Searching for a potential roommate is both scary and exciting. On one hand you could be connecting with a new lifelong friend with shared interests. On the other hand, you could be one step closer to signing up for a 12-month nightmare. In an effort to make sure you end up in the best possible situation, we’ve compiled a list of questions that you should ask your potential roommate. We highly recommend that you take this process seriously and treat it like a job interview of sorts. Before moving in with someone, you want to do everything in your power to ensure that you’re choosing the right candidate.
Can you tell me how you plan to pay rent/what do you do for work?
Think stability here. Above all, you need a roommate who has a steady job or a way to earn money to help you pay rent and the bills. If you didn’t need help with this aspect, you probably wouldn’t want a roommate at all. Ask for as many details as possible including how long they have been at their current job and if they anticipate having any issues coming up with the money on time every month.
What do you do on weekends?
This is a subtle way of seeing if your new roommate is a party animal who wants to have get togethers at the house all the time. Now, if you are the same way, it could prove to be an amazing bond with a lot of house parties. However, if you prefer quiet nights, then you may want a roommate who values the same most of the time. This question also lets you into the personality of your potential housemate. Whether they love to go bowling on weekends or do charity work, you’ll learn more about the person.
Can you provide some references?
Everybody has a past and hopefully your new roommate has one thats characterized by on time rent payments and no evictions. When you ask for references, make it clear that you don’t need testimonials from their best friends or family members. Instead, ask to speak with previous landlords or roommates who will give you a more honest viewpoint.
What temperature are you most comfortable at inside the apartment?
This is one of those underrated questions that should always be asked when scouting for a new roommate. It’s important to ensure that you will be able to be comfortable in your home. If you like to keep the thermostat at 72 because you get cold easily but your housemate demands that it stays at 67, this could create some drama and need for compromise.
Do you have friends over often?
Similar to the “what do you like to do on weekends” question, this gives you an idea of how often you can expect company at the apartment/house. If your new roommate plans to have friends over every night, this could get annoying if you’re planning to have some quiet time on the sofa after work or if you need to get work done in a quiet space.
How often do you clean?
Are you a bit obsessive when it comes to keeping your apartment clean? If so, you really need to choose someone who has similar habits. The last thing you want is to spend hours vacuuming and cleaning for someone else to leave dirty dishes and clothes everywhere.
Are you in a relationship?
Trust us here; this is a very important question. Again, you don’t want to get into a situation where your roommate’s other half is at the house all the time so it feels like you have two roommates instead of one. On the other hand, this could also work out in your favor if your new roommate is hardly home because they spend a lot of time at their significant other’s place.
What are your plans for the next few years?
Getting to know the person you’re interviewing with this kind of question is crucial. It could provide relevant information that helps you figure out what kind of roommate they will be. For instance, someone who is always between jobs and has no set goals may not be the best choice. Or if someone is nomadic and likes to leave town unexpectedly, can you really count on them and trust that they won’t skip out on their responsibilities and leave you with a lease to cover on your own? The goal is to find the most stable and trustworthy person possible to make your life easier.