5 Tips for Selecting A Roommate

It is common knowledge that having a roommate cuts living costs in half. While this sounds like a no-brainer, a roommate can actually end up costing you more than it’s worth, unless you’re careful. Follow these guidelines when selecting your next roommate to avoid headaches later.


First, decide whether you’re going to sign the lease on your own or co-sign with your roommate(s). If you do choose to sign on your own, remember that you will be responsible for cutting the rent check to the landlord each month in full, regardless of whether or not your roommate has paid you their share.

Background Check

You’ll also want to know if your roommate is financially responsible and/or crazy. Don’t wait until the first of the month to find out that he actually doesn’t have enough money to cover his share. Do a background check, credit check, proof of income, and references, even if it’s a good friend.

Shared Expenses

Discuss all shared expenses before you sign or agree to anything to avoid any surprises later. You could also put it in the lease agreement or create your own roommate contract. Think about items like cable, cleaning supplies, and office supplies.


Talk with your roommate about energy/water conservation. If they like blasting the air conditioning, you might have a problem that needs to be worked out quickly. Rooming with another person seems like an easy 50/50 split until the first utility bill comes in. This might also be something you could put in the lease agreement or roommate contract. Don’t get too specific, but include something like watching energy/water/gas conservation.

Shared Purchases

Rooming together is like getting married. From couches to bathmats to pots and pans, you’ll decorate your new home together. It’s a good policy to designate ownership from the outset. This is especially helpful if both of you are moving in at the same time.

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