Roommates: Can't Live With Them, Can't Afford Rent Without Them

2 cats fighting with the text


Roommate issues can be tough.  When you sign a lease with roommates, you are basically bound together by the contract.


Many of these issues can be avoided if you sign a Roommate Contract when you move in.

Download a blank roommate contract

Roommate FAQ's

I want to break my lease, but I have a roommate:  You must get signatures from the roommate and the landlord to break your lease.  If you aren't getting along with your roommate and they refuse to sign your name off the lease, it will be very difficult to leave the lease.  Try to be professional, not emotional. 

My roommate won't pay rent.  When you sign a lease with someone else (meaning you sign the SAME lease on the same page), the rent is owed by either party.  You could pay $799 and your roommate could pay just $1.  The landlord doesn't care where it comes from, he just wants his rent.  If the rent isn't on time, he can pursue both people on the lease and your co-signers. 

A few things to think about...

If you move out early but leave your name on a lease, and the remaining roommates don't pay, you can still be pursued later.  Even if you gave a 30 days notice, you can be pursued because your name is still on that contract promising you will pay until a certain date.  Get your name signed off the lease!

ASUM Legal Services cannot represent you in lawsuits against other students.  

Doing the legwork yourself in finding roommate candidates can be helpful in getting yourself out of the lease.  Your roommate(s) MUST agree to the replacement and sign him/her onto the lease.  Try our Housing Finder where you can list student-only roommate ads.

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!

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 bclearly 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 


Disclaimer:  The information found at The Off-Campus Renter Center are not that of an attorney.  Please contact ASUM Legal Services (if a student) or your attorney for legal advice.  The information found here is intended for educational purposes only and should be used for ones own pursuit of mitigating disputes.