20 Questions to Ask Your Roommate Before Moving In Together

By Brittany Loeffler on August 14, 2018

Finding a good roommate can be a daunting task. There are certain questions to ask your roommate to make sure that you two will be a good fit together. With so many different people out there, you may be stuck with someone who is completely different from you and makes your life miserable.

With these questions to ask your roommate, you’ll get to know their living habits, their personality, and you’ll be able to tell if you two will work out as roommates. So, before you sign the lease together, make sure you sit down with the person and a list of questions to ask your roommate.

questions to ask your roommate

via Pixabay

Are You a Morning Person or a Night Owl?

Believe it or not, some people don’t go to bed until two or three in the morning on the regular. For someone who is a morning person that wakes up at 7 am ready to start their day, this can sound a little ridiculous. You want to make sure that you and your roommate are on the same sleeping schedule. There is nothing worse than someone being noisy in the apartment while you’re trying to catch some shut-eye.

Do You Like Having People Over?

This is one of the most important questions to ask your roommate. If you are someone who likes to have a quiet and cozy home that only you and your roommate occupy, then you may not want different people over all the time. For some people, social situations can be intimidating or give them anxiety. It’s important to get on the same page as your roommate. You don’t want to be stuck living a lifestyle that makes you feel anxious.

What Is Your Definition of Clean?

Remember growing up when your mom told you to clean your room and you did, but it wasn’t up to her standards? One of the best cleaning questions to ask your roommate is this one. People have different definitions of clean. Do they consider tidying up and putting things in their place clean? Or do they get down on their hands and knees and scrub the floor and dust the floorboards every Saturday morning? If you find someone who likes to clean out the grime and dirt from little knick and crannies while you consider tidying up clean, then you may work well together. It will give you each something different to clean.

Do You Have Any Pets?

Pets can really put a riff between roommates. In theory, having a dog in the house that doesn’t belong to you and that you don’t have to take care of is great! However, make sure that your roommate is responsible and will take the dog out when he needs it and will clean up any mess that the dog makes in the house. You don’t want to be stuck with the responsibility of taking care of your roommate’s pet.

What Is One Way You Relax?

People relax in different ways. Some people like to go on long runs to relax after a long day. Others enjoy watching Netflix and sipping on a glass of wine. This question will let you in on their personality a little. How someone relaxes will tell you a lot about them. If they are someone who likes to be active when they relax, then they are most likely a go-getter and is always doing something. If they take bubble baths and like to read a book, they are probably a little more mellow.

What Is Your Typical Daily Routine?

Will you be bumping into each other in the bathroom or while you’re making breakfast trying to make it to your class or work on time? Lifestyle questions to ask your roommate are important because you want someone with a similar lifestyle to you. With this question, you’ll be able to determine if you will be seeing one another a lot throughout the day or if your routines will keep you both separate from each other. It all depends on what you prefer.

How Do You Feel About Overnight Guests?

This is a big one. One of the questions to ask your roommate is if they are okay with overnight guests or not. If you like to have friends visit from different places or even family, will your roommate be okay with someone crashing on the couch or even staying in your room? Some people feel uncomfortable when strangers come into their home and rightfully so. If you are someone who doesn’t like having overnight guests and your roommate does, then you should have a conversation about how you can both make it work. Maybe you have to be introduced to the person first and have some ground rules about where they can go and what they can touch. It’s important to compromise with your roommate.

Are You In a Relationship?

If your roommate is in a relationship, then you will most likely be seeing a lot of their significant other. You’ll want to make sure that their significant other is nice and respectful of your home. Don’t be afraid to ask your roommate if their significant other will be at the apartment a lot or staying the night most nights. It’s almost like having another roommate, so you’ll want to get to know them and their habits too.

Do You Use the Whole House or Stick to One Room?

There are some people who like to live in the entire house or apartment. There are others who simply stick to their bedrooms and only use the kitchen to cook and the common area when guests are over. These questions to ask your roommate will tell you if they are more social or like their privacy. If you are someone who is looking for a friend in a roommate to hang out with all the time, then someone who likes to stay in their room may not be a good fit for you.

questions to ask your roommate

via Pixabay

How Will You Pay the Rent?

Financial questions to ask your roommate may be tough because nobody likes to talk about money. However, this is an important one. You want to make sure that your roommate has a well-paying job where they can afford make the monthly rent payments along with utilities. The general rule of thumb is that tenants should use up to 30% of their monthly salary on rent. If your roommate does not have a job where they can afford the rent, make sure they have a cosigner. You don’t want to be stuck covering for them.

What Is Your Confrontation Style?

While confrontation is difficult for some people, it may be easy for others. A question like this can cause less stress and fighting when you move in with your roommate. If they prefer that you send them a text or schedule a sit-down roommate meeting, you’ll know for when it’s time to confront them about something. You’ll also know what to expect when they have to confront you about something. Remember, confrontation isn’t an insult to you, it’s a way to work together to find a happy medium so everyone can live happily in the house.

questions to ask your roommate

Infographic by Brittany Loeffler

What Do You Set the Thermostat To?

Being cold can be miserable. Being hot can be miserable. What you consider to be cold, your roommate may consider to be the perfect temperature. You don’t want to fight with your roommate about what to set the thermostat to all year. You should both agree on the temperature setting, especially if you like it nice and toasty in the winter. Keeping the house warm means a higher utility bill. Make sure you are both willing to pay for this comfort.

What Is Your Definition of Loud? 

There are many times that people will watch an action movie with loud explosions and gunshots and keep the volume very high. There are other people who don’t like these loud noises and keep it pretty low. Get a feel for your roommate’s definition of loud so it won’t become a problem later on when you’re living together.

Are You Willing to Sign a Roommate Agreement?

A roommate agreement is a contract between you and your roommate that clearly states what will be done and what cannot be done during your time living together. It may list chores that must be done and how often, quiet hours, and other rules that you both agree to. This should be made during the first few weeks of living together and kept somewhere in the house or apartment where you can both refer to it when needed. If your roommate is unwilling to sign a roommate agreement, then you may want to consider finding someone else. You want to be able to hold your roommate responsible for their mistakes or wrongdoings.

How Often Should Chores Be Done?

This goes back to the cleaning questions to ask your roommate. After you know what their definition of clean is, now it’s time to ask just how often they like to clean. Some people like to spend their Saturday mornings cleaning the apartment. Some people like to clean their apartment once a month. It all depends on what you prefer and what you can handle.

How Do You Handle Bad Neighbors?

Not only can a bad roommate ruin your time in college, but bad neighbors can too. Ask your roommate how they would handle having a bad neighbor. Their answer will tell you a lot about how they may handle situations with you as their roommate. If their answer is passive aggressive, then they will most likely be passive aggressive towards you when they have a problem. Listen carefully and analyze what they say with some of these questions to ask your roommate.

Are You Friends With Your Previous Roommates?

Did your potential new roommate leave on a bad note with their previous roommates? If so, why? What happened? This question may sound a little too personal, but it’s an important one to ask. You don’t want to go into a lease knowing that there is a chance you won’t have a good relationship with your roommate.

How Often Are You Home?

There are some people who simply use their home to sleep and store their belongings while there are others who spend a lot of time in their home. If you are a homebody who works from home or takes online classes from your couch, you may not want a roommate who is also home all the time. Ask your roommate what their schedule is and if they like to be home a lot. This is a situation where opposite people may get along the best.

What Are Your Biggest Pet Peeves?

Remember, your roommate is not there to please you or adapt to your lifestyle. Having a roommate is all about compromise. So, these are important and considerate questions to ask your roommate before moving in with them. Let them list what bothers them and what makes them tick. Be honest with them if you happen to have some of the traits or tendencies that they listed.

Is There Anything Else I Should Know?

Some of these questions to ask your roommate don’t cover everything you should know about a person. So, end your interview with this question. Let your potential new roommate know that they can go off track and tell you something important you may not have asked about or a chance for them to question you.

Important Questions to Ask Your Roommate

Why are these questions so important to ask your roommate? Because these question will give you a well-rounded idea of what type of person they are and how they like to live. It will let you know if you two are a good fit together and help you figure out whether you can see yourself living with them. Even if you are stuck with a bad roommate after asking these questions, don’t worry — there are ways to handle it. However, hopefully by asking your potential roommate these questions, you’ll end up with a roommate who’s a perfect fit for you and who becomes a great friend!

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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