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Because your living arrangement should be as comfortable as possible.

| By Rachael Thompson | Entertainment

The 7 Red Flags to Look Out for Before Moving Into a Small Apartment With a Roommate

Because your living arrangement should be as comfortable as possible.

Living in a rental home with roommates can be some of the most enjoyable years of your life. Whether it's moving in with a friend or someone you've known briefly, roommates can make your living situation more financially feasible, provide you with companionship, and give you someone to share chores with.

However, it can also be stressful and uncomfortable if you find yourself living with someone who doesn't align with your home values – and we're not talking about the occasional missing spoon or lunch container!

When you live in a small home, many of these red flags will be heightened as you'll be living in closer proximity to one another. We've rounded up a series of red flags to look out for before you sign the lease or have someone move in with you; because ultimately, your living situation will significantly impact your quality of life.

1. They don't have the same cleanliness standards as you

Unless you're quite an unbothered person or okay to pick up the slack, having the same or at least very similar cleanliness standards is important when you live with someone. If you move in with someone who is significantly messier than you are you're setting yourself up for a lot more work and stress. On the flip side, if you move in with someone who is significantly cleaner, you're probably going to feel pressured and resentful of their exacting standards.

2. They aren't financially stable

While jumping straight into financial chat with someone you first meet – or even someone you know well – isn't always ideal, it’s an important part of the roommate screening process. Both of you are going to have bills to pay, and if your roommate doesn't have a job or isn't financially stable, this might affect your rent getting paid, leaving you to fork out more than your fair share or move out sooner than you wanted.

3. They have a lot of things

If you're moving into a small home, the way you utilise your space is all the more important. Living in a small home means you need to have less things. If your potential roommate has lots of stuff and is taking up more space – and not paying more rent – this will likely cause clutter and problems. They can do whatever they like in their bedroom, but in shared living spaces there needs to be balance.

4. Your social personalities are too different

If you're someone who prefers quiet nights in and not having people over all the time, you might find a social roommate with an extroverted personality too much to deal with. Living with someone who has a similar social life to you is the way to go here. The same goes for if you're a very social person. Ideally, you want to live with someone who is comfortable with you entertaining and having friends over frequently, or maybe even being involved.

5. They move homes frequently

If you're looking to sign a lease for more than a year, it's probably worth noting whether your potential roommate has a history of breaking their lease early. You likely don't want to have to find a replacement within a few months of moving in.

6. Their job or hobbies are disruptive

It's worth having a general understanding of what your potential roommate's working hours and hobbies are. Maybe the idea of someone working night shifts and needing to sleep during the day won't work with your lifestyle. Maybe they enjoy playing the guitar early in the morning and that's not what you want for yourself. If you're living in a small home you will hear your roommate much more often and more easily.

7. Their last roommate asked them to leave

If the person you're looking to live with was kicked out of their last house, or asked to leave, this is a huge red flag for you.

So what does make a good roommate?

People aren't perfect. You're bound to find little things that annoy you about anyone that you live with, regardless of how great a person they are. A good roommate will differ from person to person but the goal is to find someone who shares similar enough living values to you and who is respectful of the idea that it is a shared home.

Have a good think about how you like to live and write down some of the non-negotiables. Some of us love the idea of being social with their roommates and others don't. Some of us want a constantly tidy home and some of us aren't bothered by mess. Figure out what matters to you and find someone with a similar lifestyle or someone who at the bare minimum is respectful of your time, space, and privacy.

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