Roomate Roommate Agreement RE: Premature Cancellation


New Member
I am a tenant in a Rent Stabilized apartment in NYC. I am in the process of re-writing my roommate agreement.
I have had roommates for many years - mostly very nice & considerate people, as I do screen carefully. But, still, a few "clinkers" have gotten in!
(Including one who was apparently severely ill mentally. And, another, who seemed to be earning money from men in building stairwell!)

The Agreement shall be only between me and my Roommate. Roommate will not be on my lease.
I need to clarify the following:

1. If my Roommate signs for a certain term, payable each month -
1) Can either I or the roommate cancel the roommate residency before the end of this term? If so, how much notice is required?
2) If the Roommate cancels - does the roommate still owe the balance of the rent monies for the complete term? (Assuming I have not gotten a new roommate in)
3) Can I add in a Penalty Fee in my Agreement - if the roommate cancels before the end of the term?
(To reimburse my time and costs getting room ready for new roommate, looking for a new roommate, and, financial losses if new roommate is not found quickly.)

2. If the roommate pays in advance for a certain number of months - is cancellation still allowed by either party within the time that was paid already?

3. 1) If there is a Substantial Breach of the Terms of the Agreement by my roommate (eg. Non-Payment, Reckless Behavior, etc) - can I choose to cause the
roommate to leave IMMEDIATELY? Like by telling roommate he/she has lost all rights under the Agreement - and locking him/her out?
2) Is Roommate still liable for rent for the full term signed for? (Assuming I have not gotten a new roommate)

4. If cancellation is allowable - and I address early cancellation in my Agreement - Can I add certain dates that are not acceptable for cancellation?
eg. December is bad for locating a new roommate - because of holidays. July is bad for locating a new roommate - Very few people relocate in July.

5. Should I just not address the issue of premature cancellation in my Roommate Agreement?? And, would this lose rights for me - or protect me more?

6. Can I add into my Agreement - a Penalty Fee if Rent due is not paid in time?

7. I would like to charge more than 1/2 of the rent - as I am in a much smaller room - and - I am including Electric, Cable TV, Cleaning and more.
Can I simply use a "monthly payment due" charge - instead of rent - to cover everything? (I abhor having to deal with doing accounting to split costs,
and asking for each individual reimbursement)

Thank you for any help you can offer.
I suggest you read this helpful information put out by the NYCRCB, as most of your answers can be found on their site, or by giving them a call, or sending them an email - your tax dollars at work, OP:

As far as YOU drafting a lease, don't do it, unless you are an experienced real estate attorney.

You, your landlord (if you have one), and your prospective tenant are better off using one you purchase from any number of legal forms suppliers, office supply outlets, and even certain legal aid agencies.

I sold all but one of my rental properties, except one. I don't rent it, I simply allow my widowed daughter and her family to reside in it.

Renting has changed, as have the renters. I wouldn't even begin to think of renting a room in one of our homes.
Good for you that it works, but please be careful. The world is very dangerous these days.

I wish you well.
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