Adding a Roommate

5 Replies

I have a tenant who is currently the only one on the lease. I knew he would be looking for a roommate and now he has found one. He wants to add the roommate to the lease for the remainder of the the lease. What is the best way to go about this? Do I just write it in on the leasee line next to the first tenant with a date and initial from everyone? Do I write up an addendum to add to the lease?



I would include an addendum to the original lease stating the roommate is being added. I would even draw up another lease for the new tenant. Put in the dates he will be there. 

A lease is considered a legal document. Never modify it once it is signed. Leave the original alone.

Did you screen the proposed roommate as you would any new tenant?  I hope so.

I would do a completely new lease where both parties are named, jointly and severally.  I would have both parties initial all pages and sign the new lease and any addendum.  Basically I would treat this as a new tenancy, although I would honor the original expiration of the original tenant's lease.

Are you charging extra for the roommate?  I'm always asked this.  I don't think it seems fair but I know a lot of people do it.

Hi Nikoma,

Screen the tenant and have them both sign a new lease with the same end date.

@Susan M. - I charge extra for a room mate sometimes- it depends on the apartment.  For instance, I have a large studio apartment and normally expect one person to occupy it but often get a couple renting it- I charge $25 more since the utility usage will be higher- I have averaged out the water usage per month per person and that's what it comes out to.  On the other hand, I have a 3 bedroom currently rented out to two people, if they want to add a third person I don't charge more- the price already accounts for the extra person

I have a form called Add/Remove Tenant from lease. It handles additions and replacements.  It requires signing by both current tenants and new tenant. I require new tenant to sign a new lease, the lease makes reference to the form as an addendum.  A key detail of the form is that all tenants agree that the deposit remains with the rental ( in a remove/replace situation) and that the new tenant and old tenants need settle the deposit buy in buy out between themselves and that the deposit return check will be made out equally to the tenants including the new ones and it is not my concern how they settle it.  It also states that the new tenant agrees to the property condition report signed by the original tenants and damage existing beyond the report will come out of the deposit.  

I cobbled it together from similar forms online, so you can Google it.

I just make an addendum which references the original lease agreement.  You definitely want to do a criminal and credit check like you would with a new tenant.