A roommate rental agreement is a document which outlines the requirements for living under one roof with one or more individuals. The agreement generally establishes the expectations of being an occupant of a residence. In the event that all expectations are not met, the agreement may also clarify the consequences of such actions. Typically, the document is drafted to protect the occupants as well as the place of dwelling. The details of an agreement may be constructed by the owner of the dwelling or by the residing occupants, which may or may not include the owner.
The first details of a roommate rental agreement will typically begin with how the rent payment will be divided. Most agreements list the total cost of rent and then the specific charges to be applied to each roommate. Often, roommates pay equal shares of the rent or it may be divided based on individual incomes. The due date for each roommate to submit his or her portion of the rent will generally be included as well. If a payment is not submitted by that established date, the agreement usually outlines the consequences for being late.
Household duties may also be defined in a roommate rental agreement. This will generally designate which roommates are to assume the responsibility for completing certain household chores. Typically, duties such as washing dishes, vacuuming the floors and cleaning the bathrooms will be included in this part of the agreement. Some agreements may document grocery shopping as part of the overall household duties as well. If there is a pet in the household, the duties for caring for the pet may additionally be distinguished in a roommate rental agreement.
Individuals dwelling in one common residence will generally have to assume a certain level of liability. Room liability is generally an important aspect in a roommate rental agreement. It is important to clarify the expected condition a rented room is to be kept in. Typically, an agreement will outline the condition of a room when a person first moved into it and how the person will be held liable for any unapproved changes thereafter. This may include the possibility of incurring charges for any damage to property in the room.
Before signing a roommate rental agreement, it is essential to read the document thoroughly. This is important because it could potentially be used against a member of the household. In the event that something goes wrong and someone wishes to sue an occupant, the agreement may become a fixture in the legal proceedings. For this reason, someone unfamiliar with legal terminology may have the agreement overlooked by a lawyer. This may be done to get a clear understanding of any law terms used and to keep someone from signing off on something he or she fails to properly understand.