Questions to Ask When Finding a New Roommate


Fresh out of the nest, fresh out of a relationship or fresh in a new city, there are plenty of situations that can necessitate you looking for cheaper accommodation, and undoubtedly one of the best ways to make a spacious, clean and tastefully decorated living space more affordable is to share it with someone else. However, first of all you have to establish if and with whom you are prepared to share living quarters. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before choosing a roommate, and some questions to ask potential roommates who cross your path.

Questions to ask yourself:

Do I want to share a bedroom?
The answer to this is often a resounding no. The potential conflicts are numerous.

Do I want to share a bathroom?
This all comes down to personal preference. It’s usually easier to stomach with a same-sex roommate.

Do I want multiple roommates or just one?
This can have a huge impact on the cost, but an equally big impact on privacy. If you’re a socialite, consider bringing more people to the party.

Do I want to live with a friend, acquaintance or a stranger?
This is probably the most important question. Living with someone can put some intense strain on a relationship – are you sure your friendship will withstand it? Then again, you can probably can trust your friends, but a stranger might be a slob or night-time bag-pipe player, and you’d be unaware until it was too late.

Questions to Ask a Potential Roommate:

Do you smoke?

This is self-explanatory. Two smokers coexisting could could be very compatible and ease the pain caused by judgmental peers. However conflict could certainly arise between a non-smoker and a smoker. You may not necessarily turn them away if they smoke and you don’t but you’ll want to make sure that your not exposed to second-hand smoke e.g make sure they smoke outside and leave no butts behind.

What do you do on weekends?

It’s usually good to know how much alone time you’ll get in your space, when you both have free time. Again, it isn’t a deal-breaker if they don’t go out or you don’t go out. In fact, if you’re both solitary beings, you might find a particular kind of comfort in each other’s silent company.

What time do you go to bed?

This could also be accompanied by “do you consider yourself as loud?”, if they answer “I’m a night owl”. Once again, it may not a deal breaker as many people are capable of being quiet at night.

What is your romantic situation?

This is just to ensure you’re not grabbing yourself an extra roommate on top of the one you’re interviewing.

How long do you plan on staying?

Mostly for organizational purposes, this question will give both of you time to prepare for when the arrangement expires.

With all these questions asked and answered to you satisfaction, all that remains is to pack your bags, box up your belongings and move in with your new roomie. Still need to find a home to rent? Search your local classifieds site, such as Gumtree, where there are tons of local listings by your nearby friends.

Image by Kat Sommers under Creative Commons license.
This post was written in association Gumtree.

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