9 top tips to find a perfect flatmate

Finding a new flatmate or housemate can be a hard task, but finding someone who you (and the rest of the flat or house) can actually get along with can be tricky. No one wants to live with someone who is always messy, doesn’t tidy up after themselves and generally makes you want to pull your hair out!

Many people turn to share accommodation due to helping to pay the rent or to cover the mortgage repayment costs. However, your home should be a safe haven where you feel comfortable, so what can you do to avoid living with terrible flatmates?

My friend has recently been in this same situation where he has been on the hunt for a new housemate and time is at the essence, but he can’t find anyone suitable to rent a room in his four bed apartment. What can he do? Does he just go with the next person who enquires and hopes for the best? Here are my 9 top tips to help you find the perfect flatmate when living in share accommodation, without losing your hair!

1) Create a flatmate questionnaire – this will help you ask the same questions to each of your potential flatmates, and avoid you forgetting to ask an all important question. It should cover lifestyle, housework and financials as well as their current living situation.

2) Advertise correctly – If you use an ad to find a new flatmate, it is important to be completely honest as to what you are looking for. If you would prefer someone who doesn’t go out partying all night then you should state this in the advert.

3) Look at your social group – You might know a friend, or a friend of a friend who is looking to rent a share flat. This is a great place to start, as the likelihood is that you will know this person well and can decide if you both could actually live together easily. If you think that it would put a strain on your friendship, then it might be best to look outside your friendship group.

4) Check references – It is crucial that you always check references and ask their past housemates (if any) what this person was like to live with.

5) Don’t just go with the first person – It is important to ‘shop around’ rather than just going with the first person you see. Time might not be on your side, but if you are trying to beat the clock before your next rent payment is due you might find yourself with a half decent housemate. It’s better to invest that extra time to find someone who you can get along with.

6) Be truthful – When searching for new housemates it is important that you are also honest with them to avoid any problems or disagreements down the line. If you smoke or have pets, then let them know, as they’ll only end up finding out.

7) Be wary – When interviewing your potential housemates you should be alert to their job and money situation. If someone is between jobs, you should be cautious as they might not be able to cover the rent. Look for someone in a steady job. You should also be wary of any negative vibes you might get off someone. It’s better to trust your instincts.

8) Come clean – Make a point of letting potential housemates know what you consider ‘clean’. You might like to come home to a tidy, clean kitchen, whilst they might think that leaving dishes in the sink or on the side is ok. It’s best to get this out in the open as many disagreements do come from household chores.

9) Sign a contract – Once you have decided on your new flatmate/housemate, you should provide a contract and get them to sign on the dotted line. This avoids any vagueness. Like any other contract it should cover things like rent payments, lease terms and what happens if rent is not paid or you want to break the lease early. There are many standard forms available online.
Published on 17th of February 2015 by Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich


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