How to Find the Perfect Roommate for Your Rental

If you are renting but find it hard to keep up with rent, or you are planning on moving in somewhere, but want to split the bills, then you are probably looking for a roommate to join you.

While you will be sharing a common goal, you need to be able to vet out the candidates to ensure that you find someone you are comfortable living with.

So how do you go about finding the perfect roommate for your rental? Well, it is very similar to conducting a job interview. However, the questions are slightly different.


Know what you’re looking for in a roommate

There is no magic formula for finding the ideal candidate for tenancy. What one is looking for in a roommate vastly differs from one person to another.

To find the ideal tenant, you must first know your priorities and what you seek. Are you looking for only one roommate or more? Do you have any preferences in terms of gender and age?

Some people prefer introverts, while others get along with extroverts best. If you are comfortable with that, you don’t have to stick to a single category. Of course, your choice must also be based on what your landlord is comfortable with allowing.

Some many different profiles, and people will be looking for a residency, so to make it easier for you and them, you should first decide what type you are looking for and make sure you are open about it.

Look outside your friend group

Once you know what type of person you want to share rent with, it is time to advertise the opportunity. Often people stick to reaching out to their friend groups. A friend will certainly be easier to deal with, right? Well, wrong. Being friends with someone does not necessarily mean you can live together. Usually, there is a sense of entitlement, which may break the relationship.

Opting to narrow your circle only around your friend group will limit your options, making finding a roommate significantly harder. And in the end, you may end up letting someone in just so that you have someone to share the rent with, which can be a mistake.

Instead, reach out on your social media platforms, post an ad online or in the newspaper and get ready to meet many people.

Ask for the candidate’s cleaning habits, daily routines and lifestyle

Once you have a roommate lined up and interested in living with you, it is time to ask some important questions that will show you whether that person fits the profile of the one you are looking for.

Do not forget, however, that this is not an interrogation, but a two-way street, so don’t hesitate to answer any of the questions the person might have. After all, sometimes you may find the ideal candidate for you, but they may not feel a connection.

One of the most important questions relates to cleaning habits. It is the number one cause for roommates to leave a rental and look to live with someone else.

Establishing expectations well before you start living together will come a long way. If you see eye to eye, you can work out a chores list, set some boundaries and have a tenant’s agreement on what each of you expects from the other person.

Settle the budget and logistics

You are probably looking for a roommate to reduce rent and save some cash. The topic of money is never easy but is an important one when living with someone. Discuss your budget for rent, utilities and other necessities.

You should discuss who will be providing furniture, purchasing new pieces and what happens if one of you decides to leave. Be upfront about your budget and, ideally, look for someone who has one similar to yours.

Discuss the end of tenancy responsibilities as well. If property repairs and maintenance are needed, how will that be budgeted for? Will you be conducting the move-out cleaning yourselves or employ tenancy cleaning services?

Ask detailed questions

Living together means that one person’s activities can get in the way of the other, and despite being a perfect match in terms of expectations, some routines may make being roommates impossible.

While some of the questions are not easy, they are essential to ask, as they will affect the common spaces you share.

What you should find out is:

  • The other person’s work schedule.
  • Whether they drink, smoke, or use drugs.
  • How often do they host guests?
  • How loudly do they like to play music?
  • Why are they looking for a new roommate, and what do they like/dislike about the previous one?
  • Do they have or plan to bring any pets?
  • Whether they have any health concerns you should be aware of.
  • Do they know how to do an end of tenancy cleaning?


Of course, these are just a few examples of behaviour that may also impact your life. Feel free to add more questions based on what you are looking for, as you would like to know as much as possible before you settle in.

Devise a rental roommate agreement.

While not legally binding, having a roommate agreement can certainly smooth out any issues arising during your life together.

So don’t only ask and answer questions; if you feel there is a connection with the other person and want to start living with them, sit down and agree on some of the most important rules. Get them in writing and create a simple handbook about your responsibilities.

Include important responsibilities such as property maintenance and end of tenancy cleaning.


Tips on avoiding roommate conflicts

Living with someone is never easy. Especially in the beginning, while you are both getting used to each other’s behaviour, it is not uncommon to have conflicts.

To reduce and avoid disputes, there are a few simple rules that you can follow:

  • Set boundaries. Doing this from the get-go will prevent many potential conflicts and misunderstandings.
  • Communication. While it is often just to be passive-aggressive when things don’t go your way, you should always try to communicate it calmly and respectfully.
  • Split the bills. Regardless of whoever is responsible for paying the bills, always ensure that that person gets paid on time and you don’t fall behind.
  • Consent. When using things that aren’t yours, always ask for permission first and be extra careful. Treat your roommate’s belongings with respect.

Make them familiar with the landlord’s lease.

Whether you are looking for a new place or have already settled down and looking to share it with someone, it is vital for everyone living there to be familiar with the landlord’s lease.

Ensure that you and your roommate are comfortable with it and that you will handle your responsibilities to avoid conflicts with the landlord.


Finding the perfect roommate takes work. There will always be some disagreements along the way, and conflicts may arise.

When looking for someone to share your residence with, ensure that your budget, lifestyle, and expectations match to make co-living a pleasant experience for all parties involved.

Agree on rules that everyone is happy to follow and stick to them. Get them in writing so there are no misunderstandings along the line.

Remember that you are probably not the easiest person to live with as well, so occasionally compromising is important in keeping the relationship going.


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