Sharing your space – Getting a roommate

Finding a roommate to split the cost of your rent and utilities may be the perfect answer to your problem. Before you let someone move in with you, be sure that your lease allows you to have a roommate.

If it does, be clear about any rights the landlord may have, such as the right to approve a roommate before he/she moves in. If you violate the terms of your lease, you may face eviction.

Discussing the Business of Living Together:

After you find a roommate, discuss how the two of you will manage the practical aspects of living together. For example:

  • How will the rent get paid each month? Will you each write a check for one half of the rent, or will one of you write a check for the full amount and get reimbursed by the other.
  • Who will pay any additional security deposit your landlord may require?
  • How will you share joint expenses such as utilities, DSTV, Internet etc?
  • How much notice must your roommate give you if he/she decides to move out before your lease is up, and what are the financial implications of him/her doing so.
  • Under what circumstances can you ask your roommate to move out if you decide that living together isn’t working out.
  • Is your roommate obligated to help you find an acceptable new roommate if he/she moves out before your lease is up?
  • How will you share the housework?

If you are going to share a home, how will you divide up any chores your landlord doesn’t handle, such as mowing the grass etc.

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