When you live in an apartment your landlord has the right to determine who can lawfully dwell in your unit. If you want to invite someone to live with you, there are specific channels you must navigate to make sure your living situation is legal. Adding a new roommate or family member to the list of people living in the apartment usually entails adding a name to the lease with the landlord’s approval.
Set the Terms
Read your lease to find the terms of having another roommate. Your lease will give specific details for how to handle adding another name. You might find that someone can stay with you for a specific number of days without penalty or requirements. Learn the procedure for formally adding someone to your lease because your landlord has probably reserved the right to consent to a new tenant, the Uniform Law Commission website says. Landlord requirements vary by lease and by state, so read your documents carefully.
Contact your landlord to begin the process of adding a new tenant to your lease. Explain the situation to advise your landlord of the new roommate. Follow your lease stipulations and your landlord’s instructions. The new roommate may have to authorize a credit check by the landlord.
The landlord will probably draw up a replacement lease that includes the names of each adult who will be living in the apartment. Every designated and contributing adult must sign the new lease as well as the landlord.
Keep your copy of the signed lease in a safe place so you can consult it if questions or concerns arise. Generally, all roommates named on a lease have an equal responsibility in the contract and must abide by the agreement until it expires. This means that listing your new roommate on the lease will give him the same responsibilities for keeping the lease agreement as you have.
- Some management companies or landlords may have a special form used for adding a person to a lease. If you are adding a spouse due to marriage, show your marriage certificate to the landlord. Generally, as long as you have positive standing with the landlord and the new person doesn't exceed the apartment's maximum occupancy level, it’s likely the landlord will approve the addition.
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