Having room or housemates is commonplace in Montreal, particularly for students. This kind of arrangement has many benefits, and sharing expenses is only one of them!
Below you will find tips and resources that will help you make the most of living with roommates, and avoid any unfortunate surprises or disagreements.
For important information about the legal implications of living with roommates, including your rights and responsibilities and what to do in the case of a dispute, please click here.
Getting to know your (potential) roommates
Regardless of whether you choose to live with good friends, acquaintances or complete strangers, sharing a living space presents unique challenges. Before making a commitment to share an apartment or house with someone, it's important to make an effort to understand their habits and routines. Similarly, you'll find things go a lot smoother if your (potential) roommate knows what 'makes you tick'.
One great way to do this is to fill out a 'roommate questionnaire'. While the following questionnaire is not comprehensive, it does provide a starting point, and we encourage you to go over it with your potential roommates before you make a final decision.
Roommate Questionnaire [.pdf]
A roommate agreement is a written agreement between inhabitants of a living space, which is collectively agreed to be binding. This agreement enters all signatory parties into a contract with each other (the landlord does not take part), and is an important document to have in case of a joint tenancy dispute.
While this process may seem overly formal, particularly when you already know your roommates, it can still be extremely useful. It may help by bringing up potential problems that have not already been considered, and possibly preventing them. In the event that a friendship between roommates deteriorates, this document could be vital to the resolution of issues regarding payment, maintenance, belongings, etc.
A roommate agreement can be as detailed or as general as you wish. Here is an example of a sample roommate agreement to be used as a guide for what issues should be included.
Roommate Agreement Sample [.doc]