Have you moved to a new city to study or work? Looking for an apartment but worried about paying the rent all by yourself? While hostels are often the best low-cost accommodation option for students or working individuals, they don’t offer the same freedom as having your own place. Well, if this is the case, then finding the perfect roommate is your best bet to survive.
So, here are some tips to make it easier for you to find the ideal roommate to share the rent and living arrangements with, and make renting an apartment more affordable!
Finding the Perfect Roommate—What to Consider?
We understand that you might be hesitant about trusting unknown people and letting them share a living space with you, but we’re here to help you out. If you’re a student or a young adult in a new city where you need to find someone to share the rent with, here is how you can find the right rental roommate.
- Know Your Expectations
- Avoid Choosing Your Closest Friends
- Ask the Right Questions
- Make Sure Your Schedules Match
- Discuss Cleaning Habits
- Talk about Rent Distribution Upfront
- Find Someone with Shared Interests
- Search for the Right Apartment
Let’s discuss each of these considerations for choosing a roommate in detail below.
Know Your Expectations
The first consideration for finding the perfect roommate is knowing exactly what you want out of the whole deal. Sure, you need someone who’ll share the rent with you, but you’ll also be getting someone who shares the living area and kitchen with you. So, carefully consider the shared living arrangements. What are you comfortable with? Set your expectations, make a list of privacy concerns, and determine just how things will work between you and the potential roommate before you begin the search.
Avoid Choosing Your Closest Friends
We’d never recommend choosing your closest friends as your roommates unless you’re really eager to lose the friendship along the way. The reason is quite simple. When people live together under the same roof, they tend to discover stuff about the other person that they may not agree with, and arguments can crop up. It’s a given that if you find the right rental roommate, you’ll be besties soon enough. Still, for now, it’s better to go with friends of friends, classmates, or junior/senior students who might be looking for shared accommodation options outside of the hostel.
Ask the Right Questions
Choosing a roommate isn’t easy, but it’s not exactly your biggest challenge, either. All you need to do is to mentally prepare yourself for the search and list down some questions that you must ask every potential roommate. Listing the questions as well as their answers in black and white is a better way to make a smart decision. Here are some of the key questions that you must ask the potential roommate:
- What’s their schedule like?
- Do they smoke/drink or have any other particular habits?
- Do they love having guests over for parties?
- Are they fans of loud music?
- Would they mind sharing household items?
- Do they have any health concerns that you should know about?
- What are their expectations out of this whole deal?
- What are their major interests?
- Why are they opting to share rent with you instead of living in a dorm/hostel?
Getting answers to all of these questions is vital as it will help out narrow down the candidates that genuinely match your expectations with regards to having a roomie. Ensure that your potential roommate’s lifestyle choices match your own for a quick conflict resolution.
Make Sure Your Schedules Match
You’ve asked this question above, and gotten an answer. Now what? Well, if you’re an early bird and your roommate’s a night owl, schedules can clash, and conflicts will arise, especially if one of you wants to sleep and the other wants to host a loud party. So, your lifestyle choices and schedules should not be poles apart, but it’s good to have a bit of variation in them. For instance, you might head home from the university while they have a part-time job, giving you some time to yourself. Or you might work on the weekends, and they don’t, giving them space to do their thing when they have the flat to themselves.
Discuss Cleaning Habits
College or university students and working people don’t have the time to pick up after others all day. Not to mention, you’re bound to call your roomie out on it eventually. So, it’s best to set some ground rules from the get to. Discuss what your roommate’s cleaning habits are, how often they run the laundry, and how organised they keep their current place. While it’s not absolutely necessary to have the same views on when and how frequently you both need to clean up the place, both of you must understand that this isn’t one person’s responsibility and that you will both take care of your share of the household chores.
Talk about Rent Distribution Upfront
Most shared living arrangements have a half-and-half distribution of rent, chores, and usage of the shared spaces. But finding the perfect roommate means clarifying all possible topics of a dispute early on, so you know exactly what to expect when the rent is due. Ideally, choosing a roommate that has a steady job works well, since they’re not relying on anyone else to pay their rent. If they’re responsible enough to hold down a steady job, they can generally be trusted to fulfil their responsibilities with regards to rental payments, too. You should also discuss what a potential roommate can afford to pay in terms of rent per month, so that you know your combined budget and can find the right apartment to rent accordingly.
Find Someone with Shared Interests
Good communication and shared interests are bonuses that can sweeten your living arrangements and make life that much more fun and entertaining. While you are primarily focused on your studies or work, a break from the books can be used to play video games with your roomie, indulge in some loud, rocking tunes, or head out for a night in town; depending on how well you get along with your roommate and whether they share your interests. The two of you might just enjoy spending a quiet evening together curled up with books in your favourite lounge chairs.
Search for the Right Apartment
While you might already have a rental flat to share, this consideration is obviously for those who haven’t found the perfect rental for their needs yet. In this case, search for a 2-bed apartment that is spacious enough to allow you both to have your privacy under the rental budget you’ve previously discussed. Also, since rental agreements do end within a year, try to find a landlord who’s looking for long-term tenants, so you and your roommate don’t have to worry about changing rentals after every 11 months. You can use an apartment building inspection checklist to help you narrow down your options.
Remember that finding the perfect roommate is a tricky process. You need to find someone whom you get along with, but someone who is also willing to share the rent and responsibilities of homeownership, including the chores. Keep the considerations given above in mind while you conduct your search, and you should be able to reap the right results. Good Luck!
Stay tuned to Zameen Blog for more rental tips. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or suggestions for us. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates delivered to your inbox daily.