Questions to Ask a Potential Housemate
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Baxton.me
24 October 2017

Questions to Ask a Potential Housemate

Sharing rental in Hobart with a housemate can save you a lot of money – but it can also make your life a misery if you and the person you’ve decided to share space with don’t get along well. One also hears horror stories about people who are supposed to pay their share and don’t. Supposing that your lease allows you to share, how should you screen a potential housemate you don’t know very well?

You may want to add a few questions to this list, but these will get you off to a good start when evaluating a potential housemate. Whether you’re renting in Hobart or Timbuktu, finding the right housemate begins with a chat that should include the following elements.


What do you do for a living?

There are a LOT of reasons to ask this question. It’s an indication of whether your prospective housemate can cover his or her share of rent. It tells you whether your hours will be compatible, and it’s an indicator of whether your housemate has any special skills that may come in handy around the house.

Have you shared a home with someone before?

If your prospective housemate has shared space before, you can find out how he or she liked it and whether there were any problems. Of course, a chat with the former housemate can also give you a hint as to whether there are two different sides to the same story. In general, however, people who have shared housing before will at least have some experience of living in a way that doesn’t disrupt the lives of others.

First-time sharing isn’t a complete deal-breaker, but your new housemate may find it a little harder to adjust if he or she isn’t used to sharing areas like living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms.

Why are you looking for a new place to live?

Don’t expect a completely honest answer, particularly if there was some kind of dispute involved, but look out for “tells” that indicate issues that might resurface. Dig a little deeper if something like this comes up. For example, if a previous housemate was inclined to leave the bathroom “messy,” and that proved to be a deal-breaker, you need to find out just what constitutes a mess. You either have a potentially considerate housemate, or an overly-fastidious germaphobe!

What’s your daily schedule?

You need to know whether a new housemate will affect your schedule and whether you can accommodate that or not. For example, if he or she likes to shower at 7:00 and you like to do so at the same time, there’s potential for a clash. And if your housemate works night shifts, you might not like having someone coming and going during hours when you’d normally be asleep.

Bedtimes are also important. If you like being asleep by 10:30PM while your housemate normally plays computer games till 1:00 AM, your beauty sleep could be seriously affected by the new addition to your household.

What are your interests and hobbies?

Although this question may sound trivial, it could be very important. For example, an avid builder of models and replicas could leave your house stinking of glue and paint besides putting you at risk of damage to carpets and surfaces for which you could end up footing the bill. And if your housemate adores Avant Garde music genres while your tastes are more mainstream, you could end up having to tolerate sounds that drive you to the edge of homicide!

What’s your social life like?

Renting in Hobart is a choice that many students prefer above university residences. Sharing with other students can be a great experience – or it can be a nightmare! Imagine: you’re up swotting for your finals while your housemate is having a boisterous time with his or her mates in your living-room. Knowing what their social life is like and how often they plan to entertain guests can give you an idea as to whether you and your fellow-students will be able to share a home.

Will you be able to follow house rules?

Living together amicably means laying down a few boundaries. Compile a list of dos and don’ts before your chat. Explain each one carefully. There will often be mutual benefits that stem from following the rules. For instance, if you expect your housemate to leave the kitchen clean, you will presumably do the same thing. If you encounter resistance to any rules you see as being essential to successful cohabitation, you may prefer to look for someone else to share your space with.

Hobart Property Managers: Be sure Your lease allows for sharing

Not all leases allow for sharing. In fact, many of them will stipulate that only singles, couples, or families can rent a property. However, as a university town, Hobart has plenty of students looking for shared housing, and some property owners are happy to accommodate that. Before looking for a housemate for your rental in Hobart, study the terms of your lease carefully or ask your property managers whether sharing is allowable. Not sure? Simply contact us.

Written and syndicated by

Baxton Media.


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The information contained in this article is based on the authors opinion only and is of a general nature which is not indicative of future results or events and does not consider your personal situation or particular needs. Professional advice should always be sought relevant to your circumstances.

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