here.