The Hunt for a Roommate

It’s apartment hunting season and with that comes the decision of where you’ll live and with who. If this is your first year, the thought of leaving the safety and comfort of a McGill residence may seem just a little daunting, albeit probably a little exciting too. For many, moving out of the room you shared with your first roommate also means getting ready to move in with a good friend. For others, it means the start of searching for someone to share a living space with. Here are 5 tips to tackle this search safely and efficiently:

  1. Recommendations
    Ask around in your circle if anyone is looking for a roommate. Friends and family may know of other students currently on a roommate hunt as well. If you have a mutual friend, there will already be a certain level of trust between the both of you. It’s never easy moving in with someone you don’t personally know, but it will be more reassuring knowing that your roommate was recommended to you by someone you trust.
  2. Facebook Groups
    Several Facebook groups, primarily comprised of university students, are a good place to start if you can’t seem to find any friends of friends to share a space with. The advantage of these is that you can find individual lease offers, students searching for apartments, or students already leasing a place and looking to add another roommate. The groups are often well organized and mostly limited to students from McGill, Concordia, UQAM, UdeM, and HEC, making your search a little easier.
  3. McGill Off-Campus Housing Online Listings
    This is another safer option, as the website (Places4Students) is linked on McGill’s off-campus housing page. In addition to listing properties and sublets, students have access to the roommate profiles of others attending McGill, as well as having the option to post their own profiles. McGill students can use the website for free. It is generally quite secure, although it should be noted that universities and schools do not verify or guarantee listings, so, as with all things, exercise judgement and caution when sharing information.
  4. Roommate Matching Websites
    Good in principle, you will also need to be careful when looking for roommates on other websites in order to avoid fraud and bad experiences. Always check the site’s credibility and make sure to meet the person before you agree on anything. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and lay everything out on the table. Discuss habits, preferences, and expectations to ensure the two of you are a good match. If anything feels off or you question the situation, you may be better off looking for someone else.
  5. If all else fails…
    Consider living on your own. Living in an apartment by yourself may be a little overwhelming, especially so soon after moving out of an on-campus residence. For this reason, McGill student housing for 2nd and 3rd year undergraduates, or Evo rooms may feel safer, more welcoming, and more convenient than a single studio apartment, as you will be nearby to campus and surrounded by other students. Additionally, Evo has a roommate matching system and matches students based on preferences and interests indicated on an online application.

Always remember to be safe and smart when choosing roommates. Never settle for something that you aren’t 100% certain about, and do reach out if you’re not sure where to start!

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