The search for your next apartment can be daunting with all the things you have to consider, such as cost, amenities, and location. And if you’re planning on having roommates, it’s important to find people you’ll get along with well. This is the second article in our three-part apartment hunting series. Make sure to check back on Friday for the finale!

Your first apartment will never meet all of your standards, but that’s okay. The one thing you can control is who you live with. So if you’re wondering how to find the perfect roommate, here are some tips.

The Person

Weigh the pros and cons of living with someone you already know versus a stranger. If you don’t have many connections in your new city, see if any of your friends from school or work might be interested in being roommates. You can also search online for potential roommates, but make sure to exercise caution when meeting up with anyone you haven’t met before!

The Characteristics

We’ve all had roommates at some point in our lives, so we know what qualities make for a good (or bad) one. When choosing your next roommate, keep the things you loved and hated about your previous ones in mind. Sometimes it’s worth sacrificing a little bit of cleanliness for someone trustworthy and reliable.

The Talk

Being able to talk openly with your roommate is key. Discuss apartment duties and expectations before you sign the lease agreement. Given that you’ll have a larger room, will your roommate be willing to pay more rent? For work nights versus weekends, what is your visitor policy? Who will be responsible for purchasing furniture for the common space? Lastly, who gets the parking spot? Apartment living often comes with the task of dividing up responsibilities and negotiating with your roommate, which is great practice when you have to negotiate your lease with the landlord. (And stay tuned for more on that!)

The Fund

Living with a roommate can be tricky, and one important factor to consider is their financial stability. They may seem perfect on paper, but if they’re constantly late on rent or other bills, it could be a sign of bigger problems down the road. People often find themselves in debt when they take out student loans or other bills. Before you agree to share expenses with someone, confirm that they’ll be able to make regular, on-time payments. Additionally, it’s wise to inquire about the size of their emergency fund; this way, you’ll know if they’re prepared for life’s curveballs. The last thing anyone wants is an eviction notice from their landlord!

Let us know in the comments section: what is your must-have quality in a roommate?