You need a roommate, but you don’t know anyone personally that can fit the bill. It’s time to talk to friends of friends or perfect strangers, so it’s an absolute must to thoroughly interview potential takers (and you should expect them to interview you, too).
Here are some of the most important questions to ask before you take the plunge:
Are you a clean freak? Ok, so maybe you don’t want to word it that way, but you know what we mean. Depending upon your own cleaning style, you want to make sure that expectations are realistic on both sides. Are you on the same page? Does one of you want to take the lead in cleaning common areas because it’s THAT important?
And how do you both feel about dishes in the sink? Cleanliness (or the lack thereof) can cause some serious issues, so it’s important to decide what you can live with and tackle this early in the search process.
Do you frequently have people spend the night? Picture going to the kitchen right after you roll out of bed and finding another person who isn’t your roommate standing there. How does that make you feel?
Alternatively, if you consistently have a significant other spend the night, or even just pals that regularly crash on your couch, you ought to make it clear so the potential roommate can decide if that’s the life for them.
Do you have pets? This isn’t something anyone wants to be surprised by if a furry friend makes an unexpected appearance. If there is a pet involved on either side, make sure to set boundaries you’re both comfortable enforcing. And if you both have pets, be sure they can live together, too.
How do you like to divide things up? This can go for anything including rent, utilities, cleaning, even food. If you’re expecting to have all of your food to yourself and your roommate eats it freely, that’s on you for not setting expectations early on! Make sure you know how you’ll divide all the necessary details and that you’re both good with the arrangement.
How much will you be home? This particular question is a good one to determine the expected noise level, or even if this person expects to hang out with you a lot. Do they work from home? Travel a lot? Expect you to take care of their stuff (or pets) if they’re gone all the time?
Are you a smoker or do you use drugs? If you have allergies or are averse to the smell of smoke, this is a must-ask question. Also, you need to know, in all honestly, if drugs are going to be done in the apartment—and owe it to the other individual to let them know if you will be doing them.
How do you like to set the thermostat? If you love it cold, you know that someone who wants the apartment to be 75 degrees every day is going to be a problem for you. This would also be a good time to talk about whether you like to leave windows open or if you’re a heater/air conditioner kind of person.
What kind of furniture do you have and want to use? Maybe you don’t have enough to furnish your own place, or you already have a set plan for using all of your stuff. You need to discuss whether someone will need to pay for storage, how to blend your pieces together to ensure a cozy atmosphere or whether you’ll have a totally empty living room because neither of you owns a couch! We’d certainly expect the other person to supply their own bed, but beyond that, all bets are off.
Are you able to consistently pay your share of rent and apartment-related bills? Out of all the of questions, this is really the most important one. You certainly don’t want to get into a situation where you’re fronting the cost for both of you to live in your apartment.
You can even go as far as asking for a credit report or for references so you have a better understanding of your potential roommate’s stability.
Do you have any suggestions to add to this list? Tag us on Facebook or Instagram to let us know! And if you haven’t already added your name to any of our waitlists that offer the roommate program (Four Corners Lakeside, The Edge at Oakland or Rochester Club Apartments), be sure to do it now—before we’re completely filled up!