There are a few crucial factors to consider when deciding on a roommate, including their character and how reliable they are. It’s recommended to do an interview before you let someone into your home to assess if the two of you are compatible and can live together comfortably.
Your roommate should ideally have a personality that complements yours. If you’re an introvert who likes peace and quiet, an extroverted party animal isn’t the ideal match. Imagine an endless string of visitors and music blasting throughout the apartment when all you want is a quiet evening with a book or TV.
This is just as, if not more important, than your prospective roommate’s personality. You need proof they can pay their share of the rent. Maybe your best friend from college seems like the ideal roommate, but it’s a bad sign if they already owe you money. Your roommate should be capable of paying their share of the rent on time each month. A student is less reliable than someone who has a steady job.
You want to do a background check, especially if you already interviewed a candidate and got a bad feeling about them, but you don’t want to reject them over a hunch. Credit checks and general screenings can be excellent indicators of financial reliability.
Another aspect to consider is their schedule before you finalize your choice. Ideally, your schedules will align. This might allow you to spend your free time or work together. If you want the apartment to yourself now and then, look for someone with a different schedule. Each has its pluses and minuses. If they are always around, you won’t have as much privacy. If they work night shifts, they might wake you at odd hours.
Communication is key to a good relationship
Sharing your home with someone who has good communication skills is crucial to the tenancy relationship. You and your roommate will have to maintain the property; no one else will pay your rent or come to tidy up after you. Roommates need to discuss and share responsibility. Don’t hesitate to confirm information even if you communicate well. Check with your landlord if they said they paid the rent, for example.
Clutter vs. cleanliness
Some people don’t mind clutter. Others find a clean and tidy apartment to be paramount to their well-being. Having opposite expectations is a sign of impending trouble.
Shared interests can help
Sharing interests and hobbies with your roommate can bring you closer together, albeit not essential to the relationship. You have a gaming partner if they also like playing video games. Listening to the same kind of music will give you a fellow concert-goer. When you’re looking for something to do in your free time, having a roommate with shared interests will make sure you have at least one “partner in crime.”
Signs of a good roommate
You can’t expect an exact match in terms of cleanliness. Aim for a clear common area even if their own room is a mess. A good roommate will respect shared spaces.
A good sense of humor
A similar sense of humor goes far. If you find the same things to be funny and it seems like you connect, you’ll probably be able to talk through any thorny issues.
They care where you are
They ask where you’re going, with whom, and when you’ll come back. If not, they will probably return the favor if you care where they are. Know to appreciate a heads-up. If they went on holiday abroad, leaving you to think they were at work, you might get a bit paranoid.
They have an impressive roommate history
If they were at the place before you, it’s a good sign when their last roommate stayed for a long time. It always helps to know the story of the place before you sign a rent agreement. Their history can be telling of what you can expect. If their last roommate only stayed a few months, something bad might have happened.
A positive roommate history is not unlike a good resume. It proves the person is capable of living with other people in harmony.