Taking the time to choose the right housemate is a daunting task as itcould be the difference between a friend for life that you looking forward to seeing at the end of the day or horror stories you will tell for years to come.

We’ve all heard stories about that terrible housemate your friend lives with who hasn’t cleaned the bathroom in nine months. Choosing the right housemate is a very big deal. You must find the perfect balance between enjoying each other’s company and getting your own personal space. Here are 5 tips to help you avoid moving in with the housemate from hell:

1. Decide what you are looking for in a housemate
Are you looking to expand your social circle? Could you really be looking for someone with similar interests to you but who keeps to their own group of friends? Outline what you are looking for in the advert so both you and the potential housemate know what to expect from the house-share.
 
2. Use the house viewing as a chance to really get to know people
Make sure you have a few questions ready to ask. Rather than asking someone out straight if they are a tidy housemate, where they will most likely tell you what you want to hear, ask them to tell you about the relationship with their previous housemate and you will find out more about that person’s living habits and how they treat others.
 
3. Find out what their budget is
Make sure that their income exceeds the cost of rent and bills. The last thing you want is to end up living with someone who can’t make their rent on time.
 
4. Make house rules that everyone must stick to
Set out rules so your housemates will be aware of what needs to be taken care of. These can be defined together as a group so all parties agree. Things to consider are:
 
  • Cleaning schedule;
  • Cost of bills;
  • Who pays what bills and when;
  • Fridge space;
  • Shower times;
 
5. Find out when they can move
It can be a disaster when you have finally found the perfect housemate and discover that their desired move-in time is weeks after your current housemate is leaving. This could end up being an expensive transition period for you. Make sure you set out clearly when you are looking for your new housemate to move in.
 
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