Monday, May 19, 2014
Renting a house or condo with one or several roommates offers more manageable rental fees, expenses and responsibilities. However, unequal or unfair sharing of these costs and responsibilities may become a source of conflict if not dealt with.
Conflict regarding money matters may be more difficult to tackle than other issues. Find a way around this possible pitfall by discussing how you’re going to split the expenses before you commit to the lease.
1. Even sharing
Equal sharing of the rent is the most common way of sharing the rental fee. This may work if you’re sharing a studio or a one bedroom unit with just one roommate, since you can divide the space equally as well. However, for condos that have two or more bedrooms, it may be more difficult to even out the allocated space among roommates.
In most condo layouts, one bedroom is usually the designated master bedroom and has a larger space than the rest. In this case, problems may arise if a roommate feels that even sharing is unfair.
2. Better amenities, bigger rent
Not all bedrooms in a condo unit are exactly alike, as some may have a larger space, a better view or more windows. These desirable amenities that are lacking in other bedrooms may spark roommate envy and disputes. Have a discussion about what’s fair in terms of rent, with a higher fee for the bedrooms with better amenities. Discuss who will take which rooms as well.
3. Sharing utility bills
Going hand in hand with the rent, a fair sharing of the utility bills is a must. It’s possible that not every roommate has the same needs when it comes to utilities. Perhaps, one does not watch cable TV at all, or another doesn’t need the air conditioner on all the time. Sharing the utility bills evenly is difficult, if not impossible to achieve.
The important thing is to discuss how you’re going to split the bills openly. Also, keep your communication lines open for future tweaks on your setup, since you may have better ideas for sharing the utility bills as you settle into renting with roommates.