Tips and tricks to find new roommates during COVID-19
We all know that our duties and commitments don’t stop despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and the housing situation might be one of the most stressful ones, especially when it comes to finding new roommates. Did your roommate just move out and you are left alone with an expensive lease? If so, are you wondering where to find potential roommates and how to select them? You could start by trying the following:
- Let your family, friends, and colleagues know that you are looking for roommates. Tell your social circle that you are needing roommates! They might also need to find a shared apartment or maybe know someone who does.
- Check on social media. Nowadays, social media has become the first source of information for tons of people around the world. That's why at Alpaca we have created the largest global community of housing-focused Facebook groups. There, thousands of people join and post for free on a daily basis to look for roommates, offer properties or rooms for rent, as well as to ask or give advice and recommendations about neighborhoods, properties, and so much more. Find your future roommate and be part of our awesome housing-community here!
Through your contacts or our housing community, you will surely be able to connect with people who are looking for a place to move.
7 questions to help you narrow down your roommate search
Thinking about having people you don’t know visiting your home for an interview, or meeting with them somewhere else doesn’t sound like a good idea during the pandemic, does it? So, being forced to virtually meet your potential roommates might make you wonder how to break the ice in the initial minutes of that virtual conversation to make you both feel comfortable and spontaneous. What can you ask to capture the essence of the personality of the person with whom you might be sharing a home for at least one year? How to understand the housing and economic situation of your future roommates, as well as their awareness of the new normal during and after the pandemic?
- Have you been practicing social distancing lately? This is an important question in order to understand if you are on the same page, especially if you really care and practice social distancing during these times.
- What do you like to do to spend your free time during the pandemic? Get a better idea of their living habits and hobbies. You might find you share similar interests such as working out or cooking which can be a great way of bonding during the shelter in place. Last but not least, it will tell you a lot about how the person manages social distance, how big is his/her “close social circle”, as well as if he or she has seen some people lately.
- How have you been getting groceries? This is also another good indicator for you to know how your potential roommates have been dealing with the shelter in place, and also it’s good to know if they like to cook (especially if you really enjoy cooking, which is something that you could do together from time to time).
- What do you do for a living? You might learn this in advance on the first contact (via SMS, email, or social media). However, it’s important to dive deeper, especially at the moment, since many people are in an unstable or uncertain employment situation.
- How is your daily routine at work while working from home? You might also be asked the same question, which will also help you both understand what to expect when sharing the living room or working space at home, depending on what you both do at the company you work for (e.g. if any of you have to spend the day attending zoom meetings, sales calls, etc.)
- What is your budget? This is one of the typical housing-related questions. Financial factors are very important to take into account, and now, they are even more important.
- For how long are you planning to stay in the city? Being on the same page is super important when it comes to relying on your roommates and vice versa to sign a lease, especially if you are looking for someone who can commit on a long-term basis.
Living together with other people can be one of the most amazing experiences in life and in many cases, you can even find long-lasting friends. Having a healthy and happy coexistence is super valuable, so the best way to start with it is to be crystal clear with who you are, what are your living habits and what do you expect from the person you will be living with.
If despite everything, you aren't able to find someone to share your apartment with, check your rights as a tenant and potentially try to negotiate with your landlord in case you are unable to pay rent.