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What To Ask A Roommate Before Moving In?

Choosing your new roommate is not a decision to make lightly. Here’s a person who will be sharing space with you for at least a year, paying bills with you, and seeing you when you first wake up or at the end of a possibly stressful day. 

You need to be on the same page before you move in together. Why not arrange a roommate interview to get more familiar with one another? Think of it like a job interview, but for your future roommate! This is especially useful if you don’t know the person well.

We’re going over all the basics you should ask a potential roommate before deciding to live together:

Setting Up a Prospective Roommate Interview

If you’re currently friends with the person you might be living with, you can meet up at your current home (or theirs). But if you’re meeting for the first time, try a public place instead—a local coffee shop or restaurant works well. 

Once you pick a date and time to meet, the next step is putting together a list of questions. 

Below, we’ve listed a handful that you can use:

How Often Do You Clean or Cook?

You probably don’t have time to clean every day—you need to work to pay rent and juggle your other responsibilities, too, but what about after you cook a big meal or have guests over? 

If one of you has higher cleanliness standards than the other, it’s good to be aware of that. Talk about what you’re comfortable living with and expect from one another. 

One thing you and your roommate should agree on is cleanliness standards. Make your preferences clear asap. Is it okay to leave dishes in the sink after eating, or do you prefer them to be cleaned right away? What about sweeping, taking out the garbage, and cleaning the bathroom?

Try to find an arrangement that works for the two of you. You could set up a cleaning schedule to keep things consistent or designate chores. 

Where Do You Work?

According to one survey, the biggest reason why roommates get kicked out is due to not paying rent. As such, you want to make sure your potential roomie has a secure job.

If you feel comfortable, you can also ask if they have emergency savings. Talking about money can be a touchy subject, but it’s better to be prepared if you’re suddenly on the hook for their bills. 

Here’s what you need to know about your rights if you are a roommate: If they stop paying rent, you will need to cover their share. Both of your names are on the lease, which means you’re also responsible for upholding it. 

How Should You Make Requests?

It’s inevitable that at one point or another, you’ll disagree on something. Maybe you want to ask your roommate to do their dishes more often, be quieter at night, or give you more privacy. 

So, when one of you steps on the other’s toes, what’s the best way to address it?

Establish early on how you prefer to handle conflicts. Otherwise, you might end up in a passive-aggressive living situation where you feel like you’re always walking on eggshells. Instead of tiptoeing around pet peeves and letting resentment fester, talk it out. 

Find a solution that works for both of you. For example, you can hold bi-weekly roommate meetings or just send requests via text.

How Often Do You Have Guests Over?

Let your roommate know if you’d prefer a heads-up before they have guests over. Coming home at the end of the long day to find four strangers in your living room can be an unpleasant surprise. 

It’s also good to set up a policy regarding overnight guests. Communicate what you’re comfortable with!

And if your roommate is in a romantic relationship, this is something you need to know, too. How often are you okay with them having their partner over? If their S.O. is constantly around, you might feel like you have a third roommate. 

What Temperature Do You Prefer?

How warm or cool do you like your apartment? This one might seem minor, but it’s the cause of many roommate disagreements! 

If you can’t agree on this, you’ll be fighting over the thermostat! Even if you prefer opposite ends of the temperature scale, try to find a middle ground that you’re both happy with.

What Does a Typical Day in Your Life Look Like?

With this question, you can get a sense of how your schedules will overlap. Are you a morning person, or do you need quiet time before you start your day?

Let’s say that one of you wakes up at the crack of dawn while the other doesn’t start work until 7 pm. Both of you will need to be mindful of the noise you make at home.

Are You Comfortable With Sharing Belongings?

You’ve agreed to share space together. But what about personal items—things like cooking utensils, furniture, and electronics? 

Set these boundaries early to avoid crossing any lines. Your stance on sharing belongings is one of the most important things to discuss with your roommate before you move in

Do You Have Any Allergies?

This one is often overlooked, but it’s crucial! If your roommate has a gluten allergy, they may request that you use a separate toaster. And if they’re seriously allergic to peanuts, you’ll need to be extra careful about leaving food out (or offering them your leftovers). 

How Do You Spend Your Weekends?

Here, you’ll find out how introverted or extroverted your potential roommate is. Is their weekend full of group hangouts, pizza parties, and late-night dancing? Or do they prefer a quiet night in bed, cozied up with a book and a snack?

Ideally, you’ll find a prospective roommate who matches your level of introversion or extroversion. 

Next Up: Finding the Perfect Apartment

You’ve exhausted this checklist and found a great potential roommate. Now, you’re looking for a place to live together. At Globe Property Management, our apartments for rent in Winnipeg, Manitoba, are available now. Browse our listings today!

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