Including Roommates on Your Lease


If you decide midway through your lease that you would like to add a roommate or co-tenant, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities in this new arrangement. You will need to get the landlord’s approval to add another tenant. You must check the lease to ensure that adding a roommate does not violate any of the lease terms. Last, you should become familiar with your legal responsibilities as a tenant who has now entered into a lease with another individual.

Landlord approval. A tenant will need to get the landlord’s permission to add a roommate to the lease. The landlord is permitted to check a new tenant’s financial statements to ensure that he is able to pay the rent.

Terms of the lease. The tenant is likely to obtain permission to add a roommate if the co-tenancy does not violate any of the terms of the lease. Some questions to consider are: does the addition of a roommate run afoul of occupancy limitations? Landlords are allowed to enforce reasonable limits for the number of people who can occupy a single unit. Does the roommate meet the landlord’s other criteria for a suitable tenant? This may entail checking qualifications other than financial suitability such as employment and rental history and personal references.

Joint and several liability. When a tenant signs a lease with others, all parties become liable for each other’s obligations. This is known as joint and several liability. If one tenant violates the lease in some way, his co-tenants can face repercussions for such violation. A tenant may have recourse against a co-tenant for damages he is not responsible for but each tenant can be liable to the landlord for violations of the lease.

Another point to keep in mind- Sharing a lease with a roommate can present challenges if the parties do not agree on the terms of the arrangement ahead of time. This can include conflicts between roommates and resolving issues that arise between the landlord and the occupants. Drafting a roommate agreement in advance and understanding your duties as co-tenants can help avoid many of these conflicts.

The experienced team of attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C. can help you litigate your real estate claims. Contact Mark Weinstein and his colleagues at (770) 888-7707 or visit them at to find out how they can advise you.

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