Tips for snaring a great roommate

Living with friends - the new trend

Living with friends - the new trend - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Reeds Rains’ lettings team share with us their advice if you’re looking for a housemate...

Yesterday we reported on the trend amongst thirtysomethings that has progressed rapidly over the past five years - house sharing.

If you liked what you read and are thinking about doing it yourself, check out the following tips from Reeds Rains on how best to go about embarking on a shared living set-up:

1) It’s important to take your time to make sure you choose the right people to live with as well as the right location. Meet with your potential housemate and ask them a few questions to get to know them. Things like: what time they get up in the morning, what time they go to bed and whether or not they smoke are day-to-day factors that you’ll probably need to know in the decision making process - whether you are interviewing for someone to move in with you, or whether you are being interviewed to live in someone else’s property.

2) Even if you’re going to move in with a friend or someone you already know, think about these issues carefully too. If you’ve never lived with them before, don’t assume that you know what you’re letting yourself in for. Have the same chat with them, just perhaps less formally.

3) While considering the property, look carefully at the contract as it will highlight all the important information you need to know. It will tell you when the scheduled house inspections take place along with the required cleaning standards and the penalties for late rent.

4) You may also require a guarantor who agrees to co-sign the tenancy agreement and becomes jointly liable for any tenant obligations. A guarantor may need to complete an application form and be referenced before a tenancy can be considered. The guarantor will also have to sign the deed of guarantee before the tenancy can proceed. Whether moving in or welcoming someone in, this is always a sensible prerequisite.

5) Ask for a list of all the furniture in the property and check the condition it is in. At the viewing, take the list with you, check it is accurate and take photos of any worn or damaged items. Keep a date and time of when the photos were taken to resolve any disputes which may arise at a later time with the person or people you will be sharing with.

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Sharing a home can be incredibly fun, as well as practical. As long as you do the groundwork beforehand, there’s no reason you can’t make firm friends from the experience; and if you’re moving in with people you already know, you may very well bond even more than you had already.