For many, finding someone to split the cost of a NYC-sized rent can be a fundamental part of the NYC equation, especially if you're just starting out. New to the roommate rodeo as it's played here in NYC? Read our 6-Step Guide to Renting a NYC Apartment with Roommates.
Ready to proceed but lack the necessary roommate(s)? Below, a newly updated list of websites that would like to help you find a match.
Never say never.
Despite the occasional horror story, Craigslist remains as popular as ever, with hundreds of postings for roommates in NYC at any given time.
Since this oldie but goodie is free of charge, anyone can and does use it—including folks whose intentions are less than honorable—so be sure to take some safety measures before meeting anyone you’ve contacted through the site in person.
Insist on getting together in a public place. Always carry your cell phone. And never ever invite strangers into your home.
For more tips on avoiding freaky situations, read here.
Would-be flatmates have been using SpareRoom to find each other across the pond for nearly a decade, and this British site made its debut stateside two years ago, launching a New York-centric hub in 2011.
Users can post ads or browse rooms in all five boroughs (as well as Long Island and New Jersey) for free, although upgrades (including a Bold Ad, which is highlighted in search results) are available starting at $9.99 a week.
There are around 200 rooms listed at any given time—and all ads are individually vetted by staff for scams. For folks who’d prefer to meet prospective roommates offline, SpareRoom hosts free SpeedRoommating events every fortnight (that means every two weeks to you Americans) at The Playwright Celtic Pub in Midtown. Attendees get stickers saying either “I have a room” or “I need a room,” then mix and mingle until they find someone they think they’ll be able to cohabit with in relative harmony. Read a first-person experience here.
Aimed at the LGBT community, this website claims to be able to find most clients a new home within just two weeks. Listing your apartment opening is free, but membership for access to said listing is not.
There’s a one-day fee of $40 for those desperate to resolve their roommate situation immediately (and who are feeling lucky). If you have a little more time, it’s $65 for a 30-day subscription. And if you find a roommate through the site, but realize it simply isn’t meant to be within two months of signing a roommate agreement, Rainbow Roommates will grant you one month of service at no charge.
This site collects apartment listing search results from a slew of sources (Craigslist, Apartments.com, Rent.com, and more than 100 others, including brokerages), and plots the locations of available listings on an interactive map.
Then it helps you narrow down those places you might be interested in with a very thorough set of filters (cost, commute time, max price per bedroom, etc.). Search by "rooms" to find a share; you can also type in keywords such as “vegetarian” to find like-minded roommates.
Certainly not to be confused with Facebook casual-sex app Bang With Friends, BangItOut is for Jewish New Yorkers who keep a Kosher kitchen. You'll pay $10 a month to have available rooms listed in its directory of “Apartments That Bang,” but it's free to browse.
Although BangItOut only has about 100 rooms listed at a time, its Classifieds section is one of the site’s most popular, with 20,000 views a month. The vast majority of its listings are on the Upper West Side—a Mecca of sorts for young, Modern Orthodox Jews—but there are also openings in Washington Heights, the Upper East Side and the Village.
This Facebook-like site for roommate-seekers helps folks create attention-grabbing profiles that include photos, monthly budgets, and detailed responses to questions like what it’s like to live with you and what you’re looking for in a roommate.
The free site has an active message board, and is purely about roommate situations—no brokers allowed.
Touting itself as the “world’s largest social network for roommates, rooms, apartments, flats, rentals and sublets,” this 10-year-old site has people create profiles, then helps match up potential roomies by allowing folks to filter by such things as age or interest.
The website’s Social Connect feature lets users contact each other directly via telephone, email or social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter. Viewing ads, posting a profile and even sending messages is free, but you can’t respond to messages in your inbox or access the Social Connect feature unless you upgrade. It’s $5.95 for three days, $14.95 for two weeks and $29.95 for a month.
Actual humans supposedly screen each and every profile in RoomieMatch’s system to weed out “slimeball Internet rip-off artists.” Profiles aren’t actually posted to the site—matches are emailed directly to users based upon responses to a very detailed list of questions covering everything from dish-washing habits to recycling practices to tolerance of one-night stands. Creating a profile is free, but if you want to contact matches yourself, you’ll have to pony up $19.95 for the year.
Aimed at Facebook-addicted undergrads and recent grads, Roomidex is a free service that allows users to sign up through their favorite social networking site, answer a few quick questions about their smoking, drinking, cleaning and socializing habits, and receive instant recommendations of other roommate-seekers with whom they share mutual friends. If a user is interested, he or she can contact you through the Roomidex site, but won’t see your personal email address unless you choose to respond to the message.