Read our blog for our advice on how to find the perfect flatmate.
How to find the perfect flatmate
Often in shared accommodation the people you share with are more important than the place you’re sharing. Consider which of these you’d rather live in...
a) A penthouse apartment with river views but housemates you can’t stand
b) A perfectly decent flat with lovely housemates
Most of us go for b every time. So, how do you go about finding the best people to share with? Basically it boils down to two things: where you look and how you look.
Where to look
The obvious thing to do first is ask friends and work colleagues, to see if anyone you know is looking for a room. You never know who’s out there and needs to move out of their current place. Sometimes, however, people you know well and spend a lot of time with don’t always make the best flatmates. We asked SpareRoom.co.uk users who makes the best flatmate, 55% said ‘someone you don’t know’ – seems like you can have too much of a good thing.
The next step is to advertise online. Ads in local papers and shop windows went out with the last century - not only do they contain a fraction of the information you need to give when advertising a room, they also cover a much smaller audience. Use a dedicated flatshare site (such as SpareRoom) as they have far better scam and fraud detection systems in place than general classifieds sites such as Craigslist or Gumtree.
How to look
The first thing you need to do is place your ad. Make sure you take a bit of time over it (ie don’t rush it in 3 minutes at work when you think nobody’s looking). Your ad will be the best chance you get to make a first impression so use it wisely. If you’re adding photos or video to your listing then treat it like a viewing and have a quick tidy up first.
Don’t forget, as well as advertising your room you can also search the ads from people looking for a place to live in your area. Set up email alerts so the site lets you know every time a new ‘room wanted’ ad is placed for your area.
If you live in London then you have another handy option in Speed Flatmating (http://www.speedflatmating.co.uk). Speed Flatmating events bring together people looking for a room with those advertising so they get a chance to meet each other in a relaxed, informal setting. Potential flatmates get to meet over a drink rather than at the dreaded flatmate interview (Shallow Grave anyone?). In one evening you can meet several people and see them relaxed and with a drink in had (so stand a better chance of working out what they’re really like).
Choosing the right person
However you find your flatmate it’s worth taking a little time over the process. Don’t just take the first person who comes along and wants the room, you can reasonably say you have a few more viewings to conduct and you’ll let them know (as long as you do actually let them know).
Always use a dedicated flatshare site to advertise your room
Take time over your advert
If you’re taking photos tidy up first
If you live in London try Speed Flatmating
Don’t just take the first person who comes along
More information on finding a flatmate can be found in The Essential Guide to Flatsharing (http://www.spareroom.co.uk/essentialguide)