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The Biggest Red Flags When Finding New Roommates

Experts Reveal: The Biggest Red Flags When Finding New Roommates

With the current housing affordability crisis sweeping the US, pursuing affordable living arrangements has become extremely important. With the cost of living on a steady rise across the United States, more and more individuals are turning to shared living spaces as a practical solution to reduce financial strain.  

With this in mind, researched the biggest red and green flags when looking for new roommates. To gather the data, they surveyed people on Reddit about their experiences with past roommates and how it impacted their livelihoods.  

While the prospect of sharing living space presents economic advantages, it also poses challenges in selecting suitable roommates. can help take some of the guesswork out of finding suitable roommates, but it is also essential to identify both the red flags and green flags during the roommate search so you can make the best decision for you.

The survey identified some key red flags in roommates. Below, you’ll find the top eight most common red flags:  

The most common red flag revealed in the survey was leaving a shared bathroom untidy; the failure to keep a bathroom clean in a shared living space can cause many issues, leading to awkward conversations and arguments. One respondent said, “The entire bathroom floor was wet and dirty, and someone shaved and left their hair behind.” The central theme coming from the results of the survey shows that being untidy and not having respect for other people in the shared living space is a serious and prevalent issue.  

A messy kitchen came in a close second, and leaving dirty laundry out was the third most common red flag, with one person saying, “I had one girl that yes-ed us, talking about how neat, tidy, and responsible she was, and was a total slob after moving in - left dirty dishes and her laundry out for days and sometimes weeks.” 

Other notable red flags identified were roommates drinking alcohol excessively, not being told about pets up front, loud music at night, inviting friends over every weekend, and not paying shared utilities.  

These red flags are not just minor inconveniences; they can significantly impact the quality of life for all involved. Living with roommates exhibiting these behaviors can increase stress, tension, and dissatisfaction. From poor hygiene to financial strain, these red flags can impact every aspect of daily life, ultimately negating the intended benefits of shared living arrangements. 

Aside from the red flags, some respondents in the survey offered some advice on how to deal with a roommate who is showing signs of red flags.  

Below are some key questions that survey respondents recommended you  ask a potential roommate to help you avoid red flags: 

  • How loud do you like your music/ TV? How often do you drink/ smoke? 
  • How long is it okay for dishes to sit in the sink or messes to sit in the common area? How often do you prefer to clean the floor/ toilet? 
  • How have you handled conflict with roommates in the past? 
  • Have you been in any physical arguments or screaming matches as an adult? Have you ever been arrested? 
  • How vital are laws, gender roles, and social norms to you? (This one isn't about politics; it's about conscientiousness. People who form their identity around being anti-something are usually broadly antagonistic. Someone who needs to break laws/ buck social norms to emotionally self-regulate or who believes in a proscriptively narrow, non-optional life path can be very destructive in their interpersonal relationships because they're often angry/ spiteful people at their core. Their anger towards others is usually disguised as a political opinion because it's the only way to communalize their rage and express it in public. It's OK if they have strong political opinions/ religious beliefs. You're ultimately looking for a kind, open-minded, and highly conscientious person, not self-righteously judgmental or attention-seeking.)

Mastering the art of an interview is a skill you can learn over time; with practice, it can become second nature. 

The team at Roommates advises, Identifying red flags in potential or current roommates is crucial for several reasons. First, sharing a living space requires trust and compatibility to ensure a friendly and safe environment. Red flags, which can include consistent disregard for personal boundaries, irresponsible financial behavior, or a general lack of respect, often indicate underlying issues that could lead to conflict or discomfort. Recognizing these signs before signing a lease can prevent significant emotional stress, financial loss, or personal safety risks.” 

Here are some key things to think about when you are dealing with red flags: 

  • Address concerns directly and early - Approach the conversation calmly and respectfully, focusing on specific behaviors and how they affect the living situation rather than making personal attacks. 
  • Set clear boundaries - Establish boundaries regarding shared spaces, noise levels, guests, and responsibilities. Written agreements can be helpful to ensure mutual understanding and accountability. 
  • Document everything - Keep a record of any incidents, communications, and attempts to resolve the issues. Documentation can be crucial if legal action becomes necessary.

In conclusion, choosing a suitable roommate is essential for maintaining a harmonious and safe living environment. As the team highlights, being vigilant about red flags such as disrespect for boundaries, poor financial habits, and disregard for mutual respect can save you from future conflicts and stress. 

By recognizing these signs early, you can make informed decisions that foster trust and compatibility, ensuring your home remains a friendly and secure space. Trust your instincts and prioritize your well-being when selecting who you share your living space with, and you’ll set the foundation for a positive and supportive living arrangement. is the smart, simple, safe way to bring roommates together. Millions have used to find their perfect roommate. 

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