In the movie The Roommate, the "random roommate" experience seems great on the surface but doesn't end so well...

I recently visited Chicago, where a friend of mine had just moved into a new apartment with a college roommate. This was the first time I’d seen her new place in Lincoln Park. Previously, she lived in Wrigleyville with a roommate she found on Craigslist. She and her former roommate had hit it off really well, both from hometowns near each other and with similar lifestyles.

However, I hadn’t realized the terrors that this roommate had caused. She was a fun person and seemed liked she had good intentions–at least on the surface. However, I learned last month that this roommate had actually been the roommate from hell. When I told my friend about RentShare, she immediately told me it would have solved all of her problems.

Now, the random roommate situation can be a tricky one. Some people seem great but end up being not so great, or the complete opposite. Some are great from day one, and some are awful all of the time. Regardless of what may or may not happen, having a safety net when you decide to room with someone random can never hurt.

A Plan in Place

Whether you’re signing a new lease with this person or they’re filling a room that your friend is vacating, they’re just as responsible for what goes on in the apartment.┬áIf you’re nervous about money, creating an account with RentShare or a similar service can ease your nerves pre-move-in.

This “plan” could include other things as well, especially if you have an idea of how spaces might be shared. However, don’t go too crazy with that. Read on to find out why…

Don’t Act Defensively

If you put up a wall and act like this person is about to steal all your money and belongings and never clean the kitchen, they’re going to get frustrated with you very, very easily. Just act like acquaintances and nothing less–you could be scaring away your new best friend!

Essentially, you don’t want to come up with all of the rules and make all of the decisions. Make sure your roommate’s voice is heard.

In the end, the reason my Chicago friend had been so frustrated with her old roommate was that the roommate owed her money. My friend had initially leased the apartment on her own and had been responsible for paying bills, yet the deposit was split between the two upon move-out and the roommate hadn’t paid for months worth of utilities. With RentShare, that’s one less thing she’ll have to worry about from now on.

– Catherine, Customer Service & Community Outreach @ RentShare