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Roommate (Room Rental) Agreement

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Roommate (Room Rental) Agreement

Updated May 13, 2024

A roommate agreement is among or 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 regard 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)


How to Find a Good Roommate (7 steps)

  1. Posting via Social Media
  2. Post a Listing
  3. Meeting with the Potential Roommate
  4. Screen the Roommate
  5. Verify References
  6. Write an Agreement
  7. Moving In

1. Posting via Social Media

tenant looking at instagram post about room rentalMake 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.

2. Post a Listing

tenant using laptop to make room listingIf 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:

3. Meeting with the Potential Roommate

tenant in conversation with potential roommateAs 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.

4. Screen the Roommate

tenant conducting background check on potential roommate using tabletIt’s highly recommended that the roommate is screened for credit, criminal history, credit report, and eviction data from all 50 States.

Recommended Services

5. Verify References

tenant on phone with potential roommate's referencesIt’s recommended to contact the roommate’s employer and the previous landlord to get an understanding of their character.

6. Write an Agreement

tenant handing pen over to roommate to sign agreementDownload: PDF, MS Word, or OpenDocument

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

7. Moving In

new roommate carrying boxes into homeAfter a roommate agreement has been signed, and all deposits and first month’s rent are paid, the roommate can move into 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

I. THE PARTIES. This Roommate Agreement (“Agreement”) is made this [DATE] by and between:

Roommates: [ROOMMATE’S NAMES] (“Roommates”), and it is recognized that the property is managed by:

Landlord: [LANDLORD’S NAME] (“Landlord”).

We, the Roommates, agree to abide by this Agreement and any other agreements made in connection with the leasing of the Premises.

II. PREMISES. The residence being leased in this Agreement is described as:

Address: [STREET ADDRESS]
Bedrooms: [#] Bathrooms: [#]
Common Areas: [COMMON AREAS] Private Areas: [PRIVATE AREAS]

The above-described property shall be known as the “Premises.”

III. TERM. This Agreement shall be considered a: (check one)

☐ – Fixed Lease. The Roommates shall be allowed to occupy the Premises starting on [START DATE] and ending on [END DATE] (“Term”).
☐ – Month-to-Month Lease. The Roommates shall be allowed to occupy the Premises on a month-to-month arrangement starting on [START DATE] and ending upon notice of [#] days from either Party to the other Party (“Term”).

IV. RENT ($). The Roommates will pay: (check one)

☐ – The Same Rent equal to $[RENT AMOUNT] on the: (check one)

☐ – [DAY] of each week.
☐ – [DAY] day of each month.
☐ – Other: [OTHER].

☐ – Different Rent described as: [ENTER THE RENT AMOUNTS]

The aforementioned amount and due date shall be known as the “Rent.”

V. PAYMENT INSTRUCTIONS. Rent shall be paid in the following manner: [PAYMENT INSTRUCTIONS]

VI. LATE FEE. If Rent is not paid on the Due Date: (check one)

☐ – A Late Fee of $[AMOUNT] shall be applied after Rent is more than [#] day(s) late (“Late Fee”).

A Late Fee is calculated as: (check one)

☐ – A 1-Time penalty for each occurrence.
☐ – Each day Rent is late.

☐ – No Late Fee of any kind shall be applied to the Rent as a penalty.

Hereinafter known as the “Late Fee.”

VII. SECURITY DEPOSIT. A Security Deposit is (check one):

☐ – Not Required (“Security Deposit”).

☐ – Is Required in an amount equal to: (check one)

☐ – One (1) Month’s Rent
☐ – Two (2) Month’s Rent
☐ – Other. [OTHER]

The Security Deposit shall be held for the faithful performance of the Roommates under the terms and conditions of this Agreement. Payment of the Security Deposit is due upon the execution of this Agreement. This Security Deposit shall not be credited towards any Rent unless the Landlord gives their written consent.

VIII. RETURNING SECURITY DEPOSIT. The Security Deposit shall be returned to the Roommates within [#] days after the end of the Term less any itemized deductions. The Roommates are responsible for providing the Landlord their forwarding address.

IX. SPECIFIC ROOMS. (check one)

☐ – The Roommates will occupy specific bedrooms.
☐ – The Roommates will have shared bedrooms.

X. PRORATION PERIOD. The Roommates will move-in: (check one)

☐ – On the Start Date. The Roommates will move-in and take possession of the Premises at the start of the Term.
☐ – Before the Start Date. The Roommates will move-in and take possession of the Premises on the following date of [DATE]. The Roommates agree to pay $[AMOUNT] to move-in on this earlier date.

XI. PRE-PAYMENT. The Roommates shall: (check one)

☐ – Pre-Pay Rent in the amount of $[AMOUNT] for the term starting on [START DATE] and ending on [END DATE]. The Pre-Payment of Rent shall be due upon the execution of this Agreement.
☐ – Not Pre-Pay Rent.

XII. HOUSE RULES. The Roommates agree to the following house rules: (check applicable and complete below)

☐ – Smoking/Alcohol/Drugs. [ENTER DETAILS]
☐ – Parking. [ENTER DETAILS]
☐ – Overnight Guests. [ENTER DETAILS]
☐ – Quiet Hours. [ENTER DETAILS]
☐ – Pets. [ENTER DETAILS]
☐ – Other. [ENTER DETAILS]

XIII. FIRST (1ST) MONTH’S RENT. The Roommates payment of first (1st) month’s rent shall be upon the: (check one)

☐ – Execution of this Agreement.
☐ – First (1st) day of the Lease Term.

XIV.  CLEANING. The Roommates agree to: (check one)

☐ – Not Hire a Cleaner. Each of the Roommates agree to clean: (check one)

☐ – On their own. There shall be no specific schedule or mandatory hours to clean.
☐ – On a schedule. Each of the Roommates agree to the following cleaning schedule: [SCHEDULE DESCRIPTION]

☐ – Hire a Cleaner. A cleaner will be hired by the Roommates and the costs related shall be shared equally.

XV. MONTHLY RESERVE. The Roommates agree to pay: (check one)

☐ – A Monthly Reserve. The Roommates will each be obligated to make a monthly payment of $[ENTER AMOUNT] for the Roommates’ day-to-day household items.
☐ – No Monthly Reserve. No payment shall be made by the Roommates for day-to-day household items.

XVI. UTILITIES & SERVICES. The Roommates agree to the following utilities and services: (check applicable and complete below)

☐ – Gas/Oil/Propane. Paid by: (check one)

☐ – Shared equally
☐ – [ENTER WHO IS RESPONSIBLE]

☐ – Water/Sewer. Paid by: (check one)

☐ – Shared equally
☐ – [ENTER WHO IS RESPONSIBLE]

☐ – Electricity. Paid by: (check one)

☐ – Shared equally
☐ – [ENTER WHO IS RESPONSIBLE]

☐ – Garbage / Trash Removal. Paid by: (check one)

☐ – Shared equally
☐ – [ENTER WHO IS RESPONSIBLE]

☐ – Cable TV. Paid by: (check one)

☐ – Shared equally
☐ – [ENTER WHO IS RESPONSIBLE]

☐ – Internet. Paid by: (check one)

☐ – Shared equally
☐ – [ENTER WHO IS RESPONSIBLE]

☐ – Other. [OTHER]. Paid by: (check one)

☐ – Shared equally
☐ – [ENTER WHO IS RESPONSIBLE]

☐ – Other. [OTHER]. Paid by: (check one)

☐ – Shared equally
☐ – [ENTER WHO IS RESPONSIBLE]

☐ – Other. [OTHER]. Paid by: (check one)

☐ – Shared equally
☐ – [ENTER WHO IS RESPONSIBLE]

XVII. HOUSEHOLD SUPPLIES. A single ledger (with item description, cost, and date of purchase) will be kept listing all household supplies purchased by the Roommates. The supplies may include such items as paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning fluids, dish detergent, foil, plastic trash bags, scrub brushes, and any other goods needed for the Premises which will be shared by all the Roommates. The purchaser of household supplies will be entitled to reimbursement from the other Roommates.

XVIII. PERSONAL PROPERTY. All the Roommates agree to not use or borrow other Roommates’ personal items without the approval of the Roommate who owns the property. Any exception(s) to this rule will be clearly stated and agreed upon, and the Roommate who owns the property retains the right to change their mind about sharing their personal property. Any personal property that is borrowed should be used respectfully and returned in the same condition. If any damage is done to a Roommate’s personal property, the Roommate(s) responsible for causing the damage will compensate the Roommate who owns the personal property for their loss.

XIX. SEVERABILITY. If any provision of this Agreement or the application thereof shall, for any reason and to any extent, be invalid or unenforceable, neither the remainder of this Agreement nor the application of the provision to other persons, entities, or circumstances shall be affected thereby, but instead shall be enforced to the maximum extent permitted by law.

XX. GOVERNING LAW. This Agreement shall be governed under the laws in the State of [STATE]. 

XXI. ADDITIONAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS. [ENTER ADDITIONAL TERMS & CONDITIONS]

XXII. ENTIRE AGREEMENT. This Agreement contains all the terms agreed to by the Parties and may be modified or amended only by written agreement signed by all the Roommates. This Agreement replaces all previous discussions, understandings, and oral agreements. The Roommates agree to the terms and conditions and shall be bound until the end of the Term.

Landlord Signature: _______________________________ Date: ____________

Print Name: _______________________________

Roommate Signature: _______________________________ Date: ____________

Print Name: _______________________________    

Roommate Signature: _______________________________ Date: ____________

Print Name: _______________________________

Roommate Signature: _______________________________ Date: ____________

Print Name: _______________________________