How to find the right housemates

How to find the right housemates

December 12, 2017


How to Find the Right Housemates


When you’re moving into a new home, the property you’re living in isn’t the only thing to consider. A home which doesn’t really suit your needs can make life uncomfortable, but if you’re living with a housemate who’s not right for you it can make life very difficult indeed. Knowing what to look for in a housemate is important, and learning what makes people ideal to share a home with is a vital part of finding rental accommodation. In this article, we’ll discuss several ways in which tenants can find housemates that suit them, and how to make sure that things go smoothly once the tenancy starts.


What Makes a Good Housemate?


The first thing to establish is what you’re looking for in a housemate. For some people, it’s quite easy to find willing housemates, and many second-year students from university will simply move in with their friends. However, this doesn’t necessarily make for a happy home, because there’s a big difference between being friends and being housemates. Here are a few things you should look for in a prospective co-tenant:

Reliability: All the tenants in a house share the responsibility of paying rent each month, and if someone fails to pay the others will need to make up their portion. This is extremely frustrating, so make sure that whoever you choose to move in with doesn’t have a reputation for failing to pay people back.

Flexibility: When you’re living with a group of people, there’s bound to be some compromises that need to be made; one housemate might regularly start their day well before everyone else is awake, whilst another may take up a lot of space in the kitchen with their prized cookware collection. Housemates need to understand that they’ll need to reach an agreement that keeps everyone equally happy, so you should avoid anyone who always needs to get their own way.

Common Needs: If you’re all studying at the same university, chances are you’ll have some requirements in common; you may well end up travelling together, and sharing transport. It’s sensible to find housemates who are in a similar situation to yourself, so that you’re all on the same page.


Where to Find Housemates


As previously mentioned, many people choose to move in with their friends. However, this isn’t always an option, and sometimes tenants will need to look for housemates in other places. If you’re a student, a good first step is to contact your university’s accommodations department, which will often be able to put you in contact with other students looking for a house. In fact, many universities have online portals which allow students to post adverts, and this can be a quick and easy way to find individuals to move in with.


Alternatively, there are online house-sharing websites such as and Gumtree, which provide a way for tenants to find accommodation. Finding a room on these sites can be difficult, though, as demand is often very high – some advertisers report receiving more than 50 applications in the first day of listing a room. Applicants for a house will also probably need to meet their prospective housemates for a short interview, too, before they can think about moving in.


It’s very difficult to judge whether someone will be an ideal housemate without properly knowing them, but it is possible for tenants to take out a short-term temporary tenancy while they get to know an area. By taking out a tenancy that only lasts six weeks or so, individuals can give themselves time to get to know people in the area, and hopefully find a housemate that suits them.


Being a Good Housemate


Bear in mind that all the rules which apply to your housemates will also apply to you, and you should be sure not to behave in a way that annoys the people you live with. Here are a few basic rules to keep in mind throughout your tenancy:

Respect other people’s space: Even if you’re just borrowing a pair of socks from someone’s room, you should ask their permission – going into someone’s personal space without their knowledge is a big no-no.

Share the load: There are some jobs which will always need doing, like taking out the bins and cleaning the garden. Make sure everyone is doing their fair share by drawing up a rota.

Be organised: Keep track of how much the bills are, and who’s contributing to them – don’t let one tenant pay too much, and make sure everything’s divided fairly.