Roommate agreements include such terms as the portion of utilities each roommate pays, house duties and restrictions, and the portion of rent and security each roommate commits to pay. The importance of writing the agreement is that it compels both parties to take the co-tenancy seriously, states Law Depot.
The roommate agreement covers how the roommates divide the rent because sometimes the roommates may agree to pay their rent in a particular way -- either equally or unequally. It is proper to designate one roommate as the one to whom the roommates pay their rent every month; he then writes and signs the total rent check for the landlord. This is more convenient because usually landlords frown upon receiving multiple checks from co-tenants, notes Law Depot.
The roommate agreement terms also address the issue of reimbursement of the security deposit if one roommate moves out before the end of the rental term. In most cases, the landlord is not bound to return the security deposit for an apartment until all the tenants vacate the premises, creating a potentially sticky situation if one tenant vacates the premises prior to the end of the lease term. In their roommate agreement, the roommates may agree to pay the departing roommate his share of the security deposit less the cost of any damage caused by the departing roommate, according to Law Depot.