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How to Find a Roommate in 2024

Michelle Wilson - February 20, 2024

How to Find a Roommate in 2023

Finding a roommate requires a lot of consideration. You need to find someone who’s a compatible match, especially when you want the living arrangement to remain long-term. Lifestyle, interests, routine, and budget are all critical details to consider before securing a place. Individuals can use Craigslist, social media networks, or mutual connections to find a decent roommate.

Use Craigslist to Find a Roommate

Start by making an online advertisement for Craigslist that details what living arrangements you’re looking for. Users must create an online account and verify their email address before posting anything to the website. After verification, you’ll want to include personal information about the living arrangements, including shared spaces, schedule requirements, pet policies, and room details. Include any mandatory requirements for your roommate, like a non-smoker, within the ad. Likewise, list the expected rent pricing on the post and how long the tenancy is for.

Social Media Networks

With millions of active monthly users, social media is quickly replacing online community boards for renting situations. If active on social media, start by posting a request to your roommate for friends and family to see. Include the specifics of the rental arrangements, including photos of the room and shared areas. After posting to your profile, share the page on local community pages or groups to see if anyone is interested.

Facebook offers a marketplace option when posting a room for rent, which may attract more individuals to your advertisement. Ensure you include the monthly rent, photos, and renting requirements (first, last, pet deposit, or parking fees). Filter any prospective roommates with the messenger function on the platform.

Ask Around Through Mutual Connections

With housing increasingly difficult to secure, more individuals are seeking shared accommodation. To avoid a stranger moving into your space, ask your social networks about anyone looking for a room or shared living arrangement. Let friends and family know you’re looking for a roommate and any specifics you require from that arrangement. Ask prospective roommates’ phone numbers or email addresses and reach out directly.

What is Subletting?

Subletting is a rental form allowing an individual to share or take over the original tenant’s property. The subtenant pays the original tenant directly, while that individual will pay the landlord. The landlord will hold the original tenant responsible for all fees and damages to the property and must approve any subletting agreement before moving in.

How to Interview a Prospective Roommate

Once you have a few options for the new roommate, it’s time to narrow them down. Write a list of qualities and considerations you’d like from the individual. It helps to list any qualities on a sheet of paper and then prioritize them when you have a solid understanding of who you are as a roommate and who you’d like to live with.

How to Determine Roommate Qualities

Start by examining your routines and schedules. Evaluate your regular waking hours and an average work schedule. Note any routines or social habits you may have, such as late-night get-togethers or early-morning jogs. It’s always better to remain honest about your lifestyle with a prospective roommate than to have an uncomfortable living situation.

A decent roommate will be responsible, tidy, and will maintain their portion of the bills. You’ll need to ask about income and employment and can request pay stubs or a letter from the employer. Ideally, the rent costs will only total approximately 30% of your roommate’s income. If there’s a notable difference in revenue and expenses, ask the individual how they intend to cover the costs.

Reviewing Roommate References

Most roommates will have references available for your consideration. Ask the individual for at least three contacts to speak with before agreeing to a roommate situation. Contact each reference independently and ask about prior living arrangements. Did this person have a landlord, or were they living with someone else? Did they pay their bills on time each month? How was the unit after they left? Ensure the roommate was respectful and paid all bills on time.

Perform a Background Check

Before handing keys over to a stranger, screening potential roommates with a background check is always a good idea. Find a reputable company and enter the first and last name of the prospective roommate into the search bar. After the report is finalized, scan through the report for any obvious red flags. Red flags may include a criminal history, delinquent accounts, insolvencies, or unemployment. Make sure the individual you’ll live with is someone you’d be comfortable being around.

How to Create a Roommate Agreement

Once you’ve found a roommate, you’ll want to establish a roommate agreement to establish mutual rules and logistics within the home. Having a clear set of boundaries can help avoid problems and disagreements, especially if you both set the terms together.

The roommate agreement should always include an outline of the following:

Guest Rules and Etiquette

This portion should outline any notice required for guests at the house and rules for overnight guests. Find a middle ground for overnight guests by sticking to a quantity you agree with. Never allowing sleepovers is unrealistic, but moving a spouse into the home is unacceptable.

Quiet hours.

Although it seems trivial, having a specific time to reduce the noise will significantly benefit you both. Try to find a happy medium between the noise level and when you both go to bed.

Cleaning Schedules and Fees

If you plan on dividing the household chores, establish who will do what early. Also, include a stipulation if someone wants to hire a professional cleaner (costs, who pays, how often, and when).

List of Property and Personal Items

If you’re both moving into a place together, outline a list of items from both people. If items are not communal, indicate where they should remain stored.

Food and Meal Planning

Although some roommates will have independent meals, others enjoy cooking together. Establish how the groceries and meal planning will look for the household and how those expenses will be divided.

Outline Non-Negotiable Rules

If you can’t have pets within the property or want a non-smoking roommate, indicate these items within the agreement. Although you can’t stop someone from smoking, you can create a smoke-free home. Indicate any consequences for breaking this term within the agreement.

Expense Payment Dates

While many people automatically assume the rent is due on the first, always outline the payment dates within the roommate agreement. Make sure you include applicable dates and approximate costs for any shared expense.

Conclusion

Time and consideration can make all the difference in choosing a roommate, especially when you don’t know the individual directly. While you’d like to remain friendly with the individual, checking the individual’s financial capabilities and personality traits should be a top consideration. To avoid potential problems long-term, always draft a roommate agreement with the individual to set clear rules and boundaries within the home.

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