Now, that you have selected the roommate you wish to share your rental accommodation with, the next logical step is to ensure all legal rights and responsibilities of co-tenants are put down in writing, in order to make sharing not only a whole lot easier, but a pleasant experience, as well.
The only thing that will hold, in the event things go wrong between roommates is, if there is a written agreement regarding:
- How the rent is to be split and paid together with utilities and security deposits.
- As well, house rules if any, regarding pets, including pet security deposits.
- Whether, smoking is to be allowed or not, and if so, smoking and the non-smoking areas should be clearly demarcated.
- Partying hours and drug use (or lack thereof) must be decided on at the outset.
- In addition, late hours and noise levels must be agreed upon.
- Whether, overnight guests are permitted, and if so, how often?
- Whether, food and cooking duties are to be shared or each one buys his / her own groceries, does his / her own cooking.
- Chalk out a cleaning schedule and how household chores are to be shared.
Though, as you will find, it is impossible to enforce the rules, such as, forcing your roommate to wash his / her dirty dishes, or to maintain the quiet while other roommates are sleeping, a small claims court judge has the power to enforce agreements, as to how rent and utilities are to be paid.
That apart, landlords should make themselves cognisant with all rules and regulations before drafting tenancy leases or rental agreements. They must also take all necessary precautions, such as, tenant screenings, background checks on prospective tenants, including making certain all rental lease clauses are adhered to, as insurance for a litigation free landlord / tenant relationship. A simple click of the mouse and any landlord or property manager can visit www.e-renter.com for their tenant screening and background check services. www.e-renter.com, the best tenant screening agency in America!