Really? A background check for a roommate?

Really? A background check for a roommate?

RoommatesRead the news lately? At some point, those people lived with other people. Frightening, right?( All these years, I thought my roommate eating my ice cream sandwiches was a big deal.) Perhaps now more than ever it’s important to know who you are selecting as a roommate or tenant. While tradition might say, “Just get a friendly referral for a roommate,” I think times have changed. It’s so much better to be safe than sorry.

While there is no fail-proof way to determine if your roommate will eventually fly the cuckoo’s nest, you can at least be reasonably sure that he or she has not flown in the past and is attempting to return undetected. A background check could be a helpful component of the roommate interview process. If you’re subletting your place, you might also want to consider a credit check. There are a few online resources that can help you in the processes:

The best deal (as in free) for background information involves a bit of leg work. Start with the obvious resources: Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Look up people by name and abbreviations of names. Try to browse everything from status updates to comments and media posts. These sources may give you a general idea of who you’re interacting with and what their social circle is like.

Step up your game with CriminalSearches.com, which provides data from individuals’ public criminal records. It’s important to emphasize that this site lists the basic charge or offense but will not go into significant details regarding the crime. It may be beneficial to seek further information. Less thorough sets of information cost $.95 whereas full-fledged profiles will cost about $50.

E-Renter.com will give you the skinny on potential roommates and tenants as well. Receive a background check and credit check in one place. Choose between three packages that grant access to varying degrees of information. Prices range from $19.95 to $34.95. If you sublet often, you may qualify for a commercial account, which could save cash in the long run.


Tags assigned to this article:
common lease questionsrenters resourcesRoommate

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  1. Guy Seeklus
    Guy Seeklus 27 September, 2013, 02:35

    While it may sound absurd at the start, doing background checking such as a quick tenant credit check your room mate will ultimately help you know what kind of person you are with. Having a criminal offender as a room mate is really frightening.

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  2. Sydney
    Sydney 5 November, 2013, 11:57

    Loved this blog post! I honestly don’t think that requiring a background check for a roommate is too extreme. I’ve lived with some crazy roommates and wished I would have thought to background check them before they moved in!

    This blog may also be helpful for those thinking about getting roommates: http://blog.livinginchico.com/blog/bid/262030/My-First-Apartment-Checklist-Deciding-on-a-Roommate

    Choose carefully! You will have to live with this person and must be able to trust them being alone with your belongings!

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