5 situations where you wish you have signed a room rental agreement

“ABSENCE” RENT PAYMENT

“My roommate got a job in another city and is not sending his share of rent. What steps can I take now?” -Quora.com

Let’s say your roommate is going out of town/country for a few month. You certainly don’t mind him/her doing it, but the question is – who is going to pay their part of the rent while they are gone? You probably think it’s obvios that your rommate is, but your roommmate, most likely, doesn’t think so. After all why should he/she pay for the room if he/she is not living there? That’s when the room rental agreement would come handy: if you thought about this situation before, you would have your roommate’s own hand signature stating that he is liable for his part of the rent untill the end of the lease even if he doesn’t use the room (or something like this, written in a more sophisticated legal jargon).

SIGNIFICANT OTHERS

People meet, start dating, fall in love, move in together and this is great, if only if they don’t set their “lovers nest” in your apartment. There are way too many stories on the web, about how somebody’s significant other hangs around the house for days and while being an extremely nice and polite, creates tension and uneasiness of having a stranger in the apartment. This issue is usually hard to address unless they are being blatantly rude or disrespectful of household rules, but, if you had a signed a agreement, your love hazed roommate would remeber that “no live-in girlfriend/boyfriend” was part of the deal when you started living together and his/her failure to follow this rule could result in the increase of monthly rent or even eviction.

SECURITY DEPOSIT AS THE LAST MONTH RENT

I have a friend who owns an apartment which he rents out, each room separately, and the situations, when his tenants inform him that they are moving out in a month (although the initial agreement was the year minimum) and would like to use their security deposit as the last time rent, happen just too often. He usually lets them do it, because they would just refuse to give him the last month rent, but he gets really irritated by it, because a) he was counting on the money he would receive from them at beginning of the month and b) most of times they do leave things broken when they move out and, if my friend and his roommate did stick to their agreement, he would use their deposit to fix those things. Now he started signing the room rental agreement with his tenants that has a “last month rent and security deposit” clause in it, so that in case they fail to pay for the last month prior to lease expiration he can take them to small claims court.

PETS

No pets/ Yes pets. – Those things should be agreed upon before one of you gets a cat and then discovers that the other one is really, REALLY unhappy about it. Because, then, what happens to the cat? Right, it goes straight to shelter, and this is cruel and unfair.

NOISE

What is considrered noise? What are the hours when making noise is acceptable? What could produce noise and is, therefore, prohibited to use in the after hours? Don’t you think your life would be so much better if you and your roommate both agreed on the fact that making that smoothie in a blender at 6 am is considered noise? As well as slamming doors, stomping feet and drunk burping? Oh, and yelling at your boyfriend on the phone because you are having a fight in the middle of the night is noise too. Period.

Renting a room in NYC has become a “New York thing”, and there is no precedent anywhere in the world for this, so let’s trully start doing it New York way – sharp, straight-forward and BS free.

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