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Things You Should Know Before Moving in With a Stranger

How dangerous is moving in with a roommate you don’t know? We’d like to answer this question in our special post today. Let’s review what you should know before moving in together and how you may prepare yourself better for living with someone you don’t know.

Sharing your place with someone brings lots of benefits, but when it comes to becoming a roommate with someone you don’t know, you may feel weird and that’s fair. We’ve compiled a compatibility questionnaire for you, so you could rent a place with a roommate without a headache.

1. Meet In Person First

This is a general rule of thumb: you won’t be able to make a smart decision about some other person without any real interaction. Of course, we all may sound cool in theory, but meeting with a person and experiencing what kind of vibe he/she has is crucial.

Meet in person first

Meeting in person ensures that you won’t have unpleasant surprises later. Too bad there is no way to understand all the ins and outs of your future roommate’s personality, but getting a basic understanding of whether this person makes you feel weird, good or happy is great.

Prepare some roommate meeting topics to discuss and see whether you meet a common ground on the generic things that are important to you. You’ll be able to hit it from there.

2. Ask For Recommendations From Previous Roommates

Usually, when you meet someone who wants to become your roommate, this person provides you with all the references to help you make up your mind, but sometimes you’ve got to ask for it yourself.

However, the main point here is that you shouldn’t be shy and always ask if he/she has someone who can provide him/her with recommendations about the roommate experience.

Let us give you a brief list of roommate screening questions that you should ask a person who gives you those recommendations:

  1. Is your future roommate a responsible and tidy person?
  2. Did they have lots of disagreements or conflict situations?
  3. Was living with him/her good experience in general?
  4. Was he/she ever late on payments?

3. Review His/Her Social Media Accounts

Social media accounts nowadays may give you more information than a private investigator. People tend to share everything on their Facebook feed and show all aspects of life on their Instagram.

Those profiles will help you see whether your future roommate is a sociable enough person, what kind of things he/she likes or, for example, what football team he/she supports.

Review social media profiles

Chances are, you’ll notice that this person likes the same things you do, and this will become a good solid ground for your future friendship.

By the way, information from social media profile can give you a ground for some fun questions to ask to know your potential roommate better.

4. How Do You Feel About This Person?

The vibe and feel that a person gives you during the conversation, and a face-to-face interaction may break everything, but you shouldn’t neglect it.

Sometimes you may see that a person seems to be entirely normal, but you just don’t feel right near him/her. This may strike back later if you decide to ignore this feeling. There is nothing more depressing than having a roommate who you feel weird being around with.

You are not obligated to become friends, but you should be okay about being around this person and living in the same apartment.

5. Be Honest About Yourself

We noted what kind of questions should arise when you review the candidacy of your future roommate, but how should you act?
It will be fair to provide him/her with recommendations from your previous roommates as well. Most important this here is to be honest and fair. Tell him about your bad habits and about what you usually like to do at home.

Enjoying singing in the shower? Don’t hide it, it will help you avoid conflicts later. Are you a huge vinyl fan and enjoy listening to rock music loudly in the evenings? Tell him/her about it.

6. Do You Plan Becoming Friends?

This is more of a long run plan, but you still should review it.

There is no way you’ll know that the person you know for a short amount of time will become your friend. However, you’ve got to listen to yourself and review your interactions with your future roommate keeping in mind that he/she may become your friend.

do you plan becoming friends

Ask him/her about the hobbies, favorite music, movie and how he/she likes to spend free time.

After all, he/she may be your perfect match and it may be a start of a great friendship.

7. Does He/She Have a Pet?

One of you may feel like cats are adorable and another person may have an allergy. That’s why it’s very important to tell about your pets upfront.

Even if both of you love pets, you should establish some rules on who actually feeds it and cleans after it, who’s in charge of morning walks and whether you both take responsibility for it.

8. List The Things You Won’t Tolerate

Let’s face it, we all have this ‘Don’t do’ and ‘Never’ lists. Do you want to achieve the highest level of mutual understanding?

The best thing will be to spit it all out and share these lists. Just ask your future roommate to compile a list of ‘don’t’ and things he/she won’t tolerate. On your end, do the same. Then compare your lists and discuss what you think is fair and what policies can be changed a bit.

9. Decide How You’ll Resolve Disagreements

That’s where you may have your first disagreements. No worries, it’s a great chance to discuss how you plan to resolve such situations.

How to resolve conflicts

For example, each of you may have a right to ‘veto’ something for the other’s list or exchange mutual concessions. Finding a compromise is something you’ll have to do constantly, so make sure you really understand it and are ready for it.

10. Discuss The Utilities

Rental payments can be divided between you easily. Some tenants prefer to pay two equal shares and some decide that it will be fair to divide the price for a place according to the size of the room you or your roommate occupies. However, utilities should be discussed in advance. What if your friend uses lots of energy cause he has three laptops charging at home, a huge TV running 10 hours a day and a music system? That wouldn’t be fair to pay equal shares, right?

Review this kind of ins and outs of the utility payments and try to find common ground, cause this is fundamental in your future co-tenancy.

11. Establish The Level of Noise Pollution

Not everyone can tolerate the same noise pollution level at home as you may. Your best bet here will be talking this out before you go ahead with your co-tenancy.

You may find lots of examples on Reddit of people complaining about their roommate not valuing privacy and noise level, listening loudly to some death metal or watching TV louder than your grandma.

12. Prepare Your Headphones

This is one of the ways to avoid conflicts on the ground of noise pollution. Always value the privacy of your roommate and try watching something on YouTube or listening to the new Kanye West album with your headphones only.

prepare your headphones

Only exceptions here may be the situations when you love the same music or movie and can enjoy it together.

13. Do You Have The Same Understanding Of ‘Clean’?

Just imagine Monica from Friends living with someone like Joey. That’s what can happen with you if you won’t establish some cleaning rules in advance.

One of you may be secret cleaning freak and the other one may be a messy one. This is one of the most popular reasons why people terminate the co-tenancy and move out. Having the same understanding of the ‘clean apartment’ ensures a healthy environment at home.

14. Do You Both Like Parties?

Parties may become a cornerstone. Loud companies and epic celebrations may either unite you or become a ground for a conflict.

Ask what your future roommate thinks of parties and then express your attitude towards it, review in details what things you may tolerate and what’s gonna be forbidden by both of you.

15. Be Friendly With Each Other

We’d like to finish this article with a pretty obvious yet crucial advice. Just be friendly and don’t act like an ass when it comes to sharing your accommodations with someone.

Renting a place with a roommate helps you save money, rent a better place and simply not feel lonely, so be grateful to each other for this and always resolve your conflicts in a friendly manner, just like polite and cheerful people would do.

Renting with your future neighbor is easier with Rentberry, and you can apply with your roommate. Sign up at Rentberry now to find your dream home.

1 Comment

  1. I have lived with my share of roommates and some I had know for years and others were strangers and to be honest I had more trouble with the friends I had for years, They all seemed to think they didn’t have to pay rent because we were friends, so many burned bridges. Now I own a home and rent out a room and after thorough background checks, I almost always pick someone I don’t know well. Just saying.

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