Frequently Asked Questions

HousingMatch is a secure, private online community. Tenants must have an agency referral to join. Agencies use our matching service to connect families and individuals in safe, supported shared housing arrangements.

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01 How Does HousingMatch.org Protect My Privacy and Provide Security?

  • As HousingMatch is a private, online network by case manager referral only, your private information will not be posted online.
  • Referring agency case managers will provide additional security by setting up interviews between you and prospective renters.
  • Everyone in the shared living arrangement who is an adult or over 14 years of age will pass a background check.

02 I found a roommate, what do we do now?

  • Decide how long you want to make your roommate agreement for; 3 months, 6 months, or one year? Include that information in the roommate contract.
  • Your case manager can help you make a detailed contract with house rules and lease provisionsthat you both sign.
  • Depending rental contract, your case manager will assist your with accessing security deposit, and first months rent which is a recommended requiremnet for extra security in all contracts
  • Case managers can also help you access help with furniture and movers in some cases.

03 What are some possible roommate contract arrangements?

  • Check the Resources section for sample roommate contracts.

  • Lease terms (how long the contract last), depends on what you agree on: is it for one year, six months, or month-to-month?

  • You can include childcare arrangements where you agree to provide childcare regularly for each other free of cost, or you can use childcare to pay for groceries or utilities.

  • Make sure you include agreements about parenting styles in order to avoid conflict. For example and agreement that children go to bed at a certain hour or that they have dietary restrictions

  • Special instructions for limitations on guests and visitors are important additions to a roommate contract. Include a limitation on how many overnight guests are allowed. Note that a standard rent contract only allows for overnight guests to stay 2 weeks in a calendar year, if not stated in the lease. Don’t risk a lease violation by having too many overnight guests.

04 What happens when both names are on the lease for the apartment?

  • When both of the roommates are on the lease, they can negotiate separately with the landlord.
  • If one roommate does not pay the rent, the landlord can still hold the other roommate responsible for the entire rent payment.
  • The landlord must initiate the eviction process if a tenant is unwilling to vacate and take the tenant to court.
  • Both roommates can get evicted for a violation that the other makes on the lease.

05 What happens when one tenant’s name is on the lease and the other is subleasing?

  • First, the tenant whose name is on the lease, or “head of household”, must get written permission from the landlord to be allowed to sublease the room to a “subletor”.
  • The landlord is not responsible for collecting rent from the subletor and not responsible for evicting a subletor who refuses to vacate.
  • Free legal help is available for heads of household who need to evict a subletor; see the Resources section.

06 Which contract is more binding, the roommate contract or the lease?

  • The lease is always the contract that will take legal precedent in court.
    The roommate contract should help the roommates agree on day-to-day living arrangements, lifestyles, habits, and is used as a guide.
  • Violation of either contract is grounds to request mediation services or to relocate.

07 How can HousingMatch.org help if roommates are not a good match?

  • If roommates are having troubles, it is strongly recommended to go to mediation, if possible, to work the situation out. See the Resources section for mediation information. If mediation does not work, or is not an option, then the roommates may want to go back to the HousingMatch.org site and seek a new living arrangement by case manager referral.
  • Casemanagers can help with many aspects of conflict management including, mediation, conflict resolution, relocation, and referring families back to the network to seek a new shared housing arrangement.

08 What should roommates do if they want to end the roommate contract?

  • Check with your casemanager for guidance on relocating.
  • If there is a short term lease agreement, then roommates may need to give a 30 day written notice to the landlord and their roommate that they intend to seek a new living arrangement.
  • Casemanagers will help with searching the site to find a new roommate 45 days before moving to allow a lot of time to interview.
  • HousingMatch.org recommends having a security deposit and last months rent in place to help provide time to move.