Roommate Agreement: a contract for roommates in Belgium
The Roommate Agreement is an essential document in a shared living arrangement in Belgium. Flora explains to you what should be included in a roommate agreement.
Living in a shared space, known as co-living, is quite the adventure! It comes with its perks and drawbacks, and the journey isn’t always smooth sailing. Dealing with tensions and conflicts among roommates requires careful preparation. That’s where the roommate agreement comes in – THE contract that helps you establish a harmonious environment with your roommates. Wait, what? You’re not familiar with it? Let us explain 👇🏼
What is a roommate agreement?
One thing’s for sure: its name is pretty self-explanatory…
The roommate agreement is a document that encompasses all essential aspects of co-living 📃
Think of it as a contract that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each roommate.
Since the 2018 reform, having a Roommate Agreement is mandatory in some regions of Belgium, such as Wallonia and Brussels.
It sets forth the basic rules concerning rent, expenses, task distribution, and more. In case of disputes, this agreement serves as the reference document for resolution. 👌
Typically, the Roommate Agreement is signed alongside the lease. It’s a contract signed by all the roommates sharing the accommodation and the owner. ✍🏼
Did you know that not all roommates need to be listed on the lease agreement? Only the signatory roommates! 🤝
In case of issues, non-signatory roommates could find themselves without legal standing. This is where the Roommate Agreement comes into play. It helps rebalance the situation based on an agreement accepted by all members of your co-living arrangement.
Is a contract with your roommates necessary?
The Roommate Agreement is mandatory in certain regions of Belgium, particularly in Wallonia and Brussels.
It helps address the legal gaps in the lease agreement that may be insufficient in times of trouble.
In some cases, the lease agreement includes a solidarity clause. This often appears under terms like “jointly and severally liable” 🤝
What does this mean? Well, the solidarity clause protects the landlord. Imagine a roommate not paying rent. The landlord could then hold the signatory roommates accountable for the missing rent. Yes, even if you’re not the delinquent payer… 😓
This is where the Roommate Agreement can step in. It can detail the rent distribution and the steps to take if one of the roommates fails to pay rent. The Roommate Agreement also makes it easy to exclude a roommate with the consent of all parties.
Without a signed agreement, the standard lease rules will apply.
In Wallonia, the Roommate Agreement must be signed on the same day as the lease agreement, at the latest. And in Brussels? There’s no specific deadline for signing the Roommate Agreement. In any case, the roommates must declare, under oath, that they have signed this agreement. 🙌
What’s included in a roommate agreement?
The agreement covers all points that you find important for your future life together.
✅ Rent distribution and payment;
✅ Distribution of common expenses and extraordinary costs;
✅ Inventory of each person’s belongings;
✅ Details related to utility contracts (water, gas, electricity…) and insurance contracts;
✅ The arrangement for the security deposit;
✅ Protocols for arrivals, departures, roommate replacements, and conflict resolution.
Think of the Roommate Agreement like a pizza 🍕 You add what you find relevant and interesting (except pineapples, of course!) 🍍
Depending on the region, the agreement may differ. In Brussels, additional details like handling repair costs or dividing damage expenses might need inclusion.
What if a roommate leaves the co-living arrangement?
If you’ve followed our advice, your Roommate Agreement should be impeccable 👆🏻
Deciding to remove a roommate? There can be several reasons behind this choice. The decision to evict must be made by all roommates and must be legitimate. The Roommate Agreement outlines the eviction procedure.
Your roommate decides to move out? That’s life… The arrival of a new roommate is imminent. What to do? First, greet them with a big smile 😁 Then, an addendum to your Roommate Agreement needs to be made. This new agreement complements the existing one. Certain terms within the initial agreement might change.
As you’ve understood, the Roommate Agreement is indispensable in a shared living arrangement. This contract protects you and your roommates in case of problems.