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roommate agreement imageWe manage a number of properties that are leased by adults sharing the rent.   The renting of a home by students or adults is a comfortable alternative to renting a much smaller space alone.  More space, more amenities, more disposable income after rent and utility expenses are all reasons to consider sharing your space with a mate.
But our lease requires that each renter take  responsibility for maintaining the property and payment of full amount of the rent.  This means each renter is responsible for payment of all the rent…not just their portion.  And when a hole mysteriously occurs in one roommates bedroom wall…all roommates are responsible for the cost of the repair.
When you decide to rent with a roommate, you are forming a partnership. You should strongly consider a formal Roommate Agreement.  It does not have to be as comprehensive as Sheldon and Leonard’s Roommate agreement in The Big Bang Theory but should spell out how various maintenance and financial obligations will be handled as well as rules of conduct.  (A few clauses from Sheldon’s Agreement if you’re interested: http://wiki.the-big-bang-theory.com/wiki/Roommate_Agreement )  You can also find several other sample agreements on the Internet that might better suit your circumstances.
Remember when the property manager performs the move-out inspection they don’t care who’s bedroom has the hole in the wall. All roommates will be charged for the damage. As Property Managers, we feel bad when we have to charge Ms. “Martha Stewart” for clean her Bad Girl roommate for six months of grime in Bad Girl’s bathroom.  Planning ahead can avoid a lot of hassles.