How to Split the Rent?
The best way to battle conflict over who pays how much rent is to decided on a plan in the beginning stages of your housing search. Here are a few options for splitting rent:
(1) The traditional route: Split rent straight down the middle. Every roommate pays the same share of rent and utilities. It does not matter if someone has a room they think might be better suited to be a closet, or if one roommate doesn’t watch TV, you’re all in it together, so you all pay the same.
(2) Shared space discount: Each bedroom pays a portion of the rent. So if you have a two bedroom apartment with three roommates, the two that are sharing a room pay half the rent compared to the third roommate. Maybe half isn't fair, but you can negotiate the discount among yourselves!
(3) Square footage: This can get complicated, but not all bedrooms are created equally. Often apartments will have a master bedroom that is significantly larger than the other. In cases when spacing is extremely skewed splitting rent based on square footage could be the option for you! You could do the math yourself, taking into consideration how much you would like common spaces to factor in, or you can use a rent splitting websites such as Splitwise or RoommieClac.
(4) Bidding: Some rooms may have extra qualities that make them more desirable than others (extra windows, great views, big closets, and ac unit). In cases like this you can use a website, such as Spliddit that allows roommates to bid on rooms to help them find the fairest solution based on which situation that is most desirable to them.
Roommate conflicts over money are awkward and uncomfortable. Deciding what method you are going to use to split the rent early on can ease conflicts and expedite your apartment search process.