When I was in college, I lived in a unicorn of a house with four roommates. It was close to public transportation, it had copious storage space, and it possessed every appliance a college gal could ask for (deep fryer included).
Figuring out how to split rent can be challenging, but there are solutions available to help tackle the task efficiently.
My room was in the attic. It was huge. It was gloriously sunny. It was also floored with particle board, had little insulation, and required a climb up a somewhat sketchy staircase.
My roomies defaulted to splitting according to square footage. Using this system, I’d be left paying $800 while the other housemates (who each had reasonably sized, heated, and hardwood-floored rooms) would be paying $350. The moment of awkward silence that followed was my rent-splitting awakening.
Splitting the rent fairly is a hefty task and one that doesn’t always end with a round of high-fives and a game of Cards Against Humanity. To avoid household tension right off the bat, here are a few solutions:
Total rent of two-bedroom apartment: $1,400
Common area is assigned a value (let’s say $300). That cost is then divided evenly among all housemates: $100 per person.
Housemate #1 (single) pays $500 for the bedroom, plus $100 for the common area. Total: $600.
Housemates #2 & #3 split the cost of their $600 shared room. Beside this they each pay an additional $100. Total: $400 per person.
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.
So what did I end up paying for my attic room? After making the case for my large yet ill-heated and rickety space, I shaved off 200 bucks from the initial proposed cost. My rent came out to $600, while the others paid $400 per month.