A simple form template and how it works
Living with roommates is a wonderful way to save on monthly rent, share household responsibilities, and make incredible friends… if everything goes well. But when it doesn’t, your dream house can quickly become a nightmare.
To help you avoid those worst-case scenarios, consider signing a Roommate Agreement form. These are simple forms that lay out your responsibilities to each other as roommates, so you can head off problems before they become serious. Jump to our Roommate Agreement Template below, or keep reading for some frequently asked questions and answers.
A basic roommate agreement template
Below, we’ve created a sample roommate agreement template that you and your roommates can use to ensure you have the healthiest and most respectful roommate-ship possible throughout your lease term.
And remember – we’re not lawyers and this isn’t legal advice! The document below is simply meant to be an educational jumping-off point if you’re creating a written roommate agreement for yourself. Review other similar templates, make adjustments as you see fit, add or remove sections you don’t want, and check with a lawyer if you have any questions before signing this mutual agreement. If you have yet to find a roommate and are in the process of vetting candidates, you can use this template to get ideas on what questions to ask potential roommates before agreeing to live together.
Roommate Agreement Template
I,, promise to be a respectful, kind, and honest roommate to . Specifically, I will abide by the following rules to the best of my abilities. In the case of failing to uphold the standards of this contract, I will .
- The security deposit for this apartment was $ . It will be returned on .
- The monthly rent for this space is $ . The monthly utilities (+WiFi) fee for this apartment is $ .
- The length of this lease is months.
- I will pay my share of the rent and utilities on time by .
- I will be considerate of the shared living spaces, such as the living room, kitchen, and bathroom. These common areas of the apartment will be cleaned after use and respected.
- We each have obligations to do the chores, including washing the dishes, vacuuming the floors, and taking out the trash. Chores should generally be shared on a rotational basis.
- This residence allows overnight guests for days. The host will notify other tenants days ahead of time to prepare for the guests’ stay.
- If there is any malfunction of utilities or an intrusion of living conditions (i.e. broken faucet, no hot water), the first tenant to recognize it will notify the landlord right away. The entire residence will pay for any costs involved.
The landlord, , can be reached at .
- Tenants of the shared space have obligations to resolve any disagreements in a timely, direct, and appropriate manner. No passive aggressiveness.
- Pets and animals are are not allowed on the premises.
Why use a roommate agreement?
It might seem cold or pessimistic to bring a legal document into your roommate relationship. Isn’t a handshake and a smile good enough?
The short answer is: maybe. But what if it’s not? In those situations – when a roommate relationship is deteriorating and lawyers get involved – you’ll be very, very glad you have a written roommate agreement to fall back on.
But more importantly, a formal roommate agreement can help you avoid those problems in the first place. By thinking through and clearly defining your rights and responsibilities to each other, you and your roommates can spot potential differences of opinion in how the house is run. If you’re just not compatible, it’s best to find out as soon as possible. And having signed the roommate rental agreement, everyone’s more likely to stay on their best behavior.
In other words, a roommate agreement is there to protect everyone involved. It can help keep your relationship healthy and happy.
Is a roommate agreement legally binding?
Yes, a roommate agreement form is a binding contract. That means, in the event that you and your roommate need to settle a dispute in court, the judge may use the document to determine who’s in the right.
There are a few caveats here. First, just because your roommate rental agreement is a legal document doesn’t mean it can supercede other agreements you’ve signed. For instance, the lease agreement between you and your landlord is also a binding contract. If it specifies that you can’t have pets on the rental property, you can’t just sign a roommate agreement stating otherwise. You’re still on the hook with your landlord!
Second, courts are more likely to enforce some rules than others. If your roommate is refusing to pay rent or make a utilities payment, the court will probably take that breach seriously. If, on the other hand, your roommate keeps neglecting household chores and leaving dirty dishes in the sink, the court probably won’t get involved.
What’s in a roommate agreement?
The specifics of these forms vary between different households. But generally speaking, your agreement will cover financial obligations (rent payment, security deposit), household chores (i.e. the cleaning schedule), and house rules (overnight guests, food sharing, noise levels, quiet hours, etc.). It will probably also specify what happens if someone breaks the mutual agreement, and how roommate conflicts will be resolved.
Of course, the examples above are just a starting point. You can also include details like how parking spaces are used, how the utility bill is divied up, what happens if someone ends the rental arrangement early, how emergency costs are covered, whether parties and events can be held on the premises, and so on. If an issue seems likely to cause friction within the living arrangement, go ahead and include it. Better safe than sorry.
Though this contract will not solve all roommate problems, it will easily set up roommate rules, obligations, and standards for a new roommate-ship. You can always come back to this document for reference if you find that certain rules are being violated or if you just need to figure out things at the end of your lease. Happy roommateship!