A good roommate agreement should cover at least the following areas:
- Money. How is the rent split? If there are joint purchases, such as appliances and furniture, how are they paid for? What happens if a roommate cannot pay his/her share?
- Private spaces and common areas. Who gets which room? How are the common areas furnished and maintained? Are there guidelines for maintaining private areas?
- Food and common household supplies. Are they shared? How are they paid for? Who is responsible for replacing items?
- Visitors. Is there a limit on number and timing of visitors? Are overnight visitors allowed, and if so can they sleep in the common area? How long can a visitor stay? Who pays costs related to visitors (use of common food/drink supplies, etc.)?
- Pets. Cats? Dogs? Snakes? What kind of pets are allowed?
- Noise. Are there guidelines for acceptable noise level? What about late at night? In private areas? In common areas?
- Moving out. How are jointly purchased items divided? If a roommate wants to move out before end of the lease, who is responsible for finding a replacement? Under what circumstances can a roommate be asked to move out?