Other Names for this Document

  • Roommate contract
  • Roommate agreement
  • Flatmate agreement
  • Agreement for roommates
  • Housemate agreement
  • Roommate living agreement

When to Use

  • You are a property owner or tenant and you wish to share your living space with one or more roommates.
  • You have rented or leased a property and plan to move in with one or more other tenants.
  • You want an agreement that will protect you and establish clear responsibilities for each roommate.

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Help Guide

Our cohabitation agreement offers a comprehensive checklist for roommates and includes everything you need in order to allocate financial responsibility, establish house rules and restrictions, and clearly define living areas. This help guide provides an overview of some of the key provisions of the agreement.

Rental Payments

This section of your agreement outlines the individual rent payments for each roommate, the payment method, and how often the rent payments are due. It is most common to use a monthly payment structure, but you may also choose for the rent to be paid every week, twice per month, once per year, or any other frequency.

In most cases, rent payments are evenly split among the roommates. However, in some cases, the allocation of rent may depend on the size of each room. Our form allows you to divide rent equally or allows you the option to specify different rent payments for each roommate.

You should note that some states have a limit on the amount of rent that can be charged. There are also some cities and counties that may impose similar limits, such as cities in California, District of Columbia, Maryland, and New Jersey. Some ordinances go even further and set a limit to cost increases of the rent. However, if a rent control ordinance does not apply, the parties can choose and agree on an amount according to their preference.

Security Deposit

The security deposit usually functions as proof of intent to move in and take care of the residence. The security deposit may be used by the Property Owner to repair any damage caused to the residence, the common areas, and any furnishings provided by the Property Owner that is beyond normal wear and tear.  Normal wear and tear refers to deterioration that occurs when the residence and any furnishings provided are used as intended, without abuse or negligence by any of the roommates, subtenants, or guests.

The agreement clearly defines how the security deposit is divided among roommates, what happens if one of the roommates causes damage, as well as what will happen in the event that the entire security deposit is not returned. In the absence of a security deposit, roommates are still required to pay for any damage that they cause to the rental property or furnishings provided.

Similarly to rent payments, a security deposit is typically divided equally among roommates. However, our form gives you the option to allocate security deposit payments evenly or allows you to specify different payment amounts for each roommate.

Existing Lease Agreement

Creating a cohabitation agreement presupposes that there is already an existing lease agreement or a sublease agreement among all of the roommates.

A lease agreement is a legal contract that is between one or more tenants and a property owner and establishes the terms related to renting residential property. A cohabitation agreement is a contract that is made between tenants who share a home together and it is used to outline their day-to-day obligations. Therefore, roommates are also required to enter a lease agreement which will cover their rights and responsibilities in relation to the landlord. The residential lease agreement is an essential part of your cohabitation agreement and should be made available to all roommates. If you do not have one, it is vital to create a residential lease agreement in order to establish the legal relationship between all roommates. If you have an existing lease with the property owner which does not include all roommates as a party to the agreement, you may consider creating a sublease agreement instead.

Household Expenses and Utilities

The agreement clearly defines how utilities and household expenses are divided among roommates, including which person is responsible for making these payments.

Rules and Restrictions

This section of the agreement gives you the option to establish obligations and restrictions for all roommates. This includes rules related to: drug and alcohol consumption, parties or other gatherings, overnight guests, any specific quiet hours, whether pets will be allowed, guidelines for parking spaces, the parts of the unit that are considered shared space, and how any disagreements will be resolved.


Additionally, the agreement outlines whether early termination is allowed by any roommate, as well as the procedure to be followed in the case of early termination, including a refund of the security deposit.

Final Steps

Once you have completed the agreement, simply have each roommate sign and date where indicated. You should also be sure that all parties receive a copy of the agreement to keep for their records.

Ready To Get Started? Create a Cohabitation Agreement

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Step 1: Gather Information

As you complete your cohabitation agreement, you will need to enter certain relevant information. This includes items such as the property address, cohabitant names, starting and ending dates of occupancy, the amount and allocation of rent and security deposit, as well as any necessary house rules and restrictions.

Step 2: Answer Key Questions

Use the information that you gathered to complete the agreement. We make this easy by helping to guide you through each step and helping you customize the document to match your particular needs. The questions and the information we present to you will dynamically change depending on your responses and the state you selected. Click below to get started.

Step 3: Review and Sign

It is always important to review your document thoroughly to be sure that it meets your needs and does not have any errors or omissions. After finishing the questionnaire, you can make textual changes to your document by downloading it in Microsoft Word. If no changes are necessary, you can simply download the PDF version and sign. These downloads can be found by navigating to the Documents section of your account dashboard.

Step 4: Distribute and Store Copies

At a minimum, each roommate that signs the document should receive a copy once it is fully executed (everyone has signed). There may be other interested parties that may also need or want copies. Make sure to store your copy in a safe place. It is a good idea to keep both a physical and electronic copy.

Step 5: Periodically Review and Update

It is easy to forget some of the details of your cohabitation agreement. Periodically reviewing the agreement will help you to stay familiar with any responsibilities or requirements so that you can decide when it is necessary to make changes or additions.  

If the roommates wish to renew the agreement for an additional term, you will need to update the agreement prior to the expiration of the current term with new dates and any other changes that have been agreed upon. When using LegalNature, your answers will always be saved in your account in order to make this process quick and easy.

Step 6: Complete Related Documents

As noted above, the residential lease agreement is an important part of this agreement and should be made available to each of the roommates.  In the case that you do not have one, it is important to create a residential lease agreement, which will establish the legal relationship between all roommates. If you already have an existing lease with the property owner and it does not include all roommates as a party, you may consider creating a sublease agreement.

Ready To Get Started? Create a Cohabitation Agreement