How to Find a Roommate and Set Expectations

Updated April 30, 2018
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More people than ever, especially those aged 25 to 34, are now living with roommates rather than by themselves, according to Forbes.

However, finding a roommate that abides by house rules, gets along with you and other tenants, and pays rent on time can be tough. Whether it’s a family member, friend or someone who answered an ad, your new roommate should be someone that you can enjoy being around – a lot. Here are some tips that will guide you in finding a roommate and setting expectations to ensure you don’t end up in a nightmare scenario.

How to Find a Roommate

First, you need to find a roommate. So how do you go about doing that? There are a few options you can try, including: Develop and publish an ad – you need to get your listing out there so potential roommates know that you have a rentable room at your property. There are countless listing sites available online, such as, and Craigslist. You could also take a traditional route and buy ad space in local news publications.

Ask your friends – living with a friend may be something you end up regretting. Will your relationship be strained if you find out that you’re not as compatible roommates as you are friends? Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to live with a stranger. Instead, ask around your group of friends, family and co-workers to see if they know of anyone looking for a place to live. This is often the best way to find a roommate as you know that people close to you are trustworthy

Create posts on social media sites – we all know the power of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in today’s highly connected world. Solve your roommate debacle by posting vacant rooms to your social media accounts. Someone in your network is bound to turn up a lead or two.

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Try a roommate-finder app – with a simple smartphone app, you can take a 21st-century approach to finding a compatible roommate. These types of apps work a lot like a dating app in many ways, matching people by different compatibility, characteristics and personality traits, among other things. Take a look at some of the more popular options, such as Symbi, Roomie Match and Diggz to test them out for yourself.

Setting Expectations with Your Potential Roommates

No matter how you end up finding your potential roommates, you need to take the appropriate steps to ensure that their personality, lifestyle and economic situation will mesh well with yours. In order to set expectations with this person, you should conduct a thorough interview or informal chat and discuss a number of things.

Here are some questions you can ask a potential roommate to ensure expectations are set:

  • What are your interests?
  • Do you have a job that will support your deposit and rental payment?
  • What are your sleeping habits like?
  • What is your normal work/school schedule?
  • Do you have references?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you have pets?
  • How clean are you?
  • How socially active are you – do you like to have friends over?
  • What do you look for in a roommate?
  • How long do you plan to stay?
  • What’s your preference on how we split bills?
  • How much privacy do you expect?

If you really want to go to extra lengths to ensure your new roommate is a quality choice, you can conduct a paid background check through a number of online sources. Always do some quick Googling of their name and look up their social media accounts if you want to gain some insight into their lifestyle.

Looking for more information about apartment living?

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