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6 Red Flags Regarding Roommates

Culver City Roommates Arguing Over Dirty DishesIf you are considering sharing a Culver City rental home with a roommate, it’s important to consider what to look for. Despite that horrible roommates are, thank heavens, rare, there are a lot of horror stories to make anyone think twice before deciding on sharing their home with a stranger. The opposite is also true: sometimes roommates turn into some of the most special friends you’ll ever have.

Even if there are no guarantees, there are red flags you can search for to help realize what type of roommate any person might be. Here are quite a few things to check that can make you spot a bad roommate.

1.   Badly Written Ad

Not all of us are wonderful at writing ads, yet, a poorly written or incomplete ad may imply that the person who posted it is hiding something or isn’t ready to put much effort into even small tasks. Either way, an ad jam-packed with misspellings or one that is missing basic information about the rental situation may be a sign of complication ahead. Keep in mind that Real Property Management does not advertise on Craigslist. Always apply directly from our website.

2.   Answers to Questions are Vague or Inconsistent

Another red flag to discover is while asking questions about the roommate or rental arrangements. It’s specifically important to ask why the last roommate left (if there was one) or why they are moving in with you and why they need a new place to live. If their answers to these topics are vague or they seem unwilling to talk about it, it’s quite possible they were somehow at fault.

3.   Messy House

If you are responding to an ad for a roommate, inquire about the living conditions prior to committing to anything. On your visit, look at the cleanliness of the space – and not just on the surface. Perhaps, you can carefully check for indications that things are not being cleaned in general, such as dusty ceiling fans or dirty dishes piled in the sink. If the rental house is really messy and disorganized, that’s a well-founded reason to walk away. Nobody wants to lose out on a security deposit because of a bad roommate.

4.   No Job or References

Along with asking the roommate about themselves, ask about the potential roommate’s job and for at least two references. If they don’t seem to have a job or are hesitant to provide references, both are red flags that something isn’t absolutely fine. Although asking questions with regards to a person’s finances may feel awkward, it’s an efficient way to dodge getting trapped with a roommate that won’t be able to render their portion of the rent each month. But if you’re putting in an application for a rental through RPM California Coast, our screening process already includes landlord references to carefully check prior tenant behaviors.

5.   Significant Other

Another significant thing you should check out is whether your potential roommate has a significant other and how much time that person spends in the house. A few times, a roommate’s significant other will spend a considerable amount of time in the place where they practically live rent-free. This may not be an arrangement that you are open-minded to agree to, particularly if they are noisy or disruptive.

In the case of a landlord-tenant relationship, a significant other should ALWAYS submit an application. Otherwise, this may be a case of an unauthorized tenant which may be grounds to terminate your leases.

6.   Listen to Your Intuition

Now and again a person may certainly feel like a great roommate on paper, but when you meet them, something feels off. That concerned feeling may be your intuition telling you something is not really right, even if you can’t immediately see what it is. The right direction you can do is to listen to your gut and hunt elsewhere if you don’t feel comfortable.


Living with roommates can be a total challenge, but finding the right one could make your life even better! Are you seeking out a rental home that you could share with a roommate or two? RPM Real Property Management California Coast has an inventory of quality rental properties near you. But additionally, our thorough tenant screening process helps eliminate red flags. Browse our rentals and apply online today.

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