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The Roommate-Vetting Checklist: How to Find One That’ll Last

When you can’t afford to pay the rent on your own and are forced to consider getting a roommate, it feels like a slap in the face. You’ve always dreamed of having a place of your own, but now that’s all gone to seed.

Living with a roommate isn’t the end of the world. You’ll be able to afford rent and share other monthly expenses that are draining your bank account. Having a roommate will help you save money and you’ll be able to use it on projects near and dear to your heart. The only thing left to worry about now is finding a roommate you can get along with, a roommate who will help you look for policies on [renters insurance quotes](, compare sites, and even offer to take you to the airport.

**Finding a Roommate**
If you’ve had not-so-great experiences with roommates in the past, opening yourself back up to another one probably sounds terrible. Even if you have had some fairly insufferable roommates in the past, that doesn’t mean your next roommate experience is going to end the same way.

You know what kind of qualities you look for in a friend, so why not start there? Here are some ways of vetting a potential roomie to make sure you land an enjoyable new housemate.

**Post an Ad**
The first thing you should do when trying to find a new roommate is post on ad on your social media feed detailing (obviously) that you need a roommate and what type of roommate it is that you are looking for. Soon you’ll have friends sharing your ad with friends and friends of friends. The next thing you know your smart phone will be pinging with notifications.

And don’t ignore sites like CraigsList, either. Even though people have shared horror stories about the classifieds site in the past, if you’re looking for a roommate in an urban area, it’s a widely used platform. The hard part? You just have to be thorough in your vetting. Take the time to post a detailed ad of who you are and what you’re looking for in a roommate. Ask the candidates to reply answering specific questions that relate to your preferred routine, such as, “are you a morning or evening person?” or “how often do you cook/use the kitchen?” Ask about anything that’s important to you to ensure you’re getting candidates that align with your needs and preferences.

**The Interview**
Don’t decide on a roommate because you like their hobbies or how their life seems on Instagram. Instead, conduct some [face-to-face interviews]( (in a public space) to see their verbal and physical responses to your questions. Some additional questions to ask at this stage can include:

**Q:** *Have you lived with roommates before? If so, what was your experience?*
If they have lived with roommates before, ask if you can contact their roommates. If they would prefer you to not contact previous roommates, consider this a red flag.

**Q:** *How long have you been in the area?*
If they are new to the area and are unsure of how they feel about it, they could potentially leave you mid-lease to move back to their hometown or another city. Try to find someone who has been in the area for more than six months and likes it.

**Q:** *Do you like your job?*
If they don’t like their job, there is a high probability that they will quit their current position and go on the job search. Without a job (and not knowing their financial situation) they could stiff you on their portion of the rent. Make sure they like their job and plan to stay.

**Q:** *Can I conduct a background check?*
Background checks are something landlords have done and do to make sure their prospective tenants are honest and hardworking. If you ask to conduct a background check on a potential roommate, you need to be comfortable with them having a background check done on you. If you’re not comfortable with it, it’s not fair to do it to the person you’re interviewing.

**Q:** *How do you feel about overnight guests?*
A camped out SO in the living room can become a big issue, especially when they don’t contribute payment to rent or utilities. Make sure you’re clear on how you feel about overnight guests, and what is an acceptable stay length.

**Q:** *Are you willing to split chores? If so, how would you describe your cleaning habits?*
Some people don’t mind having a sink full of dishes, while it makes other go berserk. Discuss your cleaning habits with the potential roomie, and make sure you both agree on what needs routine cleaning and what can go ignored.

Living with a roommate might change how you organize the pantry or do the dishes, but it shouldn’t put you over the edge. For more helpful tips and tricks on saving on renters insurance, [visit CoverHound](

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