So, you’ve busted free of the parents house and you’re ready to live a full, independent life in your dorm, shared apartment, or ( for the lucky) shared home. You and your new roommates may be best friends, but nothing tests those friendships like living with them, their weird guests, and their quirky habits. The best way to ensure conflicts are kept to a minimum is to be clear about what is and isn’t okay around your new shared home. Start by reading this guide on college roommate etiquette tips. One good way to ensure everyone is on the same page is through the use of a roommate agreement or, more ominously, contract. A contract can also be important when your living situation requires significant money to pass hands as everyone pays their part of the security deposit and rent is paid each month; you want to make sure you get that deposit back, right!?
First, you should discuss what the agreement should cover. You want to make sure everyone likes the idea, and is in agreement over how the agreement binds them. A simple agreement may only cover some ground rules, and things like chores. A more involved contract would also cover rent, utilities, and what should be done in the case of a vacating roommate. If you own or rent the home and are sub-leasing rooms, you’ll definitely want a contract that discusses more items related to payments and tenancy dates. The contract should be a required legal document before someone even moves in their first sock.
Below, you’ll find a contract I created for my roommate days. You’ll find it can be very thorough in some areas; I wanted to be sure it was very clear! In hindsight, it didn’t need to be, I had trouble-free roommates, but perhaps your situation isn’t so rosy. At any rate, take the contract, and the chore list I’ve provided and fit it to your needs!
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