What to include in a roommate agreement

Having roommates can be fun, but it can also be nerve racking. Will they touch your things? Will they eat your food? Will they have people over at all hours of the night? Having peace of mind in your space is important, which is why a roommate agreement can help ease the awkward conversations and any confrontation. 

While a roommate agreement is not a legal binding document, it really helps set the rules in place before any issues arise. What should be included in a roommate agreement though? 

  1. How bills are going to be split. 

Including how bills are going to be split and paid is important to include in a roommate agreement. This avoids any bill payment slip ups, and gives everyone responsibility for payments to hold everyone accountable. 

  1. Guest policies 

You may be an early sleeper, while your roommate may be a late sleeper, or vice versus, either way make sure you and your roommate(s) come to an agreement with how late guests are allowed in the common area or just noise levels in themselves. It’s also important to include guest policies regarding people who may make the other person uncomfortable. Your roommate doesn’t have to mesh well with your friends, but it is important to make sure anyone paying rent is comfortable in their own living space. 

  1. Cleaning Schedule 

Just like your roommate may have a different sleep schedule than you, they also may have different cleanliness habits. Divvy up cleaning responsibilities throughout each week to ensure your home stays as clean as everyone allows it to be. 


  • See which cleaning responsibilities everyone likes doing to keep the cleaning schedules consistent and somewhat enjoyable. 
  • Keep a whiteboard in the main area for what cleaning needs to be done for the week and who will likely need to do laundry that week to avoid any mix-ups with clothes. 
  1. What food is shared and what food is not

Most roommates have a common idea of what food is shared and what is not, but it never hurts putting it in the roommate agreement. Specify if there are specific foods you would like to keep individual. If there is a specific food you buy as a special treat, it wouldn’t hurt to contact your roommate(s) to let them know you’d prefer the item be only for you.