How to Find a Flatmate or Room for Rent in the Digital Age
Pretty much everyone you meet will have a flatmate story—some are fond memories, while others...not so much. Worst Flatmate Ever, anyone?
All jokes aside - making the choice to live with someone is a very serious, personal decision. So, if, and when, you find yourself looking for someone to share a lease with, you should choose your new flatmate carefully.
Luckily in today’s digital age, there’s no shortage of online sites that will help you find potential roomies. But how do you know which site to choose? And how do you find the right flatmate for you? Don‘t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Read on to learn more about how to find a flatmate effectively, and most importantly, safely.
Where to Find Flatmates Online
When you first start your flatmate search online, you’ll come across flatmate finder sites. These are exactly how they sound—sites that help you find flatmates, and they work similar to dating apps. You’ll answer some questions, fill out your profile with information about yourself, and upload some photos.
From here, every flatmate finder is different. Some will match you with potential flatmates based on compatibility. Others will let you scroll through other profiles and figure out who you prefer on your own while others allow you to create an ad for your available room or a profile to talk about who you are as a flatmate.
Success with flatmate matching sites depends on your location. If you’re looking for a flatmate in a highly populated major city, like New York City, you should have plenty of options to look through. However, if you live in a more rural area, you might have a tougher time, and it may be worthwhile to resort to an alternative method like using social media (more on this later).
Prepare for Your Flatmate Search
Before you dive in to your search, you should take some time to consider the type of person who would best suit you as a flatmate. Consider your lifestyle and what your typical day looks like—Do you work from home? Do you go out a lot? Are you a college student that requires a quiet place in the house to study? You’ll want to have a good idea of what will and won’t work for you in a living situation before you try to find your perfect flatmate.
Spoiler: there is no such thing as a perfect flatmate. Whether it’s a total stranger or your best friend, sharing a living space with someone comes with its own set of challenges. No one person should feel more entitled to the space than anyone else and therefore everyone’s preferences and opinions should be weighed fairly, so compromise is absolutely key when it comes to flatmates. With that being said, you should know what your non-negotiables are. For example: if you are sober, and you cannot have alcohol in your living space, then someone being a big partier, who likes to pre-game at home is going to be a dealbreaker.
It can be helpful to write out a list of your non-negotiables and the qualities you’d like in a prospective flatmate. Once you have a good idea of what will and won’t work for you, you can then choose what flatmate finder site you’d like to use.
Which Flatmate Site Should You Use?
There are plenty of options for finding flatmates online. Some sites are more reputable and legitimate than others, so let‘s take a look at the few of the most common ones and breakdown their differences.
iROOMit has been around since 2022 and offer a unique matching algorithm to help you find the perfect flatmate. Their site says they verify users through various methods to help prevent fraudulent profiles.
Cost: Creating a profile is free, but if you want to use a majority of the site’s features, you’ll need to pay. Their pricing options range from $6.99 for a seven-day trial, $14.99 monthy, $19.99 for 60 days and $33.99 for 90 days.
It currently caters to U.S. Canada and UK Coast to Coast. They also protect against scammers through A.I. and human vetted profiles.
iROOMit also offers ID Verification and Credit Reports.
Alternative Methods to Finding Flatmates (Craigslist, Social Media, etc.)
Another option for finding a new flatmate outside of flatmate finder sites is to utilize online marketplaces as well as social media platforms.
If you live in a more rural area or you’re looking in a very specific area, social media may be well suited for your flatmate search. Facebook groups that are dedicated to helping locals find flatmates can be very helpful especially for smaller towns/cities and for college students looking exclusively for other college students to live with. Aside from social media groups and discussion boards, you can also take advantage of your own social following by announcing on various profiles that you’re looking for a flatmate. Who knows—you could have a Linkedin connection that may also be looking for someone to share a lease with.
Many people also use online marketplaces, like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to find flatmates because they‘re free and easy to use. These sites (Craigslist especially) a haven for scammers and bad actors looking to cause harm. We definitely do not recommend resorting to online marketplaces for your flatmate search, but if they’re your only option, please be sure to read (and follow) our safety tips coming up next.
Flatmate Search Safety Tips
Be on the lookout for scammers, and fraudulent postings. Make sure you’re aware of the common red flags when it comes to online scams, so you know what to look out for. A good first way to vet someone is to search social media and search engines.
If you plan to meet up with a potential flatmate before agreeing to sign a lease, always do so in a public place. If you can bring someone with you, that’s best, but if you must go alone, make sure a friend or family member knows where you’re going and who you’re meeting up with.
Tips for a Good Flatmate Relationship
A great flatmate relationship starts with setting clear expectations and boundaries while establishing preferences up front. This is where a flatmate agreement comes in. A flatmate agreement is essentially an informal contract between you and the person(s) you live with that details what you both can and cannot do while living together. It’s an opportunity to establish important boundaries and guidelines, like whether or not there should be set quiet hours, whether or not it’s okay to have guests stay over, and who will be responsible for which household chores. All renters should have an equal say in this flatmate agreement and while there is likely to be compromise, everyone should feel satisfied with what is agreed upon. If you don’t discuss these things upfront, you’re likely to run into a tense flatmate situation that may lead to an argument.
A flatmate agreement may be intimidating at first since it can feel very formal, but trust us, it’s key to having a good flatmate relationship in the long run. If you’re looking for a template, you can search “flatmate agreement template” on your favourite search engine and many will appear to help guide you in the right direction.
Now that you have our best tips for finding a new flatmate, you’re ready to start your search. Best of luck and remember to prioritize your safety above all else!