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How to Find a Roommate [2023 Guide]

September 17, 2023
Wondering how to find a roommate? Check out these 12 renter tips for 2023 to help lead you to where to find new roommates today!

Figuring out how to find a roommate can be tricky, as it requires a blend of careful planning, research, and intuition. Whether you're a college student seeking to share dorm expenses or a professional looking for someone to split the rent in a city apartment, our comprehensive 8-step guide will walk you through the entire process.

Come dive in with us as we explore what to look for in a roommate, trusted roommate-finding platforms, and practical tips to ensure your shared living experience is a peaceful one.

The Ultimate Guide to Finding a Roommate

Roommate Compatibility Quiz

Finding a good roommate is essential for having a positive living experience. But how do you know if you and someone else are compatible?

A roommate compatibility quiz can help you identify your own roommate needs and preferences, as well as the qualities you're looking for in a roommate. Use this roommate compatibility quiz to make a more informed decision about who to live with.

Where to Find a Roommate

Ask Family, Friends, and Coworkers for Reliable Recommendations

Start your roommate search by reaching out to people in your social circle, including friends, family members, and colleagues, to see if they know anyone looking for a new roommate. More than likely, one of your people knows someone else who is also on the lookout for a new living arrangement. If they can vouch for that person, even better!

Of course, remember that while someone might be an excellent friend, it doesn’t mean they’re roommate material.

Search Online for Roommates

Roommate Search 101 Finding Your Perfect Match

As mentioned, moving to a new city or state can be challenging. If you’re struggling to find the right match through your social circle, the best way to find a roommate is through online roommate-finding platforms. While you can certainly go the old-school route and make a Craigslist ad, we recommend going the safer route with these carefully vetted online platforms, including:

Even if you use a specific website to find roommates, it's important to exercise caution. Make sure to conduct interviews with anyone you match with so you can be as thorough as possible.

Take Advantage of Social Media

There are so many social media platforms these days, and most people are active on at least one. If you need a roommate and decide to go the social media route, the first logical step is to make a post to your existing friends about your search.

We recommend platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Craft a concise, well-structured “roommate needed” post about the type of living situation you’re looking for and share it with your friends or local groups and pages, such as housing-specific forums, university pages, etc.

Essential Questions to Ask Potential Roommates

Now that we’ve gone through the best way to find roommates, let’s step into the vetting process. Apartment roommate compatibility is key for a healthy living situation, and the only way to know whether you and another person are compatible is to ask them the right questions. Here are a few topics and questions to consider raising:

  • Why are you looking to move?
  • What do you do for work?
  • What’s your schedule like?
  • How do you like to handle cleaning?
  • Do you have a significant other who might stay here often?
  • Are you comfortable with having parties or get-togethers?
  • Do you have allergies or dietary restrictions?
  • Are you okay with sharing your belongings?
  • What are your “quiet hours?”
  • Do you smoke?
  • Are you comfortable with the cost of rent and utilities?
  • Have you lived with roommates before, and if so, how was your experience
  • Can you provide a background and credit check?
  • Are you able to provide references?

Knowing how to find a good roommate is one thing, but being a good roommate is another. Open communication is invaluable during the interview phase, so be prepared to share your own preferences and expectations too.

Apartment Roommate Safety Guide

Finding a roommate can be a great way to save money and have a companion, but it's important to do it safely. Here are some tips to help you find a roommate who will respect your boundaries and keep you safe.

Understand Your Boundaries

Boundaries are the limits you set on what you are and are not comfortable with in your living space. By knowing your boundaries, you can communicate them to potential roommates and find someone who is compatible with you. To understand your boundaries, think about what is important to you in a living situation. For example, are you particular about cleanliness? Do you allergies? Once you have a solid understanding of theses, you can start to look for a roommate who shares similar values.

Watch Out for Scams

Rental scams are a dime a dozen, especially with the growing number of online listings. Familiarizing yourself with common roommate scams and red flags, however, can help you spot them more easily.

As you look for roommates, search for their social media profiles and verify their identity using online platforms. If they're hesitant to provide information or seem evasive, proceed with caution. It’s a good idea to meet face-to-face before agreeing to anything. Avoid sending upfront payments, verify rental listings, and insist on written agreements.

Never Share Personal Info or Sign a Lease With Someone You Haven't Met

Sharing personal information or signing a lease with someone you haven't met can be risky. You don't know who this person is, and there's a chance they could be a scammer or a criminal."

To protect yourself, it's crucial to screen your potential roommate carefully before deciding to move in together. Taking this precautionary step can help ensure your safety and peace of mind.

Screen with References and Background Checks

Checking references and running a background check are two of the best ways to screen your potential roommate. References can give you insights into their personality and how they are to live with, while a background check can reveal any criminal or financial problems. You can request background checks using resources such as E-Renter and First Advantage for free. This information can help you make an informed decision about whether or not to move in with someone.

Sign a Roommate Agreement

Once you've laid out your expectations, the next step is to formalize them in a roommate agreement. This document serves as a concrete reference point, ensuring that both parties are held accountable to the same set of rules and expectations. Rather than relying on verbal agreements or shared assumptions, a written roommate agreement gives you something tangible to refer back to, should disputes or questions arise.

How to Master Roommate Living

Roommate Etiquette A Guide to Shared Living

Once you've done the work to find a roommate it's not hard creating an ideal living situation for everyone involved. Use these tips to help with the process:

  • Practice Clear Communication: At the foundation of any great roommate experience is clear communication, and by discussing your expectations, you won’t have to second-guess whether you both are on the same page.
  • Respect Boundaries: Everyone needs personal space and privacy, so make sure you acknowledge and respect them. Even beyond privacy, you might consider establishing rules or guidelines for shared spaces.
  • Choose Compatibility Over Ease: If you and your roommate gel in terms of lifestyle or hobbies, you’ll have a far more compatible living experience.
  • Explore Common Interests: See if there are certain activities you and your roommate enjoy. If so, find ways to explore them together!
  • Prioritize Maturity: When conflicts arise, be rational and mature. Rather than pointing fingers and assigning blame, focus on finding solutions.

If you can make it a priority to be a respectful roommate, you’ll have a much more positive living experience

Make Your Move: Start Apartment Hunting with Apartment List

The journey of finding roommates can be scary, yet exciting, and with the right approach, you’ll be well on your way to a successful living arrangement.

Now that you know how to find a roommate, you can begin your apartment search by exploring Apartment List’s personalized quiz. We’ll help you find your ideal apartment so you and your potential roommates can start your co-living adventure off right!

Roommate Hunting FAQs

How Do I Write a Roommate Ad?

When you are writing a roommate ad, be sure to include the following information:

  • Your name, contact information, and age
  • The type of housing you are looking for (e.g., apartment, townhouse, condo)
  • Budget
  • Your desired move-in date
  • A brief description of yourself and your lifestyle
  • What you are looking for in a roommate

You may also want to include additional information, such as whether or not you have pets, whether or not you smoke, and your sleeping habits.

How Do I Find a Roommate if I'm a Student?

Here are some tips for finding a roommate as a student:

  • Ask your friends and classmates
  • Check with your school's housing office
  • Use a roommate-matching website
  • Post a flyer on campus

How Do I Find a Roommate if I Have Allergies?

Finding a roommate with allergies doesn't have scary and daunting. Here are some tips to help find your perfect match:

  • Look for roommates with similar allergies
  • Choose a roommate who is clean and tidy
  • Be honest about your allergies

Should All Roommates Be on the Lease?

It’s always a good idea to have all roommates on one lease agreement, as it offers each person legal protection while ensuring accountability if something goes awry.

Is It Normal to Ask a Roommate for a Background Check or References?

Absolutely! By verifying a potential roommate’s references and getting a background check, you can gain valuable insights into their reliability, personality, and rental history, to see whether or not they’d be a good fit.

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Tristian Brown
Tristian Brown is a Senior Content Marketing Associate at Apartment List, where he manages high-quality content that helps modern renters find the perfect home. He brings an immense wealth of knowledge to the team, having earned a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and European Management from the University of San Diego and EM Strasbourg Business School. Read More
Tyler Connaghan
For over a decade, Tyler Connaghan has excelled in content strategy, specializing in article writing and website content creation. Through his deep interest in knowledge and partnerships with notable real estate firms, he has refined his skill in producing content that highlights the rental sector's key aspects. Read More
Emily Kho
Emily is a professionally trained writer who covers a wide range of topics associated with the rental market and real estate industry. With over a decade of professional writing experience, Emily comes from a strong background in the field backed with a Bachelor of Science from the world-renowned William F. Read More

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