5 Tips to Find & Live with Roommates in Vancouver [2023]

January 16, 2023   |   8 Min. Read

Renting in Vancouver is expensive, stressed, and competitive, as Vancouver’s average vacancy rate is around 2%.

Finding a roommate on top of that is even more stressful. Finding a roommate before arrival in Vancouver? It’s almost like move-in without meeting your Tinder dates.

Sure, you will save money, but what if you don’t get along with your roommate?

Here are the tips to guide you on how to find and live with roommates from a person who actually did it successfully.

Tips #1: The Best Way to Find Roommates in Vancouver When You are From Oversea

Craigslist and Facebook groups are the platforms which allowed me to find my ideal roommate.


Being the most popular rental platform, Craigslist has a lot of listings that are looking for roommates. You can simply search “roommate wanted“:

This is the craigslist platform for students to search for roommates

You might see hundreds of options here. However, there’s a map option where you can narrow down your roommate options which are close to your school.

As Craigslist is the most popular platform to use, it can be tricky:

  • Make sure the listings are in detail (e.g., pictures and descriptions)
  • Try to choose the listing that is recently posted (elder listing might not be a good option)
  • Be mindful of big differences in price

Facebook Group

Another common way to look for roommates is by joining community groups on Facebook. Here are some Facebook groups that are tailored to Vancouver renters:

After you joined the group, you can search “roommate” and it will filter a list of posts with roommate wanted.

This is the FaceBook group for students to search for roommates

Facebook groups should be the fastest way to find roommates, as you can instantly reply and create posts on Facebook easily.

Indeed, this platform is convenient, but it will be tricky as well:

  • Make sure to pick the newer listings because the old ones might not be attractive to most people
  • Read through the comments under the posts (the comment sections reflect on what other people think about the listings)

Other Platforms to Find Roommates

There are more ways to find roommates than just Craigslist and Facebook. But listen up – those platforms may require you to do more research and stay on high alert while searching for roommates.


Roomster has a website version and mobile apps that you can find roommates easily. Their map function allows you to search for roommates based on their location, especially if you want to be close to your school!

You can also filter your preferences by choosing ages, gender, pets and even zodiac (just like using tinder, zodiac is one of the factors you should think twice!).

This is the Roomster platform for students to search for roommates

Plus, they offer background checks to help ensure that you’re living with someone you can trust. When you’re browsing listings, you’ll see if the roommate has verified their ID, email, and phone number.

While you are using this platform, you should be cautious of:

  • The lifestyle they mentioned (Party Habits, overnight guests, cleanliness)
  • Better choose the one with all information verified (ID, Email, Phone)
  • Look into the utilities that the listings would include


Check out Roomies – it’s like Tinder for roommates! You can scope out the profiles of potential roommates and get a feel for their vibes before you commit.

A lot of listings on Roomies are looking to team up and rent a place together, which is awesome if you’re down for that! Plus, it’s a great way to meet new people and make some friends in your new apartment.

This is the Roomies platform for students to search for roommates

As there are still debates around using this platform, there are still a few things you should be aware of:

  • Pay attention to the date of their “ready to move” and the duration of “Looking to stay”.
  • Avoid profile that look like scams or are sketchy

Regardless of the platforms you are using, you should always watch out for any suspicious listings and avoid falling victim to scams and frauds.

If you’re a first-time renter in Vancouver, don’t worry – we’ve got your back! , we have put together some handy tips that are specifically tailored to newcomers in Vancouver, just like you!

Tips # 2: How to Make Sure You Pick the Right Roommates

You found your potential ideal roommates, and now what?

Look into Their Social Presence (The First Thing People Usually do on Tinder)

You can take a look at their social media accounts, like Facebook and Instagram. From there, you may be able to get to know more about him/her. Their feeds/posts on social media could also reflect their lifestyle and social life, and this could be the first step to really “getting to know” your potential roommates.

Get Straight to the Point

You need to be transparent about what kind of person your are, and what kind of roommate or co-living experience that you are expected.

Here are some information you might want to ask and tell the potential roommate:

  • Are you into loud music and allow guests to come over, or do you prefer peace and quiet?
  • Do you like outdoor activities, or prefer to stay home all day?
  • What is your daily work schedule like?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you have pets, or allergies to pets?
  • What you enjoyed and didn’t enjoy about your previous living arrangement?

If necessary, you can also ask for references from previous landlords and former roommates. This can help you get a better understanding of their character, behavior, and reliability.

Meet: In person or Virtually

Just like making friends, appearance is one of the key factors that make you want to be friends with others, and it’s the same for your roommates! Their profile only tells you half of the person, the rest you will need to find out from their body language, and so you need to meet your roommates to figure out the whole story!

If you’re not currently in Vancouver, you can connect with potential roommates through video or other virtual communication options. For those in Vancouver, you could arrange to meet in person for coffee or a casual meal. It’s important to choose a safe and public location to meet, and avoid places that may feel sketchy or where you could be alone with your potential roommate.

It is important to make sure you and your roommates like each other’s lifestyle, so you don’t end up driving each other crazy!

Tips #3: Things to Be Done Before Moving In

Once you’ve found suitable roommates and you may think is time to move in together! But before you do that, it’s important to establish a roommate agreement.

What is a roommate agreement and why do you need it?

A roommate agreement is basically a set of ground rules that you and your roommates mutually agree on, and will follow while living together. It covers everything from the responsibility of paying rent, cleaning duties to overnight guest policies.

Here is a template of the Roommate agreement provided by the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre (TRAC). You can follow instructions on the agreements and fill in the mutually agreed expectations.

After you have created the roommate agreement, make sure that everyone signs the agreement. All parties should have a copy of the agreement, and it should be dated.

It might seem like hard work, but trust us – it’s worth it! Having a written agreement that spells out everyone’s responsibilities and expectations can save you a ton of headaches later on.

Tips #4 – How to Co-Living And Solve Disputes with Your Roommates

After creating the roommate agreement, you should know your roommates’ expectations and their boundaries. However, you may still need to learn how to get along well with your roommates. We have two pieces of advice for you:

Learn about and respect different cultures

Things might be challenging at first, it is common to encounter language barriers, food that you cook, and social activities that you do are completely different from your own individual (sometimes it will be mind-blowing!)

Make sure always be opened mind and try to respect their culture and norms. You will discover the exciting part of living with roommates from different backgrounds – they may cook up some dishes that you have never tried before, introduce you to some new music from their countries, and get to know more about their history and traditions!

Comprise and talk respectfully

Even if you’ve tried to be cool with your roommates, sometimes there can be conflicts and issues that arise, like when they break the roommate agreement. What’s the deal in that situation? What should you do?

You can:

  • Talk to your roommates directly and respectfully.
  • Listen to your roommates’ perspectives: Give them an opportunity to explain their side of the situation. Avoid interrupting and show that you are actively listening by summarizing what they have said.
  • Seek for compromise: most conflicts arise from unmet expectations, and the best solution is to reach a comprise – try to make sure everyone is happy with the decision!
  • Reach out to a third party for help: If the dispute can’t be resolved on your own, try to get help from the landlord or housing authority to interfere with the conflict.

With these tips, hopefully you can create a more harmonious co-living environment and feel better equipped to handle any conflicts that may arise!

Tips #5 – What to Do if You are Planning to Move Out?

Telling your roommate you are moving out can almost feel like a breakup, but this doesn’t mean ending your friendships! That’s why you should handle it respectfully and thoughtfully. We have prepared some tips to think about before moving out:

Select an appropriate time and location for discussions

When you’re talking to your roommates about moving out, make sure to choose a good time and place to do it. Talking to your roommate in person will allow for a more open and honest discussion and sharing your thought about moving out.

Giving enough time for the transition

You should give everyone enough time to chat and address any concerns it may arise, and you should do this way before you are supposed to leave. That way, your roommates can find a new person and get things ready more easily. A minimum of 30 days notice before moving out is the norm, but if the rental agreement requires more notice, you should follow that. It will help ensure that the move-out process is as smooth as possible, and will give your roommates and landlord enough time to plan for the transition.

Bonus Tips – Co-living Security Tips

Rents’ Security: Essential Tips You Need to Know” is a must-read article written by Porch, especially if you want to learn how to enhance security while living with roommates.

Lastly, enjoy the experience! Living with a roommate can be a great opportunity to save money and meet new people in Vancouver. It is crucial to approach the situation with a positive attitude and enjoy the process of finding a new roommate. If you have just moved to Vancouver, and I am sure you have a lot to catch up on! We have prepared another blog for you to get to more about the cost of living in Vancouver. Happy searching for your new roommate!