To reduce housing costs, many students choose to live with one or more roommates. When selecting a roommate make sure you have common goals: the apartment size and location, your living style and the rent you can afford. Before you decide to sign a lease discuss the lease terms and the following roommate/apartment sharing items with all potential roommates.
Consider printing and using as a checklist when meeting with potential roommates.
- Will the names of all tenants be on the lease? Who will live there? Only those named on the lease should be allowed to live in the apartment.
- How will rent be paid? Who will be responsible for paying it? Many landlords will not accept more than one check for rent payment.
- Whose name should utilities (electric, cable, gas, and internet) be in?
- How will utilities and other payments be made?
- How long will each person stay in the unit?
- Will there be a need to sublet? If so, when? What does the lease say about a sublet?
- Who is planning to occupy which areas of the apartment?
- How will disputes be resolved?
- What kind of leisure activities will you enjoy in the apartment?
- What kind of music and television interests you?
- What policy should you have about guests and significant others?
- Begin a discussion about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, if relevant.
- How will cleaning responsibilities be designated.
- What appliance and items are shared and what is not?
- Will there be cooking? Responsible for cleanup as well?
- What furniture will each person bring? What supplies will be shared?
- If pets are allowed, who will bring a pet?
- Rules regarding study time, mid-terms and final exams need to be discussed.
- Your daily schedules; late riser, early to bed? Expectations?
- Do you jointly understand the importance of apartment security, safety and respect for property?
- Can you afford the apartment? What are the sources for funds?
- How will you arrangement the initial lease payment of first month’s rent, last month’s rent and security deposit?
- How will you control apartment expenses, especially heat costs if not included in the rent?
- How will you cover shared expenses such as food, cleaning supplies, paper towels and toilet paper?
- How will you cover initial move-in costs?
Legal Issues: You are all responsible for paying the rent
When you decide to live with roommates and sign a lease, you are entering into a legal arrangement, a binding contract with the landlord. Once you have signed a lease, you and all of your roommates have become co-tenants, meaning that jointly and severally you are responsible for paying the entire rent each month.
Each roommate is individually liable to the landlord for the entire cost of the rent. If you have a roommate who cannot or will not pay rent, you and any other roommates are responsible for covering the additional cost, up to the total rent. If only a portion of the monthly rent is paid and not the total amount, your landlord can start an eviction process on the apartment regardless of who did and did not pay.
Search Within BU
Off-Campus Services Search for roommates, available rooms, and apartments.
Facebook: Each BUMC school has a Facebook page for students to connect with the school and each other. Ask Student Services how to access and utilize the Facebook page.
BUMC Electronic Bulletin Boards: For students who are local, or making a visit to campus, Housing Resources electronic bulletin board can provide roommate and housing options. The board is located in the School of Medicine, lower level.