Author Topic: How would you divide the rent? UPDATE #34, #40, #75, NEW Oh! Dear! #81  (Read 12401 times)

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jpcher

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DD#1 (and 2 friends, Vicki and Laura) have been looking for an apartment for the upcoming school year instead of living in student housing.

They finally found one that is close to campus, in the right price range and they all agree that it is perfect.

DD#1 and Laura decided that Vicki can have the largest bedroom because Vicki found the place.

The second bedroom is a bit smaller, no biggie . . . but the third bedroom (according to DD#1) is tiny. She said that it was even smaller than her dorm room (I think she said it was 7x9) and it doesn't have a closet.

I asked her if she would be okay in such a small space. She told me that she and Laura hadn't decided yet who would get the smaller room.

Not wanting to dampen her spirits (she's soooo excited about her first apartment!) I let it go. I figure she's an adult and if she ends up with the smallest room she'll just have to deal with it.




Here's me talking . . . I haven't brought this up with DD#1, but since I'm paying the rent during the school year (it's turns out to be cheaper than student housing) . . . do you think that the tiny bedroom deserves a break in the monthly rent? If so, how much of a break? $100? $50? $10? or should the rent still be split equally 3-ways?



How would you divide the rent?

Just curious as to what you all think about this situation.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 02:39:33 PM by jpcher »

deadbody

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Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2013, 06:46:36 PM »
No chance I make it an even split.  The room doesn't even have a closet? 

I would find a different apartment, but barring that I think the rent should go closer to 40, 35, 25 or so percentage wise, depending on how much bigger the biggest room is. Lacking a closet and being in the tiniest room is a huge imposition and your DD should pay less in rent to make up for it (or more clearly the people with the far superior accomodations should pay more)

Outdoor Girl

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Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2013, 06:48:58 PM »
No chance I make it an even split.  The room doesn't even have a closet? 

I would find a different apartment, but barring that I think the rent should go closer to 40, 35, 25 or so percentage wise, depending on how much bigger the biggest room is. Lacking a closet and being in the tiniest room is a huge imposition and your DD should pay less in rent to make up for it (or more clearly the people with the far superior accomodations should pay more)

I agree.

I think the fairest way to choose who gets the smallest room is to draw lots.  Unless one person would really like the cut in rent.
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Sharnita

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Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2013, 06:49:44 PM »
I might instead give her more access to coomon space - maybe an e,tra shelf in the hall and batjroom closets or something similar.Another option would be yrading rooms at the 6 month mark.

LazyDaisy

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Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2013, 07:04:38 PM »
While on one hand I agree that the rent should be adjusted to reflect the unfairness in the bedrooms, in my college roommate experiences, it can lead to one roommate feeling like they have more of a vote/right/ownership of the apartment if they are paying more rent. I think that equal rent is better and as Sharnita suggested, the occupant of the tiny bedroom makes up for it someplace else in the apartment or they rotate bedrooms every few months. Maybe the inequality can be equaled out in the utility payments -- biggest bedroom pays electric, middle pays phone/cable/internet, and smallest pays gas.
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Ezeesee

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Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2013, 07:16:00 PM »
I've been living in shared houses for years, and it seems normal and sensible to me that housemates pay a different proportion of the rent depending on how good the rooms are. It's more than just the size of the room; it's the location in the flat, number of windows, how close it is to the front door etc. I'm currently paying less than my housemates because my room is on the ground floor at the front of the house (so closer to the road outside) even though the room itself is quite big. If we were all paying the same amount it would just build up resentment against the people with the better rooms. We've always divided utility bills equally between all of us though.

Quote
I would find a different apartment, but barring that I think the rent should go closer to 40, 35, 25 or so percentage wise, depending on how much bigger the biggest room is. Lacking a closet and being in the tiniest room is a huge imposition and your DD should pay less in rent to make up for it (or more clearly the people with the far superior accommodations should pay more)

These percentages make sense to me, though it might then turn out that Vicki or Laura need to save money so will willingly take the cheaper room. 

SleepyKitty

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Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2013, 07:27:33 PM »
The way I've seen it handled in the past isn't to divide the rent - since, as a PP noted, those who are paying higher rent tend to feel more entitled to the common areas - but to divide household responsibilities based on who has the better room. So, whoever had the best room usually was responsible for buying toilet paper and paper towels, doing the "heavy" cleaning like mopping the floor when it needed it or scrubbing the tub (although each girl was still responsible for her own messes, like dishes) and coordinating utility payments/repairs with the landlord/various other tasks related to the apartment. Obviously contingent on each girl not abusing the system, like using vast amounts of paper towels or tracking mud all over a floor.

I'm going to go against the grain and say I don't think it's fair to divide rent based on who has the best/worst rooms. Each girl agreed to the apartment at the rent that it was advertised at, and what if more than one girl would rather take the little room for cheaper rent? I wouldn't be happy to be apartment searching and suddenly find out I needed to pay more than a housemate based on drawing lots. To me, equal rent = equal rights to the household, and messing with that formula is asking for trouble.

TootsNYC

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Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2013, 07:32:12 PM »
While on one hand I agree that the rent should be adjusted to reflect the unfairness in the bedrooms, in my college roommate experiences, it can lead to one roommate feeling like they have more of a vote/right/ownership of the apartment if they are paying more rent. I think that equal rent is better and as Sharnita suggested, the occupant of the tiny bedroom makes up for it someplace else in the apartment or they rotate bedrooms every few months. Maybe the inequality can be equaled out in the utility payments -- biggest bedroom pays electric, middle pays phone/cable/internet, and smallest pays gas.

I think this is how I'd want it to break down. That the square footage should come out pretty even *by usage*.

So maybe that means that the person w/ the bigger bedroom stores some of the seldom-accessed stuff for the person w/ the teeniest bedroom.

And the person w/ the teeniest bedroom gets a greater measure of consideration from the others in terms of whether she gets "driven from" the common areas--they should worry more about whether she's comfortable there, or can study there, etc., because it's harder for *her* to retreat to her room.

And I like the idea  about switching at semester break--it means nobody gets the short end of the stick for good.

Slartibartfast

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Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2013, 07:34:47 PM »
I'm going to go against the grain and say I don't think it's fair to divide rent based on who has the best/worst rooms. Each girl agreed to the apartment at the rent that it was advertised at, and what if more than one girl would rather take the little room for cheaper rent? I wouldn't be happy to be apartment searching and suddenly find out I needed to pay more than a housemate based on drawing lots. To me, equal rent = equal rights to the household, and messing with that formula is asking for trouble.

Then, just like the cake-cutting logic puzzle, you all talk together and propose splits you feel would be fair.  Especially since it sounds like the girls are a bit flexible about who gets which room.  Whoever is willing to pay the most for the small room gets it, then whoever is willing to pay the next-most for the middle room gets it, and the third person gets what's left.

(Example: Vicki thinks the person with the smallest room should pay 10% of the rent.  Laura thinks that's too low - they should pay 20%.  OP's DD says 30%.  OP's DD gets the room for 30%, and then Vicki and Laura determine how they think the other 70% of the rent should be split.  Vicki thinks it should be 50%/20%, and Laura thinks it should be 40%/30%.  Since Laura thinks the middle room is worth more, she gets it at 30% and Vicki gets the big room at 40%.  Substitute whatever other values and names are appropriate, and you end up with a division everyone thinks is fair: OP's DD thought 30% for the small room was fair, Laura thought 30% for the middle room was fair, and Vicki got the big room for 40%, which is even less than she had originally suggested.)

rose red

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Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2013, 07:36:40 PM »
How many bathrooms are there?  Perhaps the person with the smallest bedroom gets her own bathroom.  If that option doesn't apply, then that person should still get some benefit.  Either a reduction in rent or something else.

Jocelyn

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Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2013, 08:17:17 PM »
I would dislike having to move rooms all the time, because that would mean buying new window treatments or having to put up with those the original occupant had chosen.
I think the suggestion that the occupant of the small room gets to put a dresser or wardrobe in the biggest bedroom is only fair.
Another option would be to have 2 people share the big room, and for everyone to use the smallest room as storage. I had friends who chose that.

Bluenomi

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Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2013, 08:18:03 PM »
They have 2 options. Either find some other space that can be just for the person in small room or make the rent for that person less. Say a bathroom, small living space, garage space, etc. A flatmate and I had an arrangement where she got the room with the ensuite but I got the undercover parking space so we were even.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2013, 08:25:54 PM »
They have 2 options. Either find some other space that can be just for the person in small room or make the rent for that person less. Say a bathroom, small living space, garage space, etc. A flatmate and I had an arrangement where she got the room with the ensuite but I got the undercover parking space so we were even.

Reading the other responses about potential issues if someone feels they have more say because they pay more, I think this is a good idea.

I don't like the idea of the small room's extra space being in the largest bedroom.  That's just asking for trouble if small room's occupant needs something when the large room's occupant doesn't want to be disturbed.  It would be better if it could be in an open area.  For example, if there is a linen closet, the small room's occupant gets that.  If there is a second bathroom, maybe SRO doesn't get exclusive use of it but she does get the cupboard space in there for her toiletries, while the other two have to carry theirs.  This would work even if there is only one bathroom.  SRO might get a desk in the corner of the living room and rules are set for when the living room is a quiet zone.
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ilrag

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Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2013, 09:15:42 PM »
I think the discount on rent for the room (which I think is fair and have had work on more than one occasion in a shared house with uneven room size) depends on the total rent.

100 dollars is a huge difference if the rent is 1000 a month split 3 ways versus 3000 a month split 3 ways.

katycoo

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Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2013, 09:19:14 PM »
If splitting the rent is too hard, another option is a room rotation every trimester, so everyone gets a turn in each room.