11 Essential Questions to Ask When Renting a Room in an Apartment

Are you renting a room in someone else’s apartment? Or, maybe you’re considering renting out a room in your apartment. Either could be a smart way to cut down on housing expenses.

Renting a room comes with its fair share of risks, though. Ask these 11 questions to ensure your rental situation is safe and satisfying.

1. What is the exact rent?

Follow Up: Are there other move-in fees? How and when do you pay rent?

It might sound self-explanatory, but make sure you confirm the rent before you sign anything. Ask if you’re responsible for any other fees, like a security deposit, a pet deposit, or pet rent—if applicable.

Confirm the date rent is due each month, and check how your landlord would prefer to get paid. Some prefer a written check, while others are fine with a cash-paying app or direct deposit.

2. What utilities will you be paying?

If you’re splitting everything with your roommate(s), get a general estimate for how much utilities will cost each month. It’s important to consider utilities when planning your housing budget.

3. How long do your potential roommates hope to fill the room?

Follow Up: How long is their lease?

Find out how long the room could potentially be yours, and how long they’re planning on staying in the unit. If you’re looking for a permanent place and they want to move out in six months, it might not be the best choice.

If you are planning on renting short-term, check out CORT furniture rental, where you can rent entire bedroom sets without commitment. This is a perfect option for renters who are moving from room to room, city to city!

4. How often do they clean?

Are they neat freaks, or do they clean once a year? How clean are you? It can be hard for super tidy people to cohabitate with messy people, and vice versa. Keep that in mind, and don’t be afraid to ask!

5. Is this a more quiet/low-key house, or a “party” house?

Follow Up: If it’s the latter, is the party here or outside the apartment?

It’s important to learn about the “vibe” of the house before moving in. If you work early in the mornings, it’s good to find out now if your potential roommates host raging parties six nights a week.

6. What do they do for work?

Follow Up: What’s their average day look like?

It’s good to consider your future roommate’s schedule when figuring out how you’d fit into the living situation. Are they gone from sun up to sun down every day? Do they work nights or work from home?

7. Do your potential roommates smoke?

Some people are bothered by the smell of smoke, and some even have health conditions (like asthma or allergies) that are exacerbated by smoke. Double check if anyone in the apartment smokes if that would bother you.

8. Are there any general “house rules,” spoken or unspoken?

Follow Up: Is there a cleaning schedule? Is there a curfew or quiet hours?

Do they take turns doing the dishes, mopping the floors, or vacuuming the living room? Is everyone quiet after 10 PM? Is the refrigerator a free-for-all or is it every man for themselves? Make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up for if you end up renting their room.

9. Do they have any pets, or are they considering getting any?

Find out if you’ll be sharing the space with any furry friends. This is especially important if you’re allergic or if you’re bringing your own pet into the mix.

10. Are they still friends with their old roommates?

Follow Up: Why is this room available?

You can learn a lot about potential roommates with this question. If their old roommate moved out because they wanted somewhere quieter or cleaner (or they just didn’t gel), it’s good to know.

11. What are their biggest pet peeves?

If you’re a social butterfly and they can’t stand visitors, that may be an issue. If you’re messy and they can’t stand clutter, you may have conflict. Find out what pushes their buttons, and figure out if you’d be a good fit.

Renting a room is a great way to save some money and meet some cool people! At ApartmentSearch, we want you to find what you’re looking for, no matter what your ideal living situation looks like. Find a room on your own search for cheap studios and one-bedroom apartments today.