What to Ask a Potential Roommate

Thinking of getting a new roommate? Make sure to ask them these questions first.
Written by Cheryl Knight
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
Taking on a new roommate can be exciting. To ensure that you have a good roommate relationship, you should ask them a few questions before you agree to let them move in. This allows you to get to know potential roommates before they move in and keep out anyone who you won’t get along with.
So, here are some vital questions to ask roommates before you decide to move in, with a little help from
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Important questions to ask a potential roommate

When interviewing a potential roommate, you need to find out quickly whether they're a good match with you and your household. Here are some questions you can ask to help determine if a potential roommate is a good fit.
MORE: How to decide if you should share renters insurance

Do you have a job?

Before taking on a potential roomie, it's important to determine if they have a job. Without a job, they definitely will not be able to pay their part of the bills. This could leave you on the hook paying for the rent and/or utilities.

Do you smoke or drink?

If you smoke or drink, you might not have a problem with this. But if you don’t, a roommate that does presents a lot of issues, especially if you suffer from asthma or other breathing condition.
MORE: How to exclude a driver from a car insurance policy

Are you OK with pets or do you have pets?

Find out if the person has a pet. Or, if you have a pet, ask if they are OK with it. You also need to discuss whether or not the potential roommate is thinking of getting a pet in the future. Getting the pet discussion out of the way before they move in is important.

What time do you get up and go to bed?

Is the potential roommate a morning person or a night owl? If you both keep different schedules, problems could arise down the road, especially if they like to watch TV or play games in their off time while you’re trying to sleep.
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How long are you planning on staying?

Find out how long the person plans on living with you. If you are relying on them to help with the
, utilities, and other bills, you need reassurance that you won’t have to scramble to look for a new roommate at the last minute.

How often do you clean?

You also need to find out how clean they are. A messy roommate can cause negative issues fast, especially if you like to live in a clean home.

Have you ever had issues paying rent or been evicted?

Another important thing to know is if they've ever had problems paying their rent in the past. You should also ask if they have ever been evicted, because this can be a signal for potential problems in the future. For some people, it might be a deal breaker.

How hot or cold do you like it?

While this question might seem strange, it is a reasonable one. If you like the apartment cold and your roommate likes to feel like they are in a sauna, then there is a very good chance that both of you will butt heads over the room temperature, especially in common areas like the living room.
Key Takeaway Figure out an ideal temperature for your apartment before you move.

Do you have reliable transportation?

Reliable transportation is almost as important as having a job. Having a job is great, but if you have to take them to work all of the time, as well as other places, then their welcome will wear out pretty quickly.

Have you ever had a roommate before?

Knowing whether a potential roommate has had past roommates is important. It's a good idea to find out how the past living situations ended if they did have old roommates. Keep in mind, though, that just because someone has never had a roommate before does't mean that they won’t make a good roommate now.
The goal is to find a great roommate that you can get along with. You might even consider writing up an agreement to help set ground rules when it comes to living in a home together (such as rules for overnight guests, common areas, etc.) and ensure that everyone lives up to their responsibilities.

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