5 rules for having a successful summer roommate

by Tom Simplot

Jun 7, 2015

Many part-time residents and students escape the Arizona summer heat for another home. Those who share a rental home or apartment may opt to rent out a room to another summer visitor. It’s important to lay out expectations and ground rules to have a successful stay.

Although it may not seem easy or fun to have some of these tough conversations about living together, it’s always easier to talk about your home at the start of a good situation, rather than wait for a problem.

Ask them to sign a short-term lease. Get a simple lease and modify it to a month-to-month or 90-day lease so you both are protected. Outline what termination clauses will be on the lease. Decide how many days notice you must give and put it in writing.

Ask for a security deposit. It may seem like a big request for a short amount of time but we all know accidents take only a minute. Damage can be done at any time.

Read your lease to see if you must notify your management company/owner about the new roommate. Your lease may cover only you living in your unit; if you add another person, it’s best to let your manager know.

Create a set of roommate rules. Starting the conversation about expectations for household duties and behaviors can save lots of headaches and hurt feelings in the end. Also talk about issues like noise, parties and guests.

Discuss issues like expenses, due dates for utilities and rent payments. If your lease and utilities are in your name, you are responsible for payments. Set due dates for expenses you share.

Sharing an apartment with a short term roommate can be fun and help manage expenses, with simple precautions.