Essential Questions to Ask When Renting a Room in a Flat
Renting a room comes with its fair share of risks, though. Ask these 11 questions to ensure your rental situation is safe and satisfying.
1. Exact rent?
Follow Up: Are there other move-in fees? How and when do you pay rent?
It might sound self-explanatory, but make sure you confirm the rent before you sign anything. Ask if you’re responsible for any other fees, like a security deposit, a pet deposit, or pet rent—if applicable.
Confirm the date rent is due each month, and check how your landlord would prefer to get paid. Some prefer a written check, while others are fine with a cash-paying app or direct deposit.
2. Who pays utilities?
If you’re splitting everything with your flatmate(s), get a general estimate for how much utilities will cost each month. It’s important to consider utilities when planning your housing budget.
3. How long do your potential flatmates hope to fill the room?
Follow Up: How long is their lease?
Find out how long the room could potentially be yours, and how long they’re planning on staying in the unit. If you’re looking for a permanent place and they want to move out in six months, it might not be the best choice.
If you are planning on renting short-term, check out iROOMit, where you can rent entire bedroom sets without commitment. This is a perfect option for renters who are moving from room to room, city to city!
4. Do they clean?
Are they neat freaks, or do they clean once a year? How clean are you? It can be hard for super tidy people to cohabitate with messy people, and vice versa. Keep that in mind, and don’t be afraid to ask!
5. Is this a more quiet/low-key house?
Follow Up: If it’s the latter, is the party here or outside the flat?
It’s important to learn about the “vibe” of the house before moving in. If you work early in the mornings, it’s good to find out now if your potential flatmates host raging parties six nights a week.
6. What do they do for work?
Follow Up: What’s their average day look like?
It’s good to consider your future flatmate’s schedule when figuring out how you’d fit into the living situation. Are they gone from sun up to sun down every day? Do they work nights or work from home?
7. Do your potential flatmates smoke?
Some people are bothered by the smell of smoke, and some even have health conditions (like asthma or allergies) that are exacerbated by smoke. Double check if anyone in the flat smokes if that would bother you.
8. Any general "house rules"?
Follow Up: Is there a cleaning schedule? Is there a curfew or quiet hours?
Do they take turns doing the dishes, mopping the floors, or vacuuming the living room? Is everyone quiet after 10 PM? Is the refrigerator a free-for-all or is it every man for themselves? Make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up for if you end up renting their room.
9. Do they have any pets?
Find out if you’ll be sharing the space with any furry friends. This is especially important if you’re allergic or if you’re bringing your own pet into the mix.
10. Still friends with their old flatmates?
Follow Up: Why is this room available?
You can learn a lot about potential flatmates with this question. If their old flatmate moved out because they wanted somewhere quieter or cleaner (or they just didn’t gel), it’s good to know.
11. Their biggest pet peeves?
If you’re a social butterfly and they can’t stand visitors, that may be an issue. If you’re messy and they can’t stand clutter, you may have conflict. Find out what pushes their buttons, and figure out if you’d be a good fit.
Renting a room is a great way to save some money and meet some cool people! At iROOMit, we want you to find what you’re looking for, no matter what your ideal living situation looks like. Find a room on your own and search for cheap studios and one-bedroom flats today.