How to pick the perfect roommate for a new apartment

Getting a good roommate is a lot more complicated than most people think. It comes to more than just sharing a space, a roomate will share your financial and personal obligations. You’ll also be sharing friends and family as well as all your personal issues.

How to pick the perfect roommate

You will most likely also need your landlord’s permission. They will provide an “application to rent” form for the prospective roommate to fill out, as well as run the credit and background check needed before making a decision. Drawing up a roommate agreement is essential and you can find sample roommate agreements online by searching “sample roommate agreements,” and roommate services also provide help filling out forms to avoid conflict.

Things you should consider when looking for a perfect roommate:

Dwelling details: Who gets the room with the best view? How will the rent be divided? Is there enough parking for two vehicles and who gets the best spot? Does the other person need a lot of storage or closet space?

Decide how you want to decorate the space, including what covers the walls in public rooms, such as kitchen and living room. Who contributes what furniture?

Habits: Living with someone who loves country music at midnight might not be compatible with someone that likes Opera at noon. Food choices can also play a vital role when sharing space. Whether you’re a vegetarian or a fan filet mignon, seek someone who shares or at least respects your food preferences.

perfect roommate for a new apartment

Are either of you pack rats or compulsive neat freaks? Whatever your lifestyle make sure it measures up to your roommate’s standards. In shared spaces, such as kitchens and baths, personal habits and preferences should be clearly defined from the start. Do you favor having a dozen shampoos and conditioners in the shower unit or to you prefer to have everything clean and uncluttered?

Schedule: Whether you are working, going to school or both, schedules should be compatible with each another. Some individuals need peace and quiet, especially during study or working-at-home times, while others want to have people around them all the time.

Privacy: Unwelcome guests visiting all the time can cause wide spats between roommates. Whether guests stay overnight or for a period of several weeks how to handle them should be addressed and agreed upon in advance.

Pets: If the lease allows pets do you have any preferences when it comes to animals? However, if you have allergies or just plain don’t care to have animals around make it clear from the start that pets won’t be a possibility.

Adhering to the lease: Both of you need to read and fully understand the terms of the lease and not just glance over the document and then forget about it. Both of you should be listed as tenants on the lease, and are “joint and several” in all aspects.

Possible Separation: No roommate relationship lasts forever and some must come to an end before the lease is up. Have a contingency plan in place in case things don’t work out or one of you has to move out. Set a time frame for giving proper notice to each other, such as 30 days.

You might also want to consider that roommates should not depart until they have replaced themselves to the satisfaction of the remaining resident, the landlord and terms of the lease.

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