This article originally appeared on the Springs "You're Home Blog."
If you move into your Springs Apartments home solo, there may come a time when you decide to take in a roommate. It could be to balance out your finances, or you might want the companionship of a friend or significant other. Streamline the process by making sure you have all your ducks in a row ahead of time.
Know the Difference Between a Roommate and a Sublessee
A roommate shares all the same legal and financial obligations as you do regarding the apartment and also enjoys the same protections. In effect, a sublessee assumes your lease and is obligated to the landlord under all the terms to which you agreed. This includes them assuming the security deposit paid by you, and the apartment in its current condition. In other words, if you have damaged the apartment, they will be charged at the end of the lease.
Bear in mind that roommates are equally responsible for maintaining the terms of the lease. If your roommate causes damages or reneges on rent, you are independently liable under the "joint and several" legal rule.
Check Your Prospective Roommate's Finances
Have your prospective roommate request a credit report so you can see if there is any adverse information regarding either general credit or tenancy history. If possible, they can then take action to rectify any blemishes. The property management company will also do a full background and credit screening, for which normal charges will apply.
Submit Your Request in Writing
Formal notification to the property management will be necessary in the case of a new roommate or a sublessee. In either case, new lease paperwork will have to be drawn up and the new residents will have to submit to a normal background check.
Be Prepared Financially
An additional resident on the premises can mean increased costs of living for items such as utilities. Make sure your new roommate has funds available to cover any extra costs that may be incurred immediately.
Draw Up a Personal Agreement
If you are taking on a new roommate, it is not a bad idea to protect yourself by putting an agreement in writing. Include how rent and utilities are split, guidelines for overnight guests, what happens if one wants to move out, and what process will be used to resolve disputes. You can add any other important issues as you see fit. If you are entering into a sublet agreement, it is a good idea to determine how you will handle the security deposit and the apartment condition before you hand over the keys. This is also a good time to talk about who pays for the lock to be changed, because the apartment community will not likely do this free of charge.
Our Springs Apartments team is happy to answer any questions you may have about your tenancy with us. Please feel free to call or stop by anytime!