Pros and Cons of Being the Lease Holder

For many young adults, it is a better option financially to share an apartment with multiple bedrooms than to get a one-bedroom apartment on their own. This means either browsing the classifieds to see if anyone is looking for roommates, or shopping for 2 or 3 bedroom apartments in MN, and trying to find roommates to fill those empty spaces yourself. If you choose the latter route, that means that you will have to put your own name on the lease, and you will be considered the one responsible for the apartment. This comes with many pros and cons, so be sure to consider all of them before making a decision on which route to take.

Pro: You Choose Your Roommates
When you’re the lease holder, you get complete control over who will live in the apartment with you. You can take applications and screen applicants and be just as picky as you would like. Obviously, you don’t want to be too picky, or you may not find anyone who wants to live with you! But you can still be thorough and ensure that the people moving into your apartment are the kind of people that you will get along with and enjoy living with.

If you’re not the lease holder, then you may get to meet the apartment’s lease holder when you apply to live in their apartment, but you likely won’t get to meet all of your potential roommates. This could leave you with a living situation that is less than enjoyable. Holding the lease yourself can help you avoid that.

Con: You’re Responsible
If your name is the only one on the lease, then you will be the one that the apartment complex holds responsible for paying the rent and maintaining the property. That means that if one of your roommates doesn’t pay up their part of the rent, the apartment complex won’t harass them for that money–they’ll come after you. You will be responsible for ensuring that your roommates are paying their portion, or you will have to cover their part of the rent and try to get the money from them later.

Additionally, if one of your roommates causes any damage to the apartment, the apartment complex could hold you responsible for paying for repairs. Of course, you would hope that your roommates would pay for any damages they cause, and you can certainly go to them for those payments. However, in the end, you are the only one on the lease, so you are the only one who has a legal responsibility for maintaining the property.

Pro: You’re in Charge
In many ways, being the lease holder on your apartment is a lot like being the landlord. Obviously, you must defer to the apartment complex for any changes you make to the space, like painting the walls, but when it comes to you and your roommates, you’re the one who is ultimately in charge. You can set standards for apartment cleanliness, curfew, and even painting the walls if you wish.

Just make sure that all of these rules and expectations are clearly outlined in a contract that you have your roommates sign. It’s important that they understand what expectations you have for them before they move in, or you could end up with a nasty conflict on your hands. And of course, try not to wield your power too forcefully; nobody likes a bossy roommate.

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