Roommates: can't live with 'em, can't get cheap rent without 'em

Finding the Right Roommates

It can be tempting to jump into a lease with another person, especially if the available rental seems to be just what you're looking for. But be thoughtful about who you decide to live with. You won't regret it!

Something to consider...

When a group of people enters into a rental agreement together, they have what is called “joint and several liability.” This means that if one person does not uphold their responsibilities on the lease, then the responsibility falls to the rest of the group. Likewise, if one tenant violates the lease, all those on the lease have to suffer the consequences of the action.

  • That means if your roommate ditches on rent, you (and your other roommates) have to pay for it!
  • If your roommate does something irresponsible and eviction-worthy, you will have to suffer the consequences as well.

Make sure you trust the person you agree to sign a lease with!


MEET UP before making the commitment:

It is important to find roommates whose living styles are compatible with your own. Do not agree to move in with someone before meeting him or her IN PERSON! Schedule a time to meet up with potential roommates to discuss living styles and what you are looking for in a rental. Be honest about your own habits and clearly communicate your expectations from the start.

Are we compatible? Questions to ask:

  • Sleeping schedules
  • Cleanliness
  • Drug/alcohol use
  • pets
  • shower schedule
  • how often he/she expects to have guests over and how many 

Search for roommates:

Agree to sign a Roommate Agreement before living together

This document can provide you with legal cover if your roommate decides to stop paying rent (which leaves YOU) with the responsibility of paying THE ENTIRE MONTH'S RENT. Try a model roommate agreement model roommate agreement form (PDF).

Make a good roommate ad

Include what is important to you when living with other people and be honest about your habits.

 You may want to consider something more serious than this ad:

Funny Roommate Ad