When you decide to take on a roommate, there are some things you should consider before you sign a lease. Among them are considerations as to what happens if the roommate leaves, hanging you with the responsibility of the rent.
Be on the Same Page
You should always spell out every detail when you are signing a lease with a roommate, as to the responsibilities and what is expected from each party. You can liken it to a partnership agreement in business if you wish, because what one person does will affect the other whether it is adversely or otherwise.
The two (or more) of you should be on the same page about everything all the way down to who takes out the trash and when it has to be done. It’s important because then neither one can say they didn’t know about the agreements.
When you sign the lease, you are all making an agreement with the landlord that the rent will be paid on time, every time. This means that if the roommate ditches the rent for a given month, you will be left holding the bag. It doesn’t matter if both of you have signed the lease, if one defaults, the other is responsible.
Make an Agreement With Your Roommate
You certainly want the roommate signing the lease on the residence as well as you, but you also perhaps want to have a separate agreement spelling out in detail exactly what is expected from each of you. This can be important down the line if it turns out that your roommate is not exactly as he or she first appeared.
While taking on a roommate, or two, is certainly beneficial as far as paying the bills goes, you want to take care to make sure things go as you initially planned. Spell out in this agreement what happens if one of you defaults on the rent. This is important to consider and also do the same thing with the utilities and any other necessary payment required to keep the residence running smoothly.
If one or the other of you defaults in the agreement, by both of you signing the lease, the other will have recourse.
Know Your Rights
On the other hand, when both of you sign the lease with the landlord, it gives both of you certain rights. If both of you sign the lease, then there is no danger of someone coming along in the future and saying that either one of you do not have any right to take up residence in the house or apartment.
Many of the issues revolving around renting, including taking on roommates, is dependent upon the local laws of your area. It may be a good idea to talk to a professional in the area of question to get advice on signing a lease with a roommate.