Finding The Perfect Roommate On Craigslist

By: Professor P

Craigslist, Roommates, and The Concerns

Craigslist is "great" when it comes to looking for housing and roommates. The majority of the time, if not all the time, the posters will be strangers to us. So how do we know if the person will be a good fit for a roommate? Is there a way as roommate-seekers to mind our own safety and well being? The fears of finding a potential roommate that turns out to have bad credit and never pays their fair share of the rent would pale in comparison if you ended up with an ex-felon! Yikes! So what are we to do?

In this article, I will give you a few pointers so you can play detective. Given the conveniences of today's internet, you can perform a full blown background check on your potential roommate, knowing everything from their quirky pet peeves to their legal problems.

The Obvious

As long as provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which you can find on the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) site, are followed, you can use a consumer report to help you assess your potential roommate. A consumer report is provided by the Consumer Report Agency (CRA), which helps put together pertinent information such as a report from a tenant-screening service, and a credit report from Trans Union, Equifax, or Experian. Often times, the tenant-screening service may include information from previous landlords or housing court records, which will show any cases of eviction.

The Not-So-Obvious

Check social network sites to see their profile. There are always websites such as Friendster, Facebook and, of course, MySpace. Look at the testimonials of their friends. Are they consistent with the feel that you received from your interview of the person? Is there something in their self-described profile that doesn't match what they told you or is there something they didn't tell you that you find annoying or irritable.

Publicly Enforced Rating

The website, www.Roomapes.com, is another avenue for the concerned. If the potential roommate has had roommates in the past, it is highly possible that he is listed in this database, where roommates may praise or rant about their roommates. With the help of this database you can get a specific feel for your potential roommate's quirks.

The Bottom Line

Finding and choosing a roommate is a tough task, but with common sense and today's internet, the once daunting task can be easy. As with all decisions, weighing the pros and cons derived from the above measures are important. By combining the above information with your gut feeling, hopefully, you will find yourself a roommate that fits your lifestyle and needs.

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