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How To Get A Roommate in NYC

July 11, 2012

You need a roommate to live with you in an apartment in NYC, fast. However, you don't have any buddies who are currently looking for a room here, and you're definitely not paying that $2,500 a month for a decent apartment by yourself. What's the best way to go about finding a new roommate without having them be downright crazy, drug addicts, or just needy?

1. Check With Your Family and Friends

This is by far the safest way to go about it. People that you find through your family and friends can be verified by people you know, rather than strangers, and consequently you'll find it easier to trust their judgement or perspective of a future roommate. With advance knowledge of their personality and lifestyle, you'll get along better with them, have more to connect over, and you'll have a third-party mediator already on hand in case you ever need it.

Also, if it doesn't work out, you have someone to blame instead of yourself, which is always a nice feeling.

2. Find a Reputable Broker or Real-Estate Agent

This is generally the second best way to go about it after asking your friends, though it's definitely a bit more expensive. Good real estate agents and brokers will always know several clients who are looking for a roommate just like you, and your broker can help confirm that a potential roommate is in good financial standing, a reasonable person, and not a drug dealer. However, if you don't already have a standard broker, this will probably cost you. Sales agents don't give out information for free, and the price to pay for finding a roommate through them may be also renting your next apartment using their services.

3. Use A Roommate Finder

Several companies exist in NYC that offer the sole service of helping you find a good roommate, such as or These companies will provide good information on prospective roommates and offer numerous other searchers in the same position as you, but watch out: some of them might be scammers or just flat out crazy. Look for a service that offers real-world interviews and meet ups before rooming together, or organize one yourself in a neutral location. Be sure to check their background and credit history before moving in, as you don't want to be stuck paying the entire rent yourself!

4. Give Up? Check Craigslist

Craigslist is always a possible option. Note that I didn't say good. As opposed to roommate-matching services, Craigslist is much more crowded with decrepit people and actual scammers looking to make a quick buck off of you. Same rules as above go for advertising on Craigslist for a roommate, but be more careful: don't give out your address or personal information until AFTER you've met the potential roommate at a neutral location. Otherwise, you could have a bunch of shady individuals knocking on your door eventually.