Today we’re talking about some sweet unconventional housing, hardwood floors, and figuring out how much rent each housemate should pay.
I am trying to arbitrate a living situation for my daughter and want to share some thoughts. Your “Splitwise” rent calculator is ingenious! However it may not work as well with unconventional housing. One thing missing from the calculation is the number of bathrooms. This is a drawback as a typical 4 bedroom house might have only two bathrooms so the MBR rent would be much higher due to the exclusive use of the MBR bath. All other tenants and house guests would use the single remaining bath… much less desirable.
In today’s Dear Splitwise, we consider the troubles of a super-intense treehugger who lives off-campus with his roommates (and their girlfriends).
I live in an student-style apartment with 3 roommates, and we all have separate leases. The only thing not separate is the electricity, and there are a couple issues splitting it based on usage and our guests. Also, I’m an environmentalist, and every month, they hand me a $180 electric bill and asking me to pay for a third of it. To me, this is like saying, “Hey I need you to give me some of your money for something I need that you will not be using that will cause your friends to die, can I get that on the 20th?”
Dear Splitwise returns this week to settle the issue of shelf space in a fridge that is owned by a roommate. This is common in places like Europe, where household appliances being included with a rental isn’t necessarily the norm.
I live with three other people in a four-bedroom share house. One of my housemates owns a 400L fridge. She uses between 40-60% of the fridge space, depending on how much food she has at the time. She also claims sole use of the largest and most convenient shelf (there are only three shelves, so no-one else can have their own shelf) and says that this is fair because it is her fridge. If we wanted to have unfettered fridge access, then we should supply our own fridge.
The problem with this – aside from the logistical issues with placing multiple fridges in an average-sized, inner-suburban house – is that the kitchen of a shared house is shared space. We all rent that space. If a housemate wants to carve out a fridge empire or own other large ungainly objects that others can’t freely use, they should do so in their bedroom and leave the common areas to be used equally by all housemates.
In this “Dear Splitwise”, we return to the always tricky issue of live-in significant others.
If my roommate has his girlfriend move in, what would be a fair price for him to pay me additionally? My roommate currently pays $435.00 for his share of the rent out of $995.00 per month. Electric is a total of $210.00 (which we split two ways) and cable is $60.00 each. He only wants to pay $50.00 more per month, which is way too cheap. What would be a fair amount for her share of rent and utilities per month? He’s trying to justify the low amount by saying she’s not going to use TV even though there is TV with cable in his room.
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.
Today we answer our first question emailed to Dear Splitwise.
How does one split the broker’s fee fairly in a NYC apartment? If someone has their own bathroom, should they pay more, or is it split evenly by all roommmates?
Broke and Broker
Dear Broke and Broker,
It’s true that in New York, Boston, and other major metro areas you often have to pay a broker’s fee to the real estate agent to get an apartment, even one you would share with roommates. Which stinks.
So, Broke and Broker, your question is: if the bedrooms are different enough in quality that one bedroom should have a higher rent, the question is, should that person also pay a bigger share of the broker’s fee? Great question! Continue reading How To Share A Broker’s Fee