It's a challenge we may all face at one point in our lives: finding a good roommate. Everyone has an experience with a roommate who seemed like a nice person and then turned into the worst person to live with. Bringing an endless amount of people over, leaving the place a mess, blasting music at odd hours or not paying their share of the bills. Bad roommates can make your life at home unbearable.
Finding a good roommate isn't impossible, but it is a challenging task. Before agreeing to live with the first person that responds to your "roommate wanted" ad, it is important to get to know your potential roommate before agreeing to live together.
Write down questions you want to ask. Here are a few starters.
- Is this your first time with a roommate?
- Where else have you lived?
- What did you like/dislike about your roommate?
- What is your ideal shared space like?
- What is your schedule like?
- What do you do for a living? How do you pay for your living expenses?
- How have you divided up shared bills in the past? How do you want to divide the bills?
- Will you also be willing to put your name on the accounts - ie. utilities, phone, cable?
- Do you have a partner, sibling, or friend that is a frequent overnight guest?
- Would you be willing to agree to a chore chart?
- What is your weekend/evening schedule like?
- Do you smoke or drink? How often?
- What is your preferred noise level?
- Do you have a pet or plan on getting a pet?
- Do you have parking needs?
- Do you travel frequently?
- Do you have any furniture, dishes, appliances, etc. that you can contribute to the space?
- How long are you looking for a place to live?
Meet face to face.
Meet applicants at a neutral location so you can get to know them. The conversation should be friendly and casual, but it should include the questions that you compiled above. This meeting will be a good indicator of whether you will be compatible or not.
Sign an agreement.
Once you've found a potential roommate, make sure to draft a roommate agreement to ensure that you're both on the same page about your living situation. It should cover everything from the rent price to who is responsible for cleaning. Don't forget to include the go nuclear clause - who moves, how much notice and what you do if it all falls apart.
Here are some good resources:
Roommate agreement sample
Websites to look for roommates