Looking for a roommate? It’s no easy task. Find the right roommate can feel like a balance between thorough research, the right tools, and pure luck. The right person can be so much more than just a roommate; they can become lifelong friend and family member. On the flip side of things, the wrong roommate can give you a completely opposite experience.
Fortunately, things have gotten easier in the past decade. Finding a roommate in 2020 is actually a bit like finding a date—it starts with a simple online search.
Finding the right roommate, though, is an exact science. Failure means a full leasing period of awkwardness or downright misery and legal consequences. To help make this process a little easier for you, we’ve scrubbed the internet for the best websites to find a roommate in Los Angeles. Here’s what you need to know:
Free to use
The RoomMatch.com site is very simple and intuitive. All you have to do is find RoomMatch online and scroll through their list of potential roommates. They also include an option to find apartments without roommates.
People of all ages use this site to find their living quarters. Los Angeles is a hotspot for roommates as is it one of the most expensive cities in the country. The only other city that compares in price is NYC.
Some parts of the city are more expensive than others. You would be lucky to find anything under $3,000/month in Bel Air, but in Alvarado Terrace or South Central, you can find great discounts.
On this website, you will find plenty of variety when looking for a room for rent. The lowest asking prices hover around $400/month while the most exorbitant profiles look for a whopping $10,000/month. There are actors, coaches, programmers, and everything in between.
Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself when you are looking for a roommate online:
- Does it have to be somebody you already know or can it be a stranger? Would it be okay if they were somebody with a friend in common?
- What kind of relationship do you want with your roommate? Be honest, how often do you want to see them? Do you want the kind of relationship where you say hi to each other across the hall or in the kitchen and that’s that? Or do you want to hang out with them and have each other on all platforms of social media?
- What do you live and what lifestyle do you expect from a roommie?
Free, but rent will usually be bumped up
Airbnb is the premiere peer-to-peer room/apartment-finding service in the world. Airbnb is cool because it has so many partners. Looking to live in a castle? Airbnb lists 5,000 of them. Looking to live in a tree house? Airbnb has 3,000.
Airbnb is currently the world’s largest rental property owner, without actually owning any of their locations. Like Uber, it partners with private owners in exchange for an electronic infrastructure that matches supply with demand.
It can be used worldwide to find houses and apartments of all sizes and styles for flexible durations. The catch is that Airbnb will take a cut of your rent, making rent more expensive. This chunk varies widely, but according to Airbnb’s website, it tends to hover around 14%.
Because Airbnb doesn’t explicitly market itself as a roommate matching service, you have to do a little DIY’ing. Start by searching for apartments available for monthly stays and then filtering your results by “shared apartments.” Although the monthly rates will be pricier than traditional options, it’s an ideal option for renters who want to sublet and are transitioning between apartments or testing out a new area.
Because it’s a secure platform, your investment is much more protected than alternative options like Craigslist. You’ll be able to read reviews about your “host” or “roommate” long before you meet them, and in anything goes wrong over the duration of your stay, you can contact Airbnb to mediate the situation and provide refunds if necessary.
You can also use Airbnb creatively to connect with people in your city at events. If you’re in a particular location to see if it’s the right fit for you, this is a great way to meet new locals, gain better insight into the community, and meet new people who can potentially be your permanent roommates later down the line. Don’t leave out Airbnb during your search—it’s worth a shot.
Craigslist was founded in 1996 as a pioneer SaaS in San Francisco. It was initially nothing but an email distribution list. Today it is a household name across America. The original idea was to create a free online hub that connected people much like a town market would. A cornerstone idea of Craigslist is the social aspect. There is a tab open just for community, gigs, and help wanted.
Imagine going to the market in the center of town. This would not only be the place to buy your week’s worth of radishes, you would also meet people you know and some you don’t. You would pick up fliers and converse with store owners and farmers. That is the idea behind Craigslist. This was one of the first online bazaars.
You can find anything on Craigslist. Many posts get taken down because they advertise illegal or fraudulent activities and services. It is a prime location to get scammed. There are lots of phishing activities on Craigslist.
Today, Craigslist connects people and services from over 700 cities and 70 countries. It is distinctive in the way it does not hire many people. Craigslist hires less than 100 people while serving more than 10 million.
To find a roommate on Craigslist, you can go about it different ways. You can click on the sublease tab or the community tab or the roommates wanted.
You will still want to weed out the chaff because anybody can post on Craigslist. It is not vetted at all.