Leeds is undoubtedly one of the best cities for students and young professionals in the UK and with such a huge youth population it’s not hard to find someone if you are in need of finding a new flatmate.

Most first year students coming to Leeds will go straight into halls and take up house shares with friends during their second and third years studying. For those unfortunate enough to have a housemate drop out it can be a worrying experience. Although most estate agents will let you source a replacement you don’t want to get stuck having to cover the rent of the missing member.

You never truly know what someone is like to live with until you actually take the plunge, but more often than not it’s a wise choice to interview or talk to anyone interested in moving in to make sure you are all going to get on. Here’s a few things to keep in mind if you find yourself on the lookout for a new housemate.

Are they a student? Or do they work full time?

This is normally the first question you should ask and one of the most important things to highlight in your ad. If you and the rest of your housemates are students then would you be comfortable with living with someone who works full time? Likewise, if you work full time would you want to live with students?

Do you pay your bills on time?

If you house share in popular student areas like Hyde Park, Headingley or Horsforth that are dominated by the larger local agents like Parklane Properties and City Red that offer all-inclusive rent this is not so much of a problem. However, if you pay your bills separately you have to make sure that your new housemate is going to keep up with their share of the bills.

To protect your own interests and to avoid any arguments, select a date during the month that all bills must be paid by and ask them to set up a direct debit or standing order.

Do you smoke?

If you or your current flat mates don’t smoke and you don’t want anyone to do so make it very clear from the beginning. Agree this in advance with any other flatmates and make it plain in your ad too.

Do you have a girlfriend or boyfriend?

If you’re single, it would be understandable if you don’t wish to share your living space with a couple, no one likes being the third-wheel!

This question is also really important if you live in a small property. Having that extra person around for even a few days a week can take up a lot of valuable space in your home and can add a lot to your monthly energy bill.

How’s their social life?

You should get this out in the open as soon as you meet a prospective housemate. If you’re working full time or are on a particularly intensive course a housemate with a particularly active social life might not be the person for you.

If you think the person’s social life will clash with you, choose someone else to move in, it will save you both a lot of frustration and arguments

Do you mind cleaning?

If you have a cleaning rota in place, you should agree on who cleans what and when. If they’re not very keen on the idea of cleaning or can’t do it, ask them if they would consider paying for a cleaner instead.

George Webb