How to Create a Roommate Contract
Living with someone, whether you know them or not, is always a tricky dance. Everyone acts differently in their personal space and sometimes this can cause conflicts within friendships or between roommates. Are you getting ready to sign a lease with a roommate and want to make sure that your relationship remains amicable through the terms of the lease? Our Louisville movers suggest drawing up a roommate agreement before your next move.
What to Include in a Roommate Agreement
When you’ve made the decision to live with someone, communication is vital and making all expectations clear at the very beginning can save all parties involved a lot of frustration. Discuss how the household duties will be divided as well as the protocol if there’s an unexpected event like a broken pipe or emergency such as a kitchen fire. A roommate contract can really help you keep the peace in your home by hopefully avoiding the common issues that cause conflict. Our Louisville local movers list some important items that should be included in the roommate agreement to ensure a peaceful lease term.
1. Rent Payment Procedure
Establish a payment plan and schedule as well as how the rent will be delivered to the landlord. Is it going to be split equally? If you decide not to split the rent evenly for whatever reason, make sure that all parties agree and that it’s written in the agreement. Figure out how the landlord prefers to receive the rent payment every month. It could be as simple as a drop-box in the building, you might have to deliver it by mail if the landlord doesn’t live close-by, or they might even offer an online payment system.
2. Utility Payment Distribution
Most roommates generally split all the utilities evenly to make it easier every month, but there are roommates who calculate utility payments depending on a variety of factors. Other roommates might even agree to each pay specific utilities that amount to more or less the same. However you and your roommates decide to handle the utilities, it should be notated in the roommate agreement.
3. Division of Household Chores
Though each member of the household takes care of their own bedroom, there are common areas you all share – the kitchen, the living room, and sometimes the bathroom(s), not to mention outdoor areas. Are you going to take turns cleaning the common areas? Or will you each be responsible for a specific room? Will you rotate your responsibilities every month or quarter? Document the division of the household chores in your roommate agreement.
4. Visiting Hours
One of the biggest things about sharing a space with someone that you may not have been friends with before is how you both plan to handle visitors. Talk to your roommates to assess how they feel about visitors at certain times or specific days of the week as well as the possibility of overnight stays. Since you’re sharing the space, be courteous when your roommate invites guests over.
5. Quiet Hours
Piggybacking off the concept of visitors, be sure to bring up the question of quiet hours, especially if one of you is in school or if your schedules are opposite.
6. Bedroom Allocation
Make sure that you and your roommate talk about the division of space before moving in. Houses and apartments usually don’t have rooms that are all equal in size. If one of the rooms is larger than the other, there’s a larger closet, a better view, or one of them has a private bathroom, this is likely a point of contention. Depending on the difference between the spaces or amenities, perhaps the roommate who gets the more attractive room pays more in rent, relinquishes the prime parking, or even agrees to do a larger share of the household chores. The same applies to outside spaces like parking spots, the backyard, and the garage or other storage.
7. Groceries, Fridge and Cabinet Spaces
Buying food is another tricky part of rooming with someone, so it’s a very important point to add to your roommate agreement. Talk with your roommate about the possibility of splitting groceries or individually buying groceries. Perhaps you can do groceries individually but go dutch on the items all the roommates will use such as condiments or non-consumable products like aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and Ziplock bags. There’s no reason to have 4 bottles of ketchup in the fridge. This way, you won’t come home to an empty egg carton when you were expecting to have some n the fridge.
8. Early Lease Termination Possibility
Though a lease is usually for a year, there are always unforeseen circumstances that arise. Before you find yourself in this tricky predicament, plan ahead and devise a plan of action if one of you needs to move out before the lease term is over. Will one of you be able to incur the complete cost of the rent? Can the unit be sublet? Make sure these are noted in the roommate agreement as well.
If you need extra pointers when you draw up a roommate agreement, we’ve got your back. Once your agreement has been finalized, contact the professional residential Louisville movers of All My Sons Moving & Storage to take care of the heavy lifting and all your other relocation needs.