Skip to Content

6 Red Flags Regarding Roommates

Sammamish Roommates Arguing Over Dirty DishesIf you are weighing on splitting a Sammamish rental home with a roommate, it’s beneficial to find out what to look for. Much as truly horrible roommates are rare, there are certain horror stories to make anyone think twice before sharing their home with a stranger. The opposite is also true: mostly, roommates grow to become some of the best friends you’ll ever have.

Conceding that there are no guarantees, there are red flags you can seek out to help get to know what type of roommate any person might be. Here are some things you want to know that can be beneficial to you in spotting an unbearably bad roommate.

1.   Badly Written Ad

Not all of us are very good at writing ads, although a poorly written or incomplete ad may be showing that the person who posted it is hiding something or isn’t inclined to allot much effort into even small tasks. Either way, an ad filled with misspellings or one that is missing basic information about the rental situation may be a clear sign of sure trouble 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 particular, beneficial 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 inquiries are vague or they seem unwilling to talk about it, it’s wholly possible they were somehow at fault.

3.   Messy House

If you are responding to an ad for a roommate, observe carefully the living conditions before committing to any matter. In the process of your visit, look at the cleanliness of the space – and not just on the surface. Preferably, identify areas and signs that things are not being cleaned as well as you would like them to, take one example, dusty ceiling fans or dirty dishes piled in the sink. If the rental house is cluttered, that’s a substantial 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 uncooperative and don’t want to provide references, both are red flags that something isn’t all okay. While it is a matter of fact that asking questions about a person’s finances may feel awkward, it’s the most straightforward means to avoid getting trapped with a roommate that won’t be able to pay for their portion of the rent each month. If, in any case, you are applying for a rental through RPM Eclipse, our screening process already encompasses landlord references to double-check for prior tenant behaviors.

5.   Significant Other

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

Sometimes though, a person may seem to you as an ideal roommate on paper, but when you meet them, something feels off. That nervous feeling can be your intuition telling you something is questionable, even if you can’t immediately see what it is. The best thing you can do this is to listen to your gut and go on and look elsewhere if you don’t feel at all comfortable.


Living with roommates can certainly be a challenge and a risk, but finding the right one could make your life even better! Are you inquiring about a rental home that you could share with a roommate or two? RPM Real Property Management Eclipse has an inventory of quality rental properties near you. And more than that, 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.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details