Real Estate Law (esp. Landlord-Tenant)/Special Arrangement with Roommate


Hello Mr. Piotrowski,
I share housing with a friend.  He wants to move.  Our arrangement has been and will be that he pays the rent and I do not.  In exchange, I do cleaning, cooking and generally watch out for him.  He has a mental disability (bi-polar manic), although he's able to work full-time.  His rent is paid through a well-endowed trust fund. The executor of this trust is aware of our arrangement and in full agreement with it.  My question has to do with the application process in finding a new rental apartment.  All financial obligations on the place will be done by my friend through the trust.  I'll basically be an occupant with no financial obligations.  Our first potential rental required that we both fill out an application with the associated fee.  We decided not to pursue this particular place, but now wonder what to do in the future.  I don't mind giving some basic information about myself, but don't feel I need to have a credit check, etc.  Can you give us some advice as to the best way to handle this unusual situation?

Hi Pete,

I must admit I don't know the answer to this one. Off hand, I would say that the potential new landlord could require you to give basic information about yourself on the rental application. However, if you are to have no financial responsibility, then I do not see why they would require a credit report if they are willing to rent to you. You should have an agreement with your co-roommate, in writing, that outlines both your and your roommates obligations.


Real Estate Law (esp. Landlord-Tenant)

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David Piotrowski, Esq.


My landlord/tenant practice primarily assists California landlords with all aspects of the landlord/tenant relationship including leases, contract violations, non-payment of rent, and evictions. I can also advise, on a more general level, other real property issues.


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Juris Doctor (JD) and Member of the State Bar. Attorney.

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