5 friends and myself are planning on renting a house together in the coming months. My question is how does a landlord typically handle this situation? Multiple names on the lease or just one? What if one of the roommates bails mid-lease? Is it advantageous to go month-to-month?
I'd like to know what landlords prefer so I can better approach the situation as a tenant.
I would have every tenant on the lease and have ever tenant wholly responsible for the rent in the event any tenants bail. The more people I can pursue in court the more likely I am to collect in the case of a default.
If a roommate bails it is the tenants problem not mine, same applies to LMR and deposits.
My preference, as a landlord is M2M leases however I would never rent to 6 unrelated persons. Too many interpersonal relationship issues. It never works.
I saw this pretty frequently back in college:
One house with 6 rooms and 7 guys are living there. The landlord would get ALL the tenant names on the lease and require an update if a new adult were to move in. Other than that, the landlord had one rent price for the house. Many landlords didn't typically care whether or not a person dropped or was added (as long as it was communicated), the total rent was still the same because they knew what the market was.
I don't know how the majority of those landlords handled utilities.
A handful of my friends were landlord representatives. They were in charge of making sure all the rent got to the owner and were often times given a discount on rent when they did certain duties to help out. Or just paid the whole rent amount ON TIME. If 2 guys all of a sudden changed plans and were moving out halfway through the lease, then the other guys were on the hook for the remainder rent and were motivated to find new roommates to help cover rent.
I don't know what all the landlord-tenant rules are in various locations, but my tenant friends seemed to understand and agree with the leases they signed and nobody ended up suing the landlord, even if he was doing something illegal by managing tenants this way.
So I wouldn't say that it never works.
All that to say, Rich Dunne, is that you might save yourself some thinking time and might benefit from approaching the landlord and asking about what your options are. Does he care about individual rent or total rent? Give him a few different options from your mind and see if he responds with a few options that could work for him. The sooner you have that discussion, the sooner you can ask other BP members about which option is better for the tenants to agree to - A, B or C.