3 mistakes to avoid when choosing a flatmate

3 mistakes to avoid when choosing a flatmate

Choosing a flatmate is not easy. First, you have (usually) a limited amount of time in which to decide whether or not a complete stranger is the right person to share your personal space with. Second, even if you two hit it off during the interview, there’s no guarantee that your renting conditions will match their rental needs. For example, you may be looking for a long-term flatmate solution to your extra room while they may need a place for just a few months… The list goes on and on!

To help you find the best match when it comes to flatmates, we’ve covered some of the most common mistakes you should avoid when choosing a flatmate. Here they are:

Mistake #1 Skipping the talk about significant others and out-of-town friends
This is a rather neglected topic during flatmate interviews and it is perfectly understandable. A lot of people don’t feel comfortable enough when they first meet a stranger to dig into their personal life and ask about boyfriends, girlfriends, etc. It is, however, crucial to pop this question during the interview and ask your potential flatmate if they are in a serious relationship and/or expect their significant other to stay over. If you don’t bring this topic up, you risk ending up with an extra roommate that you neither chose nor is splitting the bills/paying rent. You don’t want this to happen, do you? The same applies to out-of-town friends – if there is a probability for countless unwanted visitors crashing at the apartment, you should be aware of that (and agree with it) beforehand.

Mistake #2 Forgetting to throw light on the money issue
No, we’re not talking about the obvious stuff, like paying the rent (on time), splitting the bills, etc. There are many other (smaller, but accumulating) expenses in a household that can become a real money issue one day. To prevent this, make sure you create a list of all the current expenses you make (like toilet paper, cleaning products, detergent, etc.) and discuss it with your future flatmate. Perhaps they will agree to a small deposit each month that you can both use for such minor expenses or they will propose a “your turn/my turn” scheme you haven’t thought about. The bottom line is you talk through this before it has emerged on the horizon as a threat to your good flatmate relationship.

Mistake #3 Sharing a flat with a friend without thinking it through
This one is very controversial as some people swear there’s no higher blessing than sharing your flat with a bestie while others curse the day they made this decision. To make sure you don’t fall in the latter category, you should very carefully consider your options. You have an extra room and your friend needs one. Does this mean you should offer it and agree with their moving right away? Definitely not. Sharing your flat with a friend is very tricky and delicate as many people feel uncomfortable discussing money issues (or girlfriend/boyfriend issues) with someone they’ve known since forever. So, you should take a look at the situation in the most unbiased way you can and come up with the best decision for both of you (hint: it’s perfectly OK if it doesn’t include you giving them any keys to your apartment).