Choosing Flatmates

How To Choose The Right Flatmates

Imagine the following scenario. You’ve just arrived home to find your answering machine full of messages from people responding to your advertisement, who just like you, are looking for share accommodation. After listening to each message, you think to yourself “That sounds like an interesting person. I should give that person a call”. All of a sudden, you become panic stricken and think, “How will I choose the right person to become my flatmate?” If this sounds like you, take a deep breath and relax! You can choose the flatmates that are right for you with a bit of preparation and by following a few simple guidelines.

The key is choosing flatmates which you feel comfortable with sharing a fridge, a bathroom and a rainy night at home. A home is a happy home when everyone is comfortable with each other and nobody has to tippee toe around. Here are a few steps you can take to help you make the right choice.

1. Work As A Team When Choosing Flatmates
It’s especially important that all flatmates have equal responsibility, decision making power and are involved in choosing new flatmates. If you are looking for a room for yourself talking to friends and family who have had experiences with flatmates can help you make the right decision. They could be your “flatmate search team” who listen to your thoughts and who you can bounce ideas off.

2. Identify Sought After Flatmate Qualities
Deciding what kind of people you would like to have as flatmates will be one of the most important decisions you will have to make. Undertaking a brainstorming session and listing desirable and undesirable qualities will help you get a clearer picture of your ideal flatmate. Once completed the list can be used as a benchmark when comparing people and deciding who will be your flatmates. Remember to include characteristics such as age range, gender, personality type, social habits, hobbies and interests as well as character traits. Our perfect flatmate recipe can help you.

3. Ask Potential Flatmates The Same Questions
Before talking to people about becoming flatmates, it’s a good idea to create a list of questions. It’s important to ask each person the same questions, as it will make it easier to compare potential flatmates against each other. As the saying goes, it’s better to compare apples to apples rather than apples to oranges. Remember, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a formal meeting or a casual lunch all flatmates should meet and talk to potential flatmates before deciding who should move in. Take a look at our flatmate interview questions article to learn more.

checking references phone

4. Check References Before Asking Flatmates To Move In
A lot of people do not like to ask for or check references but when living with strangers who you have only met once or twice its better to be safe rather than sorry. Talking to people who have lived with your potential flatmates can help you gain valuable insight into their personalities, living habits, ability to pay the rent and any past problems. Find out more by reading our checking references article.

5. After Choosing Flatmates, Sleep On It Overnight
When you have chosen your new flatmates, it is better to wait a while before asking them to move in as sometimes choices do not look as good as it did a few hours ago. If you are still happy with your decision a few hours later or the next day, go ahead and make the phone call. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of regret or uncertainty when you hang up the phone after inviting or agreeing to move in with new flatmates.

So, as you can see, with a bit of preparation and taking the right steps, you too will be well on your way to choosing the flatmates that are right for you. Once you’re ready, go ahead, pick up the phone and give those people who left you message a call.

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