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If you are in a situation where you need to live with at least one roommate, you need to know how to create a room rental agreement. This document will outline the room lease agreement and the roommate contract to prevent problems later on. Having a well-drafted and complete room rental agreement is important to protect your own access to your housing and to prevent fighting and chaos if your roommate decides to break the rules of the room rental agreement they signed when they moved in.

A roommate agreement is important to have in hand when you allow people to move in with you. In some situations, you will both be listed as renters on your rental agreement, but in other cases, you might be subletting a room to this person. Having a room rental agreement template on hand can make it much less likely that you will run into problems or disagreements with your roommate during the time that you live together.

If you are ready to learn some more about how to draft a rental agreement for your future roommates, you need to keep reading.

Downloadable Templates:

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What is a Room Rental Agreement?

A room rental agreement is a signed contract between people who live at a residence that outlines the amount of money that needs to be paid by each roommate for bills, the behavior of the parties listed in the document, and also the duties of each roommate related to the contract. These contracts often discuss how damages to the property are handled as well as what responsibility each roommate has for the care of the property.

Without a room rental agreement in place, it can be easy for roommates to argue and fight, and the primary renter on the main lease can get stuck with paying for repairs and other necessary costs even when they should not be responsible. There is no reason to move someone into your apartment or home without having a room rental agreement that makes the terms of these relationships clear for all parties involved.

This agreement can be as specific as you wish so long as you disclose all of the information in your rental agreement in advance. Your potential roommate can always find somewhere else to live if they do not want to adhere to your rules and requirements for sharing the house or apartment. While you should avoid being too controlling, you should not feel bad about putting all the rules and requirements that are important to you in your rental agreement.

Create House Rules

One of the primary parts of a room rental agreement is the house rules. These are the behaviors that you and your renter both need to follow to honor your room rental agreement. These might be things like quiet hours and curfews, or rules about watching TV or listening to music at certain times of the day. Other common rules relating to whether or not pets are allowed in the house. Drug use and smoking can be included in the rules as well, and you might have a set of rules regarding dating and bringing home strangers to the house or apartment.

  • Curfew and quiet hours
  • Rent amounts and due dates
  • Trash removal and care of the property
  • Parking for guests or parking permit rules
  • Use of common spaces or pool spaces

All of these rules are necessary to prevent confusion and conflict between roommates, but they can also be requirements that the main lease outlines. You do not want to lose your lease because of the behavior of your roommate, and you should also be sure that you will not be put in a position of danger or a threat due to the actions of your renter or their friends and guests.

Discuss Fees and Charges

One of the most important things that you need to include in your room rental agreement is information about fees and charges that need to be paid each month. You might be splitting the costs of the rental of the house with your roommate, or you might only have asked the roommate to pay a flat fee for their living space inside your home or apartment. You will need to make sure that the rental agreement includes this information clearly and that none of the charges or fees are left out.

This also includes charges or fees for damages, missed payments, and other penalties. If there is a charge for parking, this needs to be included in your rental room rental agreement as well. The terms of the agreement need to be laid out clearly in the document that you both sign so that there are no questions down the road about who should be paying for what. Your landlord will not care how you have divided up the payments that need to be made each month. They will only care that they get their money. The process of securing the payments from your roommate that are owed each month is up to you and the rental agreement that you have with your roommate.

Some rates and charges to add to your agreement might be:

  • Rent and monthly rent due date
  • Charges for damages
  • Parking fees
  • Pet fees
  • Costs for garbage, sewer, electrical and etc
  • Costs to break the lease
  • Penalties for missed payments or other issues

What Else Should be Included in Your Rental Agreement With a Roommate?

You will need to be sure that you describe the room that the roommate will be renting clearly and also provide the information for the location of the property and its address. The duration of your contract for the rental of the property will also need to be included.

This information is critical if you end up in a dispute with your roommate since they can easily point to things that were not clear and refuse to agree with them. If you are not clear about which property, which room, or which address your rental agreement applies to, you will not have a leg to stand on in some cases when a serious dispute arrives. This is also a critical detail if you do not have your roommate listed as a co-renter on the actual lease for the property. These people are free to come and go as they please in reality, and without the protection of a rental agreement, there will be nothing that you can do or say if they don’t agree with you about verbal arrangements.

Make sure that termination of your rental agreement is included in the document as well, and lay out the fees or charges that go along with termination of the contract. You do not want to be left holding the bag for fees or charges associated with ending a subletting or roommate arrangement, and without documentation about the details of this process, this could easily happen to you.

You will also want to include a hold harmless agreement in the document that releases you from liability related to negligent actions that your roommate chooses to take while living with you. You do not want to be held responsible for questionable decisions that your roommate makes while they are on the property, and this is a key area of protection that you will want to include in the agreement.

Are There Templates For These Agreements?

The templates that have been provided in this guide will get you started on the process of creating the right rental agreement for you and your roommate. Each state has its own rental rules and regulations that govern the way that renters must behave. You might need to include these details in your rental agreement that you use for your own roommate agreements.

Make sure that both of you have a copy of the rental agreement and that you have both signed the document that you have created. You should also both look at it, and there should be a chance for the renter or roommate to ask questions about details they are not clear about. Once the document has been signed, it should be considered binding on both parties, and the time for questions is long past.

Get Help With Your Rental Agreement

If you are not feeling confident about creating a rental agreement that will be complete and thorough, you can get help with this process from a lawyer. A skilled rental agreement lawyer will be able to help you to draft a detailed rental agreement that will make sure that all of your roommates stick to the rules and requirements for living on the property. A complete and thorough rental agreement is important when you need to share a living space with other people.


How do I write a Room Rental Agreement?

You can use a template online to create your own room rental agreement that pertains to your unique rental property. Make sure that you include rules and regulations for your state of residence as needed. There are different rules that govern renting and subletting in each state, so you will want to use a template that is intended for where you live. Include all specifics related to your living situation, including the details of termination of the contract and stipulations related to damage and fees and charges.

You can also reach out to a skilled legal professional to have this agreement drawn up if you don’t feel like you will be able to take care of the process yourself. There might be a lot of information that needs to be included in your rental agreement and having a skilled legal professional involved can eliminate issues with forgotten rules and clauses.

What rules should roommates have?

Roommates should be expected to adhere to any rules that you have laid out in the rental agreement document. At the end of the day, your roommate will need to live by the rules that you have set out, and if they are not comfortable with these rules, they can find somewhere else to rent. While you cannot control what your roommate does on a daily basis in many ways, you can make sure that they follow the rules that are laid out by your landlord and that they pay their rent and behave in a respectful manner toward the property.

Are roommate agreements legally binding?

A roommate agreement is not legally binding like a rental agreement with a landlord. This is a voluntary agreement that is made in good faith between parties that are sharing the cost and responsibility of renting a home or apartment. While these agreements are not binding, they can serve as an important form of evidence if a dispute arises that involves the landlord who owns the property. Proving that the roommate that has moved in with you is the one who caused damage or who is not paying their share of the costs for the rental is easier with this document in hand.

Even without the legally binding aspect of the contract that you will have to sign with your actual landlord, the rental agreement that you sign with your roommate will protect you from having to argue against confusion with the people living with you. This document can also serve as important proof that you are not liable or responsible for actions that your roommate takes without your knowledge while they are on the property.

What is the responsibility of a roommate?

A roommate is responsible for following your rules and for maintaining the rules set forth by the landlord who owns the property. While a roommate agreement will not compel them to do this, there will be fewer issues with mistakes related to behaviors that are allowed and care that is given to the property while roommates are sharing it. The tasks and responsibilities of roommates can vary widely depending on unique rental situations, and there are few standard expectations other than avoiding causing damage and paying the bills.

Why are roommate agreements important?

Roommate agreements are proof on paper about the rules that each roommate needs to follow. These rules and requirements can pertain to fees and costs for living there, rules and demands that are expected of renters by the landlord, and agreements between the roommates about specific living arrangements. Roommate agreements help hold all the renters at a property to the same standards and make sure that everyone is clear about the rules for living together.


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