Roommates & Housemates
Looking for a roommate, housemate or sublet?
Meet any potential roommates or sublets in person before agreeing to room with them, share a property with them, or allowing them to sublet your apartment. Talk about your expectations and do not agree to live with someone or sublet to someone who will not respect your living preferences. Do not make rent or other expense payments for roommates or sublets. Sometimes best friends do not make the best roommates.
What to discuss with roommates
- Who will occupy specific bedrooms and how the rent will be split per person, if not stated in the lease.
- Concerning the purchase of food - will it be for individual or communal consumption?
- The purchase of household supplies and furniture.
- Who places the utilities in their name, and how those are paid each month.
- The use of personal items and individual property. Think of the major items like personal computers and entertainment equipment as well as smaller items like toiletries.
- How to remedy situations when personal property is damaged or comes up missing when the responsible party cannot be identified.
- Creating a policy for entertaining guests. Discuss with your roommates rules on overnight guests and how long guests can stay.
A roommate agreement is a written document outlining expectations for people living with roommates. A roommate agreement can be useful for several reasons. Most importantly, it encourages everyone to work as a group in forging an agreement. It is also valuable in that it limits future misunderstandings concerning expectations. The topics in this section are good topics to include in your roommate agreement. We suggest you work with Carolina Student Legal Services to draft a roommate agreement, and we've included some examples here, here, and here.
There are two important legal considerations to keep in mind that relate to roommates. They are Constructive Possession and Joint and Several Liability. Constructive possession refers to the potential to be held legally responsible for illegal substances that may not technically "belong" to you, but that are discovered in places that you have the power to exert domain over, such as within an apartment. Joint and several liability refers to the potential to be held legally and financially responsible for rent payments and lease obligations should a roommate fail to uphold their end of a contract. For a full legal description and understanding of how these laws can apply to you, please contact Carolina Student Legal Services.
Conflicts do occur between roommates. It is important to try and resolve disputes promptly when they arise with tact and honesty. Remember; try to remain calm and diplomatic when dealing with these disagreements. Open lines of communication can be critical in helping to resolve disputes in an effective manner. If you are unable to resolve a conflict, please contact the office of the Dean of Students and one of our staff members can evaluate the situation to see how we can be most helpful.
Roof is an app that makes living and renting with your roommates simpler and potentially more enjoyable. Split expenses, set reminders, track shared household chores, and chat with your roommates about anything via messaging threads. Plus, use Roof to pay rent and communicate with your landlord.