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New Roommates and Leases

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Am I responsible to pay all of the rent if my roommate suddenly moves out?

New Roommates and Leases

Going through the process of roommate matching and the work involved to find a roommate, the last thing you want to think about is something going terribly wrong. However, you'd be wise to put that thought into your head before your new roommate moves in. Once your landlord has given the okay for a roommate to move in, he or she will likely revamp the rental agreement to include the new tenant. This will most likely involve an increase in rent, and possibly another security deposit to cover the new roommate. If the rental agreement states that you are jointly responsible for the rent, the other person must pay the balance if, for whatever reason, the other roommate can't. For that reason, it's really important to make sure your roommate is mature enough to handle the responsibility that comes with being a roommate.

Two of the most important things you'll encounter when searching for a roommate are the new lease agreement, and the maturity of the person who'll be sharing your bills. Hopefully, this situation will never happen to you, but in case it does, try to have at least one month's rent saved in your bank account. That way, if something happens, you'll be able to pay the rent and have a little time to find a new roommate.



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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.