5 Tips for Finding a Reliable Roommate
Moving into a new apartment is exciting — but finding a roommate to share it with can be daunting. Here are some tips for finding a reliable roommate who aligns with your lifestyle preferences and priorities.
With rent on the rise across the country, it’s no surprise that renters are increasingly searching for roommates to split costs. According to the National Multifamily Report, the average rent in July 2022 was $1,717 — a 12.6% increase compared to July 2021. As a result, renters have started doubling or tripling up with roommates.
Beyond enabling cost savings, roommates can be a valuable part of your living experience — as long as they get along. Here, we explore the benefits of living with other people and best practices for finding a reliable roommate before signing a lease.
What are the benefits of roommates?
Now more than ever, renters are considering having roommates because of the cost-saving benefits. Why, exactly? Renters who opt to live alone are not only responsible for the entire rental payment each month, but also for costs associated with furniture, appliances, groceries, and cleaning supplies.
By contrast, in many roommate situations, people divide up the costs evenly. For this reason, renters can better manage their budget and cut costs by pooling items they already have, splitting furniture expenses, and sharing groceries. The same goes for sharing responsibilities, like taking out the trash, cleaning the bathroom, and doing dishes.
Another advantage of finding a reliable roommate is the social component. Living with other people lends to new bonds born from spending time together, exploring new local restaurants or activities, or interacting at home. In many cases, these relationships endure as lifelong friendships.
How do I begin the roommate search?
When looking for a roommate, a good place to start is with your existing network. Maybe a friend of a friend is looking for a roommate in the same city as you, or your coworker’s friend has a room for rent available in the next few weeks.
With social media, this process is easier than ever. From Instagram stories and Facebook groups to Reddit forums or platforms like Craigslist and NextDoor, renters have a variety of opportunities to call on their own network while connecting with people outside of their social circle.
If you don’t have any friends or connections actively searching for a roommate, another good option is a platform like Roommates.com, Diggz, and RoomieMatch. These services provide an intuitive, streamlined way to search for roommates, find rooms for rent, or secure apartment rentals based on your unique preferences.
The key to beginning this search? Be honest about your living space and your needs as a roommate. It’s important to paint an accurate picture if you hope to find someone who aligns well with you.
How do I make sure my roommate is a good fit?
Finding someone who is well-suited to your living expectations and priorities takes time, research, and a positive attitude. Most importantly, you must evaluate what you’re looking for in a roommate and living space — and be proactive in the search process.
Here are five tips for finding a reliable roommate:
1. Start looking early
The key to finding a reliable roommate is to not rush the process. Don’t wait until the week before your lease starts or your current roommate moves out to start having the conversation about where or who you’re going to live with. Give yourself plenty of time before your lease ends, and start a line of communication with prospective roommates in advance. Their lease may end earlier or later than yours does, so consider their timeline as well.
2. Outline your priorities
Take this opportunity to be self-reflective. Consider your preferences on key issues, such as lifestyle, cleanliness, bedtimes, shared groceries, pets, visitors, COVID-19 risk tolerance, and more. Figuring out what’s important to you and what your non-negotiables are will help you quickly narrow your roommate search.
3. Communicate your expectations
Once you’re clear about your own expectations, it’s important to share them with any prospective roommates. When interviewing potential roommates, have a list of priorities ready and be honest about your needs. Take the time to ask about your roommates’ needs and preferences too, so you’re both on the same page.
4. Do your due diligence
While a positive conversation between you and your roommate is a great sign, it’s still important to do your due diligence and confirm they are financially secure. This might include asking for roommate references, proof of income, or employment confirmation.
5. Revisit expectations and priorities
A roommate relationship is ongoing — and shouldn’t end with one conversation. Renters should continue to check in with one another as the living arrangement evolves, such as when a new significant other comes into the picture, or someone’s work situation changes. These factors can lead to conflict if left unaddressed.
What questions should I ask a potential roommate?
Maybe you reached out to a friend of a friend over social media, or used an online roommate-matching service and have a promising lead for a prospective roommate. Here are a few important questions to discuss before making any final decisions:
- What is your work schedule like?
- Do you work from home?
- Do you have a pet or want one in the future?
- Do you like to have friends over frequently?
- Do you have a significant other who may visit often?
- Do you like to cook?
- Do you have any food allergies or restrictions?
- Do you smoke?
- Would you consider yourself clean or messy?
- Is there anything that you need from me to make the living situation comfortable?
Be sure to allow enough time in your interview to have a thorough conversation so you don’t feel rushed or leave questions unasked.
How does Azibo support renters?
Once you’ve found the ideal candidate for a roommate, you’ll both be ready to sign your lease and start paying monthly rent. With Azibo’s rent payment platform, the process of paying rent online as roommates is extremely simple. Renters can pay rent online from any device, and choose from flexible payment methods including bank transfer, credit card, or debit card. Better yet, Azibo renters can automate rent payments to avoid late fees. And with their rent payment status organized in a simple dashboard, renters can easily share their history of on-time payments with future landlords.
Simplify the rental process with a reliable roommate and seamless rent payment platform. Get started with Azibo today.