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Moving in with a friend is a very viable thing to do. You can save on rent and have a blast in the process. Living with a friend comes with several pluses to getting a roommate off the internet or moving in with a stranger. However, in most instances, when you are living with a friend, you will need to sign a lease with them as well. And this can get complicated, especially since breaking a rental lease can end up costing you big bucks.

Lease Agreements With Friends

Signing a lease with a friend means that you, your friend and your property manager are making a commitment to one another for the allotted time frame, which is usually twelve months. What this means is that you need to be sure you can stand to live with your friend for this period of time and both of you are planning on staying put for this length of time. If not, then signing the lease can lead to serious problems down the road if one or both of you decide it's time to move out.

A lease is a formal agreement that you are committing to paying the rent on time and taking care of the apartment for the agreed term. When you and your friend are signing the lease together this means that both of you agree to pay part of the rent and that both of you agree to all the terms and conditions as put down in the lease agreement. This may include things like no parties, no pets, no subletting and other demands.

Twelve months is a long time to commit to a friend. Even the best of friends may find that living together is not right. Fights will happen and it is often in the first month or two that you realize that things are not going to work out. However, if you have signed a lease, then you better find a way to work it out because this is part of the agreement in place.

Subletting to a Friend

Many lease agreements allow you to sublet. What this means is that you can sign the lease on your own and then get a roommate at a later date. You will need to run it by your landlord or property manager and you will need to come up with an agreement, like the roommate pays you and you pay the full amount to the landlord each month. However, keep in mind that some leases have a very serious penalty for subletting and thus you need to be sure this is allowed if you prefer to go this route instead.

Subletting to a friend makes more sense for short term situations. If something happens and your friend and you get in a fight, then she can easily move out at the end of the month without worrying about breaking the lease. Or, if your friend only needs a place to stay for three months of the year, then your door may be open for this time without the need to put it in writing in a lease.

Make sure you weigh the pros and the cons when signing a lease with a friend. Have you and your friend committed to the area? Do both you have sturdy jobs and a good supply of income? Will there be any problems down the road that you can foresee now and how will you overcome them without having to move out? All of these things should be considered and discussed with signing any type of agreement with a roommate, friend or otherwise.

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