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First Stab at a Housemate Contract

OK, here I will begin to list the nuts and bolts of the housemate contract that I will have my new housemate sign when she arrives on Saturday. Please comment and let me know what you think is essential to specify when allowing a stranger to move into your homespace. Thanks.

--deposit of $500 to be kept until the household is dissolved or the housemate moves peaceably out with full notice, keys have been returned and damages/cleaning needs have been assessed (deposit will not be used for last month's rent)
--wireless internet, electricity, gas, water, garbage service are included in this rent
--rent of $500 due in the first week of each month you intend to stay, penalties of $20/day if you more than 7 days after the ____th of the month in delivering your rent to my hands
--if the price of utilities or rent increases such that the total of rent plus utilities exceeds $1000, I will increase rent accordingly, giving 30 days notice of the increase
--this contract may be dissolved by either party with 30 days notice
--no pets unless we discuss it ahead of time and agree (beyond the one cat that I already have)
--no overnight visitors unless I am informed ahead of time
--no visitors are to stay longer than 2 days without prior agreement
--my books are available for your use on the premises (do not remove books from house)

other things to discuss with housemate:
--all of this can be modified by mutual agreement
--cleanliness of public spaces (OK to be messy in your room, please help keep the rest clean)
----kitchen (dishes, fridge)
----steps and porch
----in front of house
--quiet hours 9-7
--need for quiet footsteps as we are upstairs, esp on steps
--wireless is off at night
--garbage and recycling go out to the curb on Wednesday night for Thursday morning pickup
--garden space available on request
--the central heat is not very effective: a primer on when/how to use it
--for household supplies we may use a system by which we both contribute to a kitty and buy common supplies from the kitty. If anything is purchased for the household from kitty funds, please replace the cash with a receipt.
--please leave the door to my room cracked open so the cat can get to her food
--interest in regular meditation group at our house?
--please do not enter my room when I am not present, and I will give you the same respect
--if you need help with something, please ask (I'm not a mind reader)



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 4th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
I like your contract. It doesn't leave questions.

Here are my suggestions/questions:

I'd make rent due on the 1st of the month and late after the 7th.

Will you have a preferred payment method? Cash? Check? Money Order?

I would suggest for #4 (if the price of utilities or rent increases) to not word it that it sounds like the housemate is contributing more than you are. Perhaps you can add that the current rent and utilities for both of you are $1000 combined and that if it goes above that cost the rent will have to be adjusted to compensate.

Are you planning to split it down the middle or will you be making a little money off the deal? If splitting down the middle, maybe anything left over from the $1000 from both of you can be the kitty money.

Wireless off at night - is that because it costs more to keep it on at night? Or that it wastes energy? I think I'd be upset if somebody else dictated when I could and could not use my computer.

This contract is a nice way to be proactive in avoiding misunderstandings in the future.

Sep. 5th, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)
Good points. Thank you! I actually calculated the rent without the cost of wireless, so I'm undercharging her slightly....but if power usage is much higher than when Suzanne was here, I will have to adjust. I like the wording that you suggest.

I think I'll change it to say that I'm throwing in wireless for free, because that's what I'm really doing.

I turn the wireless of at night because it is unhealthy to be blasted at close range by powerful electromagnetic fields all the time, esp when you sleep, and esp if you have heavy metals deposited in your nervous tissue..... I have been sleeping a room away from the router but I am moving into the same room where it is, and I have a higher powered router, so it's a stout field that I'm sitting in right now....at pelvis level....

I agree to allow her to start paying rent on the day she arrives, and I will continue to expect rent on that day.
Sep. 5th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)
Yes! The wireless for free is a good deal for her and then there's no way she can complain about the router being turned off at night. Your reason for wanting it off at night makes complete sense to me.

Sounds like you have a good contract.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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