Find the right flatmate and avoid conflicts…
By Daniel from RoommatesUK
Costly rentals, hefty mortgage payments and the rising expenses on monthly bills are convincing more and more people to let their rooms in flatshares and find flatmates to foot the bill. Searching for a compatible roommate or flatmate can be tiring and conflict-prone at times- but having said that, a little bit of pondering and careful planning in advance could go a long way towards avoiding potentially unpleasant situations with your future roommates. The best way to avoid disputes arising out of sharing a room or flat is to carefully screen and pick the right flatmate at the very beginning. Here are some simple golden rules which you should follow while searching for new roommates:
#1 Jot down a list of qualities you are looking for in your future flatmate
Prepare a detailed list of qualities you are looking for in your potential flatmate. The list should include lifestyle habits, profession, hygiene standards, shared hobbies and fields of interest, available monthly budget, etc.
#2 Meet and discuss
To protect your privacy, after screening a few flatmates and selecting the ones best matching to your requirements, meet them at a coffee shop or some avenue outside of the flat where you can have a detailed discussion. Cross-verify the quality list you have prepared, and assess your compatibilities as matching roommates. An open discussion will make things clear and help you in making the correct decision, so while being polite, still be open and not shy about your questions.
#3 Be clear about the costs you are going to share
Money is often the main source of discord between flatmates. Communicate clearly what costs you are going to share for the upkeep of the flat and ascertain your prospective flat-sharing candidate has the financial resources to fulfil all commitments. Mutual agreement regarding rental and other costs is a must before taking the final decision. It pays to have a written document so you’re both clear on your responsibilities and can reference it in the future just in case a dispute arises.
#4 Make your background check
Ask for references from the one you think might suit your requirement, and then try to do a thorough background check – such as CRB Direct – to ascertain what they have communicated to you is correct. These days, a quick search on their social networks has a high probability of giving you much of the info you need.
#5 Stay together for a few days before taking the final decision
If possible, hang out together for a few days before finally moving in. This is perhaps the most important part of the whole selection process, as by spending a few days together, you can see for yourself whether your first impression about the person was right or wrong and both parties will also benefit from a better position to identify if your lifestyle traits are matching or not before you move in together.
You may also want to check out 5 Tips for Getting a Coffee Job in London.