Moving or finding roommates

Looking for roommates to help you pay rent? Learn about tenants-landlord laws.
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Move or find roommates FAQs

Sometimes coming up with rent money can be difficult. If you are having money issues, you may be wondering if you should get a roommate or move. While no one can make that decision for you, with a bit of thought you can make the best choice for yourself.

Should I find a new place or get a roommate?

This is a question many people, of all ages, are asking themselves lately. No one can answer this question for you but here are some questions to consider,

  • If you need to move for financial reasons, can you get out of your lease?
  • Does your lease allow you to move in roommates?
  • Do you need a roommate for financial reasons or because you don't want to live alone?
  • Could moving help you save money in other ways? Such as a shorter commute.
  • Would your new roommate be willing to sign a lease agreement?
  • Would your landlord allow you to share a larger unit with a roommate?
  • Could you do side work or take on a part-time job to make ends meet?

Do I have to ask my landlord to get a roommate?

If you want to stay on good terms, yes. First check your lease to see if you are allowed to move in a roommate. If the lease does not mention it, ask your landlord if you can have a roommate. It may be required that your chosen roommate pass a background and credit check to be allowed to move in and your landlord may choose to modify your lease. In many cases you may be 100 percent responsible for the rent if your roommate doesn't pay their portion.

Does my new roommate need to sign a lease?

In most cases, yes. Your roommate will most likely need to agree to the same terms that you did when you moved in. If they do not have a lease, you are in a sense subletting and are their acting landlord. Even if you are not required to have your roommate sign a lease with your landlord, you can ask them to sign a lease with you. A Roommate Agreement outlines rent as well as important details such as who pays for insurance and other shared household items.

What should I do if I can't afford my rent?

First you need to assess whether this is a long-term or short-term problem. If it is an ongoing problem, you may have to consider moving or getting a roommate. If it is a short-term problem, you need to figure out how you can pay rent without also coming up short the next month. As soon as you can, even before rent is due, talk to your landlord. Often, they will let you may payment arrangements. You'll still have to pay your late fee, but you'll have a bit of breathing room if you can make payments. If you need to move, you'll need to talk to your landlord about how you can get out of your lease and give your landlord notice. If you cannot afford rent, they met let you out of your lease since you can't pay anyway. Or, you may be allowed to sublet your rental through the end of your lease agreement.

Can my landlord raise my rent?

It depends on the terms of your lease. If your lease is ending soon, they can send you a notice that they intend to raise the rent before you sign a new Lease Agreement. If you do not have a lease, they can raise your rent with proper notice ( often 30 or 60 days). If you live rent-controlled housing, your landlord will have to follow the local housing laws. Government financed housing is also often restricted. If you believe your landlord is raising your rent for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons, contact a lawyer. You can ask your landlord for a new lease agreement to help lock in your new rent rate.