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Roomies Behaving Badly: Roommate Agreements


The intranets, and agony aunt columns (e.g. Ask Amy), are filled with tales of roommate woe:

My roommate won’t pay his share of the rent on time.
Our roommate is driving us crazy – with cleanliness.
My roommate never locks the front door.
My roommate ….
My roommate …. (I’m sure there’s a song in there somewhere ….)

There may be legal solutions in some instances, e.g. if you all signed the lease or if the conduct is illegal, but in many instances, the problems fall into the “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” or “you should have thought of this ahead of time” category.

Just as when you share legal ownership of property, other than as spouses or even if as spouses, there are times when another written agreement is called for. Just as there can be an ownership or a prenuptial agreement, there can also be a roommate agreement.

Here are some samples roommate agreements, but you do your own research, sit down with your roommates, and especially your lease-mates, and talk, research, and draft your own:

1) From Nolo Press, always a favorite starting point, this excellent article and sample Roommate Agreement: Renting With Others: Learn to avoid disputes among roommates or with the landlord.

2) From Roommate Click dot com

3) From Roommate Agreement

4) From Roommate Connection

5) From Wisconsin: Tenant Resource Center (this isn’t an Oregon organization, and you may want to check with some Oregon landlord-tenant law resources, but the gist of the agreement will be similar)

6) And don’t forget Dorm Roommate Agreements (this one from Oregon State University Housing)

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