a. Above of all decide what you want from a flatmate ie: If you are new to the area you may be flatsharing as a way to create a new social circle and will therefore be looking for someone who shares similar interests and is open to going on the odd night out. On the other hand you may already have a wide circle of friends in the area and just want somewhere to rest your head, so the age and interests of your flatmate are irrelevant.
b. Work out whether your lifestyles will be compatible, ie: if you have to be up early in the morning for work and like to go to bed at 10pm, you won’t enjoy living with someone who works until late and gets home around midnight with half the local pub in tow…and vice versa!
Different people have differing standards of hygiene and one persons clean can be another’s dirty. Be honest with yourself about how tidy you are and choose a flatmate who is similar. It’s no fun for anyone if you hate mess and your flatmate is happy to leave dishes in the sink for a few days. On the other hand if you move in with a perfectionist and you are fairly laid back about the odd coffee cup in the sink, you will be the one being nagged…so be honest with yourself and your prospective flatmates!
c. Don’t move in with someone you are sexually attracted to – invite them out for a drink instead, if it doesn’t all work out at least you won’t be stuck living with them!
d. Make sure you meet all of the flatmates before agreeing to move in. Even if you have met 2 out of 3 and get on really well with them, you don’t want to find out you hate the 3rd person AFTER you have moved in!
e. Find out about any house rules and regulations and be honest with yourself about whether you will be able to stick with them. In the interests of harmony, most households will have at least some written or unwritten rules and expectations, however there will be households where the list is extensive. If you don’t like any of the rules on the list or are unsure you can stick to them all, it’s probably better that you don’t move in for your own sake as well as the rest of the household.