Roommate Agreement

All states | 16 types
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Updated Mar 8, 2023
~ 10 pages
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A roommate agreement is a contract that is made between residents detailing house rules and mutual duties and responsibilities as agreed upon by both residents. This legal document will help both roommates avoid disputes and disagreements regarding common living at one property. Fill out this template in minutes following our instructions and get a complete PDF document ready for your needs.
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Paper titled "Roommate Agreement"; house keys, neighbors talking and standing near suitcases and a house with interior

Have you ever heard the saying, “You don’t truly know someone until you live with them?” Well, it’s one hundred percent true. Whether you intend to live with a close friend you’ve known all your life or a stranger who responded to your search ad, roommate agreements are a great way to avoid unnecessary conflicts and live in peace and harmony. 

When to Use a Roommate Agreement

You'll need a roommate rental agreement in situations where a shared living arrangement takes place. This can unfold when moving into a new shared living space or when a new roommate enters existing shared accommodation — it could be at university, a rented apartment, or a shared house. The creation of a roommate contract is a proactive step ensuring that all co-living responsibilities are understood and the rights of all roommates are protected.

Parties

  • Primary Tenant –– This party is the individual who has officially signed the lease with the property owner or landlord and holds primary responsibility for the living space. As the main leaseholder, the primary tenant is typically accountable for the entire rent and adherence to the landlord's rules as laid out in the original lease agreement. However, in a roommate scenario, they may choose to enter into a roommate agreement form to share responsibilities and ensure all parties understand the living arrangement.

  • Roommate –– This term refers to the person or persons who are not the original signatories of the lease with the landlord but have agreed to occupy the space alongside the primary tenant. The roommate is expected to follow the terms outlined in the simple roommate agreement, which may include details on rent division, shared living expenses, house rules, and division of household duties. Even though the roommate is not directly liable to the landlord, this agreement helps set clear expectations and responsibilities between the roommates to promote a harmonious living environment.

Key Terms

  • Rent payment: This stipulates the amount each roommate will contribute toward the monthly rent, including the due date and the method of payment.
  • Household duties: Defines each roommate's responsibilities regarding cleaning, maintenance, and chores to ensure a tidy living environment.
  • Noise and privacy: Outlines the acceptable noise levels and hours and considerations for each roommate's privacy.
  • Shared spaces: Specifies which areas of the home will be shared (like the living room, kitchen, and bathroom) and any specific rules or guidelines for the use of these common areas.
  • Conflict resolution: Establishes an agreed-upon method for resolving conflicts or disagreements that may arise during the lease period.

How to Write a Roommate Agreement

Creating a roommate agreement contract is a vital step to preemptively address potential conflicts in shared living situations. It defines the responsibilities of each roommate and outlines important parameters for the shared space. The steps of creation are simple.

  1. Fill out on Lawrina: The template features guided instructions with questions related to the contract's content. To fill it out, you simply answer the questions based on your situation. Your responses are then automatically incorporated into the roommate agreement template. Upon completion, you'll receive a ready-made, personalized PDF document prepared for the following steps. 

  2. Discuss the rules with your roommate: Remember that the roommate contract template is simply a guide. Think about the terms that will go into your agreement. It should be done as soon as possible, preferably before moving in or in the first week of living together. Write down a list of topics important to both of you, discuss each, and agree on the terms.
     

  3. Sign the document: Complete the document and sign it. You can simply add your details to a roommate agreement PDF like the one below and sign it to bring it into effect. Alternatively, you can download and edit a free roommate agreement template to customize it to your preferences before filling it out and signing it. 

In the realm of shared living, navigating matters of rent, utilities, duties, and more can be a daunting task. Therefore, utilizing a template becomes incredibly advantageous. A well-organized roommate agreement template free of cost, helps steer you through critical discussions, ensuring all necessary obligations and arrangements are documented. It brings clarity to your shared living expenses and responsibilities, thus securing everyone's rights and fostering a harmonious co-living experience. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the things you need to keep in focus before making a roommate agreement?

What the agreement will contain is dependent on the participants of the discussion and what they will agree upon. Focus on what will make your living arrangements more desirable to you. A good starting point is to focus on areas of contention first so that you can come to a compromise on them as soon as practicable.

What happens if a roommate breaks their agreement?

Ideally, it should be included in the contract that when a roommate breaks their agreement they will correct the issue in a time as indicated or be subject to the eviction laws in their city, county, or state.

What if a roommate abandons a lease agreement?

If you fall victim to a roommate abandoning the lease, you and any other roommate can make a small claim filing in the local court to hold the roommate who is left liable for his share of the rent as set forth in the agreement. However, without filing a claim, the roommate would only be liable for one month’s rent because they are viewed as a month-to-month tenant. Note that it may be difficult to collect without a clear, enforceable agreement, which is why entering into one is always advisable.

Is a roommate agreement legally binding?

Yes. A roommate agreement is binding until the completion date stated in the agreement. The governing law that will apply to the agreement will depend on where the shared premises are located. 

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