Are you shifting to a new city and looking for a shared rental apartment? Then you must know that there will be a roommate who is a complete stranger to you. You need a roommate only to be able to pay the rent without boring a hole in your pocket.
Make sure you have good compatibility with your roommate to live a stress-free life in a new city. Roommates are like a second family when you are away from your home. So, it is very important that you get along well.
You must have already heard many horrible roommate stories from your friends. If you don’t want that to happen with you, do ask the following questions before shifting with a new roommate. Let the interview begin!
How often do you clean your room?
Cleanliness is an important thing to be agreed upon. Unfortunately, there are some messy people too who never like to be arranged, neat and clean. But if you are one of those OCD freaks, it will get very difficult for you to share the room with a messy person.
That’s why it is necessary to enquire about their cleaning habits and schedule. Ask questions like: Do you make your bed daily? Do you do the dishes right after you are done eating? Do you take shower daily? Etc. Do not hesitate before asking because you might later regret not asking these questions. Your cleaning habits may not match totally with your roommate but at least there have to be some generalities.
When do you sleep?
It would be fantastic if you and your roommate have the unwinding routine but it is an ideal case. It is not common to have a similar routine like someone else. Your roommate might have insomnia and wakes up all night or have irregular sleeping patterns.
This might cause some trouble and barge in on your peaceful sleeping hours. They might like to watch TV or binge watch Netflix shows till late at night, talk on calls with long-distance partners and might like to practice the guitar at night.
All these things are important to be known already before shifting with the new roommate. If you are someone who likes to sleep right after turning the lights off, you might have to face a hard time adjusting. Or better forget having long zzzzzs!
Do you have any pets?
Many tenants hide their pets without having the owner’s permission. Sometimes the owner itself has pets. You must enquire about the pet policy of the place you are shifting to.
If the pets are allowed but you have objection then you must not shift with a pet owner. But if you are fine with pets living in the same room then there are a few questions to be asked.
For example, where does the pet sleep? Is the pet allowed to sit on any furniture? How friendly is the pet? Etc. These types of questions must be asked before living with a roommate who is a pet owner. And if the person does not have any pet at the time you visit, do enquire about his/her plans for getting any in future.
What do you usually do on Sundays?
This may sound a very weird question to be asking somebody but you will be thankful later that you asked. Different people have different plans of how they want to spend their Sundays. Some like to curl up in their bed the whole day and enjoy a lazy Sunday.
Whereas, many people prefer to party or throw lunches at their friends. If you are from the former category and get a roommate from the latter category, you might have to leave your bed every Sunday and nobody likes doing that, right?
If both of you have the same kind of routine on Sundays, that also might be a cause of conflict. So, it’s better to have a prior conversation regarding all the weekend plans. The very first conversation itself can give you slight hints of your compatibility with the other person. Be Lil proactive and don’t take any decision in hassle.
Do you smoke or drink?
In most of rental properties, smoking and drinking are strictly prohibited. If there are occasional smokers/drinkers, they cannot do it in the common area of the property at all. Do enquire about the smoking policies by the property owner before shifting in.
If you are a smoker yourself, please be honest about it with your potential roommate. Although it is not offensive to ask somebody on their face whether they drink or smoke.
But if you feel it is not a polite question to ask then you may notice their nails and fingers. Due to the continuous exposure to smoke, their fingers and nails may take a yellow stane. Other than smoking and drinking, you can also ask about vaping.
Pro Tip: Don’t put an interrogative personality throughout the interview. Have a friendly-conversation and let the person reveal his real personality. Notice their body language and way of talking.
By the end of the conversation, you will be able to find out so much about their personality. For example, whether the person is shy or social, sophisticated or orthodox, messy or foodie.
There are chances that in the very first interaction, they might not want to answer all your questions because you are a stranger for them.So, in that case, try to be polite and give them space. If they don’t want to answer any of your questions, better skip them!