10 questions to ask a potential flatmate

Flat sharing is popular among both young and older homeowners who are after some extra money to help pay the mortgage, cover bills or earn additional disposable income.

The challenge, of course, is choosing a good flatmate that will best suit your lifestyle.


Here are 10 helpful questions to ask a prospective flatmate:


1. What's your position on cleaning?

One person's ‘clean' may be another person’s, well, ‘filthy'. Be honest with yourself about how tidy you are and choose a flatmate who is similar.


2. What about washing up?

It's no fun for anyone if you hate mess and your flatmate is happy to leave dishes in the sink for a few days. If you choose a perfectionist for a flatmate and you are fairly laid back about the odd coffee cup in the sink, you may find that you're the one being nagged.


3. How do you think the food shopping should be organised? What about cooking?

Cooking with your new housemates can be a great way to build friendships, as well as potentially being more cost-effective than cooking for one. Having similar-sized appetites and tastes in food is an important thing to consider.


4. Do you like pets?

If you have an animal in the home it’s important to discuss this, as your potential flatmate could be allergic, or downright dislike cats. Deciding whether you’d be open to welcoming a housemate and their pet is another thing to think about. 


5. How long do you tend to spend in the bathroom in the morning (especially if there’s only one bathroom available)?

If you work similar schedules and both want to be showering at 7am this could be a problem. Try moving any unnecessary tasks out of the bathroom, like applying make-up or drying your hair, in order to free up more shower time.


6. How do you think bills should be divided?

Consider bills like your internet usage. If your potential flatmate wants to work from home or is a big movie buff, they might need to pay a bigger hunk of the bill. Upsizing your household is a good time to take a look at your utilities and shop around for good deals.


7. Are you planning to have friends around regularly?

Some people are very sociable, while others want to head home from work to some peace and quiet. Find out if your potential flatmate plans on having friends around for drinks or parties and see if that fits in with your usual routine. 


8. What about girl/boyfriends? Will they be staying over?

There’s nothing wrong with having a partner stay over one or two nights a week, but if they’re hogging the shower and have practically moved in then things can get a little tense. Be upfront with potential flatmates and let them know what you’d be comfortable with.


9. What can you contribute to the flat?

A potential flatmate who owns a couch or a TV could earn brownie points if you’re looking to furnish a new property. If your place is fully set-up, a flatmate who wants to bring a heap of furniture could be more of a hindrance than a help.  


10. Describe yourself in three words.

Get a feel for your potential flatmate’s personality and figure out if you’re likely to mesh well. You have to share a house with this person, after all!


Good luck and happy flatmate hunting.


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