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6 Red Flags Regarding Roommates

West Valley City Roommates Arguing Over Dirty DishesIf you are considering sharing a West Valley City rental home with a roommate, it’s imperative to know and understand clearly what to look for. Even though certainly, atrociously bad roommates are rare, there are sufficient horror stories to make anyone think twice before sharing their home with a stranger. The opposite is also true: every so often roommates turn out to be some of the best friends you’ll ever have.

As there are no guarantees, there are obvious red flags you can identify to help clear up what type of roommate any person might be. Here are several things you can detect that can help you to spot an obnoxious roommate.

1.   Badly Written Ad

Not all of us are efficient at writing ads, but certainly, a poorly written or incomplete ad may denote that the person who posts it is hiding something or isn’t able to put much effort into even small tasks. Either way, an ad replete with misspellings or one that is missing basic information about the rental situation may be a forewarning of the 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 determine is while asking questions about the roommate or rental arrangements. It’s also imperative 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, probably, they were somehow at fault.

3.   Messy House

If you are responding to an ad for a roommate, observe and figure out the living conditions before deciding on or committing to any. For the duration of your visit, observe very closely the cleanliness of the space – and not just on the surface. If it is possible, search for manifestations that things are not being cleaned consistently, in particular dusty ceiling fans or dirty dishes piled in the sink. If the rental house is disorderly, that’s an excellent 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 regarding the potential roommate’s job and for at least two references. If they don’t seem to have a job or are indisposed to provide references, both are red flags that something isn’t right. Notwithstanding that asking questions on the subject of a person’s finances may feel awkward, it’s the best solution to ward off getting trapped with a roommate that won’t be able to pay up their portion of the rent each month. If you apply for a rental through RPM Wasatch, our screening process comprises landlord references to get a picture of prior tenant behaviors.

5.   Significant Other

Another thing you should hear is whether your potential roommate has a significant other and how much time that person spends in the house. Every so often, a roommate’s significant other will spend too much time in the place where they practically live rent-free. This may not be an arrangement that you’d want to agree to, particularly 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

At times, a person may sound like a suitable roommate on paper, but when you meet them, something feels off. That tense feeling may indeed be your intuition telling you something is erroneous, even if you can’t immediately see what it is. The best solution you can do is listen to your gut and go ahead and look elsewhere if you don’t feel comfortable.


Living with roommates can be a dilemma, 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 Wasatch has an inventory of quality rental properties near you. On top of 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.

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