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Before Moving in with Someone
Check Your Compatibility!


  1. How often do you clean?
    • Cleanliness--or lack thereof--is one of the biggest sources of conflict for roommates
    • Ask them which chores they like and which ones they don't like. And tell them your habits, too
    • Honesty is key here

  2. What do you do on the weekends?
    • A good one to determine if you're into similar things
    • It's not an automatic no if you're into different stuff, but this question will get your potential roommate talking--and may alert you to any personal deal-breakers

  3. Do you like to have friends over or keep the party outside?
    • This is a polite way to figure out whether they plan to invite guests to your place every night of the week

  4. Do you smoke?
    • Living with a smoker is a deal-breaker for some, and an essential question to ask if your lease forbids smoking indoors
    • If they say they're occasional smokers, ask how occasional

  5. How often do you drink at home?
    • You'll want to make sure your roommate is on the same page
    • If you've got a serious job but your roommate wouldn't be fazed by a Tuesday hangover, you may not mesh

  6. Are you still friends with your old roommates?
    • If your potential roommate can tell disaster story after disaster story, pay heed to the red flag
    • If the person is somewhat hesitant to discuss their past roommate situation you may

  7. Do you have references?
    • You'd never take a job applicant's word for how great they are, nor should you with a potential roommate
    • Ask for a testament from a former roommate or personal references like friends and work colleagues (two or three should be plenty) 
    • Ask for their phone numbers and emails--people tend to be more candid on the phone, but email's a good back-up if your calls go unanswered

  8. What time do you go to bed?
    • Try to find out as much as you can about this person's late-night habits and how they're likely to affect yours

  9. Do you have any pets?
    • Some landlords may not allow pets on the premises. Make sure you know whether your potential roommate may be bringing a pet with them

  10. How reliable are you?
    • While personality traits are important to match, nothing matters if half the rent is always past due (a security deposit can help, ask for references)

  11. How long is your average school/work day?
    • While personality traits are important to match, nothing matters if half the rent is always past due (a security deposit can help, ask for references)

  12. Do you expect a lot of visitors?cp726
    • If guests plan to stay in your shared apartment, you'll want to establish rules as to how long they can stay (maybe no more than a weekend or a couple of days)
    • Ask if anyone's arriving in the next couple of months
    • If they seem to have a packed schedule of out-of-town guests already, you may want to steer clear

  13. What's your romantic situation?
    • If you've only met one half of the couple, you're basically signing on for a third roommate you've never met (which we know is a bad idea). But if they say they're in a serious relationship, you can expect lots of sleepovers

  14. What do you want in a roommate?
    • It's good to know if you and your roommate are looking for the same thing

  15. Can you put down a deposit?
    • Like any landlord in this town, you need to protect yourself in case your roommate skips out on the rent
    • One month's rent is standard

  16. How often do you cook?
    • Dinner time can be busy in a shared apartment
    • If you and your roommate cook often, you may end up finding yourselves in a crowded kitchen 
    • Set up ground rules for sharing food and kitchen appliances in advance

  17. How long do you plan to stay?
    • If you're looking for a long-term, secure situation, you'll want to weed out those who know they're only looking to rent for a short amount time

  18. What are challenges you've faced in past living situations?
    • Bug or rodent infestations, bad landlords, repairs, and so on: how they handled these challenges will provide you insight on whether you're dealing with someone who can get things done--and quickly

  19. Anything else I should know?
    • Maybe they forgot to mention new activities they've picked up or whether they have any allergies
    • Let the interviewee take the lead, and let their personality come through

 Next: Renter's Checklist
See for more information and/or to report an incident.


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