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Roommate Conflict Scenarios

Sometimes, prospective tenants may come to you and tell you that they are going to be roommates and will be moving in together. Roommate issues are common and require special attention. As a landlord, you need to explain to your tenants all these different problems that can arise while they live together in your unit. 

On this topic, several questions arise:

1. What are common shared accommodation problems that tenants need to be aware of?

2. What major issues should roommates discuss among themselves before moving in? 

3. What does  "jointly and severally" liable mean?

4. Is it possible for a co-tenant to evict another co-tenant?

5. If a co-tenant moves out, will he or she be released from all of the obligations and responsibilities under the lease?

Let's talk about the first of these 5 questions. What are common shared accommodation problems that tenants need to be aware of? 

If prospective tenants want to be co-tenants (people who sign the same lease and share the same responsibilities stated in the lease), they need to be aware that the actions (even those that are unintentional) of a co-tenant may affect others. 

Here are some problems that can arise:

  • A roommate does not pay his or her share of the rent - How the rent will be split should be decided upon by your tenants. No matter the arguments that happen between them, you are entitled to receive the full rent. Even if a tenant moves out, the other co-tenants left are still obliged to pay the full rent.
  • A roommate violates the lease - If a roommate does not fulfill his or her obligations, you as a landlord can hold everyone responsible for the tenant's behavior. You have the right to terminate everyone's tenancy with the correct legal notice. 
  • Tenants who do not get along - Roommates can have conflicts with one another within the lease period. Co-tenant behaviors that cause arguments include but are not limited to paying the bills late, not washing the dishes, playing the music too loud, and bringing a lot of guests. 

For the rest of this lesson, existing Landlord Prep students should log-in to the module entitled During the Tenancy - Changing a Lease or Adding Roommates.

Not a member yet? Join the Landlord Prep: Video E-Course and How-To Tutorials so you can access this section and get the complete DIY landlording course. This will help you stay confident and knowledgeable as a landlord.