9 Questions to Ask a New Roommate

September 14, 2020

At PadSplit, we know living with others can be an adjustment. Everyone has their own ideas, needs, and expectations when it comes to sharing a living space. We encourage our members to create house rules and practice effective communication to help reduce conflicts between roommates. The best time to set ground rules and outline expectations is when a new PadMate moves into your PadSplit. However, we know having those conversations can be tough.

That’s why we’ve developed a list of 9 questions to ask your new roommate.

Use them as a guide to make the conversation easier.

1. What’s your schedule?

This is an important question to ask because it can help prevent conflict. Being noisy when others need it quiet is a common issue roommates face. It often goes like this: one roommate needs to sleep because they work nights and the other is listening to music because they just got home and want to unwind. Share your schedule with your new roommate and ask them to do the same. This will help you all make sure you comprise before something comes up.

2. How often do you clean?

Everyone has a different definition of “clean.” They also have different expectations for how clean they like their environment. This question is specifically worded to help you gain insight into your new roommates cleaning habits rather than a general understanding. Use their answers to start a conversation about the house rules when it comes to keeping common areas clean.

3. Do you smoke?

Smoking is a personal choice but can be bothersome for non-smokers. You want to know if your new roommate smokes so you can show them your house’s designated smoking area. If you have asthma or smoke allergies, you’ll want to let them know as well. This will help you have a conversation about your health needs so they can accommodate them.

4. How often do you have guests over?

This question helps you understand how often you can expect there to be visitors. Everyone has different expectations when it comes to house guests. Some people are social and always have guests over. Others are more introverted and like their space. Talk to your new roommate to understand their patterns and work together to establish rules that work for everyone.

5. What do you like to do on your days off?

This question helps you gain insight into your new roommate’s lifestyle. You’ll learn if they like to stay home or go out. You’ll also learn about some of their interests which can help you build a relationship. You don’t have to be best friends, but shared interests give you something to talk about when you run into each other.

6. Are you still friends with any of your past roommates?

This question is intentionally more specific than “Did you get along with your past roommates?” to help get to the facts. Anyone can say they got along with others. However, knowing your new roommate is still on friendly terms with their past roommates is a good sign for you.

7. What are some of your pet peeves?

We all have things that annoy us. Asking your new roommate to share their pet-peeves gives you an opportunity to share yours. Keep these in mind when you work together to create your house rules. You want to be sure everyone in the house feels happy and comfortable.

8. What do you expect from your roommates?

There’s no better way to find out what your new roommate expects than asking them directly. Give them time to share what matters to them and how they’d like to interact with you. Then, share the same information with them. This helps everyone get on the same page which, in turn, reduces the likelihood of conflicts down the road.

9. Do you have any food allergies or restrictions?

This is important to know because you’ll be sharing a kitchen with your new roommate. Food allergies can be dangerous, like a peanut allergy. Knowing this upfront helps you and your roommate work together to ensure their safety in the home.

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