Never visit or show a property alone. Meet at a public place first or video chat and then offer to share the address. Have a friend or relative with you the entire time. 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 pull up/access someone’s social media page to find out where they work, live, and even hang out.
Don’t make any payment or provide a key until there has been an exchange of both. The best time to make the exchange is on move-in day and the rental agreement is signed. Don’t let being in a rush cause you to skip this step.
Don’t pay in cash. Try using PayPal, bank transfer, etc. so that you have proof of your deposit and monthly payments in case you have to take legal action.
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 to get a good sense of their 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 salary information but leave name and company address. If you ever have to take legal action it will be impossible for the authorities to serve them papers if you do not provide a current address.
Collect rent a few days early. If you are the sole person on the lease or it is your home, then make sure your roommate agreement includes a payment due date a few days earlier than your actual due date. In the event your roommate is late on rent there is still a few days to work out getting the remaining portion of the rent.
Keep your door locked when you’re in your room. This will give you some comfort that nobody will be able to just walk in.
Interview at least 2-3 candidates. Don’t jump to make an offer to the first person that you communicate with. Take your time to interview multiple candidates. Nobody’s going to be perfect but you can find someone that meets most of your preferences.
Trust your instincts. If the offer seems too good to be true for the price or they can’t meet your demands it’s best to spend the time it takes to start over and view more candidates.
Once you have the address use Google Maps to check out the location. Google Maps will give you the option to see a street view to check out the neighborhood. Be sure to check nearby streets as well and find out the crime stats.
Sign a rental agreement even if it’s month to month. It’s easy to forget what you may have verbally agreed upon.
Take pictures of the room before moving in and share with your roommate. This will make sure everyone’s aware of any prior damages and current damages when it’s time to move out.
Set and agree upon all the house rules in writing before moving in.
Write a review on Haydash even if you didn’t accept the room from the member. Even a review about your communication with the member can be useful to someone else.
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 “me” time. A simple “hello”, as you bolt for your room, 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 the 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 where one person adjusts the temperature when they get home, and then the next person comes in and adjusts it again. Try to make 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.
Cleaning common areas- Make a chore chart with your roommate so that the common areas can stay clean.
Washing clothes- Now that you have a roommate, it’s time to get out of the habit of throwing a load in the washing machine before you leave the house. Discuss how clothes should be handled in the event you or your roommate forget to remove clothes out of the washer or dryer.
Don’t borrow anything without asking- Some roommates will say, “You’re welcome to borrow anything you would like”. Even if this is the case, it might be better to ask or send a text message letting them know you have it. This will save them time for searching for an item that they thought was misplaced.
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