Finding the perfect housemate is a journey many of us embark upon with excitement and trepidation.

It’s important to consider potential housemates carefully. After all, you’re inviting someone to share your space, routines, and life.

It has been said that you don’t know someone until you live with them – and if you’re on the hunt for a housemate, this can literally be the case.

We’ve all heard, or maybe even lived, those horror stories about nightmare housemates, so evaluating potential housemates based on shared interests, routines, and communication styles can set the foundation for an easy living arrangement.

Ultimately, the right housemate can become not just someone with whom you share a roof but a companion in your renting journey.

Here are 3 green flags that signal you’ve found a housemate match made in rental heaven.

Green Flag #1. You share similar lifestyles

Let’s talk vibes. Imagine having a housemate who shares your passion for Saturday morning yoga sessions, spontaneous karaoke nights, or impromptu baking escapades.

Finding lifestyle similarities with your roommate can create a special bond beyond just sharing a living space. Whether you enjoy travelling, watching movies, or cooking, having common interests can lead to a fulfilling roommate relationship.

It’s like having a friend who is always up for an adventure, encourages you to stay active, and can join you for a late-night snack. Your home can become a place of shared experiences and fun moments when your daily routines align.

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Green Flag #2. They’re financially stable

When choosing a housemate, it’s important to consider their financial stability. A financially stable roommate pays rent on time and shows responsible money management, making your shared living experience much smoother.

Imagine the peace of mind when bills are settled without drama. Choosing a housemate with a steady income and good money sense sets you up for a roommate journey where budgeting is a breeze.

Green Flag #3. Spaces that suit everyone

Imagine a living room that can also serve as a collaborative zone, a kitchen that inspires culinary creativity, and a shared workspace that is the centre of productivity.

When your potential roommate’s work style aligns with yours, you’re in for a partnership that enhances your professional and personal lives. Finding a housemate whose energy aligns with your shared spaces is like striking gold.

What are some other important factors to consider when choosing a housemate?

  • Clear and open communication =  Avoid misunderstandings, keep household harmony
  • Similar cleaning habits = Prevent clashes over tidiness
  • Compatible schedules = Better coordination and a smoother routine
  • Respect for privacy = A positive living experience
  • Shared pet preferences = Influences your compatibility
  • Matching noise tolerance = Ensures your comfort
  • Stable rental history = Adds reliability 
  • Conflict resolution skills = Fosters a healthy environment
  • Agree on shared responsibilities = Maintains balance and fairness

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What are my lease options when I’m sharing?

The Residential Tenancies Act 1997 doesn’t cover the rights and responsibilities of co-tenants in relation to each other, so here are the basic lease agreements and what you need to know.

  1. Co-tenant: As a co-tenant, your name and the names of other tenants are on the tenancy agreement, making you all share equal rights and obligations. All co-tenants are liable for any debts incurred, and the landlord can hold any co-tenant responsible for the entire debt.
  2. Head-tenant: As the head-tenant, you have your name on the tenancy agreement for the premises, live at the premises, and sublet a part of it to another person under a separate written agreement. This person is your sub-tenant, and you are their landlord. Contact your local tenancy body for information about your rights and obligations.
  3. Sub-tenant: You are a sub-tenant if you rent from a tenant whose name is on the tenancy agreement. They have sublet part of the premises to you under a separate written agreement. The tenant you rent from is the head-tenant, and you have the same rights and obligations as a tenant in relation to the head-tenant, who is your landlord.
  4. Boarder or lodger: You are considered a boarder/lodger if you rent a portion of the premises from either the owner or a tenant who lives there and retains control over the entirety of the premises.
  5. None of the above: If none of the options apply to you, seek advice from your local Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Service.

Shared living is about more than just splitting the rent. So, take your time, ask the right questions, and trust your instincts. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to cohabitation bliss. Happy housemate hunting!

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Rent.com.au is Australia's largest company dedicated to renters and is owned and operated by ASX-listed Rent.com.au Limited (RNT:ASX). For over 15 years, Rent.com.au has exclusively focused on making renters' lives easier by making it easier to find a property, secure it, move in and pay rent.

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