How to interview right and prevent issues in the future

Passive aggressive notes left on the fridge. Constant mess in the common areas. Music blaring at all hours of the morning. Sharing your home with others can be stressful enough, but even more so when you end up with the housemate from hell.

When looking for a new roommate, asking the right questions can go a long way to keeping the peace at home. Interviewing the applicants face-to-face allows you to review their body language and get a better sense of what they would be like to live with.

To help renters find their ideal future flatmate, global property portal Lamudi provides a list of five key questions to ask candidates who are interviewing for a room.

  • Where have you lived for the past five years?

Your aim here is to get as much information as possible about the applicant’s rental history. You want to find out whether they are a stable tenant and have a tendency to stay in one place for the long term. Be wary of people who have lived in several locations within a short period.

  • Why are you moving out of your current place?

Asking questions along these lines will help you gauge whether the applicant is a responsible tenant or not. Do they have to move on because the owners have decided to sell? Totally reasonable. But do they admit to leaving because of a conflict with a current roommate? Then alarm bells should be sounding straight away.

  • What is your current schedule like?

Living with someone whose schedule matches your own is a matter of personal preference. Perhaps you want your new housemate to become a good friend as well, which means having your schedules in sync could be ideal. At the same time, a night-owl could be disruptive to a morning person’s routine, so finding out these details will help you make a final decision.

  • What do you think is the best way to divide up the cleaning at home?

The cleaning roster is a common source of contention between housemates. Ask a practical question about household chores to gauge how they would approach this.

  • Do you currently have a partner?

This is another common cause of problems within share houses. What you really want to know here is how often their partner will be visiting – and whether you are comfortable with having them around that often – so follow up with a question along those lines.


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