Living with someone can be both a socially and financially rewarding alternative to living on your own. When conflicts arise between cohabitating parties, though, there are few legal protections for those involved. A cohabitation agreement protects all parties, whether they share an owned property or rental.
Cohabitation Agreements for Couples and Non-Couples
While it is often romantic partners who choose to share living space, a cohabitation agreement protects any parties living under the same roof. If you live with another adult besides your spouse, including roommates or relatives, you should have a cohabitation agreement. This legally binding contract ensures that, if a cohabitant leaves without warning or you break up with your partner, you have legal recourse.
Cohabitation Agreements for Rental Properties
In a rental situation, it is highly likely the names of all inhabitants of a property will be on the lease. While this holds every person separately accountable for the rent and the condition of the rental property, it does not protect you as a tenant. If your roommate takes off in the middle of the night without explanation, you are still on the hook for the rent or the fee to break the rental contract, in accordance with the terms of the lease.
Enforcement of Cohabitation Agreements in Renting
A cohabitation agreement protects you in the areas where a lease does not. A proper cohabitation agreement spells out the responsibilities of each cohabitating party and the consequences of breaking the agreement. Generally speaking, a cohabitation agreement will hold a party financially responsible for his or her part of the lease until the end of the lease term, so even if the person decides to move out, he or she must cover their share of the expenses.
Enforcement of Cohabitation Agreements in Owned Property
With owned property, a cohabitation agreement commonly protects a party whose name is not on the deed. It sets up financial restitution, or even the division of the property, in the event that the parties choose to separate. Cohabitation agreements are especially important in the case of unmarried couples who have purchased property together, but, for some reason or another, put only one name on the lease.
Yaffa & Associates ǀ Palm Beach County Cohabitation Agreement Lawyer
When you move in with someone, you want everything to work out perfectly, but issues do arise. Yaffa & Associates will help you draft a cohabitation agreement to protect your finances in the event that a shared living experience doesn’t go as you expect.