Roommate Agreement

 If roommates have differing lifestyles, a set of rules may need to be defined regarding household chores, bill paying and living conditions. Before you move in, think of some key issues that may arise within the household.

Check out a sample roommate agreement below:

Sample Roommate Agreement

  • Rent. Who will write the rent check if the landlord will accept only one check? What is everyone’s share?
  • Space. Who will occupy which bedrooms?
  • Household chores. Who’s responsible for cleaning, and on what schedule? Take turns taking out the trash?
  • Food sharing. Will food, shopping, and cooking responsibilities be shared? How will you split the costs and work?
  • Noise. Is noise level going to be a sensitive issue? When should noise be turned off or down low?
  • Overnight guests. Is it okay for boyfriends/girlfriends to stay over every night?
  • Moving out. If one of you decides to move, how much notice must be given? Must the departing tenant find an acceptable substitute?

Living with someone can sometimes be a frustrating and delicate situation.You may get into arguments about things as small as who did the dishes last to an overdue electricity bill.

**Don’t be shy about your pet peeves; make a note of them on the roommate agreement. By anticipating certain conflicts, you are decreasing the potential drama fallout. If dirty dishes in the sink drive you up the wall, write it down. If occasional guests are not a problem, but the idea of your roommate’s non-rent-paying boyfriend hogging the bathroom every morning makes you mad, make sure your agreement is clear on guests.
**It is in your best interest to put your agreement in writing. Oral agreements are too easily forgotten or misinterpreted. Although most of the agreement will be about menial things and won’t be legally binding, a judge may enforce specific clauses such as how you’ve agreed to share rent.
**If you want to ensure a roommates commitment, include a clause requiring roommates to participate in mediation before one of you breaks the agreement by moving out or running off to court.

Bill Paying

The first step is to set up an electric, cable and/or water account. One of the first important roommate discussions will be about whose name the bills will be set up with.
-The account holder must give notice to roommates about amount owed and deadline to pay the balance. All roommates should be able to communicate when they will have their payment ready.