Craigslist question re: posting about room for rent (need answer sorta fast)

My roommate is moving out, so I posted on Craigslist the availability of my home to share. I’ve received a few responses back, and one scheduled with me to look at the house this coming Friday. My question is, what are the safety protocols I should follow here? Do I just give her my address and say, “See you there!” or do we meet in a public place close to my home and then walk there? We’ve only communicated through email, not the phone yet, but her emails look legit and non-threatening.


ETA: How do I prevent giving a potential burglar the grand tour and letting him or her case the joint?

No one?

I think just meeting them at the house is fine (I mean, you have to show them the house sometime, right?). If something about your interaction with the person makes you nervous, then you could have a friend present, but if you’re that suspicious of a particular person, why are you considering living with them?
As far as burglars go, unless you have many more valuable possessions than the typical person advertising for housemates on Craigslist, why would it particularly help a burglar to see the inside of your apartment? I mean, if they just want to steal a TV, maybe some minor jewelry, and a laptop, they’d just break into any convenient apartment that seems to have nobody home. Why would they go to the effort of arranging to visit it first?

Since this is a roommate situation and not just renting out an apartment, I’d at bare minimum talk with the person on the phone prior.

When I broke up with my ex last year I thought about going the roommate route. I met with a woman who owned a house and we met over lunch at a neutral restaurant. It let us get to know each other better and see if we’d actually be compatible living together. (We would have been, except when I went to see the place, I turned out to be allergic to her birds-and I’m frankly glad I live alone now).

That did seem to make sense to me though. Getting to know someone before inviting them to your sanctuary. And not to get all hippy-dippy about it, but when I go home, I want to relax and unwind and not always be on “my best behavior”. So, for the roomie thing to work, there must be compatibility.

I have a friend who had a string of roommates until he did one smart thing, he lowered the rent. When he did that, he had a larger pool of candidates to choose from and has actually had the same roommate for over 4.5 years now. (Of course, one example doesn’t make it true, but he swears by it.)

I’d highly recommend having a friend/family member there when the potential roommate comes over too.

I’ve gone this route several times already, as the renter, so hopefully I can provide some insight.

It seems like potential landlords will generally exchange a few emails with me to nail down the pertinent facts (rent, deposit, pets, utilities included or not, etc), and then we’ll talk on the phone to schedule a visitation. If you get a creepy vibe, drop it at the phone call stage BEFORE handing out the address. At the end of the call (or emailed to me right after) I will get the address of where the place is, and we’ll meet at the time we discussed during the phone call.

You should generally talk to them before giving out the information just to make sure it’s a real person, and that their number is somewhat local (if you have caller id). Obviously sociopaths exist who can lie about this stuff, but it’s a pretty good screener. If you’re worried about it, just have a burly friend be chilling on your couch and watching tv when the potential tenant arrives.

I rent out a room/rooms in my house through CL and in addition to us emailing back and forth a few times, I add them on Facebook (with their permission) so I can see that they aren’t going to skin my dog and turn her or me into a lamp. Facebook is good for this because, generally, you can see if they have friends (who aren’t dead), family (who aren’t dead), pets (who aren’t dead), hobbies (which don’t involve killing people), and other such items.

Of course, I’m 25, so the folks renting my rooms are of similar age range and all pretty much have and use Facebook.