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A Bad Roommate, How to Not End up Living with One?

a bad roommate

Having a roommate is a tricky thing. On the one hand, it is fun and it is cheaper and it will definitely bring you a lot of positive moments. But on the other hand, sharing a living space with someone can be a very tough experience - especially if this person is a total stranger. You have to get to know your future roommate beforehand as well as you can in order to find out if he(or she) is a good match for you. Here are some important points you have to vet a prospective roomie:

Ask about responsibility

Your questions shouldn't look like a formal interview, but getting to know this information is crucial if you don't want to end up living with a crappy person. Asking personal or in-depth stuff may seem a little awkward, but you can preface it by saying you want to make sure you don't run into some roommate troubles you have experienced before. The last thing you want is to share your room with a person who can't pay the bills and other living expenses. Ask these questions to prevent your concerns:

  • Whether he(she) has a previous experience living with a roommate;
  • Whether he(she) has an off-campus job;
  • Whether he(she) has any emergency saving just in case;
  • How he(she) thinks you should buy shared things;
  • How he(she) thinks you should handle cleaning the room and washing the dishes.

These questions sound like the ones a landlord might ask, but there is a reason they ask them: it helps to find a reliable tenant. So it's not a bad example to follow.

Ask about compatibility

Opposites attract each other when it comes to romantic relationships while choosing a roommate better consider people who have the same interests and point of views. Here are some possible questions to ask:

  • Ask about bad habits (smoking, drinking, partying, etc.);
  • Ask if he(she) has or wants to have any pets;
  • Ask about the classes schedule and if the person is an early riser or a night owl;
  • Ask how often he(she) usually has visitors over;
  • How he(she) prefers to spend free time;
  • Discuss how you feel about overnight guests (boyfriends, girlfriends, relatives);
  • Discuss how you feel about sharing staff (a printer, a kettle, etc.).

While asking your questions, don't forget to share and discuss your answers too in order to avoid any misunderstanding. Having all these points clarified at the very beginning is very important if you want to live with a person you feel comfortable with.


You can tell a lot about the person by just checking their social media profiles. A couple of hours of online research can open some interesting sides of your future roommate's personality to you. Or you can try to find a person to live with using online services that match people looking for a roommate up. Such services often include links to their social network profiles as well.

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