warning signs to prevent getting the room mate, landlord or location from hell

simply stephen / March 20, 2012

Last week we talked about how to find the perfect living solution for introverts if you can’t afford to buy or rent your own place.

I hope you found it useful.

Today, as complementary article, I figured we should take a look at the warning signs to prevent you from getting the room mate, landlord or location from hell. I’m here to help. I want to keep you out of any traps.

If you are struggling financially or desperate to find a place to live please don’t let it get in the way of your sanity.

Do yourself a favour and find a way to make it happen.

Maybe you are introverted.

A writer.

Have medical issues (like depression or anxiety).

Work hard and want to relax when you come home.

There are so many reasons you may want a great location to live. Besides the obvious. We all deserve a nice environment to relax. We all want to enjoy our home when we are not at work or play.

In the past 25 years I’ve lived in many places and had lots of room mates.

Some good. Some…well, not so good.

These clues will give you some insights to what you might want to avoid.

  1. musicians – I’m a musician, but when it comes to living arrangements, unless you want a party house or to be interrupted at all hours of the day it is not ideal to live with a musician or music freak. The music usually starts at the exact moment you are about to take a nap or have prepared yourself for some creative writing. All is usually lost at this time. At least find someone with the same musical tastes or you will constantly be exposed to sounds you may not want to hear.
  2. video gamers – truthfully, playing video games is a complete waste of life. Sorry for the judgement but it’s an addiction worse than booze, cigarettes and drugs. Living with a gamer is just like living with someone that has an addiction. You can expect loud noises, ones that wake you up in the middle of the night. They lose track of time, can have poor hygiene and stop picking up after themselves. They are also very focused and you will have a hard time getting anything from them – like rent, cleaning up, participation. Anything.
  3. hoarders – if you walk into a place that is full of stuff. Turn around and walk out. This place will be a constant mess. More stuff will keep showing up. It’s another addiction. A cluttered home is a cluttered environment. One that distracts. If they give you a hint that the room won’t fit their stuff and they want storage, it’s best to realize that stuff will trickle in to the common areas of the house.
  4. pets – now I love animals but living with someone that owns them is a crap shoot. Here’s some of the things you will have to contend with. Meow. Woof. Feed Me. Walk me. Let me out. Clean up after me. Let me sleep on your bed. Do you want to have guests around me. That’s just a few. I worked in the animal industry for a decade and most people get pets to satisfy themselves without really taking proper care of them.
  5. larger people – I’m trying to be as gentle as possible on this one but I’ve lived with people that are unhealthy and their habits are not exactly to die for. Expect a mess. Dirty dishes. Snoring. Poor hygiene. Loud footsteps. Lack of ability or motivation to do chores due to health and habits. They may be your typical couch potato.
  6. the slob – you will notice this one right away. They might look messy themselves. All the usual things will happen. Stuff everywhere. Dirty Dishes. Bugs…we’ll end there.
  7. the neat freak – on the opposite note, this person will be a little bit too anal. They will nit pick about everything. (maybe that’s me but I am much more accepting now). On the flip side, a super neat and tidy place could be the sign that they just cleaned it up because you were coming to visit. Try to look for a balance, a lived in look.
  8. the pervert – I’m just saying. It might seem funny. At first. After a while it gets trying.
  9. fancy car – if they can afford a fancy car, all decked out you know where their priorities lie. It’s about attracting things. It also means they might have a fancy stereo and the whole works. Could be a bit overwhelming.
  10. complainer – when your first conversation with someone involves a complaint about past tenants or room mates it should trigger a big warning sign. What are they going to say about you? Is this going to happen all the time? Do you want to listen to the drama?
  11. drama queen – that leads to the roomie that makes everything a big deal. Tiring. You bet. Expect lots of it.
  12. borrower / food stealer – Usually this type of person borrows but never replaces or returns it. Many times if they break something, it is not likely to be repaired or replaced. Difficult to spot these people but if you talk to the current tenants you may find out.
  13. prince or princess – if someone is all fancied up and looks like they preen themselves a bit too much they are probably full of ego and possibly drama. You will probably have someone that spends a lot of time in the bathroom, leaves a mess and is constantly worried about what everyone thinks…that means they will want your input. You’ll also have to smell all those chemicals and beauty products.
  14. the story teller – this may be entertaining. I’ve lived with many people that had great life experiences. It was interesting. Sometimes. Other times, it’s just too much. If someone walks in and starts sharing stories…maybe, you want to consider if you want to hear them all the time.
  15. settle in – if someone makes themselves really comfortable, it may be a sign they are going to take over your common living space and move right in. the make themselves at home. A bit too much at home.
  16. the righteous – moving in with little miss or mister goody two shoes is tough. Eventually, you will be the target of their judgements. Someone that comes across as perfect and wanting everyone else to be is likely to be a control freak and may make your life miserable. When you have guests they may not like to be around.
  17. control freak – speaking of control freak. This is the hardest person to live with. You will never get peace because something will always have to be adjusted. That will take your time and energy. Warning signs include landlords or people that have a lot of rules or restrictions and may want you to do things a certain way..
  18. priced too low – ask yourself why it is priced so low if it seems like a nice place. External noise. Awful room mates. Older house. Cold. There might be a logical answer but find out why.
  19. lonely people – these ones may come in and like the story teller offer it up to you. They need company. Guess whose? Yours. Move along.
  20. repeating ad – Is this an advertisement that you see again and again? If you see this it’s usually because the landlord / tenants are picky, asking too much, don’t have the best living arrangement and a list of problems. They either can’t attract or keep tenants.
  21. landlord specials – much like the above, it’s probably because they can’t rent it.. Basements?
  22. one bathroom – unless you are only sharing with one other person, make sure there are more than one full bathroom. Ask them how often they have overnight guests and when they get ready for work too.
  23. railway track – or any station will generally be a noisy area. You might hear the trains but you will also hear the traffic getting to and from the station.
  24. party hearty – nuff said. If they tell you they are social and have parties you know. If they say they are quiet, question it a little more. That is usually a cover up.
  25. couch potato – hard to figure out who fits here. Many of the warnings I’ve mentioned above could easily slide into this category. If you show up and someone else seems comfortably settled on the couch, it could be a regular thing.
  26. smelly nelly – this one, you will notice. And you will notice it when they move in too.
  27. parents – sad but true, if their parents drop them off and check out the place, they may be a little too green. The parents might interfere a lot too. If you want someone to pamper and support this is the ideal room mate.
  28. avoid the thief – sounds obvious but hard to spot. A credit check could help here.
  29. broke – if they point out that things are tight, it may mean they are always going to be late on the rent or trying to extract more money from you. Could also mean they really don’t want a room mate but have to have one. This type may resent you being there and will treat you accordingly. It’s also a sure thing that they will borrow and never return.
  30. just divorced – or separated, which means they may be sad, needy and need an extra ear. They could get angry or sad. All the time.
  31. loungers – if someone is sleeping in one of the rooms when you arrive, they are probably always sleeping. This means you have to walk around on eggshells all the time. They could be a sloth too, which means mess.
  32. sex addicts or sluts – hard to tell on this one but do you want to hear it? How they dress or talk could give you a hint.
  33. spidey sense – trust your intuition. If it feels too good to be true, dig deeper. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to walk away.

There’s tons more…it’s just they trickled out of my little mind. Maybe I’ll add them later on.

Most importantly. Do your research. Look for the warning signs. Know what you are getting into and learn the laws and regulations too so you can always guarantee a decent quality of life in your living quarters.

Signing out. Happy seeking.