A Virginia room rental agreement could be highly beneficial for a tenant who decides to share a space with others. Do you know what it is? Read on and find all the information you need to draft one!

Room Rental Agreement

Also known as a "roommate agreement," this document binds two tenants sharing the same living space and establishes the conditions and financial responsibilities that both parties must meet.

Why Use One?

This document sets out the rules co-tenants must follow to maintain a harmonious living environment. In addition, it allows the master tenant to clarify any responsibilities that the subletting roommate has regarding:

  • Cleaning
  • Maintenance
  • Noise restrictions
  • Guest limits
  • Smoking and non-smoking policy
  • Pet policy
  • Rent payments and utilities
  • Use of common areas
  • Any other key aspect that may cause disagreement

Not Having One

A room rental agreement can protect both the original and the new tenant's rights. This document defines the rules all parties must follow before sharing a residential property, avoiding future conflicts or misunderstandings.

Also, if the secondary tenant breaches the conditions or terms set in the room rental agreement, the original tenant could use this contract to request eviction.

Roommate Agreement

Although both documents are similar, a Virginia roommate agreement does not require the landlord's involvement. Furthermore, this legal contract can be used by property owners and tenants looking for roommates.

In contrast, room rental agreements must be signed by the landlord to be valid. Moreover, this document must uphold the terms set forth in the original lease agreement.

How to Write One

A Virginia roommate agreement must include the following:

  • Names of all parties involved
  • Contact information for existing tenants, new roommate, and the landlord for emergencies
  • Monthly rent amount and payment terms, including when it is due
  • Description and address of the roommate's rented space (including city and house or apartment number, for example)
  • Security deposit, which is limited to two month's rent
  • Allocation of shared expenses
  • Dates the agreement starts and ends
  • Rules and conditions that all roommates must follow while living on the personal property
  • Signatures (the existing and new roommates must have a place to sign)

Local Laws

Under Virginia law, the co-tenant has the most rights under a written roommate agreement. Therefore, any guest does not have rights on the leased space, and having unauthorized occupants on the leased property can cause eviction.

Additionally, based on ls state and federal law, people living in a rental unit may fall into the following categories:

  • Tenant: A person whose name and form appear in the original lease agreement
  • Authorized occupant: It's a relative or roommate who has not signed the original contract
  • Guest: It's a person who can visit the rental unit but has a limited stay
  • Unauthorized occupant: Any person staying in the rental unit in violation of the original lease agreement 

Potential Issues

When existing and prospective tenants agree to share a leased property or space, a room rental agreement can prevent future conflicts and misunderstandings. Therefore, the document should address these potential issues:

  • Sleep schedules
  • Boundaries on shared spaces to maintain privacy
  • Borrowing personal items
  • How to address minor issues without conflicts
  • How to handle inappropriate guest behavior

Build Your Own 

Do you need help drafting a room rental or roommate agreement in Virginia? Doorloop has everything you need! If you want to save time, use a free template in one of the following formats:


If you need to sign a room rental or roommate agreement with a new tenant, you want to make the process as easy and efficient as possible.

With DoorLoop, you can get your agreements and templates eSigned in a few seconds. You can also get to the eSignature step much faster by creating reusable templates that are autofilled with tenants' information.

DoorLoop also makes it so simple to find the best tenants in the first place by syndicating your listings on popular websites Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads,, and more. You can also make sure you're bringing in the best tenants by screening your prospects in seconds through DoorLoop.

For more information about DoorLoop, learn more or schedule a free demo.


How Much Should the Tenant Pay as Security Deposit?

The amount a secondary tenant must pay as a security deposit is set by the master tenant or homeowner. However, under Virginia law, it is limited to two months' rent for an entire rental property.

What Happens If the Tenant Violates the Terms Set in the Lease Agreement?

Violating the terms of the original contract may result in eviction.

Is a Roommate Different from a Housemate?

Yes, both terms are different since the roommate is a person with whom the tenant shares a room while the housemate shares an apartment or house. However, they are used interchangeably in the US.

Can I customize my own form or agreement?

Yes, you always can, however if you want to be 100% sure you are protected, you should consult an attorney in your local area.

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David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!