Top Questions to Ask a Potential Roommate
Often we rush to find a roommate or quickly get caught up in conversation that we forget to ask all the questions we thought of in advance even skip steps in our verification process. A checklist is a great thing to have during an interview so you can stay focus and get all the answers you need.
- What is your typical weekly schedule?
- Are there any certain days/times that you need the house to be quiet?
- How often are you at home or out of town?
- Do you spend more time in the living room or bedroom when you’re at home?
- Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend that may be coming by the house often? If yes, how many days of the week and will they be contributing towards the bills?
- Are you currently expecting any out of town guests that may be staying for a certain period of time?
- How often do you have a daytime or overnight guest(s)?
- How do you spend your free time?
- How often do you cook?
- Have you ever found a roommate online before?
- When was the last time you had a roommate?
- What kind of problems did you experience with previous roommates?
- How would you describe your personality?
- What do you do for a living?
- How often do you listen to music when you’re at home?
- Can you fall asleep with the TV on or with music playing?
- Do you get cold or hot easily? What temperature do you keep the thermostat on?
- Do you have any food or pet allergies?
- What type of relationship are you looking to have with your roommate (cordial, friendly, etc.?)
- Did you build a friendship with your past roommates?
- What are your pet peeves?
- How sensitive are you to smell?
- How do you want to handle any conflicts (sit down conversation, text message, etc.?)
- Does it bother you if someone else moves your belongings?
- Are you comfortable with me decorating our shared spaces with my home décor?
- How clean do you keep shared areas when you have a roommate?
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- Will anyone else have keys to the house?
- How safe is the neighborhood?
- Have you had any issues with bugs in the house (mice, spiders, ants, roaches, etc.?)
- Are there any security cameras within our shared spaces?
- Are there any appliances, devices, or objects that require special instructions to operate?
- Will I have a designated place to park every day that’s close to the front door?
- Are there any outside noises that could affect my sleep (noisy neighbors, traffic, etc.?)
- Would there be any reasons that someone would need to come into my bedroom?
- Would it be okay if I put a lock on my bedroom door?
- Is the house fully furnished and how much furniture can I bring?
- How much storage space will I have in the kitchen, closets, etc.?
- When are you available for me to move in?
- Do you own or rent the property? If own, will I be responsible for splitting the cost of repairs?
- Will I need to pay a deposit?
- Will I need to sign a lease or put anything in writing?
- How should I send you the rent payment each month?
- How much notice do you need before I move out and how should I provide it?
- Is eating/drinking allowed in the bedroom?
- If rent is late due to an unexpected and uncontrollable incident how much time can you give me before you require that I move out? It’s important to know if your roommate would be willing to work out a deal or immediately kick you out.
- How should we split up the chores?
- Will I be required to do any outdoor chores such as yard work?
- Are there certain items that you want to or don’t want to share (food, spices, toilet paper, dish soap, cleaning supplies, etc.?)
Be prepared the next time you’re looking for a roommate. This checklist will help make sure you ask the right questions and complete all necessary safety steps.
Prescreening & Verification Steps to Ensure Your Safety
Looking for a roommate takes time. The more time you spend screening the candidates, the better your chances are of finding someone that you can feel safe and enjoy sharing your space with. You’ve asked all the right questions, but your work isn’t done yet! It’s not only crucial to ask the tough questions but also to verify your potential roommate’s identity and criminal history if possible.
Do's and Don'ts
- Make a video of the property. Before showing the property, send them a video so they can get a better idea of what it will look like in person.
- Share Social Media pages. Once you’ve narrowed your search down, share your social media account so they can get a good sense of your personality. Be sure to set your privacy settings to protect as much as you can about yourself.
- Get a copy of their driver’s license. This will allow you to have their full name and a picture.
- Get a copy of their paystub with their salary redacted. Nobody wants to share their salary but you can request that they black out the salary and other sensitive information except for their name and the company address. If you ever have to take legal action, it will be impossible for the authorities to serve the papers if you do not have their current address.
- Never visit or show a property alone. Meet at a public place first or video chat before giving the home address. Have a friend or relative with you on the day of the showing or visit. Start by showing the exterior of the property first until you feel comfortable.
- Don’t give your contact information out too soon. Wait until you’ve asked all the important questions to eliminate giving your information out to so many people. This includes an email address, home address, and phone number. Social media has made it very easy to use this information to find out where someone works, lives, and even hang out.
- Don’t make any payment or provide a key until there has been an exchange of both and the rental agreement is signed. The best time to make the exchange is on move-in day and the rental agreement is signed. Don’t skip this step just because you’re in a rush to have a roommate.
- Try to greet your roommate when you see them. Most of us have to keep a smile on our face all day long at work, and when we get home we want our “me” time. A simple “hello”, can go a long way.
- Let your roommate know if you’re expecting visitors. Try to let them know in advance or shoot them a text if you plan on showing up with a company. Nobody wants to be caught in their cartoon pajamas.
- Discuss the “open door” policy. Is your roommate welcome to go into your room if you’re not home?
- Adjusting the thermostat. This can turn into a bit of a battle when both have each preferable settings. Try to reach an agreement in advance.
- Try having 2 trash cans. It may be best to have two trash cans. This way each person is responsible for taking out their own trash.
- Share chores. Make a chore chart with your roommate so that the common areas can stay clean.
- Air out your dirty laundry, literally. Now that you have a roommate, it’s time to get out of the habit of throwing a load in the washer or dryer before you leave the house. Discuss how clothes should be handled in the event you or your roommate forget to remove the clothes out of the machine(s).
- Don’t borrow anything without asking. Some roommates will say, “You’re welcome to borrow anything you like.” Even if this is the case, it might be better to ask or send a text message in advanced.
Share Your Space With Confidence
Finding trustworthy roommates isn’t as stressful as you think. Haydash takes the hard work out of the screening process by doing a background check on all of its members. We’re a roommate finder website that understands the importance of safety.