Living with another person(s) can be an incredible experience, but it can be trying at times, too. Issues can arise from important things like paying the rent on time, deciding who is going to clean and take out the garbage, and figuring out how groceries are going to be purchased. Living with others takes hard work and sometimes a great deal of patience. A roommate agreement can help you and your roommates navigate through common issues and make a big difference in maintaining healthy relationships between roommates.
When you sign a lease with other people, you become liable for each of your roommates' obligations to the landlord. If one roommate does something that violates the lease, it can have a negative impact upon all roommates.
You can find many sample roommate agreements by simply doing a Google search. You can also deign your own contract. It is recommend that you and your roommates complete a roommate agreement prior to moving in.
The following are some potential items to include in a roommate agreement:
• How the rent will be paid?
• Utilities, Cable & Internet: Whose name will they be in and how will they be paid?
• Will individuals purchase their own food or will roommates do so as a group?
• Are roommates permitted to eat another roommate's food?
• Visitors/Guests: What are the expectations as far as guests? Overnight guests?
• Noise & quiet times
• Rules regarding gatherings or parties
• Cleaning: Who is responsible, how often, etc.?
• Household supplies
• Alcohol use and smoking
• How will things be handled or dealt with when problems do arise?