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6 Qualities You Should Always Watch Out For in a Good Roommate

two male college roommates smiling on white background
Written by CB Community

Sharing your living space with a roommate comes with certain challenges and benefits. Adjusting to a new roommate is not always easy, but it is definitely doable if you are upfront about your expectations and requirements from the start.

It’s advisable to have certain criteria in mind that you could use to gauge the suitability of your potential roomie. So here are some
qualities of a good roommate that you should always watch out for.

1. Willing To Help Out

Living together is a two-way street, so every action should ideally be reciprocal. This basically means that your roommate must be willing to help you out with all sorts of chores. A great way of going about this is to agree on a checklist of duties that you can divide amongst yourselves. One chore that young people living on their own often find difficult is cooking.

Having a roommate with cooking skills is always a plus. However, if both of you don’t know how to cook, it’s best to get help from a roommate who could teach you how to whip up some simple cuisine. Keeping the room clean is another chore that needs to be agreed upon in advance.

People living together have to practice the basic courtesy of keeping their shared space neat and tidy. You could decide on a cleaning schedule with your roommate so that the task is equally divided, and one of you is not always picking up after the other.

There are a lot of great resources online where you can find useful tips from those in the know. Such as the ones offered by American Avenue Apartments, to help you decide how to split chores and set up workable arrangements.

2. Respectful

Respect goes a long way in cohabitation. Even if you have similar habits and schedules, there are bound to be instances when your roommate might be experiencing stress, or may simply need some quiet time. No matter the circumstances, mutual respect is a prerequisite to show consideration for the other person’s requirements. So make sure that you opt for a roommate who shares these values with you.

3. Adaptable And Communicative

Living with each other necessitates making adjustments and being flexible. That is why adaptability and good communication skills are essential traits that you should seek out in a roommate.

It’s not humanly possible for everything to go exactly as you might have pictured it. So, both of you need to be able to ride any ups and downs in an even-handed manner. It might get a little crazy, but as long as both of you know how to adapt, you’ll get through it together.

The importance of consistent and clear communication cannot be stressed enough here. It is the lifeline of every relationship, and your living arrangement with your roommate is no different. So, it would be worth your while to set the tone for a positive way to communicate.

4. Honest

You not only share a living space with your roommate, you also share items of daily use, schedules, and safety. Therefore, another quality you should look for in a roommate is honesty. There might be instances when your roommate wants to bring some family or friends over, and this fact should also be disclosed to you ahead of time. In addition, your belongings are also in the same place, and you wouldn’t want them to go missing one by one.

Another important concern is that it is a matter of personal safety. You need to be aware of everything that happens in the apartment to feel confident that it does not pose any kind of harm to you.

5. Friendly

It also helps a ton if your roommate is friendly, as that would make it easier to get along with each other. It’s not necessary for both of you to have exactly the same interests, but having a compatible personality is definitely a huge plus.

You will naturally be spending a lot of time together, so it would be beneficial if you also enjoy each other’s company. Friendly vibes are sure to turn your apartment into a cheerful and comfortable place.

6. Responsible

It is crucial that you have a roommate who is responsible because your safety would also be in their hands. For example, when your roommate leaves the house, you need to be able to feel assured that he or she will leave your apartment locked when no one else is there, otherwise you might get robbed.

On the other hand, there are also rent and utilities that both of you need to pay each and every month for the duration of your stay together. You need a roommate who takes these responsibilities seriously, and makes sure to pay their dues on time. A lack of ownership or delays in such matters would lead to conflict in the long run, and may end up with you having to cover for the debt of your roommate.


These are just some of the important qualities you need to look for when you are on the hunt for a roommate. Keep in mind that you will be living with them for quite some time. This means that it would be vital for you to have a good working relationship with your roommate.

For more great college tips, check out the other blogs on College Basics.

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CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.