What questions should I ask when I’m looking for a flatmate?
When you’re looking for a new flatmate, you’ve probably got a pretty good idea of what kind of person you’d like to live with. Maybe you like a spotless living space or don’t mind a bit of dust, are more of a night owl or early bird, enjoy a shared dinner around the table or would rather grab a pizza and watch TV – there are so many factors which will influence how well you’ll get on with a flatmate.
Our flatmate matching test is a great way to find someone to live with who shares your values. After all, if you have a similar lifestyle to whoever you share with, you’re more likely to be happier in the long run and could even make a friend for life. But what are the key questions you need to ask to figure out who that ideal flatmate is?
1. What are your interests?
A pretty simple one to start with. If you’re a massive football fan, wouldn’t it be great to share a flat with someone who also loves the beautiful game? Unless you’re a West Ham fan and they love Spurs… 🤢 Or maybe you find a flatmate who’s an amateur chef and makes gourmet meals for the flat every weekend, or a musician who will invite you to every cool gig their band is playing.
On the other hand, you could meet a guy who is obsessed with circus skills and wants to set up a trapeze in your front room (don’t ask me how that would work…) or a girl who thinks she’s the next member of Little Mix but just really is not.
On both ends of the spectrum, asking prospective flatmates what they’re into is really important. You get to know them as a person, and also find out whether their hobbies could end up being a great conversation point, or just super bloody annoying.
2. What do you do for work?
Another great one to find out a bit more about who they are as a person, and also their daily routine. You might find some common ground in your lines of work, for example if you’re all in creative industries it’s an interesting starting point, and could actually lead to some pretty good connections.
But if you’re a freelancer who works from home, would you find it frustrating to have another WFH-er in the flat all the time? Or could moving in with someone who works night shifts be a pain when you’d need to keep quiet during the day time?
3. How long have you known each other/lived together?
If you’re moving into a spare room in a house/flatshare, it’s a good idea to find out how long the current tenants have lived there, lived together, and known each other. It’ll give you some insight into the dynamic of the home: maybe they’re a group of old school friends who are super close-knit, or the turnover of tenants in the property is so high it might make you question what’s wrong with the place.
It’ll also give you a clue as to the social make-up of the house. If you’d rather a house that’s sociable, where you can all hang out watching TV on an evening or have some drinks on a weekend, you’ll be better off choosing a flatshare where everyone is friendly. On the other hand, if you prefer to keep to yourself, you might not mind so much if no-one is really that close.
4. Is anyone in a relationship?
Okay, maybe don’t ask that so straight-up, but it’s good to find out if there are any Significant Others on the scene who may be visiting every so often. Would it bother you if your flatmate had their partner to stay every other weekend? Do you have someone who will be visiting on a regular basis that it would be courteous to let your new flatmates know about?
5. Do you hire a cleaner?
A bit more of a discreet way to ask about the cleanliness situation. They might respond with “nah, can’t be bothered,” and then you know it’s probably not the neatest house in the world. Maybe they do hire a cleaner to do the big jobs, because they like a clean home but don’t have time to keep it in check. Or maybe they don’t need to pay a cleaner because they’re super on top of the cleaning rota – and they’ll expect you to be too.
6. What do you like to do on an evening/the weekend?
Going a bit deeper than just their interests and schedule, you’ll be able to judge the atmosphere of the flatshare. If you like quiet weekday nights and a big blowout party on a Saturday, or are often out for dinner on weeknights and prefer a chill weekend, it might be good to live with someone who shares the same downtime routines as you.
7. What’s the landlord like?
Better to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. You might find your perfect flat and perfect flatmate, but if the landlord has rules you don’t like, or there are other underlying issues with the tenancy, it might be best to find somewhere else.