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Adding Roommates to a Lease

So, you have a signed lease in place with a tenant and everything is going well.  Six months into the one-year lease, you get a phone call from the tenant stating they would like to add a roommate.  How do you handle this situation?  Do you approve or disapprove this request?

The first answer you have to make is if you want to allow another person in your rental property.  There may be legal ramifications in Fort Collins if you break the “U+2” rule.  However, let’s say for this situation, you have a single tenant and the addition of a roommate doesn’t violate any legal stipulations.  After consideration, you decide to agree with the idea of accepting the tenant’s roommate.  What do you do next?

First, it is in your best interest to treat this roommate addition as a new tenant.  Whatever your process is for new tenants, this same process should be followed for the roommate.  So, if you run credit, criminal background checks, and eviction checks, these same processes should be followed as you screen the new roommate.  This process ensures the roommate meets your standards for tenants in your property.

Second, be sure that you add the roommate to the lease.  This can be solved through a simple addendum to the original lease.  The reason this is important is if you ever end up in litigation, it will be difficult to hold the roommate to anything if they are not on the lease.  The goal here is to be as well protected as possible.

In the end, adding a roommate is not a bad thing.  Sometimes it prevents the original tenant from becoming unhappy and possibly breaking a lease.  However, just be sure that you do your due diligence when going through the process of adding the roommate.  Make sure the roommate becomes a tenant to the lease.  This blog post should not be taken as legal advice.

If you are in need of property management services in Northern Colorado, Real Property Management of the Rockies would be honored to become your trusted property management partner.  Please contact us at any time to learn more about our services.

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