A room rental agreement is a legal document that clarifies the details of relationships between the person renting their room out and the person planning to reside there. The former is officially called the “landlord,” whereas the latter is referred to as the “tenant.

There are different kinds of rental agreements (meaning they might include different points and cover different issues). However, they all have the same purpose—to specify what the landlord might expect from the tenant, what the tenant might expect from the landlord, their duties and responsibilities, and what is prohibited.

When You May Need a Room Rental Agreement

The key idea of the room rental agreement is to specify the terms of relationships established between the landlord and the tenant when the latter comes into the room of the former. Therefore, the main situation when you might need such a document is when you either rent the room at your house or any other living place or look for a place to live.

Mainly, this situation occurs in the following cases:

Tenant’s Perspective

  • You are planning to start your own life and move out from your parents’ house but do not have your own real property yet.
  • You are moving from one district, state, or country to another.
  • You have to temporarily change your usual place of living for some reason.

Landlord’s Perspective

  • You have a free room in the big apartment, and you feel like you are ready to rent it out to get some additional money.
  • You are moving to another district, state, or country for some reason (such as a job), but you are not planning to sell your real property. Thus, you can rent it out and have a person take care of it for some sum of money.

Pros and Cons of Using a Room Rental Agreement

In general, using a room rental agreement is a significant advantage for both the landlord and the tenant. Both parties get an opportunity to specify the peculiarities of their interactions and, thus, receive a straightforward guide on how to behave in these relationships. Both parties can now know what to expect from the other party and what kind of behavior must be avoided.

But, if you feel like negotiations are hard for you, using this type of rental agreement will be a complicated mission. As a landlord, you have to be prepared for the following things:

  • You will not be able to instantly evict the tenant, especially if they behave properly and pay the rent promptly.
  • You will not be able to increase the rent sum when you want and on as much as you want.
  • You will not be able to make your tenants pay for the things they did not break if these things were already broken when they moved in.

As a tenant, you also have to be ready for the following:

  • You will not be able to instantly move out just as you want. Usually, you should warn the landlord in advance. The terms are to be specified in the agreement.
  • You will not be able to “save money” by not paying the landlord for the last month you occupy the room.
  • You will have to be prepared that the landlord might request to check the room condition once a month, once a couple of months, or once a year—try not to perceive it as a violation of the personal space.

In general, these points are obvious and out of the discussion for people who are ready to establish honest relationships.

What Are the Main Components of a Room Rental Agreement

At this point, you might be already wondering what exactly you should include when creating a room rental agreement. In this section, let us discuss it in detail.

  • The names of the parties

Like in any document, you should start with specifying the landlord and the tenant. Further in the document, you will use these labels, not the names, but the names still have to be fixed.

  • Tenancy limitations

This point refers to the individuals residing in the room. If the landlord allowed two people to live in the room, there should be precisely two people living here, or less—more are not permitted.

  • Room and property description

The agreement has to clearly outline the address of the rental premises and description of the room, including its position on the premises and whether it includes furniture, bedding, towels, or dishes. It’s also essential to identify shared spaces where all residents can gather and spend time together, such as the kitchen, dining room, TV room, outdoor spaces, etc.

  • Occupancy terms

Occupants can live with the tenant on the leased premises, for example, the tenant’s children, relatives, or friends. In each case, the occupants should be listed in the room rental agreement.

  • Security deposit

If the landlord asks for a deposit in advance as insurance of the property safety, this must be pointed in the room rental agreement. Write down the exact sum of money to be provided, or the actual property units used to provide the deposit.

  • Rent and late fees

Rental fees have to be fixed in the document. Thus, the tenant knows how much to pay for the room each time it comes to payment, and the landlord knows when to expect the payments. If payment is overdue, the tenant will have to pay late fees.

  • Maintenance and repairs

In this section, the parties clarify how exactly the tenant has to take care of the room and confirm that the tenant must immediately inform the landlord in case of breakdowns.

  • Pets and smoking policies

These points might sound strange for someone who has never created a rental agreement or never rented a room. And yet, they are essential. Smoking cigarettes or having pets of different sizes might affect the condition of the room one is renting and the premises in general. Smoking leaves an unpleasant smell, so do pets. Besides, the pets might damage the property left for the tenant. If the tenant has pets living in this apartment, or they smoke, the landlord has to know about it and give their permission to these actions. This permission is to be stated in the room rental agreement.

  • Restrictions

Some landlords might have the “rules of living” in their rooms or apartments. These might be inviting guests, having parties, playing specific (loud) instruments, and so on. If the landlord wants the tenant not to perform specific actions, he has the right to ask the tenant not to do so, however, in advance, before the agreement is signed. If the tenant agrees on the landlord’s terms and is ready to follow their rules, the relationship will be established clearly.

How a Room Rental Agreement Works

Creating a room rental agreement is essential because it fixes an arrangement between the parties and protects each of them during the entire period of their room rental. If you are still considering whether to create a room rental agreement or not, here are two shortlists of why a landlord and a tenant should create such documents:

If you are a landlord:

  • To protect the property inside of your house or apartment. If the tenant breaks or steals something, they will be liable in accordance with the law.
  • To establish a specific amount of money to be paid monthly (or with the frequency you think is most appropriate.
  • To be able to evict the tenants if they do not pay you money or violate the agreement.

If you are a tenant:

  • To ensure that the landlord will not ask you to pay more than you agreed on when moving in.
  • To fix all the damages that are already in the room so that the landlord does not ask you to pay for the things you did not break.
  • To make sure that the deposit you paid (if required) will be returned to you in the full amount.

Many other peculiarities can be covered in such documents as well. These were just the brief extracts.

The Final Word

No matter which role you play in the landlord-tenant relationships, you still are supposed to be interested in creating an agreement. The process of building a form is relatively simple, and it will not take too much time to designate the terms of interaction. This document protects your rights, clarifies the unclear, and guarantees comfortable accommodation in the apartments and rooms.