There are many good reasons why you might want to explore having a roommate. The most obvious reasons for wanting a roommate is for financial reasons since it allows you to split the rent and utilities. Sharing a place might also give you the ability to rent a larger or more luxurious place. If you are concerned about living alone, a roommate can also provide safety and some company.
Here are some good tips to finding the perfect person to share a place:
- Ask around. Of course it can be risky to live with a friend; after all, it might ruin a friendship. But living with someone you know is much better than a perfect stranger. You can also ask trusted relatives and colleagues; they may know a good person to interview for your new roommate.
- Interview everyone. Don’t assume from a brief phone call or someone else’s recommendation that it will be a go. By interviewing someone, you can check out their vehicle and appearance which might tell you something about how clean they will be or how they will treat your apartment. You can also ask important questions like how they will deal with quiet hours and shared living areas.
- Be Honest about All Costs. Do your homework so you know what all the costs will be, including the security deposit, utility turn-on fees, parking, etc. You don’t want anyone to be in a situation that he or she cannot afford. And it will help set the tone for paying rent and utilities on-time in the future.
- Check References. Especially if the person is a stranger, you will want to check identification and some valid references. You can also get a criminal background or credit check online for peace of mind.
- Put it in Writing. Make sure you are both on the lease. If for some reason, the lease is only in your name, contact the landlord about attaching someone else or make up your own agreement and make sure you get it notarized. You may also want to do a roommate contract that you both sign with house rules about paying utilities, house guest and chores.