How do you find a roommate who is reliable, pleasant and fun? In other words, no “Single White Female” situation here! Ideally, you have a friend or even an acquaintance looking for a roomie. But if no one you know is looking, it’s time to tap your network. It’s best to take a multi-pronged approach to get the best pool of candidates. Here are some ways to do just that.
- Crowdsource: Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a new living situation, and shoot out an occasional reminder. Don’t forget to crowd source on social media, encouraging your friends and family to share your post. A roommate who has a connection with a friend or family member comes with an extra layer of screening, since someone who cares about you has already spent time with this person.
- Tap your professional network: Get in touch with your college’s alumni network, which might have a forum, newsletter or social media group that can connect you with people your age in search of a good living arrangement. Same goes for other memberships, be it professional organizations, a Greek organization from college, hobby groups or a religious organization.
- Use a search service: Several apps and websites are available to help you filter candidates by your preferences. Get the word out via two or three of them so you can reach as many people as possible. For mobile apps, there’s RoomieMatch (which has a strict screening process and ensures profiles are up to date), Roomster (which allows you to easily connect with candidates via social media or email) and Roomi (which has a Tinder-like interface).
How to screen a potential roommate
Once you have a few candidates in mind, it’s always a good idea to do a little background check beyond the basic internet search and a cursory check of social media accounts. One thing that would be useful to verify is if there is any criminal record or a history of eviction. In many states, this can be discovered through your state’s court system website. To find your state, check the National Center for State Courts website here. For extra reassurance, you might consider purchasing a report from a people search website such as PeekYou or Instant Checkmate. They pull from a variety of sources, including social media and courts.
Once you find a roommate, it’s time to discuss how you’ll handle living together.