Roommate Agreement Information
A Roommate Agreement is also known as:
- Roommate Contract
- Housemate Agreement
What is a Roommate Agreement?
A Roommate Agreement is a written contract made between the residents of a rental unit. It outlines the terms and conditions of living together agreed to by the roommates, as well as the rights and obligations of each resident.
Roommate Agreement vs. Lease Agreement:
It's important not to confuse a Roommate Agreement with a Lease Agreement. A lease is a legal contract between a landlord and one or more tenants, while a Roommate Agreement is a contract made between the tenants or roommates only.
All residents who are named on the lease are equally liable for rent payments and damage to the rental property.
Why Should I Have a Roommate Contract?
Whether you're living with roommates in a college dorm, an apartment, or a house, it is a good idea to put your informal arrangements in writing to avoid future misunderstandings.
Creating a Roommate Agreement provides an opportunity to have a serious conversation about individual financial responsibilities, house rules, and household duties. Furthermore, it gives you the chance to discuss how any issues or disputes will be resolved should they arise.
What to Include in a Roommate Agreement:
Your Roommate Agreement should include the following information:
- Landlord and roommate information
- Term or length of the agreement
- How rent payments will be split among roommates and how often rent will be paid
- Whether a security deposit is required and how the payment will be shared
- How bills and expenses such as heat, electricity, and internet will be divided
- Rules for terminating a roommate's tenancy
- House rules, duties, and restrictions (see below)
House Rules to Include in Your Roommate Agreement:
Your Roommate Agreement should describe the rules, duties, and restrictions agreed upon by all residents, including rules around:
- Smoking and alcohol consumption on the premises
- Parties or other gatherings
- Overnight guests
- Specific quiet hours
LawDepot's Roommate Agreement form also allows you to specify:
- How chores will be divided
- Whether pets will be permitted
- How parking space(s) will be allocated
- What is considered personal property
- What parts of the unit are considered shared space
- How disagreements will be resolved
What Happens if a Roommate Moves Out?
Everyone residing at the property who has signed the lease is accountable for the full payment of rent, meaning if one roommate leaves, you (and any remaining roommates) are responsible for paying their portion of rent.
If you and your remaining roommates cannot afford to cover the departed roommate's rent, you can ask your landlord for consent to sublease to a new roommate or to amend the lease to include a new tenant. Once you find a new roommate, it's also a good idea to create and sign a new Roommate Agreement.
Is a Roommate Agreement Legally Binding?
Some aspects of the Roommate Agreement, such as the division of household duties, are unlikely to be enforced in court. However, when it comes to financial arrangements, it may be possible to take legal action against a roommate who fails to pay their share of the rent or refuses to cover costs related to damage they caused.