Among this area's longest-term roommate referral services:
Anouk's: Specializes, though not exclusively, in foreign-language clients. $30 fee with guaranteed placement, or money refunded. Personal interview and written registration. Hours: 3-8 p.m. 8508 Good Luck Rd., Lanham, Md. Tel: 552-1873 (answering service).
Christian Oasis: Specializes in, though not limited to, placement of "committed Christians." Registration by phone or in person. Fees: $15 registration; $20 placement. Hours: 4-8 p.m. M, W, Th. In business 5 1/2 years. 1010 Rockville Pike, Suite 204, Rockville, Md. Tel: (301) 468-0120 (answering service).
Metro Roommate Service, Inc.: Largest area service with six offices in the Washington area. In business 5 years. Two fees: $50 landlord fee, good for one year's service; $25 tenant fee, good for one-time placement. Company visits landlord (or existing group) and inspects house. Interview of tenant required. Services all groups: professionals, short-term tenants, divorcees and separations, gays and students, all incomes. Main office: 4660 Kenmore Ave., Suite 1018, Alexandria, Va. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. M-F. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat. 751-3133.
Roommate Locator Service: One year old. $30 fee, includes credit and employment check of clients (not landlord). Photos taken of tenant, available for inspection by landlord. Hours: by appt. 4700 Auth Pl., Camp Springs, Md. (301) 423-0909 (answering service).
Roommates Preferred: Oldest area service (8 years). $30 non-refundable fee, no time limit. If not satisfied, fee covers second placement if within two months. Personal interview required of house seeker and at least one member of existing group. Hours: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. M-F; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 702 Independence Ave. SE (nr. Eastern Mkt.). 547-4666.
Sharing Inc.: $30 fee, good for one year. Personal interview preferred. "I will not take clients whom, for various reasons, I feel I cannot service," says spokeswoman Susan Fales. Company represents consolidation of former services, Roommate Exchange and Roommate Connection. Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. M-Th; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. F; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 6560 Backlick Rd., Suite 214, Springfield, Va. (703) 569-8383.