Whether you’re a veteran or complete beginner when it comes to finding a flatmate, you can ask anyone flatting or who has flatted before, that it’s often very hard to find one or many great flatmates. They will tell you about the triumphs and horror stories, share advice on living and their personal experiences with everything flatting. However, there is always one factor when it comes to successful apartment sharing, and that is ultimate who you live with.
Flatmates serve to cover their costs and be an abounding apartment resident, with the majority of cases of flatmates becoming new friends and playing a big role in your life. They can also hold the responsibility in making life more difficult than what it needs to be: be sloppy, deadbeat, or hardcore party rockers; it can make life much more dreaded than it needs to be.
The reality is, many of us can’t afford to live alone, or at least at the places where we want to live. In the case of moving in with your best friends, or potentially living with a new human being, it’s important to be responsible and make the right decisions for choosing and finding your ideal flatmate. Here are 9 steps we suggest for creating lively, energetic and happy flatmate situations.
1. You have to Plan Ahead
One certain circumstance for not finding a successful flatmate is fleetness in planning and not thinking long-term (even if you’re only moving out for 3 months). Despite living out of home since you were 18, or moving out of home for the first time, little to no planning will see yourself in a dire situation. You find yourself needing a place yesterday, and there you are hearkening with a guy who can’t stop talking about his ex (not cool, man!).
There are many great people who are looking to finding a place ASAP, nonetheless as a general rule, those who plan ahead, stay ahead. Planning a month to two months in advance for their flatmates, are the people who pay their bills on time and you want to live with.
2. Pay attention to details
Searching for a flatmate is just like dating – but more intimate. Why? You’re going to be living with these people – and they may not be as forgiving as your partner. Whichever medium you choose to find your flatmate, online sites like flatmate.com, or in-person, pay attention to any red flags.
Here are some questions to ask yourself;
- Do they wash their dishes? Do they have a clean sink?
- Excessive beer cans in the rubbish bin?
- Do they have a clean bathroom?
These aren’t necessarily deal-breakers, but these are a few things that are considered red flags when moving in with a flatmate.
3. Do a background check (get references)
This may come across as a bit grave, however, unless you have known a certain individual for a reasonable period of time, it’s important to look up their history. This doesn’t mean solely a criminal history, but also a social history. Do they share any unsavoury characteristics? How do they portray themselves on social media? It’s easy to get a background check on yourself, be proactive and prepared.
4. Friends can be great flatmates… most of the time
This is a case I’ve personally seen many times, friends living with friends… and not working out. Many friendships have been destroyed after living together. This doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, there have been plenty of cases where living of friends has been the best decision flatters have ever made. The best advice is to treat your friend like you would with any other, and evaluate the compatibility with your lifestyle.
5. Find a place that works and suits your needs
Find an apartment style which suits you. Typically, autonomous apartments (e.g. large bedrooms to haven into), work suitably for flatmate scenarios. Despite this, depending on your flatmates lifestyle, if they barely come home, then there’s no need to search for an apartment with larger rooms. Larger rooms also plays into higher rent costs, so lifestyle and cost factors have to be considered.
6. Be open about commitment to finances from day one
This can be a dealbreaker for many flatmates. One question you should always ask before signing the contract is: do you have a job? If not, how will you pay the rent?
You have to understand your finances, everything from rent to how much money is allocated for food and bills each week. Working out monthly finances after the first initial meeting, or before moving in, for assurance will be key to avoiding any rent mishaps and awkward encounters from the landlord.
7. If you’ve never met, meetup!
It would be ludicrous if you were to move into an apartment without have met them in person. This step mainly applies to online matchmaking for flatmates, but it simply serves as centrepoint for discovery. With flatmate.com, you have the ability to connect with any flatmates or apartments in any area around the world, and then you can contact them to meet up in person over email or phone.
Advice for meeting up someone who you never met before – meet up at a neutral location, somewhere halfway from where your original destination is. If you do however want the meeting at the flat, make sure someone else is there with you. This is mainly for security purposes, but also for sussing out rapport and connection. Do you guys hit it off? Is this person funny and entertaining to have around? First impressions last.
8. Setting guidelines and communication
Start as you plan to continue. When first starting out with living with someone new, there will definitely be the honeymoon period (or awkward period :/), but you need to make sure both (or all) set boundaries and guidelines when it comes to living day-to-day. Even if it’s completely platonic, living with someone is just like you are in a committed relationship. You need to have guidelines for day-to-day, and you need to talk – regularly. If something bothers you, speak up. If you want to add something for decoration, make a suggestion. Clear and open communication is what will make the period of living together a long and memorable experience.
Remember: you can find your next best flatmate on flatmate.com 🙂