Roommate (Room Rental) Agreement

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A roommate agreement is between the members of a residence and outlines the rules for living on the property. All the individuals listed in the contract shall be liable to each other in regards to payments for rent, bills, services, and any other agreed-upon charges. In addition, if there is any damage in the communal areas the roommates, as a whole, will be liable.

If there is a separate master lease agreement, it must be attached to the roommate agreement after signing.

College Roommate Agreement – To establish an agreement or understanding between individuals living in a dorm room on-campus.

By State

Table of Contents

What is a Roommate Agreement?

A roommate agreement outlines the obligations of roommates living in a shared residence. The landlord can be included but is not required. Its main purpose is to establish the rules for living on the premises.

What Should be Included?

  • Property Details
    • Address
    • Amenities
    • Parking
  • Private Areas
    • Bedroom
  • Shared Areas
    • Bathroom
    • Kitchen
    • Living Room
    • Balcony / Outdoor Areas
  • Monthly Payments ($)
    • Rent
    • Utilities
    • Other Fees (if any)
  • Term
    • Start Date
    • End Date
  • Deposits
    • Security Deposit
    • Pet Deposit (if any)

(Video)

How to Find a GOOD Roommate (7 steps)

Step 1 – Posting via Social Media

Make a post on popular social media sites like Facebook or Instagram. It’s best to find someone within a network of friends and is recommended as a good person.

Step 2 – Post a Listing

If no one is looking with their social groups, it’s time to find a roommate by using 3rd party websites. This is a straightforward process of listing the property details and accept incoming applicants.

Popular websites include:

Step 3 – Meeting with the Potential Roommate

As the requests come in, request to obtain income verification and set up a meeting. If the individual passes the eye test, give them a rental application to fill in to verify their credentials.

A non-refundable fee between $20 to $50 can be required to pay for the credit and background check.

Step 4 – Screen the Roommate

It’s highly recommended that the roommate is screened for credit, criminal history, credit report, and eviction data from all 50 States.

Recommended Services

Step 5 – Verify References

It’s recommended to contact the roommate’s employer and the previous landlord to get an understanding of their character.

Step 6 – Write an Agreement

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word (.docx), or OpenDocument

The parties should get together to write an agreement. This should include the full terms and conditions related to tenancy.

Step 7 – Moving-in

After a roommate agreement has been signed, and all deposits and 1st month’s rent is paid, the roommate can move-in to the premises.

Frequently Asked Questions (7)


Are roommate agreements legally binding?

Yes, a roommate agreement must be followed, by all parties, until its end date.


What happens if a roommate breaks their agreement?

The roommate will be subject to the eviction laws in their State. The landlord or a roommate can send a Notice to Quit citing the roommate’s violation with a specific time period to correct the issue.


How to evict (kick out) a roommate?

The process for evicting a roommate depends on the State. In most cases, this will be the same process as if evicting a normal tenant.

The 5 steps usually include:

  1. Give the roommate official notice;
  2. File an eviction case (with local housing court);
  3. Send the summons and complaint to the roommate;
  4. Attend court hearing; and
  5. Obtain re-possession of the property.

How to break a roommate agreement?

There is no legal way to break without the roommate’s permission. To get out of an agreement, a roommate can request to quit with a fee (usually 1-month’s rent) or negotiate another alternative.


Should a roommate be added to the original lease?

Depends if subleasing is allowed in the original lease. If allowed, the roommate does not need to be added.

If subleasing is not allowed, the roommate will be required to obtain the landlord’s consent and possibly be added to the lease.


How to ask a roommate for rent money?

Send them a polite text message or e-mail when rent is due. Try not to bring up around other roommates as it could lead to embarrassment.

It’s recommended to require auto-pay as part of any roommate arrangement to avoid this issue.


What if a roommate abandons a lease agreement?

If a roommate abandons a lease then the other roommates will be able to make a small claims filing with the local court. The roommate that vacated the property will be liable for rent as mentioned in their agreement.

If there is no agreement, the roommate is considered month-to-month and only liable for 1-month’s rent. Even this would be difficult to collect without some kind of agreement.


Sample: Roommate Agreement

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word (.docx), OpenDocument

How to Write

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word (.docx), OpenDocument

I. The Parties

(1) Roommate Agreement Date. Before this agreement is signed, the first calendar date when its contents obligate its Signature Parties must be established. Use this first date of effect to complete the language in the First Article’s initial statement.

(2) Roommates. Every Roommate that shall participate in and sign this agreement will need to be identified in this role. Therefore, present the name of each Roommate to the space provided.

(3) Landlord. This agreement may be signed between a Lease Holder or Sublessor who has the (ideally written) approval of the Property Owner or Manager and will act as the Landlord for the premises where the Roommates are concerned. Furnish the full name of the Party who manages the property and the Roommates’ behavior as the Landlord in the First Article.

II. Premises

(4) Address. The premises where the Roommates will live as a result of this agreement should be documented with its physical location or address. Furnish the building number, street, unit number, city, state, and zip code needed to find and visit this property.

(5) Bedrooms. Document the number of bedrooms on the premises that will be rented by the Roommates.

(6) Bathrooms. Record the number of bathrooms found on the concerned premises.

(7) Common Areas. Furnish the number of common or communal areas available to the Roommates on the premises.

(8) Private Areas. Report the number of private rooms or areas found on the premises that the Roommates can access and utilize (alone).

III. Term

(9) Fixed Lease. The lifespan of this agreement will require documentation. If there will be a definitive length of time when this lease will grant occupancy to and obligate the Roommates, then select the “Fixed Lease” statement’s checkbox. This definition to the lease term shall require further discussion

(10) Term Starting Date. The first date of the Roommates’ occupancy of the premises under this agreement in a fixed-term lease should be documented if this option has been selected.

(11) Term Ending Date. The final calendar date where the Roommates’ occupancy is required and allowed on the premises must also be defined if the “Fixed Lease” option has been selected.

(12) Month-To-Month Lease. If the Landlord and Roommate(s) are entering an at-will agreement where each of these Parties may terminate the lease terms and occupancy of the premises so long as a predetermined number of days’ notice is given, then select the second checkbox statement.

(13) Starting Date. Indicate the first calendar date when the monthly lease agreement will enable the Roommates to live in the premises in exchange for satisfying the conditions and terms of this lease where requested by the second option.

(14) Notice Obligation. Report the minimum number of days before the desired end date when the Terminating Party must inform the Remaining Parties that his or her participation in this lease will end.

IV. Rent

(15) Same Rent Option. Naturally, all the Roommates will be required to contribute to the rent requirements of this agreement. If each Roommate will be obligated to pay the same amount when rent is due, then select the first statement from Article IV and document the exact amount that must be paid by each Roommate on the due date.

(16) Weekly Payment. One of three checkbox definitions can be used to define how often the rent amount will be paid by each Roommate. If the defined rent amount is due once a week, select the first checkbox and report the day of the week when rent will be due.

(17) Monthly Payment. Select the second payment deadline to indicate that rent will be due from each Roommate once a month. If so, make sure to document which two-digit calendar day of the month that the reported rent amount must be paid by each Roommate.

(18) Other. There may be another more specialized payment arrangement that the Landlord and Roommates have agreed to, especially if the Landlord is a Sublessor. If so, then the checkbox associated with the word “Other” should be selected and the exact due date for each Roommate’s rent payment reported on the blank line provided. 

(19) Different Rent Option. If the above choices do not allow an adequate definition for the rent payments that the Roommates must satisfy, then select “Different Rent” and describe the agreement the Roommates and Landlord intend to follow. For instance, one or more of the Roommates may be obligated to pay a different rent amount or the rent will vary depending on the week or month. Keep in mind that the information here will dictate the amount each Roommate must pay and when his or her rent payment will be due.  

V. Payment Instructions

(20) Rent Instructions. Now that the payment amount every Roommate will be obligated to pay the Landlord for the right to occupy the concerned premises has been solidified, it will be time to discuss how the rent must be paid. Some Landlords may prefer virtual payments such as those submitted online or via a wire transfer while other Landlords may prefer physical payment methods such as a check or certified check. Document how each Roommate must submit the owed rent when it is due and where this payment must be received.

VI. Late Fee

(21) Late Fee Penalty. There may be times when one or more Roommates face the possibility of failing to submit the rent in a timely manner. If the Landlord intends to impose a late fee upon a Roommate who has not paid the rent after a certain number of days then select the checkbox corresponding to the “Late Fee” statement in Article VI.

(22) Late Fee Details. Document the late fee amount that will be assessed to a Roommate’s account if he or she has not paid rent within a given number of days from its due date and the maximum number of days that may pass after the due date when an unpaid rent bill may be satisfied without this penalty being imposed to the spaces provided.

(23) Late Fee Calculation. Select one of the checkboxes provided to indicate if the late fee is a penalty that shall only be imposed once a rent cycle or if the fee defined above will be added to the Roommate’s overdue account once a day on every day it is late until paid.

(24) No Late Fee Penalty. If the Landlord does not intend to impose a late fee, then mark the “No Late Fee” checkbox in Article VI.

VII. Security Deposit

(25) No Security Deposit Required. The majority of Landlords will require that their Tenants submit a security deposit as a safety precaution against damages that may be caused by their Tenants to the property being leased. If the Landlord intends to waive or dismiss a security deposit requirement from the Roommates then this must be established in this paperwork. To release the Roommates from submitting a security deposit, the first statement in Article VII must be selected.

(26) Security Deposit Requirement. If the Landlord will require that a security deposit be submitted by each Roommate or by the Roommates as a whole then place a mark in the “Is Required” checkbox. Engaging this requirement means that some further definition concerning its amount must be presented next.

(27) Security Deposit Amount. The amount making up the security deposit will need to be agreed upon by all the Participants of this agreement when it is required. To this end, establish the security deposit amount as equal to a single month’s rent amount, equal to two months’ rent amount, or as some “Other” amount by selecting one of the checkbox options displayed. Bear in mind that if the security deposit will not be either one or two months’ rent then, the exact dollar amount to be submitted by the Roommates must be defined in the “Other” option.

VIII. Returning Security Deposit

(28) Security Deposit Return. Should the lease conclude successfully without any damages or violations that must be paid by the Roommates, then each Roommate who has submitted a security deposit will be entitled to its return. Every County and/or State will have a time limit after the successful termination of a lease that will mandate how long the Landlord is given to assess if a cure must be obtained from the security amount and return the remaining balance or the full amount (if no payments are required). This timeline will wholly depend upon the laws of the state that governs the premises. Report the maximum number of days after the termination of the lease that dictate how long the Landlord has to return the security amount (minus cures to damages/violations) in the space provided. This number of days must be compliant with the current statutes of the county or state whose laws apply to the premises.

IX. Specific Rooms

(29) Living Arrangement. The living situation of the Roommates should be solidified in Article IX. Thus, select the first checkbox if the Roommates will live in specific bedrooms or select the second checkbox if the Roommates will be required to share bedrooms with each other. 

X. Proration Period

(30) No Proration Needed. If one or more of the Roommates will begin their occupancy of the concerned premises on the exact calendar date when this lease term begins, select the checkbox attached to the statement “On The Start Date.”

(31) Prorated Occupancy. In some cases, one or more of the Roommates may require occupancy before the formal start date of this agreement. If so, the rent owed to the Landlord for this early move-in will need to be defined so that it can be paid. For such a scenario, select “Before The Start Date” as the definition to Article X. Once done, record the first calendar date of the early move-in and the amount of money that must be paid as rent for this time.

XI. Pre-Payment

(32) Rent Pre-Payment. If the Roommates must submit a rent prepayment to enter this lease, then such a requirement must be established in Article XI by selecting the “Pre-Pay Rent” definition.

(33) Applicable Pre-Payment. If applicable, define the amount that must be paid by the Roommates by the time this document is signed as well as the first and last date of occupancy this prepayment will apply to (i.e. the first and last date of this lease).

(34) No Pre-Payment. If the Landlord does not require a prepayment of rent at the time this paperwork is signed by all the concerned Parties, then select the second checkbox.

XII. House Rules

(35) Smoking. Many would strongly recommend that a frank discussion between the Roommates and the Landlord is engaged regarding common issues that come up in day-to-day living. The results of such a discussion should be documented in the Twelfth Article beginning with the activities of smoking, drinking alcohol, or drug use. If a discussion has yielded a policy that the Landlord and Roommates will agree to then mark the first checkbox and document the rules governing these activities when on the premises to the space provided.

(36) Parking. If a policy regarding “Parking” has been established, then select the second checkbox from this list. A space has been made available to discuss if the Landlord will provide parking spaces to the roommates, how many spaces will be available, the location of all such spaces, and any costs that may be required of the Roommates or to solidify that the Landlord will not be obligated to provide parking spaces to the Roommates. It is worth noting that if the Landlord is a Tenant of the Property Manager, then he or she should gain additional approval before making parking spaces associated with these premises available to the Roommates. For instance, if the Property Manager wishes that only one automobile is allowed to park in a specific parking space, then the Landlord and Roommates should not set up a rotation schedule for who parks their vehicle in the available parking space(s).

(37) Overnight Guests. If the Landlord and Roommates have decided to establish whether the Roommates may have Guests on the premises overnight and, if so, what rules would apply to the Roommate(s) with the Guest (and the Guest), then the “Overnight Guests” checkbox should be selected and a listing of the rules or policies that apply be documented in the space available.

(38) Quiet Hours.  If the Roommates will be required to maintain a certain level of quiet during predetermined hours on a daily basis or during weekends, holidays, and events then mark the checkbox “Quiet Hours.” This should be accompanied by the times, days, and/or calendar dates that the Roommates will agree to limit the noise they produce to remain compliant with this agreement.

(39) Keys & Access. The keys assigned to the Roommates as well as the areas where these keys grant access should be defined. Mark the fifth checkbox on this list and provide this report as requested. It is strongly recommended that this area is completed since “Keys And Access” will concern security and boundaries the Landlord expects upheld by the Roommates and vice versa.

(40) Shared Areas. If there are areas or rooms on the premises that will be available to the Roommates to access and use privately or as a group then select the sixth checkbox and define all shared areas available to the Roommates as well as any rules of behavior that must be complied with.

(41) Other. There may be “Other” policies that the Roommates and/or Landlord will be expected to uphold (excluding utilities and services). If so, make the final checkbox presented on this list and provide a record of all such policies and agreements the Roommates and Landlord will be obligated to follow.

XIII. First (1st) Month’s Rent

(42) Upon Execution. Article XIII shall define when the Roommates must submit the rent payment for the first month. If this rent payment will be due upon the “Execution Of This Agreement” then select the first statement. This means that the Roommates will be expected to submit the first month’s rent amount to the Landlord by the time this paperwork is signed. When this option is selected, a Roommate who is not able to pay the first month’s rent amount to the Landlord will not be allowed to sign this agreement.

(43) Upon Lease Term. If payment for the first month’s rent will be required of the Roommates by the first calendar date of the lease term (as defined previously in the Third Article) then, select the “First (1st) Day” checkbox. If this option is selected, each Signature Roommate will only be allowed to occupy the premises if he or she has paid the first month’s rent by the time of move-in.

XIV. Cleaning

(44) Not Hire A Cleaner. The Fifteenth Article will discuss the cleanliness of the premises and how the Roommates will be expected to maintain it. If none of the Roommates will be obligated to hire a Cleaner, then select the first checkbox presented. Notice this choice requires additional definition.

(45) Cleaner Scheduling. If the Roommates will not be obligated to hire a Cleaner then indicate if each will be expected to maintain the cleanliness and hygiene of the premises by selecting the first checkbox displayed in this option otherwise, to impose a cleaning schedule, select the second checkbox and document the cleaning schedule that the Roommates must follow to the space provided.

(46) Hire A Cleaner. Select the “Hire A Cleaner” checkbox if the Roommates must hire a professional service to clean the premises. It is recommended that an attachment with any requirements the Landlord wishes met (i.e. a specific cleaning company) and the share of cleaning payments that must be met by the Roommates is included with this agreement when given the opportunity (see Article XVI or Article XXI.).

XV. Monthly Reserve

(47) Monthly Reserve. Some day-to-day expenses will usually be required in a household. For instance, soap, paper towels, polishers, road salt, and other maintenance items are often found in homes. If the Roommates must contribute a dollar amount every month to make sure such items are always in stock, select the “Monthly Reserve” requirement from Article XV and produce the dollar amount each Roommate must contribute to this reserve on a monthly basis.

(48) No Monthly Reserve. If no contribution to the maintenance of this premises should be paid regularly for day-to-day items required for the household then produce a check in the second checkbox.

XVI. Utilities & Services

(49) Gas/Oil/Propane. As mentioned, the topic of the utilities and the services that are not included in the rent yet are required for the operation of a household will need some definition. If the Roommates and the Landlord have come to an agreement regarding the gas, oil, or propane needs of the premises during the lease term then select the first checkbox in Article XVI.

(50) Gas/Oil/Propane Payments. The Roommates can choose to each pay an equal share to cover the gas, the oil, and/or the propane utilized by the premises or divide this bill under some other arrangement. Document the responsibility the Roommates agree to uphold regarding the gas, oil, or propane bill for the premises by selecting the checkbox for the “Shared Equally” option or the checkbox attached to the blank line. If the Roommates will not pay equal portions then the open-ended checkbox option will require a report dictating how the payment for this utility will be divided. If each Roommate will not be obligated to pay an equal share of the “Gas/Oil/Propane” costs then the second option must be chosen and the breakdown of payments owed by the Roommates should be documented.

(51) Water/Sewer. If the Roommates will need to be responsible for the water and sewer services available to the premises, then select the second checkbox topic of this list.

(52) Water/Sewer Payments. Any discussion regarding the water or sewer bills needed for the premises should be documented. Therefore indicate if this utility expense will be shared equally by the Roommates or under a payment schedule that is furnished to the blank option.

(53) Electricity. The Roommates will likely be responsible to contribute or pay for their electrical needs. If so, select the “Electricity” checkbox.

(54) Electricity Payments. If the Roommates will be obligated to pay the electric bill, define whether each Roommate will pay an equal share of the monthly electric bill or if a specific percentage will be assigned to each Roommate by marking the first or second choice presented. If the Roommates will be assigned different percentages of the electric bill to pay then make sure to document the ratio each will be held to pay for in the space provided.

(55) Garbage/Trash Removal. Some Landlords will obligate their Tenants to pay for the garbage or trash removal services needed for the premises. If this is the case then select the checkbox associated with the “Garbage/Trash Removal” label.

(56) Garbage/Trash Removal Payment. If applicable, use the checkbox options to define whether the Roommates will pay for such expenses equally or, by marking the blank option to establish each one will be assigned a share of this expense to pay (then using the blank space to define how much each Roommate must pay).

(57) Cable TV. If the premises will subscribe for cable television services and the Roommates will be obligated to pay such an expense then select the “Cable TV” box.

(58) Cable TV Payment. If this bill will be split equally among the Roommates, select the “Shared Equally” box. Otherwise, if only one or more but not all will be obligated to contribute to the cable bill or if the Roommates will pay different shares for this service, mark the open-ended checkbox and utilize the provided area to detail the specific cable tv payment obligations each Roommate will follow.

(59) Internet. If the premises will require that the Roommates pay for internet services then locate and select the checkbox “Internet.”

(60) Internet Payment. If this is the case, then each Roommate’s responsibility to pay this bill must be documented using one of the two checkboxes in this area. Therefore either the “Shared Equally” box should be selected to indicate each Roommate will pay an equal part of the internet bill or, if different Roommates agree to pay different portions of this bill, the open-ended checkbox should be marked and the payment obligations for the internet bill assigned to each Roommate presented.

(61) Other. Additional utilities and/or services may be similarly defined using the areas reserved for “Other” agreements. By marking the “Other” checkbox then documenting the name of the utility, service, or amenity that will require regular payment the Landlord and Roommates can solidify any additional obligations that have not yet been covered. For example, the premises may be required by the Property Manager to pay into an alarm or security service for a storage or bike room or that renter’s insurance must be held by the Occupants of its premises. If the Roommates will be expected to pay for any such services or amenities then such topics must be documented with the financial requirements that each must meet.

(62) Other Utility/Service Payment. After documenting the type of utility, service, or amenity requiring payment from the Roommates, select one of the checkboxes available in this area to define whether all the Roommates will pay an equal share of the bill or whether a specific payment arrangement has been agreed to. If a specific payment agreement regarding the defined utility, service, or amenity has been reached, then it must be documented in the blank space provided.

XX. Governing Law

(63) State Jurisdiction. The state where this premises is located will impose its laws upon this agreement, the management of the premises, the Landlord, and the Roommates. Furnish the name of this state to establish which jurisdiction will govern this lease, the premises, and these Parties.

XXI. Additional Terms And Conditions

(64) Provisions To Roommate Agreement. This paperwork has established the basics needed to present the arrangement the Landlord and Roommates however, if there are any additional topics that the Roommates and Landlord have discussed and desire to be a part of this agreement, then they must be presented in Article XXI even if an attachment is made and referred to. Use the space in this article to present such provisions or the title of the attachment containing these additional conditions and agreements.

XXII. Entire Agreement

(65) Landlord Signature And Name. To place this agreement in effect and engage the conditions and terms of occupancy that the Roommates and Landlord will adhere to, the Landlord will need to sign his or her name then print it. These actions should only be performed if the Landlord has reviewed the completed document and its attachments and intends to comply with the content of these items.

(66) Landlord Signature Date. Once he or she has completed the signing process, the Landlord is required to document the current date to establish when he or she acknowledged and accepted the conditions and terms of the agreement above.

(67) Roommate Signature And Printed Name. Every Roommate must read this paperwork and the provisions defined within it. Upon agreement, every Roommate must sign his or her name as well as print his or her name.

(68) Roommate Signature Date. Every Signature Roommate participating in this agreement must produce the current date immediately after signing his or her name.