Roommate (Tenancy) Law and Legal Definition

Whether a roommate is considered a joint tenant or a subtenant depends upon the terms of the lease or rental agreement. If all the roommates are named in the lease, each one can be responsible for the full amount of the rent due to the landlord. However, it is possible to negotiate with the landlord and specify in a lease that each roommate is responsible only for his/her "portion" of the rent. Where the roommate is not named and has not signed the lease, the roommate is considered a subtenant and pays his/her portion of the rent to the named tenant on the lease, who is responsible for the full amount of the rent to the landlord.