The vast majority of Speed Flatmating attendees are genuine people looking for a room or a flatmate - one of the main benefits of the events is the fact that you get to meet people on neutral, safe territory. However, it's always wise to be safety-conscious so we've had a list of tips drawn up by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.
If you are looking for a room to rent
- Don't be afraid to ask questions about the property, who lives there and what is included in the rent, how bills are shared etc.
- If you are invited to go and look at a property, try and take someone with you. If this is not possible, leave full details of where you are going and who you are meeting and arrange to contact someone once you have finished.
- Trust your instincts when you arrive at the property. If it is not as it was described to you or you have a bad feeling about it, don't enter the property. Walk away and call them to say you have found somewhere else.
- Make sure you meet and talk to all your prospective flat mates and trust your instincts when deciding whether or not to move into the property.
- If anyone asks you to pay a cash deposit/rent in advance, be very wary.
- Avoid drinking too much during the evening, as this will seriously affect your judgement.
- Make sure that the property is secure and that you are happy about the safety of the area it is located in. If you are not familiar with the area, you might want to try visiting it at night as well as during the day time.
If you have a room to rent
- When chatting to people, don't give out your full address or name to everyone you meet. When you think you have found someone who might be right for you, ask for a mobile number and their work number, so that you can call them at work to check they are who they say they are - before giving them your full address and landline.
- If you are looking for a female or male only flat mate, then let people know this right away so they don't waste their time.
- Don't take any prospective flat-mates back to the flat/house with you. Make sure you check them out first, no matter how well you hit it off from the start.
- When you set up a time for someone to visit, try and make sure that you are not in the house alone; ask another flat mate or friend to stay in with you.
- If you agree to take someone on, ask them for a reference from their previous landlord. You should also ask for a landline number eg. a work number, then check that it is correct and that they are who they say they are.
- Stay in control during the evening. Don't drink too much - as alcohol can seriously affect your judgement.