The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of apartment life, such as moving and possibly living with a sick roommate. The pandemic can also make finding new roommates more difficult because you’ll have to navigate COVID-19 safety precautions while apartment hunting, and you’ll have to choose a roommate who will do the same. And you’ll need to do this all atop the same usual roommate concerns – cleaning, paying bills, getting along, and more. Below, learn how to best find roommates during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Check if you can have flexibility in lease length or rent
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to go over your lease’s policies if you are struggling to pay your rent. Negotiate with your landlord to change your lease terms as necessary or decrease your rent. If you find that you can negotiate for more affordable rent, you just might have an easier time finding a roommate amidst the ongoing COVID-19 economic crisis.
Find roommate candidates online
As the COVID-19 economic crisis continues, living alone may prove too expensive, and just like before the COVID-19 pandemic, you can safely find potential roommates online. You can search for roommate candidates on apartment listing websites that feature roommate openings, use roommate-matching apps, or browse groups on various social media platforms. While searching for a roommate, many websites offer search filters you can utilize to find a roommate in your preferred demographic.
Set up the meeting virtually or (safely) in-person
The safest way to first meet a prospective roommate during the COVID-19 pandemic is to set up a virtual call. Using a video call platform will ensure you are not immediately in close vicinity with new people, thus reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread.
However, at some point, you may have to meet a roommate candidate in-person to determine just how well you two click. In this case, take COVID-19 safety protocols such as social distancing while wearing face masks. Additionally, you can meet outside to decrease your chances of catching COVID-19. Whichever COVD-19 safety practices you choose to follow, make sure they facilitate longer, more detailed discussions that help you establish whether your potential roommate is indeed a good fit for you.
Discuss personal boundaries and COVID-19 precautions
During any public health crisis, it’s especially important that you and your roommate outline your COVID-19 apartment sharing boundaries. Make sure to ask your potential roommate how often they socialize with others, socially distance, and wear masks. It’s also important to discuss rules about having visitors at your apartment since everyone has a different social life, so before moving in together, you should both know what you’re comfortable with and have realistic expectations.
Ask about cleaning habits and work schedules
Discuss cleaning habits and work schedules with your roommate so you two get a sense of each other’s COVID-19 exposure risk and any precautions you both regularly take. Establish whether you and your possible roommate work from home or outside the house and what that means for your safety. You should also discuss a cleaning schedule, including properly disinfecting surfaces, that fits around your work schedules. By following these tips and all those above, you can find a roommate that’s not just right for you and your preferences, but safe to live with during the COVID-19 pandemic too.