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Want to Learn More About a Roommate Candidate? Just Ask!

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Once you've found a roommate candidate or two, have an honest conversation about your needs, habits and quirks. This conversation may begin as an email exchange, but once a candidate appears favorable, continue your chat in person. Your goal is to feel completely comfortable about living with this person before you decide to sign a lease.

Don't be afraid to ask many questions of a candidate, even if you think that some of them may be too personal. For example:

  • How would the candidate be able to afford the rent and utilities?

  • Would it bother one of you if the other smokes?

  • Is one of you a neat-freak while the other doesn't like to clean up after himself?

  • Does one of you prefer peace and quiet while the other likes to play loud music?

  • What are your thoughts about throwing parties in your apartment or having frequent guests?

  • If pets are allowed, do either of you want one?

  • If the landlord offers a storage unit, will you split the space 50-50?

Also, if a candidate is someone you don't know, ask the candidate for references (co-workers, family members, and friends) who can vouch for her.

If you don't like the answers you're hearing from a roommate candidate, don't get discouraged. It means your good screening efforts just saved both of you from a bad roommate experience, and you're now one candidate closer to finding the right person.

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