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What is a Room Rental Agreement?
A room rental agreement is a legal contract that defines the rights and expectations of all people that reside in a rental unit, including individuals not listed on the original residential lease between the landlord and master tenant. It is necessary to complete a room rental agreement when more than one person lives in a rental unit but may not be stated on the lease, as in when a master tenant seeks a roommate. This document is considered to be a signed contract and is vital in the event of legal action.
A person who has been renting property in the state of Hawaii may eventually find that it is too expensive to manage the cost on their own, especially if their income level has changed. When this occurs, they are likely to consider a room rental agreement that will allow them to share the space with another person and split the cost of the rent and the bills. This ensures that the tenant will be able to make the payments on time without spending above their means, and only the original tenant will be on the lease still.
This type of room rental agreement will be a legal document, so even though their name is not on the lease, they will need to hold up their end of the rental agreement that they have signed. The original tenant will need to respond to the summons, but if they can present proof that the roommate is the one that needs to make the payment to the landlord, they will still be responsible for paying it.
In addition to the rent payment and the utilities that are due each month, there will be other things that need to be taken discussed in this type of living situation. These house rules are typically discussed in this type of arrangement. The date that rent is due, where it should be dropped off, and how utilities are paid should all be included. In addition, there can be a section that explains what to do when repairs need to be managed, cleaning the unit, and preparing food. This will ensure that there are no issues down the road with the roommates.
In the state of Hawaii, it is not required for the landlord to approve of the new tenant, but it is a good idea to get their approval for any new roommate to help prevent later issues because the roommate is unpleasant or troublesome for the landlord to have on their property. It is a good idea to have a space on the bottom of this document for the landlord to sign and give their consent for the room rental agreement that is being written.
Requirements of a Hawaii Room Rental Agreement
When a new room rental agreement is being drawn up, there are going to be a few different things that will be required by either the new tenant or the original one. These are not extensive, but it is going to be best to make sure that they are provided so that each party has the required information that they need for the agreement to work.
The new tenant is going to need to supply the original tenant with a security deposit. This amount is not designed to be more than what the person pays in a month, and it will be used for repairs after they vacate the premises. When the roommate leaves the property, if there are no repairs that need to be done, they will receive the security deposit in the mail. If the new tenant has pets that are going to be living in the unit as well, they will need to provide a pet deposit. This is a fee that may be collected to take care of any damage that the pet may do to the unit while living there. In addition, this fee can be paid at once when the security deposit is collected, or it can be a fee that is collected each month from the roommate.
The original tenant is going to need to provide the new tenant with information about the landlord. This is so that the new tenant knows where the office is located so that they can drop off their portion of the rent. The information provided should also include a phone number for the landlord and an emergency number in case it is required. The original tenant will also need to provide any notices that were given to them when they first signed the rental agreement. This will include things like a lead-based paint disclosure or a mold disclosure if these things are issues on the property. This is so that the new tenant has an idea of any dangers that could be present from living in the space that could affect their health in a negative way.
How to Write a Room Rental Agreement in Hawaii
When writing up a room rental agreement, there are going to be several sections that should be included in the document.
Involved Parties and Date
At the top of the document, the names of the parties involved should be defined. The new tenant and the original one will need to provide their full legal names as well as provide a phone number where they can be reached so that the information for both parties is easy to reach. If there are roommates that are already residing in the unit, their names will need to be included here as well. They will be known as co-tenants in this document. In addition to the information about the tenants of the unit, the information for the landlord should be in this section as well.
Under or above the information about the tenants, the date that this document was drawn up will need to be written as well. This informs all of the parties that are involved in this agreement that the information was recently written, and it is all relevant to the property that is being rented for this room rental agreement.
The next section that will need to be discussed in this document it the property that is being rented. It will state the exact address of the unit that is up for rent and should include any apartment number, unit number, floor number, or other identifying factors that apply. The county as well as the city should also be listed in this section.
The next section that needs to be covered in this agreement is the rental terms. This will include pertinent information like the date of the original lease as well as the dates when the roommate agreement will be in effect. If the original lease is extended or renewed, then the roommate who is part of this agreement will have the option to sign on to the lease as a tenant or to continue as a roommate.
Typically, when this type of arrangement is written up, the amount that the new tenant will need to pay for a security deposit will be mentioned as well. This money will be set aside so that it can be used to repair any damages to the property once it is vacated. If there is no damage that needs to be repaired, it can easily be returned to the roommate when they move out of the unit.
Another thing that needs to be covered in this section is the actual amount of rent that is due each month. The amount that is paid per month is going to be divided by the percentage of the premises that each tenant uses. If there are two rooms of equal size, the rent should be split evenly, but if there is one room that is larger than the other, the rent may be split 60/40. If there is a late fee for the rent not being paid on time, it also needs to be listed in this section so that all of the tenants know that they will be responsible for making the late payment if they are late.
When you have a room rental agreement, every person who makes up the agreement will need to pay their portion of the utilities as well. If the landlord covers any of the utilities for the unit that is being rented, they should be listed in this section. This could include hot water, trash removal, electricity, or internet. Any bills that are in one of the tenants’ names will need to be divided evenly.
This section is designed for additional things that the roommates would like to have in writing. This can include a cleaning schedule for the unit or who will pay for repairs when they need to be done in the space. This will only apply to common areas in the unit; anything in the bedrooms that need to be done will be the individual’s responsibility. Sometimes, this section will discuss whether food is usable by all of the tenants in the house or whether each person will purchase their own food. Having all of this information in writing before that agreement is signed will help avoid disputes and expensive court fees in the future.
Vacating the Property
If there are any specific rules that the tenants will need to follow when they vacate the premises, they need to be listed here as well. Before anyone moves out, they should provide adequate notice to the other tenants so that they are not left flat-footed without a portion of the rent.
Finally, the last section of the document that will need to be completed is a signature for each tenant who is living in the unit. The date will also be required, and if the landlord’s consent is needed, there will space for them to sign the document as well.