Roommates should have a written roommate agreement in effect immediately after or concurrently with the signing of a Lease. It is best not to have verbal agreements. Verbal agreements are hard to prove and may not be legally defensible or enforceable.
A note regarding security deposits: Security deposits can be a special problem in shared housing. Landlords are seldom willing to inspect the premises whenever one person leaves a shared premises. They often hold the total security deposit(s) until all original signers have vacated. Therefore roommates need to reach their own agreement about how they will handle the return of individual shares of the deposit(s). The same applies to utility deposits.
The Sample Roommate Agreement that follows is not intended to be all encompassing. Potential roommates who are contemplating such an agreement can modify, add, or delete clauses to meet their particular needs. Anyone wishing to use the format below may modify, copy, or print the document. If a format is used where blank spaces are left to write in, all parties to the agreement, who hand write or print information in the spaces should initial by each place something is handwritten. This is to protect against anyone writing in something that was not agreed later to by all the parties who sign the agreement. All signors should have a final copy for their file.
This is a legally binding agreement. If you do not understand it, seek legal counsel.
This agreement is between: __Drew Tadgerson, Kitty Johnson, and Stephanie Joyce
The Lease Agreement commenced on December 7, 2012 and terminates on December 7,2013.
2. The roommates acknowledge that this Roommate Agreement shall exist alongside the Lease Agreement for the premises, which contains all the terms and conditions of occupancy. This Roommate Agreement does not in any way, nor shall it be construed to replace, modify, or amend any of the rights, terms, conditions, and obligations which are contained in the Lease. This Agreement is only between the parties named above in Paragraph 1. (For legal reasons, this clause should not be a modified version or deleted)
3. The signing of this Roommate Agreement does not amend, replace or alter in any way, the joint and several liabilities of the tenants under the Lease Agreement with the Landlord.
4. This Agreement may be used to settle a dispute among the