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6 Red Flags Regarding Roommates

Arcadia Roommates Arguing Over Dirty DishesIf you are wondering about splitting up an Arcadia rental home with a roommate, it’s crucial to realize what to look for. While it is a matter of fact that many unpleasant roommates are rare, there are an appropriate number of horror stories to make anyone think twice before sharing their home with a stranger. The opposite is also true: every once in a while roommates come to be some of the nicest friends you’ll ever have.

Even though there are no guarantees, there are red flags you need to be aware of to help glean what type of roommate any person might be. Here are some things you need to look for that can contribute to you spotting an undesirable roommate.

1.   Badly Written Ad

Not all of us are great at writing ads, but definitely, a poorly written or incomplete ad may describe that the person who posted it is hiding something or isn’t willing to devote much effort to even small tasks. Either way, an ad packed with misspellings or one that is missing basic information about the rental situation may be a real sign of complication ahead. Keep in mind that Real Property Management does not advertise on Craigslist. Always apply directly from our website.

2.   Answers to Questions are Vague or Inconsistent

Another red flag to ascertain is while asking questions about the roommate or rental arrangements. It’s in addition crucial to ask why the last roommate left (if there was one) or why they are moving in with you and why they need a new place to live. If their answers to these pretty simple questions are vague or they seem unwilling to talk about it, it’s presumably they were somehow at fault.

3.   Messy House

If you are responding to an ad for a roommate, observe the living conditions before deciding to commit altogether. When you visit, interrogate the cleanliness of the space – and not just on the surface. Whenever possible, look for clear signs that things are not being cleaned quite regularly, such as dusty ceiling fans or dirty dishes piled in the sink. If the rental house is chaotic, that’s a persuasive reason to walk away. Nobody wants to lose out on a security deposit because of a bad roommate.

4.   No Job or References

Along with asking the roommate about themselves, firmly ask about the potential roommate’s job and for at least two references. If they don’t seem to have a job or are indifferent to providing references, both are red flags that something isn’t right. As much as asking questions about a person’s finances may feel awkward, it’s an efficient way to prevent getting trapped with a roommate that won’t be able to compensate their portion of the rent each month. But if you’re applying for a rental through RPM Fairmate, our screening process involves landlord references to discover prior tenant behaviors.

5.   Significant Other

Another important thing you should glean about is whether your potential roommate has a significant other and how much time that person spends in the house. Every once in a while, a roommate’s significant other will spend too long in the place where they practically live rent-free. This may not be an arrangement that you are inclined to agree to, indeed if they are noisy or disruptive.

In the case of a landlord-tenant relationship, a significant other should ALWAYS submit an application. Otherwise, this may be a case of an unauthorized tenant which may be grounds to terminate your leases.

6.   Listen to Your Intuition

There are times, however, a person may seem like a great roommate on paper, but when you meet them, something feels off. That agitated feeling is most likely your intuition telling you something is wrong, even if you can’t immediately see what it is. The safest way you can do this is to listen to your gut and look elsewhere if you don’t feel comfortable.


Living with roommates can be complex, but finding the right one could make your life even better! Are you directly after a rental home that you could share with a roommate or two? RPM Real Property Management Fairmate has an inventory of quality rental properties near you. On top of that, our thorough tenant screening process helps eliminate red flags. Browse our rentals and apply online today.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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