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 often will split the rent, expenses, and any supplies (e.g. cleaning supplies, toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc.).
College Roommate Agreement – For use in college dorms and apartments. Structures cleaning, quiet hours, guests, and more.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
A roommate agreement allows roommates to create a contract amongst themselves. The agreement outlines terms and conditions for living on the property. Most commonly, a roommate’s private areas consist of their bedroom while sharing all other parts of the residence.
In 2017, 31.9% of adults lived in a shared living situation1
- Living room;
- Outdoor Space;
- Storage Area; and
- Any other common space.
- Bedroom; and
- Any areas that are accessible only through the bedroom.
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.
- Use the Web
- Meet with Roommates
- Screen a Roommate
- Decide if the Roommate is Qualified
- Sign the Roommate Agreement
- Moving in
Roommate situations are common with younger people as 25% of those between 18 to 24 years old living in a shared living situation2. Therefore, the best way to reach this group is online.
- Craigslist.org – Classified of wanted roommates.
- Facebook – Reach out to friends and colleagues to live with someone.
- Roomster.com – General directory of roommates and classifieds.
- Roommates.com – Verifies identities of roommates.
- Airbnb – Use for short-term roommate situations.
It’s best to meet with the roommates to understand each other’s living habits and goals. Once there is an understanding of each person’s needs, 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.
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.
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’).
Write the agreement between the parties and ensure that each roommate authorizes the document. It’s also required that the landlord must 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.
The roommate can now take occupancy. They should suggest a time that fits with the other roommates’ schedules on when best to move-in. The new roommate will be given access to all areas of the property, including the residence, their bedroom, and common areas.
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; and
- 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 may be needed 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, per State law, of the tenant’s rights.
Step 3 – Send the Eviction Notice
Only the landlord or any “master tenant” is legally allowed to give an eviction notice. For nonpayment of rent, the time-period is anywhere from three (3) to fourteen (14) days the roommate has to pay or vacate. If not, a filing with the local housing court can be made where legal proceedings can begin.
Step 4 – Get a Judgment
At the court hearing, the Judge will hear both sides of the story and, most likely, will side against the roommate being evicted. The judgment will commonly force the roommate to move-out immediately and, if they don’t, will be forcibly moved by the Sherriff’s office.
It is best to come to a mutually beneficial solution during any eviction proceeding, as it can usually take anywhere from 30 to 90 days to complete.
Before heading to the first step, all roommates will need to download the agreement and enter their 1) full names in the spaces provided, 2) enter the property’s address, the date they are entering into the agreement, and 3) 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 fraction 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 some roommates contributed different amounts to the deposit, enter each roommate’s dollar ($) contribution.
Step 3 – Utilities
If there are no utility costs involved with the rental (they’re all included in the rent price), this area can be left blank. Otherwise, the portion (in fraction form) of utility costs should be entered for each roommate. For example, if there are three (3) roommates total and they plan on splitting it equally, all three roommates would have “1/3” written in portion field.
The utilities each roommate is paying for should be listed in the two (2) lines provided. If the roommates will be splitting all of them, the name(s) of all the utilities can be listed in the space for “Roommate 1”, and then a sentence saying “applies to all roommates” can be added. The dollar ($) amount of each roommate’s monthly utility payment should be specified under the description lines.
Step 4 – Cleaning
Cleaning is a topic that is often hotly-debated among roommates since differing personalities often have varying preferences for how clean they prefer the rental. If the roommates will be writing a separate cleaning schedule and attaching it to the agreement, the first (1st) box should be checked. On the other hand, 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 on the same page.
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 never allowed (unless agreed upon in advance), the second (2nd) box should be checked.
Finally, 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 provided field.
Step 7 – Governing Law
Simply enter the name of the state in which the rental is located. If there was ever a legal dispute regarding the roommates, the state listed is the laws in which the agreement will be governed by.
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, and/or keys or 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 go into effect. A copy should be made for each roommate. Additionally, making a copy and placing it the common area of the rental is suggested.