Choosing a housemate is an excellent way of saving money, particularly in an area where rent is high. There’s also the benefit of splitting bills. However, selecting the person you’ll share a house with isn’t always straightforward.
Nevertheless, recognizing how to choose a good housemate will help ensure future harmony. Bear in mind that a bad housemate could cause you headaches besides ruining your relations with the landlord. Fortunately, these tips will help you avoid a bad housemate.
Interview Potential Housemates
You don’t have to conduct a formal interview, but asking thorough questions is essential if you want to avoid a disaster. You could have a phone conversation or request them to complete a roommate questionnaire with the applicable questions.
Before you start searching for a housemate, you must be candid with yourself about the things you can and can’t handle. Therefore, you must identify the qualities you want in a prospective housemate. If possible, you should visit their present home and know how they live.
During your visit, you’ll want to talk to former and current roommates to establish the kind of persons they are.
If you decide to advertise for a housemate, meet the applicants at a neutral place such as a coffee shop and make sure the conversation is friendly and casual, so you don’t scare them off.
One thing you may forget to do, particularly if you reside in a big city is obtain references. This is a great way of obtaining information regarding their previous roommate situations. The best way of finding a compatible housemate is through word of mouth.
Check for Compatibility
Before you finalize your decision, it’s important you establish whether you’re compatible. For instance, you must consider your prospective housemate’s schedule. You may prefer a housemate whose schedule aligns with yours, permitting you to work together and hang out occasionally.
Alternately, you might prefer a housemate with a different schedule, allowing you to have private time. Similarly, your temperaments should match.
While you can’t be copies of each other, it’s important you have matching temperaments. For instance, if you enjoy parties and socializing, you won’t cope with a housemate whose idea of fun is reading.
Establish if the Person makes Timely Bill Payments
You want a housemate who will share household responsibilities. Otherwise, you will probably become bitter if you feel as though you are going beyond your fair share. The same applies to bills and rent. You need to establish how your prospective housemate will fulfill rental obligations.
For this reason, you must know whether they’re employed and if not, find out whether they have an income source. If a relative or parent will be helping with the bills, you’ll want to determine whether the person would be willing to be a guarantor on the lease.
Although it may feel intrusive, it’s important you ask prospective housemates to offer information on the income they earn. The last thing you need is a housemate whose earnings are too little to pay half the bills. This could result in more than hurt feelings. You could end up in a small claims court.
Having a housemate could be a positive or negative experience depending on how you handle the situation. Fortunately, these guidelines will help you prevent a disastrous outcome.
For more information on how to avoid choosing a bad housemate, contact us at Apartment Agents or leave other suggestions.