New Roommate? Get to Know Them Better

Last updated on February 25, 2020

There are so many expectations when it comes to looking for a new roommate. Basically, based on all the TV shows and movies out there it’s pretty much you looking for your new best friend.

The fact of the matter is when it comes to picking your roommate you have to choose wisely. Firstly, you want to click with the person and make sure they’re not a felon that has relocated from another state. There’s also a heap of other things you want to clear up first like your routines and partying as well as financials.

Get to know your new roommate better with the following tips.

Step 1: Set the Right Expectations and Ask the Right Questions

So, because you’re looking for a new place you need to let the person know what your expectations are as well as what you will be expecting from them.

The fastest way to make yourself look unpleasant as a new roommate is to have completely unrealistic expectations of yourself and suddenly expect the world from them also. But, on the other hand, you have to be clear cut and honest as to what you anticipate from your roommate in terms of:

  • Cleanliness
  • Your daily/weekly routine
  • Bedtime or general quiet time
  • Partying
  • Drinking
  • Smoking
  • Financials
  • Visitors and guests
  • Pets

Find out whether they get a steady income and tell them you will need proof of this. Do they have any other loans such as car loans and will this affect their ability to pay the rent? As great as someone might be, you don’t want to be sweating it each month thinking whether or not they will be able to cover the rent, or if you have to do it for them. Again.

Do they smoke and will this be an issue for you? Make sure they know indoor smoking isn’t an option and you (and your landlord) will not budge on the matter no matter how cold it is outside.

We all love animals, but do they know your landlord will not allow you to keep pets in the apartment? Maybe you’re allergic? These are all factors that need to be made clear.

Find out whether they have a better half and discuss what is and isn’t in this respect. Sure, this question may seem personal at first, but you need to know whether they will be bringing back another stranger to your door on a regular basis.

Honestly, you would be surprised at the number of lovely people with shady partners, so request to meet them too, just in case.

Don’t forget to offer to answer any questions to your potential roommate. Make sure you listen fully to their expectations of you as well as their likes, dislikes, and habits.

Step 2: Filter your Applicants – Do a Background Check

This is a vital step that you do not want to miss when screening your potential roommate. A background check will come up with a lot of information you could never otherwise find out about your roommate just by chatting to them.

You can uncover things like:

  • Employment history
  • SN authentication
  • Driving records
  • Personal details
  • Education information
  • Military records
  • Social media information
  • Sex offender registry info

Additionally, you can work out whether or not they have had trouble with the law in the past and find out anything in relation to criminal records like court records, convictions, dates, and information regarding any arrests, warrants, sex offenses or even incarceration records.

The thing about online background checks is that whilst you can do a lot of this research on your own (a fair amount is from public records), it will definitely save you a lot of time and effort to just get it done with a professional.

There are so many options out there when it comes to online background, but many of them are hit and miss so you have to really work out which background check company will work best with your needs.

If you’re stuck for time you can always use a service like BeenVerified. These guys have helped over 100,000 people get answers by performing thorough background checks. You will have results within just a few hours and for an extra fee, you can even use their court runners to find out about information which still hasn’t been digitalized.

BeenVerified also has an app which is available both on Android and iOS systems. The app allows you to quickly find out information like contact numbers, reverse checking, email addresses as well as property records. The app is really simple to use, so if you’re not tech savvy in the slightest you don’t have to worry.

You’re likely to have a lot of questions with regards to your report or even in terms of the app. If you happen to have any trouble, BeenVerified has fantastic customer service which is available seven days a week.

PeopleLooker is another fantastic choice when it comes to online background checks. Everything is very straightforward in that all you have to do is type in the person’s name and surname and hit search.

Looking through billions of records PeopleLooker will give you preliminary search results which will be completed in less than two minutes and it will be ready for downloading in just five minutes.

There are Android and iOs apps available which are very user-friendly and if you have never used a background checking site before, PeopleLooker is very straightforward, unlike some other options out there.

The app even has some features that are not available on the desktop version like a reverse phone and email lookup. If you have any trouble, there is customer assistance available seven days a week from 8 am to 10 pm EST on weekdays or 10 am to 10 pm on the weekend. On the other hand, you can always catch them on Facebook and shoot them a message to which you should get a response very quickly.

If you have looked into online background checks already you will have noticed that there are free options available on the web. Know that all of this digging takes time, resources and money which is why reliable online background checks will seek some sort of payment.

Free online checks, whilst appearing not to cost anything will usually set you back by attempting to harvest your data or possibly even try to swamp your device with dangerous malware. This is not something you need in your life.

Step 3: Have Multiple Interviews

Look, just because you have told your coworker that you’re looking for a new roommate and she has suggested her niece, doesn’t mean it’s locked down and papers are signed. You need to keep your options open. Also, you won’t believe how many times a first impression is completely incorrect and you find you’ve judged the person in question wrongly.

Have a chat to a few candidates and take notes of what you liked. Then, meet up with them again at a café or somewhere that you’re both comfortable and chat for a little bit. That will give you the opportunity to really get to know them much better. Also, it will help you look out for any red flags.

Step 4: Check out their Social Media

The truth is, many of us overshare on social media without even realizing it. You are most likely to find various comments and posts as well as photos made by your potential roommate on their social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. This will also give insight as to what they are like as a person.

Think about the comments between them and their closest friends. How do they interact? Are there a thousand photos of them drunk and falling apart on the weekends at the local bar? Is that something you really need in your life?

Also, consider the tone of their posts. Do they seem vindictive or even bullying people they do not agree with? Are they constantly getting into online arguments? You might love getting out the popcorn and reading these comments, but you probably won’t want to live with an online troll.

Step 5: Ask for References

Make sure not to skip this step. You might think it looks like they’re applying for a job with you, but in reality, they kind of are. Remember, you will be potentially sharing your four walls with this person so it is in their best interest as well as yours that you get along like a house on fire, not set the house on fire.

Get a reference from a previous employer or a landlord to get the honest truth. Asking for previous roommate references can be tricky as they can rope their friends into pretending to be their previous roommate. On the other hand, their old roommate might sing their praises just because they’re elated not to share their living space with them anymore.

Step 6: Be Cautious About Friends

It might sound fun to move in with a friend of yours, but the truth is this can be very counterproductive. Although you might be the best of friends, you might find your friendship crumbling after the high of moving in together wears off. What if you’re a clean freak and they’re a complete slob? You may have found that cute before, but now living with the person is a completely different story.

You might also find it much harder to evict the person in question which is not something you want especially if you don’t see eye to eye about your daily living habits.

If you can, try and avoid being roommates with your family members or even your best friends, because there are elements of your relationship that may clash in the end and you will find it uncomfortable to live with them but will feel as though you cannot ask them to leave.


Finding someone to live with is a huge deal. Sure, there are a lot of people out there that have roommates but trust us when we tell you, there are a lot of horror stories to be shared as well.

You need to make sure to be as specific as you can in the ad that you post either on

Craigslist, Facebook or any other platform. This way only the applicants who adhere to your conditions will apply.

You also need to ask them all the right questions which include information about their financial status, whether they get paid regularly and if they have any outstanding debts that may impact on their ability to pay the rent each month. You don’t want to be covering someone constantly because they cannot keep up with the rent.

Find out whether friends have friends, coworkers or family members that are looking for a place, and think about whether they will be a good option. Think about the implications of you not getting along with that person and always take into consideration other applicants that have replied to your ad.

Chat to a few people in neutral settings a couple of times. Think about how they may be treating the staff at your local café and what that says to you about them as a person. Check out their social media accounts for any red flags that may pop up.

Lastly, but most importantly, run an online background check. Save yourself hours of time and effort by letting the professionals take over. For a small fee, you will have a comprehensive report on your prospective roommate. It could mean the difference between you living your worst nightmare or living the dream.

Sign up with BeenVerified here.

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