Lease: Wording so you're not responsible for housemate's rent?

Archived From: Finance
  • Text Only
Voting History
rated:
Negotiating the wording of a lease:
I'm looking to move in with a housemate, but the draft lease says we are both jointly responsible for the total sum of rent.  The way it is currently worded, if my housemate doesn't pay rent, then I'm responsible for his share.  We haven't signed the lease yet and landlord will consider revisions.  However, landlord wants us both on the same lease.  Is there alternate wording we could put in the lease that would let me off the hook if my housemate doesn't pay his share?

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
This reads like a great novel

alamo11 (Sep. 22, 2016 @ 6:51p) |

You could marry them, perhaps.

TravelerMSY (Sep. 22, 2016 @ 7:21p) |

Go for it OP!!!!!!!!!  Just do it!!!!!!!!  What could possibly go wrong?????????



Please, however, do NOT come back and cr... (more)

Mickie3 (Sep. 22, 2016 @ 7:50p) |

Staff Summary
Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

Gauss44 said:   Negotiating the wording of a lease:
I'm looking to move in with a housemate, but the draft lease says we are both jointly responsible for the total sum of rent.  The way it is currently worded, if my housemate doesn't pay rent, then I'm responsible for his share.  We haven't signed the lease yet and landlord will consider revisions.  However, landlord wants us both on the same lease.  Is there alternate wording we could put in the lease that would let me off the hook if my housemate doesn't pay his share?

There sure are. Whether LL agrees to them is a different matter. It is not uncommon to have the roommates individually responsible for the full rent.

Some LLs allow for individuals to be responsible only for their share of the rent (I have seen this in some college towns). It will usually cost more in rent.

ETA: What happened to your previous rental situation? An update on that thread would be nice.
ETA: If you both have to be on the same lease, I doubt your LL will be agreeable to what you want (each roommate responsible for their own share of the rent). Dont waste your time finding the wording before checking if LL is even open to this.

No sane landlord will agree to what you're suggesting. Get your own place if you don't want to eat the risk.

I'd consider you lucky to have *any* lease this point. Sign quickly, and pray to God your prospective roommate doesn't read FWF.

What happened to that thread where the landlord leased out a closet to a fifth person?

That's essentially what you're asking for. You want a lease that gives you the rights to access the unit and exclusive rights to one certain area. That gives the landlord control over the entire rest of the unit. Do you want the landlord to be able to replace your housemate without your consent?

I am a landlord and the only way I'd agree to individual leases is if each lease is for a substantially higher rent.
Even then, I'd do it only if desperate for tenants.
Managing two separate leases under the same roof brings in so many complex situations that even a 30-40% rent increase is easily justified.
I've got to cover for the situation that the room-mates fall out of favor with each other and one of them moves out.
With a single lease, it's none of my concern.

I understand your concern, simply ask that the landlord put in the lease you are responsible for half and the other person is responsible for half. Jointly and severally liable is very common, because the landlord wants as many people as we can get who are legally responsible. I give it slim odds your landlord will agree to this Because if one roommate leaves, there is no incentive for the remaining roommate to get a new tenant, they're getting the entire house half off!

If you're willing to get a bit creative, I would suggest that the default language on the lease be: in case of default by one tenant, the second will have a 60 day grace period where rent is reduced by half. Past those 60 days, the remaining tenant is responsible for 125% of rent for the remainder of the lease. This way, the landlord is being pretty well compensated if one tenant takes off. landlords worst case scenario is an 8 percent loss, his best case scenario is a 10% additional gain.

fwuser12 said:   
 
Some LLs allow for individuals to be responsible only for their share of the rent (I have seen this in some college towns). It will usually cost more in rent.

 

I have also seen this in college town. the invisible hand makes it happen. It's a headache for the LL also because of the common areas like kitchen, bathroom, garage, yard etc

mwa423 said:   ...

If you're willing to get a bit creative, I would suggest that the default language on the lease be: in case of default by one tenant, the second will have a 60 day grace period where rent is reduced by half. Past those 60 days, the remaining tenant is responsible for 125% of rent for the remainder of the lease. This way, the landlord is being pretty well compensated if one tenant takes off. landlords worst case scenario is an 8 percent loss, his best case scenario is a 10% additional gain.

  

what?
 

mwa423 said:   If you're willing to get a bit creative, I would suggest that the default language on the lease be: in case of default by one tenant, the second will have a 60 day grace period where rent is reduced by half. Past those 60 days, the remaining tenant is responsible for 125% of rent for the remainder of the lease. This way, the landlord is being pretty well compensated if one tenant takes off. landlords worst case scenario is an 8 percent loss, his best case scenario is a 10% additional gain.
  

I would be surprised if you could find a coherent landlord to agree to this. Fraught with possible losses and headaches for any landlord.

this is a continuation of the thread about being evicted.

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1511557


The OP had started this thread there, but didn't like the answers they were given, so they started this thread.

OP: As I said in the other thread, may the lord have mercy on the roomie, this has doom written all over it.

Mickie3 said:   this is a continuation of the thread about being evicted.

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1511557


The OP had started this thread there, but didn't like the answers they were given, so they started this thread.

OP: As I said in the other thread, may the lord have mercy on the roomie, this has doom written all over it.



Wrong.  That was not my reasoning.  And I was never evicted.  The previous message has Troll written all over it.

 

Gauss44 said:   
Mickie3 said:   this is a continuation of the thread about being evicted.

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1511557 


The OP had started this thread there, but didn't like the answers they were given, so they started this thread.

OP: As I said in the other thread, may the lord have mercy on the roomie, this has doom written all over it.



Wrong.  That was not my reasoning.  And I was never evicted.  The previous message has Troll written all over it.

 

  

I think Mickie3 may just misunderstand how a notice to quit really works.

Its not handled nor filed with the courts.  Its the required first step of eviction but if a landlord does nothing else there is no eviction and the court doesn't know about it.

ETA: I think I replied to the wrong thread, but its the same topic so ... 

jerosen said:   
Gauss44 said:   
Mickie3 said:   this is a continuation of the thread about being evicted.

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1511557 


The OP had started this thread there, but didn't like the answers they were given, so they started this thread.

OP: As I said in the other thread, may the lord have mercy on the roomie, this has doom written all over it.



Wrong.  That was not my reasoning.  And I was never evicted.  The previous message has Troll written all over it.

 

  

I think Mickie3 may just misunderstand how a notice to quit really works.

Its not handled nor filed with the courts.  Its the required first step of eviction but if a landlord does nothing else there is no eviction and the court doesn't know about it.

ETA: I think I replied to the wrong thread, but its the same topic so ... 

  

Nope, I saw how Mass does evictions and the other thread was about how OP was worried they would be evicted after receiving notice.  OP did as usual and did not update the thread, last I recall was them not paying rent and wondering how long they could squat.

 

Mickie3 said:   OP: As I said in the other thread, may the lord have mercy on the roomie, ...
 

A hundred greens for this. I hope the prospective roomie reads this and other threads by OP.

Why involve the landlord?

If you dont pay your half by the 5th, I take your stuff and put it by the dumpster.

If I dont pay my half by the 5th, you take my bed and my dog-earned Pokemon card collection and put it on eBay.

If you're going to do this, provide incentive for both to 'man up'...

SPOILER ALERT:
OP will respond a few times, ignore the advice given and never give us an update as to what actually happened.

BostonOne said:   SPOILER ALERT:
OP will respond a few times, ignore the advice given and never give us an update as to what actually happened.

  

Dah? Are you really wondering what is going to happen? One guess.  It is like two people want to share a lease on a new car. Only they each want to be each responsible for only half the lease. Thus if one defaults the other who is paying can still lease the car at half the total lease price.  

cajundavid said:   
mwa423 said:   If you're willing to get a bit creative, I would suggest that the default language on the lease be: in case of default by one tenant, the second will have a 60 day grace period where rent is reduced by half. Past those 60 days, the remaining tenant is responsible for 125% of rent for the remainder of the lease. This way, the landlord is being pretty well compensated if one tenant takes off. landlords worst case scenario is an 8 percent loss, his best case scenario is a 10% additional gain.
  

I would be surprised if you could find a coherent landlord to agree to this. Fraught with possible losses and headaches for any landlord.

  

 Not going to disagree it's a long shot, but there are also a lot of incoherent landlords. If they see the 125% of rent, get greedy, and might like the idea.

What would most realistically happen is the second tenant would leave in the last few MONTHS of the lease; leaving the landlord with just a loss, but the hope is the landlord won't think of that. You don't have to think things through to own a property, the fact this landlord is accepting a tenant currently in eviction suggests this one isn't. 

This is why I only rent to single people.

mwa423 said:   cajundavid said:   
mwa423 said:   If you're willing to get a bit creative, I would suggest that the default language on the lease be: in case of default by one tenant, the second will have a 60 day grace period where rent is reduced by half. Past those 60 days, the remaining tenant is responsible for 125% of rent for the remainder of the lease. This way, the landlord is being pretty well compensated if one tenant takes off. landlords worst case scenario is an 8 percent loss, his best case scenario is a 10% additional gain.
  

I would be surprised if you could find a coherent landlord to agree to this. Fraught with possible losses and headaches for any landlord.

  

 Not going to disagree it's a long shot, but there are also a lot of incoherent landlords. If they see the 125% of rent, get greedy, and might like the idea.

What would most realistically happen is the second tenant would leave in the last few MONTHS of the lease; leaving the landlord with just a loss, but the hope is the landlord won't think of that. You don't have to think things through to own a property, the fact this landlord is accepting a tenant currently in eviction suggests this one isn't. 
the landlord is the one responsible for writing the lease and revising it. so they would have to put thought into the wording and realize it's a dumb idea.

or when they write it out. in their own words, they would take grace period to mean you have to pay up the remainingredients month of outstanding rent at the end of the 60 days

Reason why I dont allow roommate situations.

JaxFL, there are potential advantages when roommates are jointly and severally liable. You only need one to be collectible and sorting out who owes what percentage is their concern, not yours. Every one of them owes 100% until the rent is paid.

SlimTim said:   JaxFL, there are potential advantages when roommates are jointly and severally liable. You only need one to be collectible and sorting out who owes what percentage is their concern, not yours. Every one of them owes 100% until the rent is paid.

When one of them leaves guess who brings the new person in, the existing tenants; or for that matter they dont tell you the person left and bring someone in without you knowing and you find out after the fact (been there). Maybe additional friend staying on the couch, who knows.  Does the landlord start advertising for rommmate wanted when one of them leave. Im not running a boarding house. Technically if they are joint on the lease, when one moves they all should move, you rented to them all.  I wouldnt do anything other than Joint liability, but in essence its kinda of a misnomer... they collectively need each other to afford the place, so yes you have more live bodies to go after, but what kind of financial live bodies do you have; and I frankly would rather have someone I dont have to chase after to begin with.    

JaxFL said:   
SlimTim said:   JaxFL, there are potential advantages when roommates are jointly and severally liable. You only need one to be collectible and sorting out who owes what percentage is their concern, not yours. Every one of them owes 100% until the rent is paid.

When one of them leaves guess who brings the new person in, the existing tenants; or for that matter they dont tell you the person left and bring someone in without you knowing and you find out after the fact (been there). Maybe additional friend staying on the couch, who knows.  Does the landlord start advertising for rommmate wanted when one of them leave. Im not running a boarding house. Technically if they are joint on the lease, when one moves they all should move, you rented to them all.  I wouldnt do anything other than Joint liability, but in essence its kinda of a misnomer... they collectively need each other to afford the place, so yes you have more live bodies to go after, but what kind of financial live bodies do you have; and I frankly would rather have someone I dont have to chase after to begin with.    

  
I don't go after anyone, I just keep their deposit ...

so if you don't rent to roommates who do you rent to? Husband and wife? with a 50% divorce rate, you might as well be renting to roommates. At least roommates will each be employed.

From a renter's perspective, I guess that living with a housemate can turn out to be much more expensive than living on one's own.  That is, if your housemate can't pay rent at some point during the lease. I never imagined it would be so risky to live with a housemate solely to save money.

Landlord will not agree to two leases, so we will be on the same lease together. Apparently neither me nor my future housemate has ever missed, or been late, on a rent payment. (After my last building was foreclosed upon, I received a letter ordering me to stop paying rent. After researching what that meant, I began paying for use and occupancy instead.)

Gauss44 said:   From a renter's perspective, I guess that living with a housemate can turn out to be much more expensive than living on one's own.  That is, if your housemate can't pay rent at some point during the lease. I never imagined it would be so risky to live with a housemate solely to save money.

)

You can sign a separateagreement with the roommate and Sue them in small claims

DID YOU USE MY KETCHUP?!

Gauss44 said:   From a renter's perspective, I guess that living with a housemate can turn out to be much more expensive than living on one's own.  That is, if your housemate can't pay rent at some point during the lease. I never imagined it would be so risky to live with a housemate solely to save money.

Landlord will not agree to two leases, so we will be on the same lease together. Apparently neither me nor my future housemate has ever missed, or been late, on a rent payment. (After my last building was foreclosed upon, I received a letter ordering me to stop paying rent. After researching what that meant, I began paying for use and occupancy instead.)

Have you never had a roommate in the past? How was the lease worded then and how did it work out (sharing living space and rent)?

Even if the landlord does agree to that wording, it also is going to mean that if one of you breaks the lease for whatever reason then the landlord gets to rent out the other half to whomever they want.

let me just say: you should not have a roommate. please explore all other options. WHOEVER your roommate is, it's gonna be like The Odd Couple. Except in this version, your roommate has a nervous breakdown and actually kills you.

solarUS said:   let me just say: you should not have a roommate. please explore all other options. WHOEVER your roommate is, it's gonna be like The Odd Couple. Except in this version, your roommate has a nervous breakdown and actually kills you.
 

  

Can't have that happen as we would miss all the bizarre topics that the OP furnishes us with.  Can you imagine what that would do to the popcorn industry?

 

I just came to say people like OP exist in real life....

Yep, I left that reply in the last thread. I'm a landlord and broker. At first I thought I'd help the guy out as I'm also in the same area but when you start making wacky demands, I usually say forget it. It's only the tip of the iceberg. The OP should be thankful that the landlord is still willing to rent to you. Whenever roommates approach me, they usually have everything figured out in advance and I specifically make the point that they're all equally responsible for the rent and they never complain. Of course in a certain number of cases, the situation doesn't work out so one of them ends up leaving after a year. I hope the OP lets us know in a year if he still has the same roommate.

henry33 said:   Yep, I left that reply in the last thread. I'm a landlord and broker. At first I thought I'd help the guy out as I'm also in the same area but when you start making wacky demands, I usually say forget it. It's only the tip of the iceberg. The OP should be thankful that the landlord is still willing to rent to you. Whenever roommates approach me, they usually have everything figured out in advance and I specifically make the point that they're all equally responsible for the rent and they never complain. Of course in a certain number of cases, the situation doesn't work out so one of them ends up leaving after a year. I hope the OP lets us know in a year if he still has the same roommate.
 This times a million. I am a property manager and real estate investor as well. It's the OP that's the problem and not all these people he's encountered....

and OP has officially deserted thread.

You are renting an entire living unit and you are asking the landlord to treat it as a boarding house/room rental. At this point you are getting off on the wrong foot with yet another landlord.

Again, I urge you to contact a landlord-tenant agency/support whatever it is called in your area. In another thread I gave you a link. Please meet or talk with a member of their staff about your multiple situations. If you are lucky you will end up speaking with a kind and understanding soul who will help you navigate through this and the other difficulties you are having with your living situations.

Mickie3 said:   and OP has officially deserted thread.
no worry.  He will starts another one, soon.

Here's another twist. I found another place with, personality wise, a great housemate. The catch is that he is terminally ill and may pass away in the next year. Anyone know if there's a kind of renters insurance or a way to protect myself financially if he dies and someone doesn't immediately take his place or becomes unable to work?

Gauss44 said:   Here's another twist. I found another place with, personality wise, a great housemate. The catch is that he is terminally ill and may pass away in the next year. Anyone know if there's a kind of renters insurance or a way to protect myself financially if he dies and someone doesn't immediately take his place or becomes unable to work?
You can't make this sh...t up

Skipping 4 Messages...
Gauss44 said:   Here's another twist. I found another place with, personality wise, a great housemate. The catch is that he is terminally ill and may pass away in the next year. Anyone know if there's a kind of renters insurance or a way to protect myself financially if he dies and someone doesn't immediately take his place or becomes unable to work?
  

Go for it OP!!!!!!!!!  Just do it!!!!!!!!  What could possibly go wrong?????????



Please, however, do NOT come back and cry all over FWF about your situation.  



Am seriously considering cornering the popcorn market, just to sell it to the audience of OP's bizarre threads alone should make me BILLIONS.

 



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2017