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Will Having a Roommate Raise My Rent?

You might be thinking about finding a roommate for your rental as a cost-saving measure. Having someone to split rent with sounds pretty sweet, right? But you might be wondering, “Will having a roommate raise my rent?” The basic answer is “probably yes,” but there are a few more things you should understand about how exactly that happens. We’re here to explain the process to you so you can make your decision with all of the information you need.

Yes, Having a Roommate Could Raise Your Rent––But It Doesn’t Have To

So, will your roommate raise your rent? The simplest answer is yes, your landlord will probably want to raise the rent if you get a roommate. This is because another person in the rental will create more “wear-and-tear” on the unit, so the landlord will want to earn the money back that they will have to spend repairing the unit during or after your tenancy. It’s the landlord’s choice whether or not they raise your rent.

However, your landlord can’t just decide to raise your rent in the middle of your tenancy, because you have signed a rental contract with a set rent amount. If you’re getting a new roommate, however, you will likely have to sign a new lease with the new roommate included as a tenant. Since all of you are entering into a new legal agreement, your landlord can legally raise your rent in the new contract. (That’s part of why it’s so important to understand your lease!)

Having a Roommate Might Also Impact Your Security Deposit

So we’ve talked about whether your roommate will raise your rent, but did you know that a roommate could also raise your security deposit? Yes, if you’re signing a new roommate onto your lease, you’ll likely face a security deposit increase. The more people living in the rental, the more likely it is that there will need to be some repairs to the rental after you move out, so the landlord will want to be sure they can cover those costs. 

You’ll want to check your state laws to see what the maximum amount for a security deposit can be, so that you know your landlord is staying within those bounds. This maximum could change proportionally if your landlord raises the rent. We also have some tips to ensure that you can get your security deposit back, including some move out cleaning tips.

Make Sure Your Roommate Can Hold Up Their End of the Rent

A potential rent increase is one reason you want to be extra sure that your roommate is capable of paying their portion of the rent. Remember that if your roommate doesn’t pay their share, you could be on the hook for the entire month’s rent. Make sure to have a plan in case things go wrong. A good way to start is to write and sign a roommate agreement.

Negotiate Your Way Out of a Rent Raise

Don’t think your wallet can handle raised rent? You could always negotiate with your landlord. You could offer a larger security deposit, a longer lease, a more flexible move-in date, to do work around the yard, or any number of things in exchange for the rent to stay the same. Bring it up in a calm, reasonable discussion with your landlord and see what’s possible together.

Hopefully we’ve helped to answer whether a roommate will raise your rent. Best of luck as you figure out your living arrangement and create a home.

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