Help Center




What roommate preferences am I allowed to advertise?

We understand that you want a perfect roommate as badly as you want a complimentary futon, and that the best way to acquire both is to provide detailed information about exactly who you are and what you are looking for! However, please keep in mind that, although the Fair Housing Act provides some gender preference exemptions in shared "common area" situations, it is is against the law to advertise preference for or base a decision on protected classifications. It is YOUR responsibility to make sure your listing is in compliance with any federal, state or local regulations. Under no circumstances are you allowed to advertise a preference based on the following federally protected categories:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National Origin
  • Handicap / Disability
  • Familial Status

Many states have additional restrictions, such as discrimination based on age or income source, so be sure to read up on your state and local laws before posting a listing with restrictive and potentially discriminatory criteria. We all bleed the same color, brother.

Privacy and the information you provide

We keep required registration information to a bare minimum because we take your privacy very seriously. All it takes to become a member is a valid email address and first name! The only registration information made public is your first name (or alias). We won't share any other information collected during registration unless we’re complying with a legal request. Sharing additional personal or professional information, such as a public email address, phone number, profile picture and links to social media accounts, is entirely optional. A more complete profile may add credibility and transparency, but we leave it to each member to decide for themselves what info they want made public. However, bear in mind that any information you add under account settings or within an individual listing can be seen by anyone viewing your listing on our site (or possibly even on third party sites via syndication.)

Unless you specifically choose to add contact information to your profile to receive direct communication, all inquiries and replies from other members will be made through our private messaging system, with an email notification from us asking you to login and reply. If you decide that you want to continue the conversation directly and share your phone number or email address (or contact them via info they provide), that is your choice. But, for those that wish to keep the dialogue anonymous, our messaging system will allow you to get a better read on the other person before sharing your personal contact information. “Favorite color” is always a safe start.

Location information: Providing a general location in your listing will help prospects find the right match when they’re all about the local vibe... But, we want to protect your-- yep, you guessed it-- privacy at the same time. We achieve that by:

       

               
  • Only requiring a city, state and zip code.
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  • Option to conceal your exact location. When placing a listing, you will select your location using a Google Places Autocomplete field. However, if you check the box “Please offset my location and do not expose my street  address”, your true location will be offset and displayed using a circle instead of an exact pin and your listing details page will not include the street address. We let every Waldo decide for himself how easy he is to find.
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Please keep in mind that, despite our privacy precautions, your exact location isn’t officially off the map. Approximated location, description and images with identifying characteristics make absolute privacy an unfortunate impossibility.

I do not live nearby, how do I know the place advertised really exists?

Excellent question-- We love when our users are clever and careful. If you or a trusty sidekick cannot visit a place in person, we recommend exercising caution before committing to a lease or paying fees. Please reading our "Common Scams" section to help you identify the most frequent and dangerous swindles.

How do I pay for a place?

When it is time to "get down to brass tacks,” it is up to you and the other party to decide on the best way to seal the deal. Ideally, you will be able to meet in person… But a solid shake isn’t everything. Make sure everything is legitimate and that you are covered in the event of fraud or theft. We recommend using an escrow service to hold your up-front costs until all parties are in agreement.

Safety First!

Here’s the sad truth: We live in a dangerous age, compounded by the ease with which nefarious characters can mislead, take advantage of, or abuse others by using false identities and information. Just because the member’s teeth sparkle on their social media does NOT guarantee this person is truly who they claim to be. ALWAYS stay safe. Take someone with you for the initial meeting or at least tell friends or family where and when you’re going. Do your best to verify their identity by messaging them via their provided social media accounts or doing a video chat, and so on.

       

This same warning applies when listing information about yourself and the rental space. Keep in mind that ANYONE, member or not, can see that information and potentially use it to find out more about you, send limited-offer pyramid schemes outside of BDRM.com or even stop by for an unexpected visit.