Choosing Flatmates

Flatmate Interviews – 15 Finance Questions Every Household Should Be Asking

Have you and your flatmates ever felt unsure after finishing an interview whether a potential flatmate would pay the rent on time? If the answer is yes, then you’ll find the old saying “you will never know unless you ask” will come in handy. After all, finding the right flatmate that you know will pay the rent is about more than taking an educated guess, it’s about asking the right questions.

The key is choosing questions that lets your household find out each candidate’s ability and history of paying rent and expenses on time, any disputes that they may have had over finances and their attitude towards money. Asking these questions will give you a good indication how expenses will be paid in the future while helping you select a flatmate that has a similar approach towards finances than existing share house members which helps avoid disagreements. Ideally, when creating your interview questionnaire you should include as many open questions as possible. These questions are great conversation starters as interviewees can not answer with a simple yes or no answer and require candidates to disclose information about themselves. Each question you include should help you create a comprehensive picture of how it would be to live with the candidate as a flatmate. Learn more about which questions you should be asking at share accommodation interviews.

So, which questions should you ask to find out if a prospective flatmate would be financially compatible? Here are a few questions you can ask the next time you interview flatmates for your share house.

1.    How much money can you afford to spend on rent and expenses each week/month?
2.    Which payment method would you prefer to use when paying rent and expenses?
3.    Do your prefer to pay for your own food or pay money into a food kitty?
4.    Have you ever organized or been responsible for your household’s rent or expenses?
5.    Are you willing to be jointly responsible for household expenses or rent? For example, putting your name on household bills or the lease?
6.    If we would ring your referees, what would they say about your ability to pay the rent and any additional expenses?
7.    Would your friends say you are a spender or a saver?
8.    How do you feel about flatmates that do not pay their rent and expenses on time?
9.    How would you feel if the financial setup of the household would change while being a flatmate?
10.  How would you feel if the rent or any expenses would increase while living in the household?
11.  Have you ever asked a flatmate to move out due to an issue about finances?
12.  When was the last time you paid a bill, any expenses or the rent late?
13.  Have you ever had a dispute with current or former flatmates over money? What were the disputes about?
14.  Have you ever voluntarily moved out of a household due to a dispute over money? What were the circumstances?
15.  Have you been evicted or asked to leave due to an issue over finances? What’s your side of the story?

As you can see, by taking advantage of the old saying “you will never know unless you ask” you’ll find the answers that you will need to choose the flatmate that lets your household leave financial disputes behind. Just as importantly, you’ll never be left wondering after an interview if a potential flatmate will pay the rent as you’ll have the answer in the palm of your hand.

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