After college, many find themselves exhausted, drained, and happy to have finally graduated. That’s until they realize they have school loans due soon and, in some cases, in need of an affordable place to stay. Many times they settle on finding themselves a roommate or two to split rent and other costs, such as furniture or luxuries like roller blinds, without totally realizing what they’re truly getting into.
How much trouble could a potential roommate be?
A lot, if you don’t screen them properly. Having a roommate means sharing your intimate space and life with someone. Creating a joint partnership to uphold your end of the tenant-landlord agreement. Roommates that violate or don’t adhere to certain rules put in place by the landlord cannot only get themselves evicted but you, the uninvolved party, as well. The landlord has the right to remove all tenants due to one tenant’s mishaps. One tenant being late or not being able to pay their rent is included in the eviction of all tenants. So try to find an ideal roommate that understands and knows how to take care of their responsibilities.
Ways to protect yourself
First and foremost, ask for a separate rental agreement so that you’re not confined or bound to any agreement where violations or evictions aren’t necessarily effected by you. Secondly, documenting everything helps any conflicts or issues with roommates or landlords if any shall occur. And, once again, screen your roommates. This point cannot be stressed enough. Ask them as many questions as possible pertaining to how their finances are, what they like to do, what are some of their habits, or what they potentially like in a roommate as well. This helps immensely.
What else should you know?
Read your rental agreement carefully and, possibly, have another trusted eye read it over as well so you have a full understanding of what you’re getting into. Pay close attention to how your security deposit is handled throughout the course of your stay, especially when living with a roommate. Roommates that leave before the rental agreement is over may not be subjected to some of the charges that can be deducted from a deposit. Though, legally, they’re still responsible for certain fees, if charged, well after moving out. So keep documentation and a steady knowledge about your living arrangement and rights when it comes to living with someone else under joint circumstances.