Living with a housemate can have many benefits including shared living expenses and having someone to chat with when you get home from work. Finding a suitable housemate, however, can be a difficult process. While you may not end up being best friends with your housemate, you still want to make sure you’re living with someone who contributes to a livable environment in your home. Here are our top tips for finding a great housemate.
Check if your friends know anyone looking for a place.
Before you go listing your place on a housemate finder website, ask your friends to see if they know anyone looking for a new place. Having a recommendation from a family or friend helps to build trust from the start, plus it’s easy to check with your friend if the person is a good fit to be your housemate.
Meet a few times for interviews.
We all know the dangers of offering a place to a housemate without meeting them first, but don’t let one meeting be all the screening you do for your new housemate either! Meet with potential housemates a few times to let them check out the place first and perhaps meet for a coffee to chat and see if you get along. You want to make sure you’re going to feel comfortable living with this person and meeting a couple of times is the best way to do that.
Ask good questions.
When you’re meeting potential housemates make sure you ask them good questions to determine what kind of person they are and if you’d be a good fit as housemates. By chatting to potential housemates, you’ll want to understand their likes, dislikes, and the kind of lifestyle that they live. Make sure you also ask what they do for work to determine if they have enough consistent income to cover rent and bills.
Be direct about living expenses.
Apart from rental payments, be upfront about the cost of living in the place. Give your potential housemates a rough monthly estimate of bills, what the split of bills will be, and your expectations about sharing household items such as cleaning products or basic food products. Being upfront about your expectations with this stuff from the start will make sure everyone is on the same page before signing a contract.
Do a reference check.
Just like when you apply for a property with a property manager, ask your potential housemate for references so you can verify the person and make sure they’ll be a trustworthy housemate.
Put it all in writing.
Once you’ve decided on a housemate, make sure you get them onto the lease agreement to make everything official and legally binding.
Finding a great housemate can be a process but taking the time at the start to do your due diligence will pay off down the track when you’re living with a trustworthy roommate. In some cases, your housemate may even become a great friend!