Finding a roommate as a single parent involves more than just finding someone to split the rent with. It’s about making sure your living environment remains a safe, harmonious space for you and your child. However, there are many benefits to house-sharing as a single parent. If you’re on the fence, here’s a guide to help you navigate the challenges of renting as a single parent and how to find a compatible roommate.

Why Single Parents Might Choose Shared Living

There are a whole range of reasons why a single parent might choose to live with a roommate as opposed to on their own. Here are a few of them:

  • Financial benefits – With the cost of living, moving into their own home isn’t viable for many single parents. Living with a roommate can offer single parents their independence while providing a safe sanctuary.
  • Built-in support system & community – Get advice, help, or even just someone to talk to. This can ease the stress of parenting tenfold. 
  • More security – Living on your own can be scary for single parents. With more than one person looking after the safety of your child, you can breathe a little easier.
  • Reduced isolation – Single parenting can be lonely at times, but even just having another adult in the house can reduce isolation.
  • Flexibility and convenience – Having someone reliable around can be a game changer when something comes up.

The Challenges of Living with a Roommate

Balancing Privacy and Shared Space

Single parents need to balance communal living and maintaining a private, family-oriented space. You’ll need to find a roommate who respects boundaries and understands the dynamic of living with a child. Not everyone is comfortable or experienced with children, and their expectations may differ from yours.

Safety Concerns

Safety is essential. You want a trustworthy roommate who won’t pose a risk to your child. This means you need to thoroughly vet potential roommates. Make sure to communicate about expectations and house rules before you agree to move in with them.

Lifestyle Compatibility

Your potential roommate should have a lifestyle that complements your and your child’s. Whether it’s noise level, visitors, or personal habits, compatibility in these areas can make or break the living arrangement. As a single parent, your child’s routine and comfort should come first.

Financial Stability

A reliable, financially stable roommate is crucial for single parents. Financial stability may already be a stressor when you have a child. You can’t afford the added burden of a roommate who might struggle with rent payments.

Emotional Support

Single parenting can be challenging, and a good roommate will provide emotional support. Ideally, you want to live with someone who’s empathetic and understands the pressures you’re under, even if they aren’t directly involved in your parenting.

Overcoming These Challenges

Clear Communication

Be transparent about your needs and expectations. Discuss household rules, visitor policies, and shared spaces. Make sure your potential roommate understands your child’s routine and any specific requirements you might have.

Background Checks

Many roommate matching services offer features that help verify the identity and background of potential roommates. This added layer of security can provide peace of mind.

Compatibility Assessment

Use personality and lifestyle assessments to gauge compatibility. Look for someone who shares your living habits and preferences, as this will help you match with someone whose lifestyle aligns with yours.

Setting Boundaries

Establish boundaries from the start. Make sure your roommate knows which areas of the home are private and which are shared. Discuss how to handle noise, guests, and cleanliness. Having these conversations early on can prevent misunderstandings later.

Financial Agreement

Create a clear financial agreement outlining rent, utilities, and other shared expenses. Discuss what happens if one party can’t meet their financial obligations. Having this in writing can prevent conflicts and create security for you and your child.

Child-Friendly Considerations

Make sure your potential roommate is comfortable with children and understands their needs. Discuss how you will handle interactions between your child and your roommate. It’s important that your roommate respects your parenting style and supports a positive environment for your child to grow and thrive in.

Encourage Communication

Regular check-ins can help address any minor issues before they escalate into something bigger. Being honest about your feelings can make living together smoother and more enjoyable.

The Importance of Finding the Right Roommate

The importance of finding the right roommate cannot be overstated. We’ve already mentioned the benefits of living with someone else above, but it’s important that their ways of living align with yours. There are a lot of challenges that come with parenting, let alone single parenthood, that can be overwhelming at times. The right roommate will be adaptable, able to offer a supportive environment, provide financial stability, and even enhance your quality of life. 

How to Find the Perfect Roommate

Roommate-matching websites, such as SpareRoom, can help single parents find roommates. You can search for child-friendly roommates that are compatible with your way of living. Use SpareRoom’s filters to narrow down your search based on your preferences. Make sure to meet potential roommates before you agree to live with them to get a feel of their personality and whether it aligns with yours. And remember – if you’re unsure about someone, even if it’s just a gut feeling, don’t move in with them.


Finding the perfect roommate as a single parent might seem daunting at first, but with careful planning and the right tools, it’s entirely achievable. By understanding the unique challenges, setting clear expectations, and utilizing platforms like SpareRoom, you can find a roommate who complements your lifestyle, contributes positively to your home environment, and makes you and your child feel safe.