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Roommate Agreement Template

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A roommate agreement is a legal contract used for renting out a room in a shared rental property. The form is also used for setting the rules and living conditions that all roommates agree to follow. The roommates will often split the rent, expenses, and any supplies (e.g. cleaning supplies, toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc.).

College Roommate Agreement – Can be used specifically for sharing college dorms and apartments for students. Structures cleaning, quiet hours, guests, and more.

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Contents


What is a Roommate Agreement?

A roommate agreement allows roommates to create a contract amongst themselves to outline terms and conditions for sharing a property. In most cases, each roommate will have a private bedroom (and sometimes their own bathroom) and will share all other parts of the residence.

In 2017, 31.9% of adults lived in a shared living situation.

Shared Areas

  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Living room
  • Patio/Balcony
  • Parking
  • Outdoor Space
  • Storage Area
  • Any other common spaces

Unshared Areas

  • Bedroom
  • Any areas that are accessible only through the bedroom.

How to Find a Roommate

Finding a good roommate is never easy. That’s why in any roommate situation, it’s essential to vet the other person to make sure they are a good fit.

  1. Use the Web
  2. Meet with Roommates
  3. Screen a Roommate
  4. Decide if the Roommate is Qualified
  5. Sign the Roommate Agreement
  6. Moving in

Step 1 – Use the Web

Roommate situations are common with younger people; 25% of people between the ages of 18 to 24 are living in a shared living situation. Therefore, the best way to reach this group is online.

Top 5 Websites for Roommates

  1. Craigslist.org – Classifieds for people seeking roommates.
  2. Facebook – Reach out to friends and colleagues to live with someone.
  3. Roomster.com – General directory of roommates and classifieds.
  4. Roommates.com – Verifies identities of roommates.
  5. Airbnb – Use for short-term roommate situations.

Step 2 – Meet with Roommates

It’s best to meet with the roommate to understand each other’s living habits and needs. Once there is a mutual understanding, the screening of the roommate can begin. At this time, it’s best to get the roommate’s personal information and consent to conduct a background check with a rental application.

Step 3 – Screen a Roommate

Use any background check software to verify the individual’s credit and criminal history. This will generally cost between $15 to $45 and can be paid by the roommate when collecting their personal information.

Roommate Screening Services (top 5 websites)

Step 4 – Decide if the Roommate is Qualified

At this time, the roommates should all discuss with each other if the new roommate is right for the residence. If not, the roommate should be sent a rejection letter (known as an ‘adverse action’). If they are a suitable candidate, a roommate agreement can be signed.

Step 5 – Sign the Roommate Agreement

Write the agreement between the parties and ensure that each roommate signs the document. It’s also required that the landlord consent to any new roommate if the tenant does not have permission to sublease the property.

At the time of signing, the new roommate must pay the security deposit, 1st month’s rent, and any other initial fees.

Step 6 – Moving in

The roommate can choose when to move in, as long as the date/time fits with the other roommates’ schedules. The new roommate will be given access to all areas of the property, including the residence, their bedroom, and common areas.

How to Evict a Roommate

If you have legal grounds to kick out a roommate, it’s best to locate their signed agreement and follow the housing laws in the state.

Step 1 – Gather the Lease

If there is a lease with the roommate, then the housing laws may be applied. A roommate can be evicted for any of the following:

  • Nonpayment of rent or utilities.
  • Unwelcomed guests.
  • Unauthorized pets.
  • Property damage.
  • Illegal activity.
  • Staying after the lease expiration.
  • Any other lease violation.

If there is no lease or roommate agreement, the tenant is treated as a tenancy-at-will and must be given the state minimum notice period (usually 30 days). This can be done with the Month-to-Month Lease Termination Letter.

Step 2 – Contact the Landlord

Depending on local laws, the landlord might need to be contacted to sign an eviction notice. Before an eviction case can be filed against someone, they must be made aware of the violation. This can be done through an eviction notice (‘notice to quit’), which gives a specific time-period for notifying the tenant of their default.

Step 3 – Send the Eviction Notice

Only the landlord or any “master tenant” is legally allowed to give an eviction notice. For example, if the violation is nonpayment of rent, the tenant has anywhere from three (3) to fourteen (14) days to pay or vacate. If they do not concede to the instructions in the eviction notice, regardless of the type of violation, legal proceedings can begin at the local housing court.

Step 4 – Get a Judgment

At the court hearing, the judge will hear all evidence presented by both sides and will make their judgment. If the roommate is at fault, the judgment order will force them to move out immediately and, if they don’t, they will be forcibly removed by the sheriff’s office.

It is best to come to a mutually beneficial solution during any eviction proceeding before judgment is passed, as the whole court process can usually take anywhere from 30 to 90 days to complete.


Roommate Agreement: Sample

Download: PDF, Word (.docx), OpenDocument


 

How to Write a Roommate Agreement

Download: PDF, Word (.docx), OpenDocument

To begin, the roommates will need to download the agreement and enter their full names in the spaces provided. Next, enter the address of the rental property, the current date, and the full name of the landlord or property manager.

Step 1 – Rent

Enter the cost of the monthly rent. This is the amount the landlord receives on a monthly basis. Then, enter the portion of rent each roommate pays, followed by the dollar ($) amount of the rent.

Step 2 – Security Deposits

By the time the roommates are completing the agreement, they will have already signed the master lease with the landlord and paid the security deposit. Enter the total security deposit that was paid to the landlord. If the roommates shared the deposit equally, check the first box. If the roommates contributed different amounts to the deposit, enter each roommate’s dollar ($) contribution.

Step 3 – Utilities

If there are no utility costs involved with the rental (i.e., they’re all included in the rent price), this area can be left blank. Otherwise, the portion (as a fraction) of utility costs should be entered for each roommate. For example, if there are three (3) roommates total and they plan on splitting it equally, all three roommates would have “1/3” written in portion field.

The utilities each roommate is paying for should be listed in the two (2) lines provided. If the roommates will be splitting all of them, the utilities can be listed in the space for “Roommate 1,” and then a sentence saying “applies to all roommates” can be added. The dollar ($) amount of each roommates’ monthly utility payment should be specified under the description lines.

Step 4 – Cleaning

Cleaning is a topic that is often hotly-debated among roommates due to varying preferences of cleanliness. If the roommates will be writing a separate cleaning schedule and attaching it to the agreement, the first (1st) box should be checked. If the roommates agree to set a day aside for cleaning, the second (2nd) box should be checked. Then, the day of the week and the time should be entered to ensure all roommate are in agreement.

Step 5 – Overnight Guests

The roommates can choose from three (3) options regarding guests. If the roommates want to restrict guests to a certain number (#) of days per month, the first (1st) box should be checked, and the number of days should be specified.

If guests are only allowed when agreed upon by all roommates in advance, the second (2nd) box should be checked.

If the roommates wish to set no rules or restrictions regarding guests, the third (3rd) box should be checked.

Step 6 – Kitchen and Clean-up

This section allows the roommates to specify how they would like food to be shared and purchased. If the roommates agree to share their food among each other, the first (1st) box should be checked. If the roommates will be purchasing and storing their own food, the second (2nd) box should be selected. The amount of space each roommate is allotted should be written in the field provided.

Step 7 – Governing Law

Enter the name of the state in which the rental is located. If there is ever a legal dispute regarding the roommates, the laws of the state listed here will govern the dispute.

Step 8 – Additional Terms (Optional)

If the roommates wish to include information regarding smoking/drugs, parking, music, common areas, quiet hours, the permission of guests, or keys and locks, they can check the box next to the topic and enter any related information. If the parties need additional space to clarify a topic, it is recommended that they attach a supplemental form to the agreement.

Step 9 – Signatures

Each roommate will need to sign their name in the space provided (sign electronically with eSign), write the date in which they signed, and write their full printed name beneath their signature. Once all roommates have signed the form, it will officially be in effect. A copy should be made for each roommate. Making an additional copy and placing it the common area of the rental is suggested.