Student Affairs - Fostering Student Learning and Success

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Looking for a roommate or sublet?

Meet any potential roommates or sublets before agreeing to room with them or allowing them to sublet your apartment. Talk about your expectations and do not agree to live with someone or sublet to someone who will not respect your apartment or living preferences. Do not make rent or other expense payments for roommates or sublets. Sometimes best friends do not make the best roommates.

What to discuss with roommates

  •     Who will occupy specific bedrooms and how the rent will be split per person, if not stated in the lease.
  •     Concerning the purchase of food - will it be for individual or communal consumption?
  •     The purchase of household supplies and furniture.
  •     Who places the utilities in their name, and how those are paid each month.
  •     The use of personal items and individual property. Think of the major items like personal computers and entertainment equipment as well as smaller items like toiletries.
  •     How to remedy situations when personal property is damaged or comes up missing when the responsible party cannot be identified.
  •     Creating a policy for entertaining guests. Discuss with your roommates rules on overnight guests and how long guests can stay.

Roommate agreements

A roommate agreement is a written document outlining expectations for people living with roommates. A roommate agreement can be useful for several reasons. Most importantly, it encourages everyone to work as a group in forging an agreement. It is also valuable in that it limits future misunderstandings concerning expectations. The topics in this section are good topics to include in your roommate agreement. In the top right corner of the screen we've attached two examples of what roommate agreements can look like. Check them out, and if you don't like what you see a quick internet search for "roommate agreements" will yield some solid samples to use.

Legal Concerns

There are two important legal considerations to keep in mind that relate to roommates. They are Constructive Possession and Joint and Several Liability. Constructive possession refers to the potential to be held legally responsible for illegal substances that may not technically "belong" to you, but that are discovered in places that you have the power to exert domain over, such as within an apartment. Joint and several liability refers to the potential to be held legally and financially responsible for rent payments and lease obligations should a roommate fail to uphold their end of a contract. For a full legal description and understanding of how these laws can apply to you, please contact UNC Student Legal Services at (919) 962-1303 or email


Conflicts do occur between roommates. It is important to try and resolve disputes promptly when they arise with tact and honesty. Remember; try to remain calm and diplomatic when dealing with these disagreements. Open lines of communication can be critical in helping to resolve disputes in an effective manner. If you are unable to resolve a conflict, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at (919) 966-4042 or and one of our staff members can evaluate the situation to see how we can be most helpful.