The Blind Spot: How to find the perfect housemate

An examination for cohabitation — because living together shouldn’t drive you apart

People say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover — but if the cover’s dating a known stripper and harbouring a quiet Baileys dependency, I’m not sticking around to read the bloody book, ok Andrew?

To help you make sure that your new “book” fits perfectly onto the shelf, I’ve put together a little questionnaire that’ll help you weed out any superficially charming but actually quite nasty cohabitants — or haven’t you seen Dirty John yet?

In fact, I only wish I’d deployed this test earlier myself. We’ve been through four housemates in as many months, and it can’t all be because of my housemate Max’s cooking!!! (No, he’s actually a very good chef, I think he was even a chalet boy at one point).

Pencils at the ready:

  1. Name:
  2. Age:
  3. Profession:
  4. Inside leg measurement:
  5. Raison d’etre:
  6. Where were you at school?
  7. Dayboy or Boarder?
  8. Badoit or Perrier? [Trick question: both!]
  9. 1650 or 1850? [Trick question: neither!]
  10. Do you like mid century furniture?
  11. Do you own any Le Creuset cookware?
  12. Do you take your work home with you?
  13. Will you take any bits of our home to work with you?
  14. Are you happy to chip in for an Aga?
  15. Do you have any fashionable intolerances?
  16. Can you bring some houseplants with you?
  17. Can we smoke on your balcony?
  18. Can we smoke with girls on your balcony?
  19. Can you introduce us to some girls?
  20. Can you work out how to make the Sonos play in the wetroom?
  21. Do you have Amazon Prime?
  22. How are you at gallery openings?
  23. How are you at safari dinner parties?
  24. How are you on safari?
  25. Do any of your older relations have a particularly relaxed attitude to nepotism?
  26. Do you mind me doing photo shoots, sometimes late at night, often with girls there, and there might be music and alcohol too, it’s fashion for god’s sake?
  27. Do you rap?

A lot of people like to deploy this test under strict exam conditions, and I’ve known one house go to the lengths of getting a vetted invigilator in to mitigate against cheating (some applicants are pretty liberal with their loo breaks, if you know what I mean). But then that was a particularly nice mezzanine apartment in Downtown Chelsea (Battersea), so you need to be sure, don’t you.

At ours, Max and I like to deploy a kind of good cop/bad cop routine. He hands them the test and rolls his eyes sweetly and says: “I’m so sorry about this, company policy, red tape, etc etc!”, while I sit pouting on the sofa in absolute silence, with a full ashtray and some particularly moody Persols. To each their own, I guess.

Now, why not buy a house together, while you’re at it?

Further Reading