Rentin’ Rooms in your House

Why U No Use Rent Calculator?
Most Splitwise Man In The World

If you are going to rent out a room in your house, especially to a friend, you need to pick a fair price that also reflects the market. One reader asks:

Dear Splitwise,

How would you charge if you rent out a room with a private bathroom in the home that is your primary residence, which you own?

Landlord in Training

Hi Landlord in Training,

Great question. As it happens, I just had to help my parents do this. Here’s what you need to know: Continue reading Rentin’ Rooms in your House

Court Allows Discrimination in Roommate Selection

One of my passions is to help people be fair to their roommates. But how fair are you required to be to your potential roommates? is a popular roommate finding site, which allows you to search for roommates based on sex, age, sexual orientation, and family status. Is this fair? The Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley thought not, and the case landed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Continue reading Court Allows Discrimination in Roommate Selection

Juries: The Original Fairness Calculator

A survey of your peers.

I had the fascinating experience of attending my first jury summons yesterday in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I wasn’t sure whether to be disappointed or relieved when they dismissed me from the courthouse after 7 hours of waiting for my voir dire.

A randomly selected jury pool jury is in some ways the original, single-use fairness calculator. When confronted with a dispute, one presents the case to a representative sample of your peers. They vote for the result they think matches their common sense notions of what is relevant and who is right. If Splitwise didn’t do surveys to test our fairness calculators, it would be a bit like the government having a trial without a jury (maybe a stretch, but I think it’s a stimulating thought).
Continue reading Juries: The Original Fairness Calculator

How To Split A Shared Vacation House

“Should we split the check?” This dinner table cliché is just one part of an age-old sharing conundrum: should group costs be divided evenly among all parties, or allocated based on actual usage?

On holiday vacations with friends or other families, we are frequently confronted with these anxiety-inducing decisions. Items like lodging and transportation are often paid in advance, and a single person will often purchase groceries or supplies for the whole group. To add to the confusion, people will occasionally lend each other money (“Don’t worry, I’ll cover you and you can pay me back”).

It’s never pleasant to deal with these questions after the fact, so allow me to present some original research and a helpful tool that should take the stress out of settling the bills.  While some cost-sharing choices remain a matter of personal taste, there is broad consensus on how to share the most significant vacation expenses.
Continue reading How To Split A Shared Vacation House

Loud Sex And The Noise Calculator

Hey all – just posted an article on Forbes all about loud sex. That survey was also used to create the new Noisy Neighbors calculator.

Very few survey respondents actually would offer to pay cash to a roommate based on disrupting them. It’s a more of a guide to the value of the appropriate gift for, or to how much value your apartment would lose on the open market if you knew how frequent the disturbances would be.

The way we calculate the number comes from linearly extrapolating loud sex to all other cases.  Specifically, loud sex is worth (per incident) some number we get an average of from our survey. We take this as a fraction of the average daily rent contribution of our survey respondents. Lastly, we linearly extrapolate this percentage from the average badness of each sound type in the “how disruptive question” described in this article.

Make sure you use your personal rent contribution instead of the total rent for the apartment, or the number will be several times too high!

If you have questions about the procedure, feel free to use our contact form and I will respond as soon as I can (often well within 24 hours).