Money

How To Split The Rent So Nobody Feels Ripped Off

Share houses are either an awesome experience, or enough to make you want to live alone, locked away in isolation like Quasimodo in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame for the rest of your days.

Good housemates or not, feeling as though you’re being ripped off by the people you live with is a real concern, and it’s important to know you’re not being taken advantage of. Finding out you pay the same for what can only be described as an obscure storage cupboard as your housemate does for his master bedroom fitted with an en suite and private balcony is enough to make you want to cry yourself into a stress-induced nap.

Before you succumb to insanity, it might be best to have a chat with your housemates to devise a plan to divvy up the rent more evenly and fairly – here’s how:

Appraise each room

Without a doubt, the fairest way to share the rent is to appraise each room, but there are loads of factors involved when deciding how much each space should cost. Things like built ins, bigger windows and extra storage can all come into play, but the most common way of appraisal is by floor space, so how much you’re dropping on rent each month will all depend on how big your bedroom is.

The floor plan of your place should be easily accessible via your real estate, but if not just measure each bedroom (including wardrobe space or any additional spaces like en suites and balconies) and figure out what percentage of total bedroom space each roommate has.

Apply this percentage to the total rent and you’ll have each roomie’s fair rent share. Just don’t take common areas into account because, I mean, they’re for everyone.

If you’re like me, and this super simple algorithm is enough to make you feel uneasy, use an online rent calculator that was designed for numerically challenged people, like me and you.

Now you’ve accurately appraised each bedroom, the master bedroom might end up going to the person who can best afford it, not just the person who called “dibs” on move-in day.

Have an in-house auction

If you and your roomies are gunning for the same bedroom, but simply can’t come to a compromise by flipping a coin or drawing straws, why not get in a bidding war?

After all, if you and them are so keen on the room, chances are someone will be willing to drop some extra cash for it. While this may not be the most financially just way of going about things, it’s all part of the game – supply and demand, baby.

Not only will this way allow someone to live their dream lifestyle, if they’re a bit of a baller, it’s going to drive everyone else’s rent down. Score.

Draw straws

If you and your mates are set on all paying the same amount of rent, this is cool too. I mean, if having the rent split straight down the middle matches up with all your budgets, go for it – but as for who gets the best room, well, we’ll leave that to the gods to decide.

OK, so no actual higher mystic power will be determining who sleeps where, but some folded up pieces of paper in a bowl will surely do the trick. Number each room, write those numbers down on some scrap paper and chuck them in the bowl. Then, you and your roomies will take turns picking from the bunch until everyone has been designated their new digs.

The best thing about this approach is that once it’s done, it’s done and there’s nothing to be salty over (depending on how petty you are). There’s no skill involved, so you can’t blame yourself – whoever gets the better room is purely based on luck (or how stealthily you can cheat).

Although, we wouldn’t recommend crossing your housemates like that, do you really want to declare a war? I mean they know where you sleep.

Look, when it comes to living in share houses it’s only fair that you’re only forking out the money for rent that is justifiable and reasonable. Sure, sparking the conversation may feel awkward or uncomfortable, but if you bite the bullet and start talking about it, it could save you loads.