Find a Flatmate

Given today's tough economic times, more and more people are choosing to find a flatmate and share a house instead of renting a place on their own. The benefits of housesharing has made it a popular choice in large crowded cities in the UK, such as London or Liverpool. Sharing a house or a flat not only lets you save on rent and utility bills. Many people also like the fact that they get to come home to a real house where they can also socialize with their housemates.


If you are currently looking for a flatmate, then you want to make sure that you find a responsible person whom you can get along with. You've probably heard about those horror stories about the “flatmate from hell”. To avoid becoming a victim of such a story, here are some tips to help you find a flatmate.


Establish your ground rules before you find a flatmate.


Before you even start printing flyers or posting your ads online, it's important that you take the time to set your limits or establish your ground rules. You don't want to be welcoming your new flatmate to the house only to find out a few days later that the two of you don't get along. Setting down your ground rules is as simple as asking yourself what you can and cannot tolerate.


For instance, are you okay with a flatmate who smokes and drinks or are you strictly into a clean-living lifestyle?  Would it be okay if your flatmate's boyfriend or girlfriend spends the night a couple of times a week? Are you looking for a flatmate who can also become your pal or do you prefer to keep to yourself?


Answering these questions will make it easier to find a flatmate. There are also numerous websites that you can use; these sites are designed to help match people wit their ideal flatmates.


Check a potential candidate's work and credit history.


Running a credit check on potential flatmates and checking their employment background may seem a bit too much. However, when the time comes that you need to pay rent and bills, you'll be glad that you checked your flatmate's financial stability! A house mate that's unable to pay rent or who constantly owes you money can be a real hassle.


Doing a background check on your potential flatmate will not only help you ensure that he can pay the rent, but it will also give you an idea about his character as a person. Former room-mates and landlords will be able to tell you if your possible flatmate is agreeable to live with. If a candidate refuses to give references or contact details of his employer, former room-mates and landlords, then you should consider that as a red flag.


* Reach an agreement with your new room-mate.


Before you sign papers and enter into any legal contract with your new flatmate, make sure that the two of you have agreed on the arrangements. How will the rent be split? How will the household chores be divided? What are the house rules that everyone must observe? Agreeing on these matters right after you find a flatmate will prevent any misunderstanding or arguments in the future, and ensure that you and your flatmates live harmoniously together.