How do you find a roommate who shares your interests and lifestyle? Maybe you’re just looking for someone to share rent or bills.
Or perhaps you want to live with someone who has similar values and goals. Either way, finding a roommate can be tricky.
Finding a roommate can be challenging because there are so many variables involved.
Luckily, there are lots of methods you can utilize to find some roommates. So, if you want to discover how to find roommates in a new city, keep reading!
6 Ways To Find Roommates In A New City
If you’re moving into a new area, you’ll also need to consider where you’d like to live, whether you’d prefer a house or apartment, and even what neighborhood you’d like.
I know that finding a roommate in a new city can be worrying. After all, how do you find people to live with when you don’t know anyone?
1. Ask Your Friends And Family
When looking for a roommate, the first thing you should do is contact your friends and family.
If you know people in your life who have lived in that city before or have friends from that city — that’s a great start. It means you can get a real insight into the city, and what areas are safe.
It also means that, hopefully, they can contact their network to see if anyone else is looking for a roommate.
You might avoid this step, if you think that your friends and family do not know anyone in that city. However, keep in mind that you never know everything about everybody.
Someone you know could have a friend or a family member in that city, and they may be able to help you find a roommate, or advise you with moving.
You might even find that someone wants to move to a new city with you. This might not be your ideal circumstance, but someone might just be looking for a reason to change their lives.
2. Check Social Media
This might be a better way to find roommates because you can reach old friends or acquaintances.
Make a post on a social media website, asking if anyone is looking for roommates in the city you’re moving to. Or, if they know anything about the city (you’ll be surprised how many people respond to that!).
They may introduce you to someone they know, and while they might not be a roommate, you could have made a friend even before you leave.
That way, you won’t be as lonely when you get to the city, AND they can put the word out that ‘someone’ is looking for a roommate.
If you’re lucky, your friend or acquaintance might know someone else who is looking for a roommate in that city. While this won’t happen for everyone, it definitely can work, and can make your life much easier.
Keep in mind that if you make a post online, you should not reveal all of your personal details.
Keep it very brief, as you do not want strangers discovering everything about you, and where you’ll be moving. Likewise, be wary of whom you share your information with.
Check with family and friends before you chat with someone, so they can help you work out whether it’s a real person or a possibly dangerous situation. It might seem extreme, but it’s much better to be safe.
3. If You’re A Student, Contact The University
If you are a student, you can contact the university and ask them for advice. Many universities have options for you to stay in university accommodation, where you will meet other students.
However, a lot of universities will also have a service where they can introduce you to people looking for house shares. This means they can put you in contact with other students who are looking for a roommate.
4. If You’re A Graduate, Contact Your Alumni Network
If you are a graduate of a university or will be graduating soon, you have an alumni network.
These networks will often provide support, and have contacts in that city. This means that these connections might be able to put you in touch with others who need a place to live.
If you contact the Alumni, then they will know the best way to handle the issue. There may be a group for that specific city, or they might create a post, or a letter, asking if anyone is looking for a roommate.
It’s an easy way to find a roommate, and you already have something in common.
5. Join A Website Dedicated For Finding Roommates
There are lots of websites that are dedicated to finding roommates.
Usually, there are three different options on these websites.
You can make a personal advertisement and explain you are looking for a roommate.
You will say a little about yourself, and what you expect from a roommate (no mess, pets allowed, etc).
Then, people can contact you if they think you are a suitable roommate.
Read Other Renters Personal Statement
There will also be an option for other people to make a profile, and write a small personal statement.
If you think this person could be a compatible roommate with you, you can contact them. This way, you can find a house, or flat together, and even look for more roommates together.
Renting A House, With Random Roommates
You can inquire to rent a house, which also takes applications for other people.
Not every landlord will have this option, as many landlords and agencies prefer groups to apply, instead of individuals. With that said, some landlords and agencies will allow people to apply individually.
In this way, you will be contacting a landlord who is looking for people to rent rooms. You will get allocated roommates you do not know. It might be that the house has four rooms, and you take one room.
That means three random strangers can take the other rooms, but you won’t know who they are, and what they are like until the landlord accepts their application.
In some cases, this is fine, and you can meet great roommates. In other cases, you could end up with people who are not nice, and possibly dangerous.
So, make sure you are being careful, and discuss your options with the landlord (e.g. maybe ask for women only, men only, no smoking, so forth).
6. Rent By Yourself, Then Get Roommates
If all else fails, or you simply cannot find roommates with whom you will get along, another option is to first rent a house, or a flat, by yourself.
This way, you have your house secured, and you know that you will have a home to go to.
You will be able to meet new people when you move to the city, and it will likely be much easier to find a roommate that way.
Plus, you can actually meet people in person. People can be different in real life, so you can work out whether you will get along with someone as a roommate.
The only issue with this option is that you will have to have enough money to handle all the rent and bills, for possibly a couple of months. So, it’s not an option for everyone.
Pay Attention To Red Flags And Scammers
I don’t have to tell you that the internet, and people in general, can be dangerous.
It would be wrong, however, for me not to mention it in an article about roommates. The reality is people can easily get scammed, or even killed, by strangers on the internet.
Some key points to remember are:
- Never pay a deposit without seeing the property first, and don’t pay before signing a legal document. Even if it’s a roommate asking you to pay, you need to make sure it’s legit, and they won’t scam you.
- Make sure that any agency you have to deal with is legit. Look at the reviews. Also, google any landlord and potential roommate, to see if they are who they say they are. Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews from the landlord’s past tenants.
- Do not give too much personal information out straight away. Do not say where you live, or exactly where you plan to move, until you trust the person. Do not pay any money unless you are sure that it is safe to do so.
- Discuss how bills will be split with roommates. Do not let them put everything in their name, because they may take the money, without paying. Likewise, do not let them put everything in your name, as they might not pay you. Find out if you can pay your rent individually, which will be safer for you.
- Listen to your intuition. If you think someone isn’t who they say they are, or you think they seem like they could be dangerous (even if they act nice), do not trust them.
Finding a roommate in a city can be hard work, especially if you’ve never lived in that city before.
You can try different methods, such as finding a house through a group, or renting a house yourself, and then sharing with others. Whatever you do, make sure that you are safe, and living your best life!
- 17 Dorm Room Etiquette Tips That Every Good Roommate Knows
- 80 Questions to Ask Your Roommate Before Moving In