There are few conversations that can feel more awkward than discussing how to split rent with roommates. After all, you want to get off on the right foot with your new housemates, but you also don’t want to be forced to pay more apartment rent than you should.
Thankfully, the “rent talk” doesn’t have to turn into an uncomfortable roommate situation. If you decide upfront how to handle splitting rent and joint expenses (and putting it in your roommate agreement), you can set you and your roomies up for success.
To help you determine the easiest way to split monthly bills and shared expenses in your unique roommate situation, we’ve created this handy guide that explains different ways to split expenses. Read on to find the best method for you and your roomies.
Split rent evenly between roommates
When most people split expenses and the rent payment, they typically use the easiest option, which is to split every expense evenly. With this method of splitting the total rent amount, you don’t consider things like bedroom size or income. It’s as simple as dividing your total rent and shared expenses by how many roommates you have in your apartment.
Because this method of rent division does not consider individual factors, it’s best in situations where everything is fairly equal among you and your roomies. This means your bedrooms have similar square foot dimensions and you have access to the same amenities.
If you’re in a situation where someone has a huge master bedroom with a walk-in closet and private bathroom, you may want to think about how to split rent with roommates in other ways. Luckily, there are plenty of other methods that can help you split rent fairly.
Split monthly rent by room size and amenities
If one housemate has a smaller room or doesn’t have access to a private bath when another roommate does, splitting the rent right down the middle doesn’t really make sense. To make sure that each tenant is paying fair rent, you may want to split the rent based on room size and other amenities like walk-in closets and private bathrooms.
To figure out how much rent each roommate should pay, you’ll want to do a square footage rent split. You’ll determine the total square footage of each room, including each amenity like private bathrooms, closets, and balconies. You’ll then divide that amount by the total square footage of the apartment.
This calculation will help you determine the percentage, or value, of each bedroom. You’ll then use this information to decide how much money each roommate should pay based on the amount of private space they have compared to every other renter in the space. Note: This method would not include the living room or any other shared living space.
Do a rent split by income
As you wonder how to split rent with roommates, you may want to consider splitting household expenses and the rent unit cost based on income. While income is always a sensitive topic, some roommates find that this method of splitting the rent works best for them.
For example, in some cases, one roommate may be earning significantly more than their roomies. When this happens, the roommate with the best financial situation may agree to pay more of the rent. This scenario works best with roommates that have a close relationship and are comfortable sharing personal information.
However, you shouldn’t automatically expect your roommate to go for this strategy, even if they have a much better job than you do. In fact, this method of splitting the rent tends to work best with couples who already share other expenses.
Turn to a rent split calculator
If you don’t want to ask about finances or make your own calculations based on private space versus shared space, you can use a rent calculator to help.
One great option is using a free tool called Spliddit. You’ll input some basic data about your total monthly rent, each roommate, and each bedroom space. From there, Spliddit will determine how much each person should pay for rent. It also explains why this calculation is fair.
Another tool that you can use is Splitwise rent splitting calculator. This is a useful option because it can track and split much more than just rent for your apartment’s common area and private spaces. You also determine the fair share that everyone should pay for expenses ranging from the utility bill for water to transportation on trips.
Create a Rent Splitting Rental Agreement
Once you’ve found the best method to split rent, you’ll want to run it by your roomies. This is the most important part of determining how to split rent with roommates. As soon as everyone is in agreement, you’ll want to ask your landlord how you can best split your rent payment.
Sometimes, landlords are fine with receiving payments from each roommate. However, more likely you or one of your roommates will use your checking account to pay the monthly rent and expenses before being reimbursed by everyone else in the household.
Turn to Common
Whether you need help with how to tell your roommate you’re moving out or how to compose a roommate chore chart, we have you covered. Living in a Common home makes it much easier to rent and live with roommates. When you find a coliving space you’ll enjoy gorgeous, spacious homes that are fully furnished and come stocked with supplies like toilet paper and soap. We also make it easy to determine how to split rent with roommates — each roommate is responsible for their own rent, which includes utilities like WiFi and electricity. Discover the benefits of living at Common today!