So you want to find a flatmate? You’ve made a wise decision. The first step to find a flatmate is to have a measure of discontent with your present arrangement, the necessary amount of motivation to find a flatmate. At this point, you simply need a little guidance.
Here are four key steps that you should take to successfully find a flatmate with whom you can live in relative tranquility. That empty room you have now is doing no one any good; it’s time to rent it out and not only transform your budget but enjoy greater psychological health.
- Figure out in what forum you want potential flatmates to see your flat advertised. You don’t necessarily have to go to the Web to advertise, but there are many sites available that attract heavy traffic. Consequently, you should have a much greater pool from which to find a flatmate if you use an online service. At the same time, there might be other places that you frequent that will have precisely the type of people with whom you would like to share your flat. Is there a coffee shop that you adore, where you spend a lot of time and meet all kinds of cool people? An ad posted on that shop’s bulletin board might be all that you need to find a flatmate. Rather than wading through 20 responses to an online site, you might find a flatmate during your first interview. Other places that might have the type of people that you favor are your church (a mention in the newsletter or bulletin could help you a lot), your workplace (especially if it’s a large one), your sports or health club (newsletter ad, bulletin board flyer). As you reflect on the type of flatmate that you want, you will be able to determine where to hawk you wares.
- Now that you have figured out where you want your flat listed, refine the profile of your ideal flatmate. If you have lived with people in the past, think about which ones you enjoyed and which ones were a major headache. Here are the categories that you will need to consider as you find a flatmate: a) gender; b) age; c) smoking habits; d) drinking habits; e) personality; f) hobbies and interests; g) guest policy; h) material belongings on hand; i) nature of relationship. All of these factors have importance, but the last one is especially crucial. In this process, do you want to find a flatmate or a friend? That will determine the type of person that you are looking for and the standards upon which you will insist. You might start the process looking for a friend and then lowering your sights to simply find an easy flatmate. The category of guest policy is another big one; find out if the potential flatmate has a boyfriend or girlfriend that they plan on having over all the time. You might end up with two flatmates for the price of one, and you are not going to appreciate that “bargain.”
- Now that you have lined up a few candidates for the coveted position of being your flatmate, you need to interview them. Meet the candidates in a public place and create a handy list of questions to pose (many samples are available online). You might want to ask a trusted friend along to help with the evaluation. Sometimes these friends can help you to see truths that you might otherwise miss as you seek to find a flatmate, such as, “You’ll NEVER get on with a loud Chelsea fan, trust me.”
- If possible, get a few references for the final 1-3 people that you have settled upon to share your flat with, calling them or emailing them to give you more information upon which to base your decision.
You’ve made a good decision to find a flatmate. By following these four clear guidelines, you should be able to find a flatmate with whom you can live in relative tranquility unless, of course, you want to turn your place into Party Central. It’s up to you!