When you’re sharing an apartment with a roommate/roommates and you all get rooms that are equal in size and desirability and you all share the common space equally, splitting the rent and the bills aren't that complicated. Most of the time, the rent is just divided by the number of roommates and everyone pays the same amount. However, when you end up renting a space where the rooms aren’t all the same size or one is more desirable in some way (has better windows/view, has an awesome closet, has a private bathroom, and so on…) it’s not so easy.
Often, when you rent an apartment that has more than one bedroom, there will be at least one larger “master” bedroom. Sometimes, the biggest bedroom even has the benefit of having a private on-suite bathroom and a walk-in closet. If you’re in a renting a place where this is the case, here’s some suggestions for dividing the rent in a way that’s fair:
· Divide the square footage - To get an accurate breakdown, take the square footage of each bedroom and divide by the total square footage of the apartment. This gives you the percentage of space each room occupies. Take each individual percentage and apply it to the total cost of rent. This breaks down the cost per percentage of total space occupied.
· Leave It To A Rent Calculating Tool
- If you and the roomies aren’t fans of math, there’s also an easier way — an online rent calculator. There are plenty of good ones available on the web (and yes, they work even when space isn’t divided evenly). Some of the popular ones are : RoomieCalc.com
, and Spliddit.com
· Take the “Perks” approach
- What exactly do you get with your room? For instance, do you have a private bathroom? That’ll be extra. Assign a cost to each amenity or “extra” and tack it onto an evenly divided room price. (Tip: Closet space, windows, balconies, etc. are also perks to consider.)
· Consider per-person calculations - Think about your daily habits: how much water you use, how often you switch the light on/off, etc. Now double it. Therein lies the logic behind splitting on a per person basis. If you rent a room to a single occupant, you can expect a certain usage of energy. But rent out the same space to two people, and you can expect expenses to increase. You can also expect a heightened degree of wear and tear, plus storage space in common areas (refrigerator shelves, anyone?) to decrease.
Finally, Write it all down
To guard against future roommate pricing disputes, get it down in writing and make copies for each tenant. A roommate agreement is a stellar way to get your details on file so you’re not left wondering the terms in the future.