How to Find a Good Roommate on Craigslist

Although it’s not ideal to live with a stranger, sometimes it’s necessary. If you’ve moved to a new city and don’t know anyone, for instance, you might need to share a living space with a stranger to cut costs. Or if your former roommate moved out, and you need someone to move in with you fast, you might need to live with a stranger. One of the most popular places to find roommates online is craigslist. Generally, craigslist works out for those seeking roommates. Sometimes, however, things go awry. People pretend to be someone they’re not on craigslist or end up being unsavory roommates. If you’ve decided to go the craigslist route for your roommate search, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of finding a good roommate. Here’s what you should consider doing:

Create an ad

If you already have a living space, and you’re looking for a roommate to move in with you, you should post an ad that indicates you’re seeking a roommate. You can do this on the “rooms & shares” page on craigslist. In the ad, you should mention how much rent will cost, where you live, and what kind of roommate you’re looking for. If you don’t want to live with a smoker, for instance, you could mention that in your ad. You may also want to write a little bit about yourself, perhaps that you’re a student or work in the medical field or that you enjoy living in a quiet, calm space.

Check out who’s looking for a place to live

The “housing wanted” section on craigslist is full of postings from people looking for roommates to move in with. Browse this section and search for roommates you think you might be compatible with. If you find some who seem like they could be good fits, send them emails and arrange dates and times to meet.

Screen potential roommates

Once you’ve communicated with a few people who are interested in moving in with you, you can begin to screen potential roommates and ultimately find the right person to live with. It’s generally best to meet with people you’ve communicated with on craigslist in a public place. So, arrange some times to meet up with prospective roommates at a coffee shop or restaurant. Spend some time talking with them and determine who you think you’d get along with┬áthe best.

Conduct a background check before you agree to anything

Someone can be, by all appearances, nice and emotionally stable. However, you never know someone’s true colors until you actually move in with them. It’s generally a good idea to run a background check on the prospective roommate you think you’d like to move in with. You can do this online, or you can ask your prospective roommate to send you a copy of a background check he or she obtained. If your potential roomie doesn’t have a questionable past, it’s probably safe to move forward and set up a living situation agreement.

Watch out for scammers and people who aren’t telling you the whole truth. Trust your gut, and pick the roommate you think you’ll get along with best. Your living situation matters. So, do your homework, consider the tips above, and find a good roommate!

Jane Smith’s informative blog posts can help you make sense of any personal history situation. Whether you are pursuing a tenant background check or pulling an employee’s criminal record, feel free to email her at [email protected].