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You think you found your perfect roommate, but did you ask the right questions?

Choosing a new roommate shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s important to ask questions that pertain to your potential roommate’s lifestyle and other factors that may affect your living situation.

Here are 15 questions you should ask your roommate before moving in together:

  1. Are you employed? It’s important to know that your roommate will be able to meet their financial responsibilities to you and your landlord.
  2. Can you provide a credit report? A credit report is a great way to see their financial standing and how responsible they are with payments.
  3.  Can you provide references? References allow you to verify their background. Try to ask for references of past roommates so you can get a better sense of what kind of roommate they are.
  4. Do you have any pets? If you have a pet, you’ll probably want to make sure that they get along with any new pets being introduced to the household. Or, if you’re allergic to furry animals or the lease forbids pets, you’ll want to make sure that your roommate doesn’t have a dog or cat.
  5.  Will you contribute to the security deposit? This is something you should work out with them. If they contribute to the security deposit, they may be more inclined to keep the place tidy since you both share responsibility for any damages.
  6.  What will be your share of the rent and utilities? Your definition of “fair” may be entirely different from their definition. Try to mitigate any conflicts by outlining responsibilities for rent and utilities as well as detailing rights to shared space.
  7. How do you want to handle apartment maintenance or other costs? Will you have a collective piggy bank for household repairs? Apartment maintenance is ongoing, so it’s good to talk about this before they move in.
  8. How long should the lease period be? They may want to stay for a year. You may only have vacancy for one month. Talk it out.
  9. Do you smoke? If you’re not a smoker and disdain the smell of cigarette smoke, you need to make sure to communicate this important piece of information and put down some ground rules.
  10. How often will you have overnight guests? Ever had a roommate whose significant other turned into an unofficial roommate? Find a way to make things work for both of you.
  11. How should we distribute house duties, like cleaning common areas? Everyone has different cleaning styles. Some people clean throughout the week, while others clean their piled-up mess on Sunday afternoon. Whatever you prefer, create a schedule or plan with them.
  12. Which room will you occupy? This may depend on the price of your respective rent payments. Is your rent more expensive than your roommate’s rent? That probably means you get the bigger room.
  13. Will you be using the apartment for any other purposes, like business? With the rise of independent contractors, many people are using their home for business as well.
  14. What’s your schedule like? It may be a good thing if both your schedules are complete opposites. You can both have your own space at your own time. But if you’re looking for more of a companion, you may want to find someone with a similar schedule as yours.
  15. Will you be willing to sign this roommate agreement? Generally speaking, the only answer you should accept is yes. A roommate agreement will help outline everything you’ve agreed to above and make living with roommates much easier.

What are some important questions you like to ask potential roommates? Share in the comments below!

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.


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