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50+ Sample Roommate Agreements in PDF | MS Word
Sample Roommate Agreements
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What Is a Roommate Agreement?
Affordability is one of the many reasons why working adults prefer to live in a doubled-up house with either a relative or a friend. In an article featured in Forbes, having a roommate or two is practical, especially when it comes to dividing rental payments, utility and maintenance bills, household supplies, etc. But sharing the bills should not be informal and should not just be settled with an oral agreement. You and your roommate must agree on the process of dividing the bills and household chores using a written document. And this is where a roommate rental agreement comes to play. A roommate agreement, also called a roommate contract, is a document that presents the terms and conditions, house rules, division of responsibilities, and splitting of rental payments.
In the figures from Zillow, the number of adults living with roommates are higher than before and varies from which city they are in. Los Angeles is an extreme example, with 49 percent of individuals living with roommates in 2016.
Individuals ages 23 to 29 are the most involved ones, with 54 percent in 2016, compared to 39 percent in 2005, according to Zillow.
The rising rent shows more roommate traits, with 30% of working-adults ages 23-65 living in doubled-up households for affordability purposes.
Roommate Agreement: The Essential Components
In the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon Cooper, played by American actor Jim Parsons, wrote a roommate agreement that was signed by Leonard Hofstadter, portrayed by American actor John Mark Galecki before they became official roommates. The said roommate agreement was mentioned every time a particular deal in the contract was violated. This happens in real life once a roommate is not informed of the things that are presented in the contract. So, if you want to be well-informed of what makes a letter of agreement, we have provided you the components of a roommate agreement.
Splitting of Rent
The most important detail that should be a top priority in your roommate agreement is the breakdown of the rent amount. It is essential to outline how much both you and your roommate will pay for your monthly rent. It is also recommended that you specify the party who is responsible for paying or handling the money to the property owner or landlord. This is necessary for security reasons in case the payment was not delivered to the owner.
Aside from your monthly rent, it is also important to discuss other finances such as utilities, groceries, house supplies, etc. in your roommate agreement. Whether who pays and buys this or dividing finances among yourselves, as long as everyone agrees to it, then it should be stated in the agreement. Also, you may create a shortlist for your other financial obligations and discuss it altogether.
Guests are not a problem if you live with your family or other relatives. But if you are with an acquaintance or a friend, then that could be an awkward situation. Hence, another important component that should be present in your roommate agreement is guest policies. The said policies may include the number of visitors allowed, the area where the guest is allowed or not, overnight guidelines, or calendar schedule for guests. Discuss these policies with your roommate firmly and make sure that he or she agrees to it.
Individual and Communal Spaces
Aside from having your bedroom, it is also essential to have an individual space outside of it. Privacy is still a must even if you are living in a doubled-up household with a relative, especially with other people. So, it is essential to discuss it with your roommate and define your individual spaces and which are for communal use.
Division of Household Responsibilities
An essential component in your roommate agreement is the division of responsibilities, specifically chores. For sanitation purposes, you have to discuss with your roommate each role and responsibility when it comes to household chores. Create a list of chores and organize them in the agreement and then divide them among yourselves. You even include a daily or weekly calendar for each chore.
It may be difficult to believe, but not everyone likes to have pets in their homes. But if you or your roommate plan to have one, you must first consult it with the property owner and then discuss it with your roommate. If the property owner already has an existing pet policy in your residential owner agreement, you may reinforce said policies in your roommate agreement. However, see to it that both you and your roommate understands and agrees to every policy.
Noise and Behaviour Policies
It is fair to assume that two individuals are not the same. Both have different behaviors, hobbies, etc. That is why it is important to discuss noise and behavior policies with your roommate. List down both of your hobbies and decide whether or not you want this or that and track them using a tracking chart. You can also make a weekly or monthly calendar of your hobbies and interests to make it more organized.
Any great roommate agreement should have this item. Although some roommates may not usually discuss this, if you want less hassle in the future, you better do so. Define what are the necessary actions when someone decides to move out. Decide how long someone should give notice before moving out and how long is someone given to leave? Discussing this information is necessary not only to make your roommate agreement solid but also to establish a mutual understanding with your roommate.
How To Make a Formal Roommate Agreement
A roommate agreement is a joint agreement between two or more tenants living together who agrees with the terms and responsibilities provided in the agreement. Although some of the information written in the contract is not legally binding, except for payment terms, it is still important that the document is formally and professionally written. Hence, if you are moving in with a relative or an acquaintance, you should know that a roommate agreement is necessary. But if you don’t have an idea of how to make one, then follow the simple step-by-step instructions provided below.
Step 1: Provide Basic Information
Start drafting your roommate agreement by providing basic information about you and your roommate, such as names and contact information, including the property address. All written agreements need to have this information to determine the parties involved. This is also essential for formality and accountability purposes.
Step 2: Discuss Finances
After you have entered basic information about the renter, the next thing you need to do is to discuss finances—rent payments and utility charges—and payment agreement. Specify the amount of rent each roommate will pay per month. This can be done equally. However, you can also discuss another splitting of rent arrangements if the other roommate has a bigger room. For utility bills, you may split each charge evenly between roommates. Discuss also other bills such as the internet and cable and agree on payment arrangements. Also, specify who among the roommates will hand or pay the bills for rent and utilities.
Step 3: Define House Rules
Once you have discussed paying bills, it is time to define house rules. This area includes visiting guests, pets, drinking, smoking, etc. These are the three main sources of conflict in doubled-up households. So, in your roommate agreement, you have to define house rules. Discuss if overnight guests are allowed and specify how long the guest can stay. Meanwhile, for pets, discuss whether or not both of your roommates want to have pets. Indicate also the areas in which pets are allowed. When it comes to drinking and smoking, make sure that you ask your roommates if they smoke or drink and set up rules that they agree with.
Step 4: Set Household Responsibilities
This section is essential in your roommate agreement because this is where you set responsibilities, specifically in household chores. But before assigning chores to everyone, you have to identify all chores and make a list out of it. Most chores are in shared spaces such as the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. Make sure to be specific in your roommate’s cleaning contract as to who will be responsible for this and that. You may also create a cleaning schedule to be more precise.
Step 5: Specify Terms of Termination
There is a big possibility that your roommate will decide to move out. That is why it is important to create and specify terms of termination. Discuss whether it is your roommate’s responsibility to look for their replacement or if they will still pay for the rent if there is still no replacement even though they have already moved out. Doing this will protect all parties involved from having to shoulder the full rent. Also, indicate how long the departing roommate should notify the other roommate before moving out.
Who are the parties involved in a roommate agreement?
Basically, they are the individuals who live on the same roof. Property owners and house caretakers are not part of the roommate agreement unless they also reside in the same space with the renters.
Is a roommate agreement legally binding?
The financial obligations of both parties in a roommate agreement are legally binding. This includes the payment for rent and other bills. If one roommate fails to attend to his or her financial obligations, the other roommate may sue him. However, there are components in the roommate rental contract that are not enforceable in courts, such as house rules and house chores.
Is a roommate agreement different from a lease agreement?
The answer is yes. Roommate agreements and lease agreements are different. Although they both present terms and conditions about rentals, they differ from the parties involved. A roommate agreement is a private agreement between both the renters and no landlord involved. On the other hand, a lease agreement is a legally binding document between the property owners or landlords and the tenants.
Living in a doubled-up household is not that easy. You need to consider a lot of things such as rents, utilities, chores, and the likes. That is why it is essential to establish expectations when moving in to avoid unwanted conflicts and household problems in the future. Utilizing a room rental roommate agreement helps you to do so. This written agreement not only outlines agreed house roles and responsibilities but also creates a strong and healthy yet protective of interest relationship. Looking for ready-made professionally written roommate templates that you can use immediately? Download our sample templates now!