Be Smart When Meeting Roommate Candidates

By MyNewPlace Guest Blogger, Ron Leshnower – About.com’s Apartment Living Expert

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Very often, renters choose to live with roommates whom they don’t know well. It could be that the person is a referral from a friend, an acquaintance at work, or a stranger from an online roommate-matching service. If you’re considering rooming with someone whom you don’t know, it’s a good idea to meet with the person to see just how compatible you are.

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Here are two tips to follow to help ensure your meetings with roommate candidates are productive and safe:

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Tip #1: Ask Questions Until You’re Satisfied

A roommate candidate meeting is the time to ask questions to help you determine if the person is a good fit. Some people don’t ask questions because they’re afraid of coming across as nosy, but if the questions relate to compatibility, they’re fair and should be expected by any serious candidate. Remember that your goal is to determine whether you feel comfortable with the idea of sharing your home with a particular roommate candidate. Here are some suggestions for questions you should ask candidates as part of an honest conversation.

Tip #2: Make Safety Your Top Priority

What’s even more important at a meeting than vetting a roommate candidate is your own personal safety. Fortunately, you can take easy steps to protect yourself against a difficult or threatening situation. For example, you can arrange to meet a roommate candidate at a public location such as a coffee shop or library, rather than in one of your homes. You can also arrange for a trusted friend or relative to call you shortly into the meeting to see if everything is okay. Here are some more ideas to help you have safe and effective roommate candidate meetings.

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