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6 Red Flags Regarding Roommates

West Fargo Roommates Arguing Over Dirty DishesIf you are considering splitting a West Fargo rental home with a roommate, it’s important to be aware of what to look for. Though undoubtedly foul roommates are rare, there are lots of horror stories to make anyone think twice before ever sharing their home with a stranger. The opposite is also true: periodically roommates turn out to be some of the best friends you’ll ever have.

Though there are no guarantees, there are red flags you can see to help assimilate what type of roommate any person might be. Here are just a few things you can be aware of that can let you spot an unfit, terrible roommate.

1.   Badly Written Ad

Not all of us are marvelous at writing ads, but having said that, a poorly written or incomplete ad may show that the person who advertised it is hiding something or isn’t cooperative enough to give much effort into even small tasks. Either way, an ad brimming with misspellings or one that is missing basic information about the rental situation may be a warning of possible conflict up 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 be aware of is while asking questions about the roommate or rental arrangements. It’s in like manner 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 questions are vague or they seem unwilling to talk about it, it’s in all likelihood they were somehow at fault.

3.   Messy House

If you are responding to an ad for a roommate, investigate the living conditions before committing to anything. During your visit, check out the cleanliness of the space – and not just on the surface. If at all possible, seek out signs that things are not being cleaned quite regularly, for example, dusty ceiling fans or dirty dishes piled in the sink. If the rental house is grimy, that’s a solid 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 with respect to the potential roommate’s job and for at least two references. If they don’t seem to have a job or are not willing to provide references, both are red flags that something isn’t quite right. Granting that asking questions relative to a person’s finances may feel awkward, it’s the most ideal practice to elude getting trapped with a roommate that won’t be able to pay off their portion of the rent each month. But if you’re trying to obtain a rental through RPM Optimum, our screening process includes landlord references to carefully check for prior tenant behaviors.

5.   Significant Other

Another pertinent thing you should be informed of is whether your potential roommate has a significant other and how much time that person spends in the house. Periodically, a roommate’s significant other will spend a very long time in the place where they practically live rent-free. This may not be an arrangement that you are disposed to agree to, especially 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

At times a person may strike you as the perfect roommate on paper, but when you meet them, something feels off. That edgy feeling most probably your intuition telling you something is faulty, even if you can’t immediately see what it is. The best thing you can do is listen to your gut and get back to searching elsewhere if you don’t feel comfortable.


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

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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