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Is Your Potential Flat Mate Safe?

By: Joanne Walker BA (hons) - Updated: 9 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Flatmate Safe Neighbours Room Move Check

Renting a room out to a lodger or sharing with a group of like-minded people can be a great way of affording a good place to live without breaking the bank. And most people find that it has numerous other benefits as well, such as widening their circle of friends, especially if they are moving to a new area.

But, like so many things in life, a little care needs to be taken to make sure that you are moving in with the right people and that you are not making a huge mistake when you sign on the dotted line. Take our short quiz below to find out if your potential flatmate is safe.

1. You ask to see the place you want to move into and meet the other people who live there. What does the potential flatmate say?

a) No problem - come over whenever you want and I'll make sure I'm there.
b) Yes, here's the best time for me.
c) It might be possible - if we can find a time that suits us both.
d) Come and see the place - I'll get someone else to show you round.

2. You ask how many flatmates they have had in the last five years. What do they say?

a) Just the one - a good friend who moved out to go travelling.
b) Two - one good friend who replaced themselves with their friend when they had to move for work.
c) A few - they tend to let to students who come and go.
d) I've lost count - it seems you can't rely on anyone these days!

3. Why did the last flatmate leave?

a) They got a job a few hundred miles away.
b) they moved in with their girlfriend.
c) We decided it was time we stopped living together - too many small differences.
d) The person won't tell you and seem evasive

4. What do they say when you ask what they do for a living?

a) They tell you straight and all about it.
b) They give you a straight answer but stop at any details.
c) they fudge round the issue but you have an idea.
d) They fudge round it so much that you are none the wiser.

5. You ask to meet the neighbours before you move in. What's the response?

a) No problem - we get on really well.
b) Ok, but they keep themselves to themselves.
c) They ask why you feel the need to, but agree
d) They say the neighbours are odd and that you shouldn't bother.

Mostly As

You have done your background checks well and made sure that you are making the right decision. Without going over the top, there is not a lot more you could really do to make sure your potential flatmate is safe, so go ahead, move in and have lots of fun and good times together.

Mostly Bs

They seem like a nice person, so what is not to like? Yes, to all intents and purposes, this flatmate seems great, but there are a few things which unsettle you. You might not be able to put your finger on it, but trust your instincts. Go back and ask a few more questions. Anyone who has nothing to hide will think you are sensible and will not mind in the slightest having to go through a few more checks before you move in.

Mostly Cs

Alarm bells should be starting to ring as there are clearly a few things which are not quite right. This does not have to be a complete dealbreaker but you should definitely think a lot harder before you agree to move in with this person. Even if they are perfectly safe, because of your doubts, would you ever feel completely comfortable anyway? You don’t want to move in with someone you are always walking on ice around.

Mostly Ds

Forget it! There are plenty more potential flatmates out there. Why should you put yourself at any risk, however small. Yes, the chances of moving in with someone who might harm you are small, but they are there nonetheless. And what is the point of checking and checking again if you are still going to ignore what your head is telling you? Don’t move in – start again. It might take a little more time but it will be well worth it in the long run.

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