Anyone who has done the whole roommates thing will attest to this – there are a hundred and one things that can go wrong when you share your living space with a stranger. How do you screen your roommates, and ensure that you end up with someone whom you’ll actually get along with? 5 renters in Singapore share their go-to techniques with us!
#1: Stalk them on Facebook
“I always make it a point to stalk my potential roomies on Facebook or Instagram. Seriously, though, you can tell so much from a person’s social media profiles. If they don’t post a lot, this normally means they’re more introspective and private. The ones who have a lot of cringey couple pictures (complete with nauseating captions) are the ones you need to be wary of. Speaking from experience here – with these guys (or girls) as your roommates, there’s a high chance that their significant other will be hanging out and sleeping over all the damn time.”
– Alex, 29, Finance
#2: Talk to their references
“I like to call up my potential roommates’ references and dig for a little dirt on them. Some people think this is excessive and unnecessary, but if I’m going to live with a stranger, I want to know what I’m getting myself into. Don’t be fooled by a meeting that went great – some roommates “interview” really well, but turn out to be assholes once they actually move in.”
– Pei Xian, 28, Teacher
#3: Ask about their renting history
“This might seem a bit harsh, but there’s a golden rule that I stick by, and that’s to never accept a roommate who’s a first-time renter. In all honesty, most first-time renters don’t have their shit together… it’ll take them some time to acclimatize to living independently and away from their parents. I just don’t have the time to hand-hold them through this process!”
– Hao Rong, 32, Recruiter
#4: Ask about their childhood
“I like to ask them about how they grew up, and get them to share some childhood stories with me. This is an easy way to break the ice, especially for quieter people – once they start reminiscing, they tend to come out of their shell a bit. At the same time, you can pretty much get a sense of their character and/or habits based on how they grew up. If a particular renter had a domestic helper who took care of all the cleaning, for example, this might mean that they’re not that great at picking up after themselves.”
– June, 29, Dance Choreographer
#5: Play “Never Have I Ever”
“I know this is a little unorthodox, but I like to play a game of “Never Have I Ever” with my potential roommates. I’ll normally start with generic stuff – for example, never have I ever cheated on a school quiz, or never have I ever been hospitalized, and then I’ll start choosing my statements strategically. For example, if I say never have I ever been blackout drunk, and my potential roommate admits to having been so on more than one occasion, that gives me some insight about what kind of roommate they might be.”
– Jessie, 30, F&B consultant
If you found this article helpful, 99.co recommends 5 mediation tactics for dealing with an unreasonable roommate and 5 ways to score the rental apartment of your dreams at a cheaper price.
Rent the home of your dreams today at 99.co!