Adding an Occupant in an Apartment

Make sure your apartment is large enough for additional occupants.
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Inviting a family member, friend, roommate or significant other to live with you can often result in financial and companionship benefits. You'll be able to share more of your time with the additional occupant while also sharing rent and utility costs. However, adding an occupant to an apartment can also have legal implications, so going about it the right way is essential to ensuring you remain on good terms with your landlord.

1 Check Your Apartment's Occupancy

Check to ensure that adding another occupant won't violate your apartment's occupancy limit. According to legal expert website Nolo, the occupancy limit for an apartment is usually two people per bedroom plus one more person, though your city may have different requirements. Because your landlord may have stricter requirements than your city, you should also check your lease or ask your landlord what his occupancy limit is.

2 Get Your Landlord's Approval

If you don't get your landlord's permission before adding an occupant to the apartment, you could face eviction when she finds out. Many landlords are happy to add an occupant because it increases the likelihood that the rent will get paid and it allows the landlord to raise the rent. Schedule a meeting with the landlord to discuss adding an occupant. Come prepared with your reasons for wanting to do so, along with the proposed occupant's credit report and a completed background check. Your landlord will probably want to review these items, meet the tenant-to-be and give him paperwork to complete.

3 Ask About Changes to Your Lease

When you add an occupant to your apartment, your landlord may want to change your lease by increasing your rent, as more people add wear and tear to the property. Adding a new roommate also means that you are signing a new lease, one that includes the new tenant, so your landlord can make other changes, such as adding policies about noise, decorating or pets. Before you add the new occupant, ask your landlord about any changes and carefully review your lease to ensure you agree with all its clauses.

4 Discuss Conditions With the New Occupant

Once you know how adding an occupant to your apartment will affect your lease terms and rent, discuss these changes with your potential roommate. Ensure the new occupant is ready to take on legal responsibility for the monthly rent and living terms for the length of the lease before asking him to sign the paperwork.

Miranda Morley is an educator, business consultant and owner of a copywriting/social-media management company. Her work has been featured in the "Boston Literary Magazine," "Subversify Magazine" and "American Builder's Quarterly." Morley has a B.A. in English, political science and international relations. She is completing her M.A. in rhetoric and composition from Purdue University Calumet.