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Room Rental Agreement basics

Room Rental Contracts can be used to add a roommate, to allow someone to rent your room while you are away, or to permit someone to finish the terms of your lease.


Use the Room Rental Agreement document if:

  • You want to allow a new roommate to live in your leased space.
  • You want to rent your room or apartment to someone temporarily while you are away.
  • You are renting a house and want to rent rooms out to others.
  • You need to move and have someone else finish the terms of your lease.

Sometimes things don't work out the way you anticipated, and you need to add roommates to help you pay rent or you need to move and have someone finish the terms of your lease. This Room Rental Agreement includes everything needed to help you to move in other renters to your leased space.


Other names for Room Rental Agreement:

Room Rental Agreement Form, Room Lease Agreement, Room Rental Contract


What is a Room Rental Agreement?

A Room Rental Agreement is used if a person with a "Prime Lease" (an original Lease Agreement) wants to allow another person to live in the leased property. It can also be used if the original lease holder needs to move out and sublet the entire unit (commonly referred to as "taking over a lease.") The sublease agreement binds the new renter to everything included in the first Lease Agreement. In most cases, the new tenant will be required to financially qualify and agree to a credit check.


What this document includes

This lease document includes a basic lease agreement, an inspection checklist and a lead-paint disclosure. When you share this document with your new roommate or someone renting your space while you are away, you'll want to also include a copy of the original lease, so they understand the original agreements. If your building was built or altered before 1978, you'll likely need to include the same lead-paint disclosures that were included with the original lease.


Do I need my landlord's approval to sublease?

In almost every case, yes. You can review your current lease agreement to see if there is information about the process required to add a roommate to the lease. If you cannot find a copy of your lease, contact your landlord and simply ask them. It is best to stay on good terms with your property manager and follow the proper procedure. If you move someone in without your landlord's approval it could cause problems for you. Even if your lease does not specifically say that you cannot sublease, you should still ask and get approval from your property manager first. If you are a landlord and want to provide written permission to your tenant to sublease, you can use our Consent to Sublease document.


What if my new roommate or subtenant doesn't pay rent?

You are responsible to your original lease. If they do not pay their rent or violate the terms of the lease, your landlord can require you to pay late rent due or damages. Because you are still bound to the Prime Lease, you'll want to choose your roommates or subtenants carefully. You can ask them to submit to you a Rental Application, so you can screen them just as a property manager would. You may benefit from keeping a month or so of rent funds saved so you can pay the rent on time if they pay late.


How much can I charge for rent?

How much you can charge for rent and the security deposit varies by where you live. Some areas that include rent-controlled housing do not allow you to charge more rent than what is listed in the original lease. Other locations do not have these rules and you may be able to charge for a profit. If you are not sure about your local rental laws, you can ask a lawyer about what local or state rules you may need to adhere to. Don't forget to also make agreements about who pays the utilities.


Subtenants rights

As a subtenant, since you didn't sign the original Lease Agreement, in most instances you'll contact the original lease holder with any issues you may have about rent or repairs. Unless you've made other arrangements, you'll pay your rent to the lease holder and they will pay the rent to the landlord. However, sometimes you can make an agreement with the property manager to be treated as if you were the Prime Lease holder.


Sample Room Rental Agreement

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Room Rental Agreement basics

Sometimes things don't work out the way you anticipated, and you need to add roommates to help you pay rent or you need to move and have someone finish the terms of your lease. This Room Rental Agreement includes everything needed to help you to move in other renters to your leased space.


Other names for Room Rental Agreement:

Room Rental Agreement Form, Room Lease Agreement, Room Rental Contract


What is a Room Rental Agreement?

A Room Rental Agreement is used if a person with a "Prime Lease" (an original Lease Agreement) wants to allow another person to live in the leased property. It can also be used if the original lease holder needs to move out and sublet the entire unit (commonly referred to as "taking over a lease.") The sublease agreement binds the new renter to everything included in the first Lease Agreement. In most cases, the new tenant will be required to financially qualify and agree to a credit check.


What this document includes

This lease document includes a basic lease agreement, an inspection checklist and a lead-paint disclosure. When you share this document with your new roommate or someone renting your space while you are away, you'll want to also include a copy of the original lease, so they understand the original agreements. If your building was built or altered before 1978, you'll likely need to include the same lead-paint disclosures that were included with the original lease.


Do I need my landlord's approval to sublease?

In almost every case, yes. You can review your current lease agreement to see if there is information about the process required to add a roommate to the lease. If you cannot find a copy of your lease, contact your landlord and simply ask them. It is best to stay on good terms with your property manager and follow the proper procedure. If you move someone in without your landlord's approval it could cause problems for you. Even if your lease does not specifically say that you cannot sublease, you should still ask and get approval from your property manager first. If you are a landlord and want to provide written permission to your tenant to sublease, you can use our Consent to Sublease document.


What if my new roommate or subtenant doesn't pay rent?

You are responsible to your original lease. If they do not pay their rent or violate the terms of the lease, your landlord can require you to pay late rent due or damages. Because you are still bound to the Prime Lease, you'll want to choose your roommates or subtenants carefully. You can ask them to submit to you a Rental Application, so you can screen them just as a property manager would. You may benefit from keeping a month or so of rent funds saved so you can pay the rent on time if they pay late.


How much can I charge for rent?

How much you can charge for rent and the security deposit varies by where you live. Some areas that include rent-controlled housing do not allow you to charge more rent than what is listed in the original lease. Other locations do not have these rules and you may be able to charge for a profit. If you are not sure about your local rental laws, you can ask a lawyer about what local or state rules you may need to adhere to. Don't forget to also make agreements about who pays the utilities.


Subtenants rights

As a subtenant, since you didn't sign the original Lease Agreement, in most instances you'll contact the original lease holder with any issues you may have about rent or repairs. Unless you've made other arrangements, you'll pay your rent to the lease holder and they will pay the rent to the landlord. However, sometimes you can make an agreement with the property manager to be treated as if you were the Prime Lease holder.

Use the Room Rental Agreement document if:
  • You want to allow a new roommate to live in your leased space.
  • You want to rent your room or apartment to someone temporarily while you are away.
  • You are renting a house and want to rent rooms out to others.
  • You need to move and have someone else finish the terms of your lease.
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