Whether you own your own home and rent out some of the rooms, or you are a the head tenant in a rental property, finding the right people to live with can be one of the most stressful aspects of the responsibility. However, as long as you know exactly what you need to do in order to advertise your room and find someone the right fit for you, then it doesn’t have to be such a headache. Here are some ideas to consider when you are conducting your search.
Advertise your room widely
There are a number of websites that you can advertise your room on – and advertising online is by far more effective than any other medium available. Remember also to advertise on Facebook and ask around your friends and family – you never know who might be looking for a place to live! Maybe your spare room is the incentive your friend from overseas needed to finally make the move here.
Advertise your room effectively
It will make your life a lot easier and you will get significantly more applicants if you include photos of the room and other areas of the house (after all, you never know, maybe that fridge is what’s going to seal the deal for your potential flattie!). Also be sure to provide information about the current flatmates, as well as contact information. Being transparent about the cost of bills and utilities will help you waste less time when it comes to interviewing applicants.
Hold interviews and actually get to know these people
You are going to have to live with this person, so it will make your home life far more pleasant if you make absolutely certain they are someone you can get along with! It also means you can gage whether or not they are likely to be quiet, whether they have full time employment, whether they have any nasty habits. Making sure everyone who lives in the flat is present for the interview is also a good idea. Even if you are completely desperate for a flatmate and feel you will take anyone, it just isn’t worth the risk.
Have a rental agreement!
It is a great idea, to avoid any potentially nasty mishaps, to have your new flatmate agree to pay a bond (usually the equivalent to two weeks rent when it is done privately), have them pay two weeks rent in advance, and have something set in place if and when they decide to move out – typically two weeks notice. Write up the contract and be sure to have someone witness the signing for you.
Be clear you are all on the same page
Before they move in, or as soon as they have moved in, establish ground rules and flat expectations. Is it okay for them to invite all of their friends over for a late night impromptu rave? What is the flat etiquette for dishes – are they to be immediately loaded into the dishwasher after use, or does everyone have a designated night of the week where they wash up? How are the bills split up? What time does everyone need to shower in the morning?
Following all these steps will make your flatmate search and subsequent living together much easier and smoother for all involved. Good luck!