Is it Safe to Look for Room-Mates on Craigslist?

I've been looking to move to Los Angeles so, I decided to jump on Craigslist

there are tons of some what affordable room-mate options

which almost would be a better idea to get a room-mate anyway to have a friend or two or how ever many plus its low risk with not paying full-rent elsewhere like I did before.

so,..would you suggest "hooking it up" literally 3,000 miles away to have a place to stay garunteed in L.A.

that's a smart idea right ?

6 Answers

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  • Lark
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are still some decent, mentally stable, roommate-worthy people using Craigslist, but you have to sift through the scammers and the spammers to find them, and you need a well-tuned BS detector to make those who seem trustable aren't manipulator putting on an act. I would instead doing the following:

    1. Tell everyone you know that you're making the move to LA and ask them to ask everyone they know if they know of anyone else who is also heading out West or already lives here. Chances are, someone within your six degrees of separation is around your age, affable, and making a similar move or currently living in LA. Even if they are still a stranger to you, having some form of personal connection makes them a bit more legit. Utilize Facebook.

    2. Try lesser-known classified sites. UCLA has an online community housing board, and though many of the listings are limited to those who go to UCLA, some are open to the public. It can be a good resource if you're looking for a roommate who is in the older college age range / grad student age range. Several larger houses of worship also have online classified sites that are open to the public. You don't need to be a member of their congregation to use the site. I go to Bel Air Presbyterian, and directed a few of my friends from college to the site over the summer when they were looking for summer housing for internships in LA. Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills and St. Monica's in Santa Monica also have sites. Obviously, you'll want to have consideration for the people who use the site, but you don't have to be a Presbyertian or a Catholic. If you're militantly opposed to organized religion or don't have respect for Christians then you don't want to use a church's classified site to find a roommate. If you do happen to be a Christian and would be interested in getting to know more when you're in LA, Bel Air Pres has a very active ministry for people 22-35 called the Foundry. They have a Facebook site with a lot of friendly people who might be willing to help if you posted on the wall. Just an idea.....

    3. Use websites specifically for finding roommates. Westside Rentals is a fee-paying service, but because of that, it attracts less flakes and con artists. This might also help: http://www.sharinghousing.com

    I'm still a college student and haven't had to look for a place yet, but I love interior design and pop on the website Apartment Therapy sometimes, and I know they've had several articles about finding roommates. Go there and do a search. You'll probably find links to several recommended sites.

    4. Skype with any potential roommate before meeting them face-to-face. It's possible that you will find someone on Craigslist. Talk with them first. Ask them to carry their phone around and give you a virtual tour of the apartment. Do your research on him / her. Use common sense. Never wire money to any stranger.

    By the way ---- I've never used Craigslist for housing, but I'm an artist by hobby who loves buying furniture and painting murals on them, and I've found almost everything through CL. I've been using the site since I was fifteen years old, and haven't been kidnapped or murdered. I also sell my art through Craigslist, and most people have been genuine, polite, and fair. I actually used the site last fall up in Palo Alto to buy a small sofa for my dorm room, and it was an easy, simple transaction. You don't have to be afraid of Craigslist, but you do have to use extra prudence.

    Good luck!!!!

    ~ skylark

  • OC1999
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    From 3,000 miles away..it is absolutely 100% NOT safe.

    If you are local it CAN be safe, but it is still high-risk and the odd's are against you. You need to treat this as you would a blind date. That is meet them in a public place. If they refuse to meet you personally..it is a scam so move on. This would probably wipe out 75% of the ad's right there. If you do meet them, let a friend/relative know where you will be, or even better bring someone else with you. Get their ID(where you can do a background check), references. These references include not only personal references, but employment, and even the previous roommate. Where you can contact them and find out why they left.

    Then if at any point in this process you get an uneasy feeling..take that as a sign and move on.

  • 7 years ago

    No, I'm sorry to say it but that is a very bad idea.

    Craigslist was sarted with all good intentions of helping people. Unfortunaely, we all know where good intentions lead! It is filled with sexual predators, con artists, thieves, all looking for someone they can prey on. Don't choose anyone from Craigslist. Don't become a victim!

    Remember, you personal safety is more important that saving a few dollars.

  • 7 years ago

    Nope. Craigslist is FULL of scams. Some people who post ads are predators. Others are scam artists, who will just take your deposit money and disappear. Beware.

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  • 7 years ago

    I would avoid Craigslist, period. So MANY creepy characters use the site, it's not even funny.

    Source(s): Used to buy things off Craigslist all the time. Now, I just use eBay instead where I don't have to see a needle sharing freak face to face.
  • Look, but don't touch.

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