Many Americans share apartments and houses with other people to save money and have companionship. Usually one person rents or owns the apartment or house and seeks others to share, often at a small profit. If you want to share your own apartment or share with someone else in their apartment, it is important to make all rights and responsibilities clear. Who pays the rent to whom, how much is it, and when is it due? Who takes care of cleaning and the expenses for telephone, electricity, water and gas? Which areas do the roommates use in common and which areas are private? Are guests allowed? Successful roommate agreements are based on trust. To avoid misunderstandings, it is best to put everything in writing. Roommate agreements can be purchased at stationery stores, or you can write your own.
Roommates are usually found by word of mouth, classified advertising, craigslist.com, or by putting notices on bulletin boards, such as those in laundromats or copy shops. In large cities roommate agencies will screen applicants for you or match roommates. If you use one, do some research to make sure the agency is reputable before you give them any money.
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