When Three People Share A Room

Dear Splitwise,

What if more than 3 people are in a room? Your rent calculator does not have a setting for this.

Our apartment has two bedrooms. The first is a guest bedroom (113 sq ft) being shared by two people, with a guest bath that also has access to the living room. The master bedroom (124 square feet) is being shared by three people, and has its own “private” bathroom. There is a living room (126 sq ft) with a fireplace, a balcony, and a normal sized kitchen.

Thanks if you could help me decide what to charge for each of us 5 apartmentmates.

With gratitude,
Roommates à trois

Dear à trois,

Indeed, the rent calculator does not have a setting for your living situation, or anything else you might be doing in there.  But it’s simple to modify the procedure for dividing up rooms into three, so let’s figure out what percentages your roommates should pay in rent.

Someone staying in the 2-person room, the “guest room” (do you honestly jam additional guests into that apartment?) has 56.76 square feet of bedroom to themselves, while someone in the three-fer only has 41.25.  Allowing 100 square feet for the kitchen and 190 for the bathrooms, hallways, closets and balcony, there are 415 square feet of common space in your apartment.  Split that common space five ways, and you get 83 square feet per person.

If you take the total size of the apartment and divide by how much room is allocated to each person, you get:

  • A person staying in the two person guest room should pay 21.42% of the rent
  • A person crammed into the three person bedroom should pay 19.05% of the rent.

This may not seem like a big difference, but if the total rent were just $2000, it would mean $428.50 in rent for a guest room and $381.00 in rent to share a room three ways. Which adds up to nearly $600 per year.

I hope that this helps and that you all find a bigger place soon!

Dear Splitwise,

Thank you this is great! The estimation is very helpful!

Published by

Jon Bittner

Splitwise helps you and your friends keep track of shared expenses, so that bills (and friends) get paid on time.

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