The roommate situation can be a minefield. It’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of conflict that results in complicated problems. Unfortunately, poor roommate arrangements can lead to complaints from neighbors and violated rental agreement rules. This post will help you understand how to navigate these types of situations.
Keep Everything Documented
Eventually, you will probably have to resolve a dispute between roommates. Although this isn’t always pleasant, it can lead to a compromise that benefits all parties involved. In the event that you have to resolve a dispute, it’s a good idea to have everything documented in advance. What did all of the roommates agree to initially? What does their signed rental agreement state? You should also encourage roommates to put things in writing when they first move in (cleaning schedules, quiet hours, guests, who will be living where). That way, when it comes time to sit down and talk, everybody has documents to refer back to.
Consider Offering Separate Roommate Agreements
If things turn sour, it could put your profits at risk. For instance, let’s say that three months after moving in, Alicia quits her job and refuses to pay rent. Her roommate, Stevie, is now responsible for Alicia’s half of the rent. She can’t afford the cost, so both individuals are evicted as a result. To prevent difficult roommate arrangements like this, you may want to consider offering separate rental agreements. When roommates sign separate agreements, one is not responsible for the other’s responsibilities. This can help you avoid many sticky situations as a landlord.
Screen Roommates and Ask Questions
Screening your roommates is always a great way to ensure they are responsible. While credit history, proof of employment and background checks are crucial, you should also contact references. Your new tenants may not have lived together previously, but you can still request references from each individual. These should include previous landlords, employers, and other professionals who can vouch for them. Additionally, you can choose to interview your new tenants to gain further insight into their roommate arrangements. Be sure to make a thorough list of questions to ask in advance. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- How many people will be living in the rental unit?
- Has anyone been evicted previously?
- Does anyone smoke or own pets?
- When will they be moving in and how long do they plan to stay?
- Does everyone agree to the rules listed in the rental agreement?
- Have they lived together previously? Have they had any experience dealing with complex roommate arrangements in the past?
How All County Denver South Can Help with Complex Roommate Arrangements
All County Denver South Property Management is here to help property owners have confidence in the quality of their tenants and the security of their property through knowledgeable and trustworthy property management services. From managing tenant relationships to lease enforcement, we look forward to working with you to see how your investment can be a long-term, stress-free asset. For a complimentary quote, or to learn more about complex roommate arrangements, call us at (720) 664-4550.