Help me prepare an informal lease while temporarly living with a friend.
August 25, 2009 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Need help writing an informal lease while renting a room out of a friends house.

I am going through a divorce, and am currently staying with a friend who owns a house. I don't intend to stay in the state forever, just until I get things in order in my life. I am paying her rent and helping with the utilities. Our friendship is strong, and we're both fair reasonable adults. There is no concern about getting "burned" or becoming a slack roommate. I'm just looking to write some sort of informal lease so we both have something in black & white to go by. Can anyone recommend any resources, or provide any advice? A generic template would be great. This is very casual, and friendly. We both want something pretty simple. Thanks in advance!
posted by anonymous to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Google "sample sublease agreement."
posted by lockestockbarrel at 10:00 AM on August 25, 2009

Well this page has some more legal-ish looking forms, but really if it's informal but you want to note some things down, I'd look for a list of checkboxes and some specifics. Not all of this is lease-ish but they're good things to make sure you've discussed.

- dates of the lease
- what happens at the end of the lease?
- dollar amount of the rent and how it's to be paid
- what happens if this is not paid?
- what else is/isn't included in the rent? [utilities, trash, parking, internet, cable tv, snowplowing etc]
- other specifications including
-- rules about other people [can you have overnight guests? any limits? other guests?]
-- pets, can you have them, what are terms
-- storage [may be a big deal if you're resituating after a divorce]
-- food [what is shared, what is split, what is off limits]
-- cleanliness/chores - what are standards, what is important, what is unacceptable
-- quiet hours
-- terms for use of shared items like phone, kitchen, tv, internet, parking, mail
-- rules regarding keys
-- rules regarding house children, pets, plants or other living things
-- rules regarding common spaces [can you put furniture there?]

Not sure what else. I've been in plenty of roommate situations and even the ones that look the least innocuous can go weird, so it's worth talking over as much of this stuff as you can beforehand.
posted by jessamyn at 10:07 AM on August 25, 2009 [3 favorites]

I'd add to jessamyn's list, when does the security deposit get returned? Most people assume that they get it back the instant they leave, whereas NY law is "30 to 60 days." Some kinds of damages take time to discover.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:07 AM on August 25, 2009

I googled "roommate agreement" when I needed to come up with a similar agreement for myself and my roommate. I used this form to help me come up with an agreement, and then edited it further so that it applied specifically to our situtation.

I had my sister, who is licensed to the bar in my state, look it over. You may want someone to do the same.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:20 PM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

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