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Adding a Roommate to Your Lease

Posted by Debi Rumph | Mar 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

If you are thinking about asking someone to live with you and share expenses, then you should learn what is required to add a roommate to your lease.

Be aware that if your lease specifically states that no roommates are allowed, you could be evicted by adding a roommate in violation of this clause.

Adding a roommate to your lease shouldn't be very complicated. First of all, you should inform your landlord. Then, get an idea of what to expect from your new roommate. For example, are they willing to commit to the entire lease term, and pay rent on time? Will they be responsible and clean and obey all rules and regulations of the lease? Before even considering adding a roommate, make sure that whomever you choose is compatible and financially responsible; otherwise, you could be facing a dispute down the road.

The following information will help you make the right decisions when adding a roommate, including steps that will help protect you legally.

Get the Landlord's Approval

First, let your landlord know that you wish to add an additional roommate. Then, read your lease carefully; it will usually contain a clause about occupancy limits, so make sure that adding a roommate will not violate those limits. Your lease may also contain other provisions about what constitutes a “good tenant,” so be sure that your prospective roommate also qualifies. Finally, it may be useful to have your prospective roommate attach his or her credit report along with the request.

New Roommate, New Lease

In the event of your landlords accepting letting you add a roommate and your prospective roommate passes a credit check, they may ask you to sign a new agreement. Some landlords may allow you to modify your existing lease, but don't count on it. Signing a new lease assures that your new roommate is completely liable for rent alongside you, so it's for your benefit as well. From the landlord's perspective, they are not interested in working out disputes between roommates and will expect both parties to adhere to the rules.

If you choose to sublet your apartment, perhaps a room or a bed, first ensure that it's allowed. If it's not in the lease agreement, then make sure you ask your landlord.

New Roommate, New Rent

It may seem odd that you should suddenly be paying more money for the exact same space, but landlords assume that more tenants cause more wear and tear. Also because you will usually have to sign a new lease, the landlord is entitled to include any rent increases that have occurred since you last signed.

Security Deposit Increase

Besides an increase in rent, your landlord will most likely ask you for an additional security deposit as well. It is probably a good idea to have your roommate submit a security deposit; it will make sure both tenants share responsibilities.

About the Author

Debi Rumph

The Law Offices of Debi V. Rumph and Debi's Tenant Clinic Corner About Us Since July 2005, The Residential Realty Law Firm provided a wide range of legal services as it related to home ownership. However, on July 1, 2012, The Residential Realty Law Firm became the Law Offices of Debi V. Rumph. Debi pr...


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