Florida Room Rental Agreement

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Read further to learn more about the room rental process in Florida and how many days’ notice are required in which situations.

What is a Room Rental Agreement?

A Room Rental (Roommate) Agreement is a legal contract that outlines the rights, arrangements, and expectations between two or more persons living together in the same house or apartment.

Some apartments are designed to be shared by roommates. They may have two separate master bedrooms on the opposite ends and the common areas in between them. If this is the case, property owners may allow a tenant to take in a roommate, provided their lease agreement does not expressly prohibit subletting.

Under this setup, roommates can help share the rental expenses. In many instances, having a roommate could help a person afford a rental property in a particular neighborhood or a nicer apartment. Whether there is one roommate or more than one, the contract terms will be different for each set of individuals.

Why Have a Room Rental Agreement?

For everyone’s protection, all prospective roommates should complete a rental application and sign the roommate rental agreement. One advantage of having the roommate complete a rental application is that the landlord can qualify them financially for the residence and check their references. Roommates may not be as thorough in conducting background checks, especially if they are friends with the perspective roommate.

Writing a Roommate (Room Rental) Agreement in Florida

Normally, a landlord will complete most of the Roommate (Room Rental) form. The tenant and the landlord can also complete it together. Regardless of who completes the form, the specifics outlined in the agreement are the terms each person must abide by.

This guide contains step-by-step instructions for creating a room rental agreement in the state of Florida.

Introductory Paragraph

The first step is to record the date of the agreement.

EXAMPLE

On ______________________, 20____, we, the tenant(s) named below, signed a lease agreement for the residential property at the address listed below. By entering into this roommate rental agreement, we hope to make sure everyone involved understands the rental responsibilities shared by all roommates outlined in this agreement.

After this, write the complete legal names of the persons entering the agreement (there is room for three). Also, include the address of the property that’s being rented.

EXAMPLE

This Roommate (Room Rental) Agreement (hereinafter “Agreement”) is made by and between _____________________[tenant #1], _____________________[tenant #2], and_____________________[tenant #3], for the residential property at ______________________________________________________________[property address]. Each person is entering into this Agreement in order to identify their rights and responsibilities throughout the duration of the lease agreement.

Last, write the starting date that the contract will take effect and the date that the agreement will terminate in the space provided.

EXAMPLE

The rental agreement runs concurrently with the lease agreement for the residential property, which is effective from ______________________, 20____, to ______________________, 20____.

Security Deposit

In this section, write the full amount of the security deposit given to the landlord. Write the name of the Landlord or Roommate who receives the security deposit. Then, write the date the money was received. Specify the amounts paid by each tenant.

EXAMPLE

SECURITY DEPOSIT: The total security deposit paid to the landlord for the residence as required by the lease agreement is ____________________ dollars ($_______________), which was paid to __________________________[landlord or name of roommate responsible for payment] on ______________________, 20____. The amount of security deposit paid by each tenant is as follows:
Tenant #1_______________________ $ Amount Paid __________________________
Tenant #2_______________________ $ Amount Paid __________________________
Tenant #3_______________________ $ Amount Paid __________________________

When the lease is over, each roommate will receive their deposit unless there is a legal reason for the landlord to withhold it. If the landlord withholds any deduction(s) from the deposit, the amount withheld from each roommate’s deposit will be in proportion to the amount of the deposit that the roommate paid. If the residence is found to be damaged, only the roommate who caused the damage will be charged by the landlord.

Rent

The amount of rent will be listed in the Agreement along with a breakdown of what amount each tenant is required to pay. List the amount of rent that will be paid to the landlord first. Next, enter the amount of rent each roommate is required to pay. State the method the rent will be paid by (i.e., cash, check, money order, etc.). The address where the rent will be sent and the due date should be listed.

EXAMPLE

RENT: The following is the amount of that must be paid to the landlord each month: ___________________ dollars ($_______________). The amount of rent paid by each tenant is as follows:
Tenant #1_______________________ $ Amount Paid __________________________
Tenant #2_______________________ $ Amount Paid __________________________
Tenant #3_______________________ $ Amount Paid __________________________

The rent must be paid by: _____cash, _____check, _____money order, _____other, to __________________________(landlord or name of roommate responsible for payment). The rent is due on the ____day of each month.

Food, Storage, and Cleanup

Under this section, select the checkbox that defines how the food expenses will be handled. Enter the amount of space each roommate has for storage.

EXAMPLE

CLEAN-UP AND KITCHEN USE (CHOOSE one)
☐    All roommates will share food expenses equally.
☐    Each roommate will purchase their food individually.
Roommates will not borrow food from another roommate without permission. Each roommate will have their own designated storage space for his or her groceries. Roommates may elect to share in preparing meals and clean up. Each roommate will make sure the kitchen is clean after his or her use.

Cleaning Schedule

If a cleaning schedule has been created, check the appropriate box. The cleaning schedule should be signed by all the tenants. Attach a copy of the cleaning schedule to the lease.

EXAMPLE

CLEANING SCHEDULE: (Select one)
☐    Each roommate agrees to the attached cleaning schedule. The schedule states when each roommate will complete his/her assigned cleaning and maintenance duties.
☐    All roommates will meet at a predetermined time and work together in to clean and maintain the residence.

Utilities

This section specifies how much each person is responsible for when it comes to major utilities. It would be a good idea to have the utilities included in the rent payment whenever possible. That way, if a roommate does not pay his or her share of the utilities, it would be considered to be non-payment of rent, which will be enforceable by the landlord.

EXAMPLE

UTILITIES:
The following services will be activated and paid for as follows:

Item Account in Name ofAmount of Deposit Deposit Paid ByHow Bill is SharedRoommates Responsible for payment
Cable TV
Electricity
Garbage
Gas/Oil/Propane
Internet
Telephone
Water
Other

Additional Considerations

List any additional considerations that should be made when sharing a space. In the “Additional Agreement Terms” paragraph, mark any subjects that have other agreed-upon terms. The terms shall be listed on a separate document. All the roommates shall sign it. Then, it will be attached to the lease contract.

EXAMPLE

ADDITIONAL AGREEMENT TERMS:
☐ Cleanup after parties/guests
☐ House keys
☐ Overnight guests
☐ Music system use
☐ Parking spaces
☐ Phone messages
☐ Quiet time for studying and sleeping
☐ Shared areas (bathrooms)
☐ Smoking/alcohol/drugs

Signature

Each roommate must sign and print his or her name below their signature. The landlord must also sign their name on the lease agreement. The contract will not be enforceable without the name and signature of the landlord.

EXAMPLE

This Roommate (Room Rental) Agreement documents the understanding of the roommates regarding the terms of the agreement. Any changes to the Roommate (Room Rental) Agreement must be made in writing and signed by all roommates.

ROOMMATE #1 SIGNATURE
___________________________        ___________________________

Print Name: _________________      Date

ROOMMATE #2 SIGNATURE
___________________________        ___________________________

Print Name: _________________      Date

ROOMMATE #3 SIGNATURE

___________________________        ___________________________

Print Name: _________________      Date

LESSOR/LANDLORD SIGNATURE

___________________________        ___________________________

Print Name: _________________        Date

Input on the specific house rules should be received from the original tenant and the other roommates. Each tenant should make sure they read and understand the conditions of the roommate rental agreement before signing it.

Who Needs a Roommate?

People decide to become roommates for various reasons. College students commonly live together as roommates. Persons relocating to an area because of a new career may find it convenient to share a place. It could help them save money while they learn the city and get past their initial employment probation periods.

However, roommates are not just for those under thirty. As adults become seniors, they may need to downsize or cut their expenses. Having a roommate to share a home with is an excellent way for seniors to have a friend for social activities and be able to live on a smaller budget. Under this type of arrangement, seniors could potentially share cleaning expenses and home health care services. Having a home care nurse come to take care of two or three people could cost much less than if the person lived alone and contracted the services for just one person. The travel expenses or other expenses would be less.

Where to Find Roommates?

Landlords who wish to help tenants find roommates can offer assistance through various ways.

Aside from recommendations of a friend or coworker, there are online companies that offer services to pair roommates, such as Roommates.com. The person looking for a roommate will set up a profile with their preferences, such as location, availability date, gender, and price, in hopes of being matched with someone who meets their preferences.

Apartment complex owners could also put up a list of persons who are looking for a roommate to share a rental unit. Although the apartment complex may not be able to specifically recommend any particular person, the complex could have a bulletin board where persons could leave a posting for potential roommates.

Craigslist is also a popular site for finding residences where people want to live together as roommates. Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous people, and not everyone who posts information on the internet is honest. Therefore, individuals finding roommates on Craigslist and similar websites must be careful of not being scammed. Some persons are there to lure unsuspected persons into becoming victims of criminal activity.

Whatever the method a person chooses in selecting a roommate, they must be careful and do due diligence in checking out the person. It would eliminate a problem later and keep them from getting involved in a bad situation that might take years to recover from.

Possible Roommate Conflicts

While having a roommate could help a tenant financially, this setup could also give rise to potential conflict. This makes having a room rental agreement beneficial (to both the landlord and tenants), by identifying common causes of conflict and laying down policies on how these are to be addressed.

In addition to the issues identified above, the following are other common issues between tenants that can be ironed out in the room rental agreement:

  • borrowing personal items
  • sleep schedules
  • respecting each other’s privacy
  • guest policy
  • resolving internal conflicts in a peaceable manner

Florida-Specific Considerations for Room Rental Agreements

Under Florida laws, only landlords can legally evict tenants. As defined by chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes, a landlord is “the owner or lessor of a dwelling unit.”

In some situations, there may be only one roommate on the original lease agreement with the landlord and the other one not listed. In this case, the tenant would be the person legally renting the residence from the landlord, and the rooms would be sublet to the other roommates. For this to occur, the original lease agreement must contain a clause that allows subletting (put another way, the lease must not prohibit subleasing).

If a roommate wants to have the rights of a tenant with the landlord, the roommate must have a signed lease with the landlord. This will be especially important if there is a disagreement among the tenants, and one tenant is trying to force another tenant to move out.

If the original tenant decides to allow roommates to move into the residence without a written lease, the roommate will have a verbal tenancy contract. Once the roommate moves into the residence and establishes tenancy, the tenant cannot force the roommate to move out, unless that person was legally evicted.

Most residential leases have a statement specifying how long guests can remain in the residence before they must be added to the lease. Therefore, a tenant would not be able to have a roommate that’s not listed on the lease without violating their original lease agreement.

Here’s a quick summary:

  • A master tenant who is named on the lease earns the status of landlord and may file for eviction proceedings against a roommate who is not named on a lease, and is therefore relegated to the status of a subletter.
  • If both tenants are named on the lease, they cannot evict each other.
  • By extension, two tenants who are not on a lease cannot evict one another.

In cases where internal disagreements arise, with one roommate requesting the removal of the other from the property, the landlord shall facilitate the filing of eviction proceedings if the responsible party refuses to move. Landlords are not obligated to settle disputes between roommates or allow them to exchange apartments because they no longer get along. However, landlords must abide by the landlord/tenant laws concerning breach of lease agreements and eviction notices.

Other Florida Templates and Forms

Read About Room Rental Agreements in Other States

Colorado

Connecticut

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois