Five Questions to Ask Your Roommate Before Moving in with Them

Finding a compatible roommate is almost as difficult as finding the perfect place. Roommates are met to balance each other, and hold the same values. The best way to find a like-minded roommate is to ask them questions, and assure their answers are similar to your own.

These are five questions that you should ask every potential roommate before moving in. For some, these may be make-it-or-break-it. It’s up to you to decide the type of relationship you want to have with your roommate.

Question #1: What are your thoughts on pets?

If you have a pet, or if your roommate has a pet, it’s best to discover what their views are. Even if neither of you have a bet, this topic should always be discussed in the event that one of you gets one. This conversation should cover all pets– from dogs to snakes. You should also take into account any allergies. This will help clear the air and establish rules.

Question #2: How frequently do you have guests?

The worst roommate scenario is having someone who has guests over every day of the week, or is a stickler on guests.  This question helps determine if you and your potential roommate are on the same page regarding guests. In some leases, there are guest policies in place to prevent issues from arising. Be sure to read your lease before discussing guests with your roommates.

Perhaps neither of you mind guests– great! Make sure you make your preferences are known, and ask them the same.

Question #3: What is your schedule?

It’s important to determine how often your new roommate will be frequenting the apartment.

Do you have a home office, or do they work all hours of the day?

Do they work a typical 9 to 5 shift, or do they work nights?

These questions are important depending on your preferences. If you occasionally want the apartment to yourself, you might not want to live with someone who is always there. If you want to bond with your roommate, you may want someone who actually spends time in the apartment, or someone with the same work/sleep schedule.

The differences in schedules can affect the general atmosphere of the home, sometimes in large ways. If you’re on opposite schedules, it may be best to find a different roommate.

Question #4: What are your cleaning habits?

Most roommate arguments are related to a roommate’s cleanliness.

How often do they do the dishes? Are they tidy, messy, or somewhere in between?

It’s best to find someone whose cleaning habits are similar to your own. It’s also important to discuss how often they clean, and how well they clean

Perhaps you could create a bi-weekly cleaning schedule with each other, and be responsible for different items on the list. This could also be a time for you to consider what you and your possible roommate think of cleaning services, such as maids, and whether either of you would want that.

Question #5: What do you expect from a roommate?

This is one of the most important– if not most important– questions to ask of a potential roommate. This will set the groundwork for their expectations of you, and yours of them.

They may value cleanliness over a set schedule. They might be looking for their roommate to also be a friend. Maybe their so busy with work that they just want peace and quiet at the end of the day. There are many circumstances to consider.

See if your ideals line up with theirs. This is key to finding the perfect roommate match.

These five questions will help you find the perfect roommate who fits your needs. These questions will also help you choose between different apartments you’re considering. You can base your living situation on the people you’ll be living with, as opposed to what the home looks like. Prevent roommate conflict by asking these questions. Ultimately, they’ll help you find the best housemate.

Have You Read Your Lease?

Finding a good place to live is difficult, but when you find the right home and set your heart on it, it feels like ‘this is it, this is the house I want.” While people may be subject to emotional bias, they might forget to look at some essential aspects of the lease.

Learn some of the essential things you must see in your rental lease before signing it.

Terminal and Renewable options

The typical lease arrangement is 12 months, although yours can differ based on what you or your landlord decides on. Some co-living companies offer flexible leases, anywhere from 3 to 18 months. Choose what fits your lifestyle best.

Most of the agreements begin by giving the landlord 30 to 90 days’ notice if you plan to renew the contract once they reach out to you, with 60 days notice being the norm. When the time comes to renew, many variables will affect your decision. Decide what’s best for you quickly and let your landlord know.

Grace Period of the Rent

Grace period refers to how many days you are given before having to incur a late fine for rent payments, and it differs by country. In many cases, the grace period is on the 5th day of the month, and if you haven’t paid rent by then, you will have to pay a late fee — which may be either a flat fee or a portion of the monthly rent.

Fixtures Available

Permanent household items (such as a stove, oven or dishwasher) are usually inclusive on your rent. Nevertheless, if you ever see a unit with interchangeable fixtures — window shades, pool appliances, plug-in microwave — you’ll want to double-check precisely what the landlord is going to offer you in your lease. In certain situations, you can rent furniture for an additional charge, or you can negotiate with the former occupant if they are leaving any equipment behind.

A good way to outfit your home when you move-in is to check sites like and Facebook Marketplace, among others, where students moving home or young professionals moving in may be selling household items.

Remodelling and Reconstruction

Most lease arrangements allow you to seek approval from the landlord before you make improvements to the property — including cosmetic adjustments. Painting a wall might sound harmless, but if you spray paint on a carpet or leave stud holes everywhere, you’re going to be responsible for it. If you make significant changes to the apartment without any of the permission of the landlord, they may use your security deposit to pay for making the property how it was.

Number of People Who Can Stay

Many metropolitan areas have fire codes which restrict the number of people who are allowed to sleep in one room. A rental apartment or homeowner association may also limit how many individuals can live in a rental property. It impacts how you will be able to add individuals to the lease later. For instance, if you want to transform the living room into an extra bedroom for a new roommate within six months, you may not be able to do so because you have already exceeded the most number of people permitted to stay in the unit as per the lease.

This also plays into renting out your room on rental websites like AirBnb and There is likely a clause in your rental agreement that disallows from doing this, as making money off your rental property (not as the landlord) is not covered with liability insurance, etc.

Guest Policy

Most lease contracts limit how many days a person can remain at the property if the individual is not on the lease. We can say that you must know how long somebody can crash on your sofa before you sign — or extend a request.

Ask yourself, did you know you had to look for all these things in the lease before signing it? Next, you sign a lease make sure you take all these in the account before signing. You’ll be better off to know the terminology of the lease if anything arises.

How to Handle Dealing with Tenants Who Can’t Pay Rent During the COVID-19 Crisis

In this post, I’m going to take the POV of a landlord. It’s important to hear from both sides – tenants and landlords – of the real estate marketplace when understanding the trajectory of the industry.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill. It has affected our way of life, economy, and many businesses, including real estate significantly.

Today, the housing sector is one of the worst-hit sectors. Many landlords are going through tough times considering they need to pay off their mortgages as some mortgage companies still expect landlords to keep to their end of the bargain. Now, the big question is how will they settle their debts when tenants are unable to pay their rent? While some tenants genuinely cannot pay due to the stay at home order, others just don’t want to (rent strikes, etc.). This is very frustrating to landlords.

Here are some tips for how landlords should handle dealing with tenants who can’t pay their rents during this period.

Come to An Agreement with Your Tenants

Do not be harsh on your tenants. Take a leap of faith and trust those who have been steady on their payment but cannot pay now due to COVID-19. If they tell you they can’t pay rent due to having being laid off, give them some time till they can get back on their feet.

Collect Half Payment

Some tenants can only scrape up half the amount of their rent. So, if a tenant tells you they do not have the full amount, take the amount they are offering. It is better to have half the payment than to have nothing at all. Also, if a tenant made a deposit at the start of their contract, you can tell them you will use part of it for rent.

File for A Court Order

Some tenants are taking advantage of the current situation. Since they know landlords cannot send them packing, they go about doing whatever they want.  It is important to know that you can file for a court order granting an eviction notice. Immediately the court approves of it, go ahead and kick them out.

Reduce Rents

This is a good way to stay afloat during the lockdown. Draft a document and make tenants sign if they agree to the new rent policy. It will serve as proof in case a tenant wants to rip you off at the end of the lockdown.

Ask Tenants to Look at Other Options

The government has offered financial relief to citizens. If your tenants meet the requirements for this relief, advise them to contact the appropriate quarters for help with their rent. They can as well take a loan to pay up their rent.

Get in Touch with Financial Guarantors

At the start of the contract, some tenants give you the name of their financial guarantors. Reach out to that “somebody” if the tenant is away and unreachable. Be polite in finding out what happened to the tenant and how to reach them.

Do Not Harass Your Tenant

Tenants have the right to sue landlords to court in case of any harassment. Therefore, even if a tenant is late on their payment, exercise a little bit of patience. Do not call them incessantly, do not threaten, or insult them. Do not change their locks or put out their property without prior notice or permission from the court. If you do any of these, you will lose money and still face court judgment.

Control Your Emotions

As a landlord, you’re much stressed right now, and it’s taking a toll on you. Try various relaxation techniques so you’ll find that which works best for you. It’ll help you to be more rational. You will be able to make better decisions.

Acting reasonably during this lockdown will have its benefits in the future. Note; your tenants are clients and they have more rights than you do. So, treat them with love and care and give them the respect they deserve.

Be wise! Do all you can to maintain your reputation, while being firm to avoid being taken for granted.