The Connecticut roommate agreement (“room rental agreement”) is a contract between co-tenants in a shared residential situation. This document informs each tenant of their financial responsibilities, as well as detailing the terms and conditions of the shared space. In accordance with Connecticut state law, all co-tenants must sign the contract.
In the state of Connecticut, a room rental agreement can be established that can help two tenants pay rent and utilities promptly. This is done by creating this legal contract, which can then be used to add individuals that aren’t listed on the original lease between the renter and landlord. This is a legally binding contract between all parties, and a renter will be required to fill out one of these contractors with a potential third party should additional tenants start to live on the premises of the property. It is crucial to understand that with a contract of this type, just one of the renters involved will be on the lease.
So, why seek out one of these very unique contracts? Well, as mentioned, this can make rising rents and utilities more manageable when there’s an extra renter to help absorb some of the costs. This is perfect for an aging population that has to get by on a fixed income. Additionally, in areas of the country where it’s relatively hard to be zoned into favorable neighborhoods, this can serve as a way to supersede these kinds of difficulties.
Connecticut has laws on the books that specifically outline the limitations of a room rental agreement, and it’s essential to understand that this type of arrangement is junior to the lease agreement. This means that whatever rental agreement responsibilities that were presented in the original lease must be adhered to, such as:
- Regular payment of rent
- Keeping noise to a prescribed level
- Not smoking in non-smoking-friendly properties
- Not keeping pets on properties that don’t allow pets
As such, any agreement made with the landlord is considered separate from the one made with subsequent renters. This contract is specifically designed to put forth, in writing, an agreement between two renting parties that will ensure that all of the details of a rental situation are kept track of during the rental period.
Requirements of a Connecticut Room Rental Agreement
For a contract of this type, it’s also crucial that the letter and law of the original lease are communicated with subsequent renters so that there’s no issue with the landlord. In addition, the landlord’s information should also be provided to the roommate so that there’s a means of contacting them during the tenancy. This can include the name of the management company, their physical address, and any email or telephone numbers where they can be reached. In most cases, all of this information can be succinctly recorded onto the document for future use.
Information in regards to any mold or lead should also be provided to new tenants, especially if this information is present on the original lease. This is to inform the new tenant of any potential dangers that may be present on the property.
Like with a standard lease or rental agreement, a security deposit will be required from the new tenant. This dollar amount will be used to help repair any damages that might occur during a roommate’s tenancy on the property. As with security deposits on standard leases, Connecticut requires that this amount does not exceed the cost of two month’s rent for individuals under 62 years of age.
Sometimes, on properties that allow pets, there may also be a pet deposit. The value of the pet deposit will depend on the amount of pet deposits on the original lease. Like the security deposit, pet deposits are designed to help repair any damages that may occur as the result of a pet’s habitation on the property.
How to Write a Room Rental Agreement in Connecticut
When entering into a room rental agreement, it’s crucial that all of the pertinent information is presented so that the document can be legally binding. These documents are designed to ensure that a structure is provided for any lessees dwelling on a specific property, even if one of the lessees isn’t on the original lease. For this reason, these sections must be provided:
To start, the document will require a date. This will establish the date of the agreement’s original creation. This will verify for the potential roommate that the information was recently compiled and that all information is taken into account.
It’s crucial that all of the parties involved are recorded for recordkeeping, so the document needs to have the first and last name of each of the involved roommates. Sometimes, there’s a roommate that opts not to sign the room rental agreement. When this is the case, their name can be omitted, but they aren’t protected by the contract.
The tenant that has signed the original lease will be considered a principal tenant on the contract. Conversely, any roommates that do opt to sign the document will be considered new tenants or co-tenants. It’s also a good idea to list the numbers of all involved parties in addition to their full names so that they can be easily reached in an emergency.
Details of the Security Deposit
The next section should clearly delineate the value of the security deposit. To do this, simply mark the total value of the security deposit with the clear demarcation of “Security Deposit.” Next, a clear breakdown of what each involved roommate contributes to the security deposit should be marked so that all parties understand their financial responsibilities in this regards. Many documents of the type include two checkboxes that will be used when:
- The lease has been terminated successfully, and the deposit is to be divided amongst all involved parties.
- The security deposit will not be returned since damages have occurred to the property and the appropriate amounts are being deducted from specific roommate’s cuts of the deposit.
Rent Due Dates and Payment Amounts
For the sake of recordkeeping, it’s a good idea to clearly mention when rent is due, so in this section, the contract should have a clear demarcation of the calendar day when rent is due. This section can be simply marked “Rent.” The precise amount of each roommate’s rent should also be noted here.
Sometimes, a landlord may ask that all rental payments are provided in a single payment. When this is the case, a specific roommate will be selected to provide the payments. In this situation, the other roommates should then pay their cut of the rent prior to the due date established in the original lease.
It’s a good idea to keep a record of each roommate’s specific space so that issues don’t crop up. In this section, the number of bedrooms in total should be noted under a section titled, “Allocation of Rooms/Individual Rent,” and each renter should be indicated in this section as well as his or her living space. Rent per month can be stated here as well.
Utilities and Parking Records
Specific utilities will be in different roommate’s names, so this section, marked, “Utilities,” will take note of this. A “Special Provisions” section can also be noted here noting how each bill is paid. A section for allocated parking spaces can be added here as well.
Cleaning, Yard Work, and Food Prep
On the contract, separate sections for each of these should be established. For cleaning and yard work, it’s a good idea to outline the minimum level of cleaning required to keep the property in reasonable and livable shape. This can entail creating a hard copy cleaning schedule that roommates are expected to abide by. Sometimes, roommates work as a team to clean an area. If this is the case, establish a checkbox demarcating this information.
When it comes to food preparation, some roommates pool resources and prepare food for the entire household. On a room rental agreement, this can be fleshed out using two checkboxes:
- Food expenses will be shared.
- Each roommate will prepare and purchase food separately.
Dealing with Noise and Privacy
When setting up a contract like this, it’s a good idea to establish some ground rules for noise and privacy. On the contract, the hours where roommates should lower the amount of potential noise pollution should be well-established. For example, if roommates are having guests, he or she should respect the privacy of their co-tenants by keeping the noise low after certain times. This part of the contract can also establish the maximum amount of nights a guest can stay with one of the tenants in the household.
On some properties in Connecticut, smoking is permitted. This should be outlined in this contract by placing checkboxes that confirm that one or more of the roommates involved are habitual smokers.
Vacating the Property
Finally, in this section, the processes of vacating the property should be clearly outlined. This is to help tenants understand how to go about moving out of the property when the time comes. In addition to this, it should be discussed amongst the roommates so that there are no problems when the time comes. Things like a need to clean the previously-occupied space and repair of damaged sections should be established here. Also, in this section, the period of warning that a roommate must give before moving out should be firmly established. In most cases, this can either be a 30- or 60-day period.
Finally, any roommate that will be dwelling on the premises should sign and date the document.