Roommate Agreement

All states
4.6 (32 reviews)
Updated Mar 8, 2023
~ 10 pages
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. Download this legal template in PDF or Word document and fill it out in minutes.

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Template Description

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. 

What Is a Roommate Agreement?

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. People come from different backgrounds and have different habits and ways of living which can easily lead to disagreements. A roommate agreement is a good security for avoiding this. 

Why Is a Roommate Agreement Important?

Whether you’re a student moving out of your parents’ house for the first time or you’ve lived alone for years, who you live with is an important decision that you should give some thought to. Once you’ve made this decision, the next step to make sure that it doesn’t come back to bite you is to set out clear rules for living together. In the same way, your mother would communicate that she didn’t want to see your clothes scattered across your bedroom or dishes from the day before in the dishwasher, sharing your likes and dislikes for everyday living with your roommate and hearing theirs is a good way to maintain good relationships with your roommates and guarantee peace in your home. 

Roommate Agreement: What Should It Contain?

As with every contract, remember that the terms of your roommate agreement are best determined by you and your roommate(s). It is an entirely customizable document, and what you decide to include should suit your individual preferences. 

Private Rooms

Avoiding invasion of your space or privacy is a popular reason why many people choose to live alone. A great place to begin is to decide which rooms are off-limits to residents other than yourself. A good example of this may be your bedroom. Some people don’t want clothes that have been worn outside to be on their beds or to have food in their bedrooms and making your bedroom a private room is a good way to ensure your wishes are respected. Agree on which rooms are common areas and which are not. 


Agreeing who will do what chores and when means that your house or apartment will stay clean and organized. One person may love doing dishes while another may despise sweeping but love to dust. Discussing this will create a mutual understanding and make sure that nobody feels inconvenienced or as though they carry the entire burden of chores. If you all dislike chores entirely but can afford to get outside help with them, agreeing to split the costs could be a good idea.  

Quiet Hours

Even extreme extroverts might enjoy some quiet time to themselves every once in a while. Different personalities enjoy company in different measures. Deciding which hours will be quiet hours leaves nobody feeling irritated or upset. Quiet Hours could mean no guests or simply no loud noises, giving roommates time to study, catch up on work, or rest. 


It’s important to be kind and considerate of your roommate’s potential pet allergies or fears. Make sure that you’re not making each other feel uncomfortable in your own home by deciding ahead of time and including in your roommate agreement which pets will be allowed if any.


Let’s not forget this old-age friendship breaker. If you’re lucky, you and your roommate(s) can become good friends along the way.  However, financial conversations can easily lead to animosity and uncomfortable relations. So, it’s important to discuss and detail what percentage of the rent each party will pay, as well as which household bills and utilities (e.g. electricity, water, internet) will be paid by each party. You can agree on whether payments will be made to one person or directly to your landlord, as well as who buys what shared items for the house and how often. People can be very touchy about money so you can even go as far as to decide whether or not you can borrow items bought by the other roommate.  

Remember to customize the details of the agreement to effectively cater to your different personalities. 

How To Write a Roommate Agreement

The steps are simple.

Download a Free Roommate Agreement Template

You can download a free apartment roommate agreement template or copy and paste the text sample below. 

Discuss the Rules With Your Roommate

Remember that the template is simply a guide. Sit and discuss which terms you’d like to keep or disregard.  Deciding what terms will go into your agreement 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. Never assume that something goes without saying; if you’ve thought about it, include it!

Fill In and Sign the Document

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

How To Find a Good Roommate

  1. Ask friends, post on your socials, or post a listing on a website.

  2. Schedule a viewing with your potential roommate. 

  3. Conduct thorough searches such as criminal and credit history and call to verify the references they have provided.

  4. Sign a lease agreement and write and sign a roommate agreement. 

  5. Move in! 

Roommate Agreement vs. Lease Agreement

A roommate rental agreement is not the same as a lease agreement. A lease agreement is between the landlord and tenants and is likely to include stipulations regarding the rights of the tenants, evictions, renovations to the property, and security deposits. A roommate agreement is between the tenants only and is an agreement that they will abide by the rules they agree upon regarding rent, chores, and any other living arrangements. 

Legal Disclaimer

Please note that Lawrina does not provide any legal services. The information on Lawrina’s Site and its downloadable content, including legal articles and templates, shall not be considered legal advice and is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, and up-to-date. If you require legal advice on your issue, we recommend you contact a qualified attorney licensed in your state. You personally assume full responsibility for any consequences, damages, and costs associated with your use of any content of Lawrina Services available on Lawrina’s Site. 

By using Lawrina’s Site you agree with mentioned above and give your irrevocable consent to comply with and to be bound by the provisions of Lawrina Service terms.

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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.