The 5 Must-Ask Questions For Potential Roommates

You don’t get to choose your family, but you can pick your roommates and choosing the right ones for your new apartment or house can make or break your entire year.

Here are five important questions to ask every potential roommate:

1. Are they financially dependent?

Obviously, you want someone who is financially stable. You have to know if they are going to be able to make rent each month and not fall back on you if they come up short. You may only be able to pay your half of the rent if they do fall back on you and racking up late fees and bounced checks is no way to live for a year. Do they have a job? If not, you should find out exactly how they intend to pay their way and if it’s seems like a reliable source of income.

2. Are they in a relationship?

Just because someone is in a relationship, doesn’t mean they're necessarily going to be a bad roommate, however, being in a relationship could create a ‘package deal’ type scenario. How often will their significant other be around? Will they be sleeping over as well? Also ask yourself if the ‘package deal’ would bother you and if it wouldn’t, it would be wise to find out more about their partner and get to know them, the partner and them as a couple, better. If you can tell they aren’t very considerate of others around them, or are fans of PDA, you may want to reconsider their potentiality.

3. When do they typically go to bed and wake up?

If you’re a night owl, it might not be the best decision to room with someone who’s in bed by eight. On the flipside, if your friend wakes up with the sun and you like to snooze until noon, perhaps consider your other options.

4. What are their cleaning habits?

It may seem a bit invasive or awkward, but this question is a big deal. You are going to be sharing a living room, bathroom, kitchen, and pretty much everything else with these people so hopefully, they clean up after themselves. Some clutter or a few dirty dishes are no big deal, but living with a complete slob is no fun either. No one likes dust, dirt, or B.O. for that matter…

5. What is their preferred study environment?

Are you someone who needs absolute silence while studying? Make sure that your roomies either feel the same way or have somewhere else to go where they can blast their music and get in the zone.

These five questions cover the basics and are a good place to start when trying to figure out if someone is the right match for you. These questions basically serve as a beginning questionnaire so that you find a good match and are considerate to their livelihood. You could also ask about their daily schedule and social life. A few other things to ask would be if they plan on bringing in any pets, whether they smoke or not, and some of their food preferences. It would be smart to try and find out a bit more about their past roommate experiences, too, to see how the reality of living with them actually went down.

Neither of you should have to change any of your habits, so if they are willing to work with their habits in being quiet or considerate with yours, reconsidering may not be too big of a deal. So before you agree to sign a lease, try to learn a little more about your potential roommates. You’ll be glad you did.