How to Look for Roommates on Craigslist

While Craigslist seems to have had a bad rep due to stories of meetings gone awry and buyers getting ripped, it is still a great resource to use when looking for cheap items to buy and even better, roommates. This is because you can advertise at no cost and also reach a wider audience than you normally would when using other platforms. However, to get good roommate candidates, you should be aware of how to place the request and vet properly so as to weed out people who may want to troll or rip you off. Here are some of the details you should make sure to include in your Craigslist post.



The basics which describe the room or home you want or have. Room dimensions, laundry services, rent amount and the income requirements. Make sure you type this neatly so that it is not loud and does not look like a scam. Specify if pets are okay and which types of pets you are okay with or if you do have any, state that you have a pet and hence any potential roommate who might be allergic can be forewarned. Include photos of your apartment. No one wants to see stock photos or poor quality ones but real photos of the apartment can help a potential roommate to see if they like the place.



Whenever you post on Craigslist looking for a roommate, look up the neighborhood stated and familiarize yourself with the exact place as posters can stretch the truth a little. Using Google maps, Google Street View and the New York Times murder map or the area’s equivalent of checking whether the neighborhood is a desirable one. Again, if you are the home/apartment owner looking to rent out a room explain some more about the neighborhood, whether it is safe, has had a bad rap and your experience living there.


A great roommate is one who matches your lifestyle or personality then you won’t grate on each other’s nerves too much. In your post try and get a feel of this and especially find out about their financial responsibility and social ways. Asking for a link to LinkedIn and/or Facebook is a great place to start. Stating your interests will also help you find a roommate with similar interests which might help you two get along better.

Test and Identify the Best Fit

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Testing whether a roommate checks off on all your requirements is easy. Write simply and neatly using bullet points if necessary to enunciate the details then test to see who read through by putting a simple request at the end such as asking responders to include their favorite movie or book. It will save you from many cons and help you identify a great fit quickly. Once you get responses and narrow your choices arrange for a meetup and have a feel about the potential roommate in person. Discuss schedules and rules about partying and having people over. This will help you start off on the right note.

Tony McCallister

Offering expertise and insight to the New York real estate market.