Splitting The Rent Among Roommates

Splitting the Rent Among Roommates

Splitting the rent—that’s what roommates are for. While some people just don’t like to live alone, for most people, the primary reason for living with roommates is that it eases the financial burden. If you have a roommate or two to split the rent with, your cost of living will be lower.

Unfortunately, deciding how to split the rent isn’t always easy. Most people will split the cost of rent and utilities equally, but this isn’t always a fair solution. If one bedroom is significantly larger than another, or one person uses significantly more electricity than the others, splitting the rent down the middle might not be the best solution.

If splitting the rent equally won’t work for your situation, there are a number of factors you can take into account, in order to determine who should pay the larger share.

The size of the bedrooms can be a significant factor. If you’re renting a house, or a multi-bedroom apartment, there is probably a master bedroom, which is bigger than the rest. If the difference in size between the master bedroom and the other bedrooms is significant, then the person who gets the larger room might pay a larger portion of the rent.

Even if all of the bedrooms are the same size, there may be other factors that make one bedroom more desirable than the rest. Features like a larger closet, bigger windows, a balcony, or a private bathroom can all make one bedroom more appealing than the rest. If a bedroom has any features that make it more desirable than the other rooms, it makes sense for the person living in that room to pay a larger portion of the rent.

Utilities can also be a factor. Most apartments will require that you at least pay for the electricity. If you’re renting a house, your rent probably doesn’t include any of your utilities. If one roommate uses a greater portion of the utilities, that person should pay a larger portion of the bill. If one roommate is always in the shower, for example, you might want that person to pay a larger percentage of the water bill.

However you decide to split the rent, you should put it in writing. Draw up a roommate agreement between you and your roommates, including a clause that clearly indicates how the rent is to be divided. Using a written roommate agreement will make it easier to settle any disputes that may arise between roommates. It will also allow you to clarify other issues that may cause tension between roommates, such as allowing guests to spend the night, or whether or not smoking will be allowed inside the property.