The Right Way to Split Rent

  • February 08, 2016

Splitting rent does not have to be a painful or uncomfortable situation each month. Follow these steps to set some ground rules and make sure the bills are divvied up equally and appropriately.
 
Know the Upfront Costs – Knowing the cost of renting a property upfront is important. Not only does the individual monthly payment need to be taken into consideration but the security deposit is also important when ensuring everyone can cover their portion.
 
Factor in the Master Suite – Generally speaking, the roommate living in the master suite of a property pays a slight percentage more than the other roommates due to the fact that they have more space to call their own. Determine who this person is before moving in and how much monthly that person will owe in comparison to the other(s). Divide rent by the square footage of the rooms to determine the exact dollar amount each occupant would owe depending on the size of the room they are to inhabit.
 
Handle Utilities Separately – For all utilities not included in the cost of rent, handle these bills separately. Whether you make it a rule that the bill will be split evenly down the middle or portion it out, settle on an agreement before moving day. Putting it in writing is even better in case any issues arise at a later date.
 
Make Agreements before Beginning Services – Before signing up for services that aren’t “necessary” such as television, cable, video services, etc., settle on an agreement as to if this bill will be shared or give a roommate the option to opt out from using or paying for the service.
 
Kitchen Area – Not all roommates realize this area as a source of contention until it’s too late. However, devising a plan for how items in the kitchen are shared (or not) could prevent arguments down the road. Determine if grocery bills will be split, if food can be shared, or utensils and cookware can be used by all. Lay out the rules clearly.
 
Having to split rent and expenses monthly is never an easy task. But going into the situation with a plan and a carefully laid out agreement that showcases how the arrangement is a fair one will help negate confrontation.

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