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dionwisn

roomate - agreement or not ?

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Hey guys,

 

its been a while since ive chatted on these boards. Had to put the lease options down for a season. Im now a homeowner and im planning to lease out a room to an individual whom seems to be a pretty decent person. Despite my positive feelings and him passing a background check, do you guys recommend having him sign a contract to rent my extra bedroom? Im hearing a variety of approaches from friends and family. Some have recommended a simple verbal agreement to eliminate getting courts and such involved. Whilst others have suggested completing a contract so that if the person squats one can file an eviction. What are your opinions?

 

Dion

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Hi Dion-

 

What ever happened to the hand shake? Verbal agreements are only as good as the paper they're written on. he-said/she-said

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Hello, Dion! It sure has been awhile. Good to hear from you again.

I wouldn't consider renting to anyone without something in writing, even if it is just a room in my house. Heck, even if I knew the person. That opens up doors to all sorts of potential problems. And if there is a problem of any kind, a written agreement will go a long way toward eliminating that problem in a timely manner. Not having an agreement could potentially involve the legal system even more.

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Hey Folks, Happy fathers day Michael,

 

quick question. my tenant has a son 13 yrs. old coming up from south florida to live with him for a month (my house). our florida residential agreement doesnt state anything regarding damages done by a tenants guests. does florida have a law holding the tenant responsible for his guests damages? if not, can on simply add some verbiage to the agreement? does anyone have suggestions? trying not have to pay for an attorney.

 

Dion

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Hi, Dion. There isn't any need for an attorney. A tenant is responsible for any damages their guest causes. It isn't necessary to specifically add an addendum to the existing lease. However, if it helps you to sleep better, you can write "Tenant agrees to accept responsibility for any and all damages that their guests may cause.

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Dion, I simply type up a page headed "Addendum", then list the additional corrections/additions that are needed. Have it signed and dated by your tenant and yourself and it's done.

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im a little afraid here. I got my tenant who lives with me to sign an addendum and agreement, but a women at my office told me its needs to be witness by a notary. She says my contract is just a hand shake right now without a witness. She said this is true in Florida. Is this true?

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The woman at your office may be well intentioned, but she is wrong. I've done hundreds of leases over the years, and who knows how many addendums. None of them required a notary. A notary is simply a third party, independent witness to the signing of a document. Someone who can step forward under oath and tell the court that, yes, this individual did in fact sign this agreement in my presence. While it wouldn't hurt to have any document notarized, it is not a legal necessity for something as simple as an addendum to a lease agreement. Do you anticipate this person will deny having signed the addendum? If so, go the notary route.

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lease is now a month to month - hes been living here since august of 2016. addendum was worded to protect damages done to home by tenants guests which is only for a month.

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There is no legal requirement in Florida for a month-to-month lease to be notarized. The lack of a notary stamp does not have any bearing on the legal enforcement of the agreement, should it be necessary. Likewise, the addendum. You're fine.

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