143 Questions to Ask Potential Roommates

Securing the ideal roomie can be an art as well as a science. It demands not just compatibility, but also a shared sense of responsibility, lifestyle preferences, and more. That’s why it’s a good idea to ask potential roommates a few questions before you decide.

I’ve put together a list to take the guesswork out of your hunt. I promise you thoroughness, from probing their financial reliability and lifestyle habits to understanding their conflict resolution skills and work or study routines.

Lifestyle and Habits

  1. What is your daily routine like?
  2. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
  3. What are your weekend routines?
  4. Do you smoke or drink?
  5. Do you do any recreational drugs?
  6. Are you into exercising or practicing any sport?
  7. How often do you cook?
  8. What is your diet like? (vegetarian, vegan, omnivorous, etc.)
  9. Do you have any allergies or health conditions?
  10. Do you own any pets or plan to get any?
  11. Do you play any musical instrument?
  12. Do you usually have a lot of possessions or do you prefer a minimalist style?
  13. How often do you travel?
  14. Do you like watching TV or listening to music at loud volumes?
  15. Are you into gaming?
  16. Do you have any hobbies that might affect communal areas?
  17. How often do you invite friends over?
  18. What are your views on overnight guests?

Financial Responsibility

  1. What is your stable source of income?
  2. Are you comfortable splitting the bills equally?
  3. How do you feel about setting up a joint account for shared household expenses?
  4. What is your plan if you lose your current job or income unexpectedly?
  5. Have you ever failed to pay rent on time?
  6. Are you okay with splitting costs for shared items like toilet paper, spices, etc.?
  7. How do you feel about sharing food and similar items?
  8. What’s your opinion on paying for professional cleaning services?
  9. Are you okay with contributing to a fund for household expenses, like fixing broken appliances, etc.?
  10. Are you comfortable discussing finances openly?
  11. Would you be able to pay a security deposit and the first month’s rent before moving in?
  12. Do you have any debts?
  13. What utilities or services are critical to you that might impact the bills (e.g., high-speed internet, premium TV channels, etc.)?
  14. How do you feel about using energy responsibly to help keep utility bills reasonable?
  15. What shared subscription services would you like to have (streaming platforms, magazines, etc.)?
  16. Are you able to cover the cost of any damage your pet may cause?
  17. How do you feel about negotiating and renewing lease terms?

Past Roommate Experiences

  1. Have you lived with roommates before?
  2. If yes, how was that experience?
  3. Can you provide references from past roommates or landlords?
  4. Have you ever had any conflicts with past roommates? If so, how were they resolved?
  5. What did you like and dislike about your past living situations?
  6. What were the reasons for leaving your past living situations?
  7. What were you responsible for in your past living situations (cleaning, paying bills, etc.)?
  8. What have you learned from previous roommate experiences?
  9. Have you ever had to break a lease before the end date?
  10. Have you ever been evicted or asked to leave a rental?
  11. Have you ever had any legal issues concerning past tenancies?
  12. Were there any rules or agreements in your past living situations that you particularly appreciated or disliked?
  13. How have you handled situations where a roommate wasn’t meeting their responsibilities?
  14. Have you ever lived in a co-ed housing situation before?
  15. Have you lived with a roommate with pets before? How was that experience?
  16. Have you been in a situation where a roommate lost their source of income? How was it handled?
  17. If a personal item got damaged by your former roommate, were you able to discuss it and how was it resolved?
  18. Have you experienced living with roommates from different cultures?

Personal Preferences

  1. What are the non-negotiable rules you would like to set in your living situation?
  2. What temperature do you consider comfortable in living areas?
  3. How quiet do you like your living environment?
  4. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
  5. What is your work schedule like?
  6. How often do you like to entertain guests?
  7. How comfortable are you with me having guests over?
  8. Do you like decorating?
  9. Do you have any furniture or appliances you will bring?
  10. How would you like to allocate fridge and pantry space?
  11. How would you describe your ideal roommate?
  12. What is your preferred communication style?
  13. How much alone time do you generally need?
  14. What are your main sources of stress and how do you manage them?
  15. Is there a particular chore or household responsibility you enjoy or dislike?
  16. Do you have any specifications or requirements about the place you live in (e.g., need space for a bike, storage for large items, etc.)?
  17. What are you looking for in a shared living situation?
  18. Are any smells, noises, or lights particularly bothersome to you?

Conflict Resolution

  1. How do you usually manage conflict?
  2. Are you comfortable having open discussions when problems arise?
  3. Can you give an example of a conflict you encountered with a past roommate and how it was resolved?
  4. If I do something that bothers you, how comfortable will you feel bringing it up directly?
  5. How would you handle it if we end up having a disagreement over something?
  6. How would you recommend handling shared spaces like the kitchen, bathroom, and living room?
  7. How do you handle situations when someone doesn’t stick to agreed-upon rules?
  8. What was the biggest problem you had in a previous living situation, and how was it resolved?
  9. What’s your preferred way to solve a problem—compromise, consensus, or seek third-party mediation?
  10. How do you behave if your peace and quiet are disturbed?
  11. What type of behaviors are you not willing to tolerate?
  12. If we have disagreements about the living space, are you open to negotiations?
  13. Are you comfortable expressing your thoughts and feelings honestly, yet respectfully?
  14. What would you do if you felt I wasn’t upholding my end of the roommate agreement?
  15. Are you mindful of not disturbing your roommate’s peace or space?
  16. How would you handle it if your own friends were disturbing the peace?
  17. If something broke in our home, how would you handle it?
  18. If we get into a serious argument that we can’t resolve, how would you feel about involving a neutral third party?

Social Habits and Guest Policies

  1. How often do you have friends or family visit?
  2. Are you comfortable with me having guests over?
  3. Do you host parties or get-togethers?
  4. What is your opinion on overnight guests?
  5. How comfortable are you with foreign guests or couch surfers?
  6. How much advance notice do you prefer for guests?
  7. Do you expect any regular visitors (like a significant other)?
  8. How would you feel if I had a guest staying for an extended period of time?
  9. Any rules or restrictions you would like to set for visitors?
  10. Are there any compromises you are willing to make for guests?
  11. How do you feel about pets as guests?
  12. How often do you typically host events or gatherings?
  13. What’s your stance on noise levels when guests are over?
  14. Do you have any specific policies regarding parties and large gatherings?
  15. If my guests damage anything in the house, how would you want to handle it?
  16. How would you feel if a guest of mine used our shared space?
  17. What are your expectations around guests helping out or contributing during their stay?
  18. Are there certain days or times when guest visits are just off the table?

Cleanliness and Organization Standards

  1. How clean do you keep your living environment?
  2. What is your cleaning routine like?
  3. How do you feel about setting up a cleaning schedule?
  4. Are you okay with doing your dishes right after meals?
  5. How do you feel about clutter in common areas?
  6. What’s your policy on taking out the garbage and recycling?
  7. How often should deep cleaning activities, like vacuuming or cleaning the bathroom, take place?
  8. Do you have any cleanliness or organization pet peeves?
  9. How would you handle a roommate who isn’t pulling their weight in cleaning?
  10. How are we going to divide chores?
  11. What items would you say are essential to keep the house clean and tidy?
  12. How do you feel about hiring a professional cleaner?
  13. How would you want to handle the situation if your own or a roommate’s cleanliness standards aren’t being met?
  14. How clean do you need shared spaces to be?
  15. What are your expectations regarding cleaning up after your guests?
  16. Do you have any specific cleaning products or brands you prefer to use?
  17. Are you okay with sharing cleaning products and tools?
  18. What do you consider to be clean enough?

Work or Study Routines

  1. What hours do you typically work or study?
  2. Do you expect to be working or studying from home a lot?
  3. How quiet do you need your working or studying environment to be?
  4. Will you be taking any at-home calls or video conferences?
  5. Are there any specific rules or accommodations that you need for your work/study routine?
  6. Do you require any specific setup for your work or study, like a desktop or a dedicated space?
  7. How do you typically unwind after work or study?
  8. Do you usually eat lunch or dinner at home during the week?
  9. Are you okay with having other people around while you work or study?
  10. Will you need shared spaces for your work or study activities?
  11. Do you work on the weekends?
  12. Do your work or study habits change during exam periods or project deadlines?
  13. Do you have any vacations or time-offs scheduled for the coming months due to your work/study commitments?
  14. How would you feel if I also have to work or study from home?
  15. Will your job require you to travel or be out of the apartment for a long time?
  16. Are you open to me using shared spaces for my work or study activities?
  17. How much of a heads-up do you need for any noise or disturbance that might disrupt your work/study routine?
  18. What is the best way to communicate with you during your work/study hours?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is discussing shared responsibilities important before moving in?

Discussing shared duties before moving in together helps build trust. It sets clear roles and helps avoid future issues.

This is also a good time to talk about your budget and how to share costs. Doing this early helps prevent possible tensions or issues down the line.

What makes a good roommate?

A good roommate is someone who is considerate of their roommates and does not restrict their personal space. They are also considerate of their roommates’ noise levels and try to keep the noise down when they are in the apartment.

A good roommate is also respectful of their roommates’ belongings and does not borrow or take anything without asking first. Good roommates communicate openly and effectively and work together to resolve any disputes that may arise.

How do you bond with your roommate?

It can be easy to bond with your roommate, depending on how you approach it. Some people like to chat and get to know each other, while others prefer to keep things casual and relaxed. Regardless of what you prefer, some things can make living together easier.

Spending time together in the common areas, hanging out outside of the dorm, and sharing common interests is a great way to connect with your roommate and form a friendship.

If you take the time to get to know each other, you will find that living together is much easier and more fun.

How do you turn down a potential roommate?

When someone asks you to be their roommate, it can be a difficult decision. You may be unsure if you are compatible or if you even want to live with them. If you are not interested in being their roommate, there are a few things you can say.

First, you can explain that you are not looking for a new roommate at the moment. You can also mention that you do not think the two of you would be a good match. Thank them for thinking of you and wish them luck in finding someone else.

Final Thoughts

Finding the perfect roommate needn’t be as daunting as finding a needle in a haystack. It does, however, require effort, such as setting aside time, giving the right considerations, and carefully compiling a set of meaningful questions.

This approach can set clear expectations from the get-go, making sure you and any potential roommate are in sync. By doing this, you’ll be able to confidently assess if sharing a living space would be a good fit.

While it’s true there’s no guarantee that every day will be smooth sailing, these questions provide a safety net, giving you invaluable insights into what you’re potentially signing up for. It’s important to keep in mind that each question serves as a door to better understanding your potential roommates.

So prep up for your next roomie encounter, and venture into your search with confidence. Good luck!

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Jessa Claire is a registered healthcare provider. Music lover. Daydreamer. Thalassophile. Foodie. A hardworking Capricorn. Most days, an incurable empath. An old soul. Down-to-earth. Vibrant. When she's not writing, she can be seen relaxing with headphones on or engrossed in her favorite fan fiction book.