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Five Things to Know Before Deciding on a Roommate

How to Stay Safe and Happy

Accepting a roommate into your home is the same as any relationship so, there are certain things that you need to know before you hand over the key, especially if you are the only other roommate.  I know these things from much experience, and a lot of it not so good.  Therefore, I would like to pass on my experience to you, the reader, so maybe you won't have to learn the hard way.

1) Always meet face to face.

Insist on meeting face to face and don't rely on text messages or phone conversations. You can learn a lot about a person by observing their body language, the way they relate to you and others, and small things like did they meet you on time.  

2) Find out why they need to find a roommate.

It may seem like a small thing, but it can turn out to be huge later on. When considering a roommate, find out why they are looking to move into your home. Are they leaving an ex-husband or boyfriend and are there children involved. That may be something you don't want to get involved in for both safety reasons and not wanting your home torn up by a couple fighting. Also, have they had a string of roommates and why didn't those situations work out. It could be that the person does not blend well with others, and if so you need to know why.

3) Ask for verification of income.

That may sound rude, but you are in charge of looking out for yourself first. You need to be sure they can pay the rent once they are moved in. Lay the amounts for rent, utilities, and deposit out for them so they know what they will owe each month and make sure they can afford it.

4) Draw up a contract and both of you sign it.

It may sound like overkill, but if a bad situation comes about later on you will be happy that you have a written contract signed by both of you. It protects you both and then there should be no surprises. 

5) Be sure you are compatible.

Someone may have the money to rent from you, have a clean background as far as other roommates or exes, be timely, and everything else you want in a roommate, but if the two of you are not compatible, then it is never going to be a happy situation for either one of you. Perhaps you enjoy crafts and cooking, but she likes football and having friends over. You hate sports and are somewhat of an introvert, her loud voice and constant talking on the phone to friends annoys you. You feel run out of your own home and soon it isn't going to work.

I worked for a lady once who had an office in her house which she was renting as a roommate to a young guy. Well, she lived in her room, coming out only to use the bathroom or kitchen and then back into her room. She even kept her pots and pans and dishes in there. The two of them did not get along well after moving in as roommates, and it was so bad that she did not even want to see him. Pretty sad and it could have been avoided.

In any relationship there have to be rules, agreement between the parties, trust, and compatibility. If you have those things to start, then the rest of it should come easier.

Denise Willis
Denise Willis

I have a bachelors degree in accounting, and a masters degree in psychology, but art and writing have always been my love.  I have three grown sons, and recently, I finished a novel of around 200 pages finally posted to Amazon.

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