How to Add a Roommate onto a Rental Agreement
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roommates-moving-in-horizAs a Chico Landlord or property manager, you will find it extremely common to have to modify leases and rental agreements to accommodate your tenants. Sometimes you are asked to remove a tenant because they have to move away, other times you may need to add on a tenant.

Roommate Dynamics-

You will find that roommate changes happen very frequently in this college town. The in- and outflow of students can be a bit overwhelming at times. However, it is a fact of life and a part of the business. Roommates who grew up together and have been friends for decades may find that they cannot live together now that they are out on their own. They may argue loudly and bother your other tenants or they may have physical altercations that put other tenants at risk of bodily injury.

Behind on Rent-

A roommate may also have difficulty paying rent. It is far better to allow that tenant to vacate than to have the entire renal unit go vacant. This is where knowing your tenants and knowing how to negotiate plays a huge role in keeping your rental units occupied.

Finding Roommates-

Suggest to the tenant that remains that they can advertise in common areas that they are seeking a new roommate. They can also advertise on campus and in the newspaper. You can certainly help them find a roommate to replace his old roomie.

Sublet options-

Of course, in a college town, you are also faced with the very high probability that many of your tenants will want to return home for the summer vacation, leaving you with a lot of vacancies. This, of course, is why rental agreements and leases in college towns are 12 months long rather than 9 months long so you get the assurance of those 3 summer months of full rent.

This is not to say that your tenants won’t go home anyway. You can earn a lot of good will simply by suggesting to your college-age tenants who want to return home that they find people they can sublet their rental to. This is a common practice in towns and cities that have thousands of college-aged students.

The concept is quite simple: As a landlord or property manager, you can consent to a subleasing agreement between your tenant and his subtenant. You can absolutely also decline. Your tenant is still financially responsible for all rent that is owed to you and he will be held liable for any non-payment.

However, you will be better off in the long run if you help your tenants find subtenants. They will most likely return when school starts up again. You will also get the benefit of having an occupied apartment for the three months that your tenants are gone. You may be amazed at how quickly an apartment unit goes downhill when nobody is in it. You will have way more maintenance and cleaning to do if you do not fill the space with a subtenant.