Multiple Tenant Lease Agreement: Tips to Maintain Harmony and Peace Among Roommates
Most of the time, it is convenient for landlords to lease a property to a single person or a family. However, it is inevitable that in some scenarios, the landlord ended up renting a property to roommate tenants—reaching a multiple tenant lease agreement then. Though it is fun to have roommates and all; it might be troublesome for the landlords when conflicts and different perspectives arise inside the room.
For this reason, here are some tips that landlords should keep in mind to manage and maintain harmony and peace between co-tenants.
Tip 1: Request a Roommate Agreement for Co-Tenants
Though a landlord isn’t particularly involved in the agreement between roommates, a landlord should be reliable enough and request co-tenants to have rules and regulations including the do’s and don’ts involving their personal belongings, using other’s stuff, etc.
In this case, they can easily address and fix issues based on the documents that they had signed. In addition to this, this may remind them to act accordingly, to avoid misunderstandings and offending their roommates.
This agreement may carry various things, including cleaning schedules, noise problems, division of bills, borrowing things, etc.
Tip 2: Require a Joint Liability in Your Multiple Tenant Lease Agreement
For the landlord’s protection, a landlord should be made everyone accountable for the action of the other tenant. Say, in terms of violation of the lease, failing to pay rental fees or damaging properties. Though it may sound unfair, this is actually a good provision that will not only be favorable to the landlord, but this will also remind roommates to be mindful of their actions, as one mistake could affect everyone.
Aside from joint liability, you as a landlord should be closer and advise your co-tenants that they should act like one. Though they might have differences, tell them that they should think several times and weigh the cause-effect of every action they will do.
This may especially apply to college students who were sharing rooms or co-workers. Express that they can’t just say,” they didn’t do it,” or “they don’t know,” as even if privacy should be respected, having care and support for each other should be observed.
Tip 3: Don’t Grant a Sublease
As it is not uncommon that there will be unexpected events that could happen among tenants, (e.g. wanting to live with partners, or moving out) sublessors are not responsible or jointly responsible for any obligations on the rental agreement.
To make sure that your co-tenants and you as a landlord are protected in this kind of happenings, don’t allow subleasing, and make sure that all of your tenants will sign a lease agreement.
Tip 4: Remind that Security Deposit Will Be Via One Check
A landlord should not allow tenants to get a security deposit individually when the term ends. Surely, a roommate may leave while others stay, but remind them that it will only be transferred once the unit is completely vacated as well as all the damages were assessed.
It will depend on your co-tenants how to divide it, as well as what will be the conditions when an additional or replacement co-tenant moves in.
Tip 5: Screen Original Tenants and New Tenants Fairly
When a co-tenant moves out, the other tenants will surely look out for another roommate that will take the other tenant place. Thus, it is a must that a landlord should treat the original tenants and replacement tenants fairly, and proceed with various screenings and processes that you do for the others. You shouldn’t lower your screening standards just because the original tenants are excellent.
Do a background check, discuss your terms and regulations on a meeting together with the original tenants, and make sure they understand and will comply with the multiple tenant lease agreement you set.
Tip 6: Appoint a Spokesperson or Representative of Your Co-tenants
Just like in a classroom or office, there’s always a leader or president, and the representative work will be the same. The multiple tenants’ representative shall have all of the information of their roommates, as well as contacts. In this case, a landlord won’t bother contacting everyone individually, to talk about things including concerns and problems inside the shared unit.
However, make sure to remind the representative that they can’t act like a leader but an older brother/sister instead of whom the younger siblings can confide with their issues about the agreement, and deliver it to the landlord. Everyone should be comfortable with the representative as well to give their information and trust them their money and stuff.
On the other hand, the co-tenants should also take note that the representative will not be responsible for everything, but will only act as the spokesperson of them, including discussing maintenance, repairs, and letting them know of your schedules.
Tip 7: Require a One Rental Payment Check
To save time contacting your tenants individually, you can insist on an individual rental payment check that will cover everyone in the shared unit. This will also practice Tip 2, wherein if a tenant can’t pay on time, they can work as one to fix their financial issues since they all agree with joint liability.
Thus, if one tenant can’t pay, you will still receive a full payment regardless if the other tenants should still pay the full amount.
Tip 8: One Lease with All Tenants’ Name on It
This is still involved in the ‘joint and severally liable’ provision, which will assure you that everyone is fairly and equally responsible for everything in the signed documents.
Tip 9: Suggest Your Tenant’s to Have Renter’s Insurance
In any case that something unfortunate happened due to a tenant’s negligence, Renter’s insurance can cover up the damage cost of it.
Tip 10: One for All, All for One
Your multiple tenant lease agreement requires joint and several liabilities, so you might want to use this as a motto for the shared unit. This can be posted on the door or wall to remind your tenants of the “One for all, all for one” system. One for all means that even if only one tenant pays the full rental payment, then it covers everyone then. It shouldn’t matter to you. However, all for one means that a single mistake of one person is the responsibility of everyone.