Find cohabitation forms and agreements
If you are entering into a shared living situation, cohabitation forms can protect your property and long-term interests. While a cohabitation agreement may not, strictly speaking, be necessary, it is highly recommended, even if you are moving in with family members, close friends or significant others.
Some cohabitation forms are general, and some, such as roommate agreements and common-law partner agreements, are more specific in the kind of living arrangement they are intended for. Regardless of the agreement that applies to your situation, using standard cohabitation forms is an excellent way to save a lot of money in legal fees, compared to the cost of retaining the services of an attorney to create one on your behalf.
Types of Cohabitation Forms
Some of the standard legal cohabitation forms available for your use include:
- Regular cohabitation agreements. A cohabitation agreement is usually used when some areas of a living space are reserved for private use, while others are shared. It typically covers items that are applicable only to the shared space.
- Roommate agreements. A roommate agreement is usually more comprehensive than a regular cohabitation agreement, and it may cover the entire premises rather than just shared areas. However, the difference between the two agreements is minimal.
- Common-law partner agreements. These agreements outline terms regarding shared living space and related household assets for common-law couples. Note that a common-law partner agreement is not the same as a prenuptial agreement.
Features of Cohabitation Agreements
Roommate agreement forms specify which tenant owns which property, even if that property is shared (as would be the case with, for example, dishware). They give property owners recourse for recovering the value of their property in the event that a roommate damages or destroys it. A roommate rental agreement will also indicate how much each party is responsible for in rent and utilities.
Common-law partner agreements may not deviate a great deal from standard roommate rental agreements, but they are very important in the eyes of the law because they represent a precedent for the couple's status. Most couples don't like to think about it, but there is a chance your relationship could break down in the future, and it's important that both you and your significant other are protected. The existence of a common-law partner agreement may save you a lot of time, money and stress down the road, should you and your partner ever part ways.