Grab a FREE Virginia room rental agreement sample and read further about what should be included in a room rental agreement in Virginia and what rights & responsibilities a roommate has under Virginia law after signing.
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A roommate agreement is similar to a sublease agreement with a few important differences. The specific approval and involvement of the landlord may not be necessary as long as there are no restrictions in the lease against having roommates. Discrimination is not prohibited in selecting a roommate. You are free to choose a roommate based on any criteria you wish to use.
What is a Virginia roommate agreement?
A roommate agreement sets out the terms and conditions of sharing a rental space. It delineates who can use what part of the space, what parts are common areas, and what parts are private or personal-use areas.
The most important parts of a roommate agreement are the house rules. These rules should state very clearly any responsibility for cleaning, maintenance, noise restrictions, guest limits, smoking/non-smoking, pet policy, how the payment of shared utilities is calculated, use of common areas, and anything that might cause a disagreement or an argument.
The more detailed the house rules are made and explained to a new roommate, the more likely you are to have a decent relationship. Choose roommates very carefully because it is difficult to get rid of a bad one.
What to Include in a Virginia Roommate Agreement
Here is a checklist of what to include in a roommate agreement:
- Names and Contact Information: Include the names and contact information for all the existing roommates, the new roommate, and the landlord for emergencies.
- Rent and Payment Terms: Show the rent for the new roommate, the day of month it is due, and how to pay it.
- Security Deposit: This is limited to two month’s rent for the entire rental unit and should be apportioned fairly.
- Space Rented: Describe the roommate’s space.
- Expense Sharing: If any expenses are shared, show how they will be allocated.
- Termination Date: Show the date that the agreement ends.
- House Rules: Include very detailed house rules.
- Signatures and Date: Have a place for all the roommates to sign and date the agreement.
Roommate’s Rights in Virginia
Under Virginia law, a person living in a rental unit falls into one of these categories:
- A Tenant: If their name and signature appears in the lease.
- An Authorized Occupant: This could be a family member or a roommate, who is not a signer on the lease.
- A Guest: Guests usually have a limit on their stay.
- A Unauthorized Occupant: Someone staying in the rental unit in violation of the lease.
A co-tenant has the most rights under the Virginia laws. An authorized occupant has the rights under the written roommate agreement. A guest has no rights. Having unauthorized occupants may cause an eviction.