Author Topic: How would you divide the rent? UPDATE #34, #40, #75, NEW Oh! Dear! #81  (Read 11643 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Lynn2000

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5367
Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2013, 09:20:47 PM »
I think there are a lot of good suggestions here, and the ultimate solution depends on what the three flatmates value--which, actually, if this is their first time living in an apartment instead of the dorms, they may not KNOW what they're going to value. I was pretty clueless going from the dorm to my first apartment, anyway. So my suggestion would be that they divide it up however they think it seems fair now, but commit to revisiting the arrangement after three months or the end of the semester or something like that.

Personally, I like divisions that have hard limits. Like rent percentages--it's a very clear-cut number that each person is supposed to pay each month, and if they don't do it, it's quite serious. I fear something softer--like Vicki will do these extra chores because she gets the bigger room, or Laura and Vicki will be "more considerate" of DD using the common areas because she has the smallest room--will be hard to enforce, especially as the semester wears on and everyone gets busy with school. Vicki starts skipping her extra chores, first for legitimate reasons, then for less legitimate reasons, the other girls start to get resentful because she's STILL got the biggest room after all, and she's not even using it because she spends most of her time at her new boyfriend's place... That kind of thing. But if the agreement is Vicki pays 50% of the rent, then she always has to pay 50% of the rent every month (or else there is big trouble). Just a scenario that I have absolutely no experience with...  ::)

Honestly, I'd look for an apartment with a more equitable floorplan. You might not get three rooms exactly equal, but the smallest doesn't even sound like a bedroom, it sounds like a glorified closet.
~Lynn2000

otterwoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1014
Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2013, 09:27:09 PM »
Where I live, if it doesn't have a closet it's not considered a bedroom. Same with windows.

Aeris

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9638
Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2013, 09:31:28 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.

Perhaps each girl agreed to it with some preconceived notion of how it would 'fairly' be dealt with. And those notions of 'fairness' may include prorated rent for ridiculously tiny bedrooms.

As for the second half of the bolded sentence, this is not a terribly difficult economics problem. If two girls both want the smallest room at 25% rent, then that rent amount is too low. Raise the price a little and see if both girls still want it. In all likelihood, there will come a point where you find the correct price where only one girl still wants the room. If they actually have the exact.same crossover point, then you'll find the equilibrium point where both girls would be fine with either room, and then they should also be fine with flipping a coin.


cwm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2427
Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2013, 10:53:06 AM »
I've dealt with this situation before, all too often. When I moved back in with sis about 9 months ago, we agreed that I would get the biggest bedroom with ensuite toilet and she would get the other two bedrooms (her and Sproglet) and we'd split rent in half. But when we lived together before that, she got the master bedroom (with ensuite toilet) and I'd get the second bedroom and we'd still split rent in half.

From what I've seen, if three people are living somewhere, no matter what size the bedrooms are, they all pay equal share of the rent. I was in a house in college. It just so happened that I moved in when someone was moving out of the master bedroom, so I got it. Okay, that's definitely nice. I was living with a guy, another guy moved in to the third bedroom. We all split rent equally. But original guy who had stayed had all of his stuff set up in the small bathroom. He didn't want to relocate to the master bath, and the other guy who moved in didn't feel comfortable sharing a bathroom with a girl, so I also got the master bathroom to myself. Excellent. Here's the thing, I didn't pay a dollar more for rent or bills than those guys did even though I had the biggest bedroom, the biggest bathroom, the only bathroom to myself, and the only bathroom with an actual bathtub as opposed to a shower stall. There was NO difference because it was agreed to, it was basically part of the terms of living together.

I think your DD needs to talk with her friends and see. You said it was already agreed that one girl got the master bedroom. Why is that? Is she willing to pay more already, so she gets the bigger space? If none of them are actually willing to pay more than the other, then the two girls will have to decide for themselves how to fairly decide who gets what bedroom, but I don't think an unequal rent split is a good way to do it.

I've also seen some ideas on switching rooms at semester. That's just a pain. It means you can't really unpack fully because you'll basically be moving again when the semester is over. And it's not just switching rooms, it could be clearing a space in the shared area to empty one bedroom out, move the other bedroom's contents into the empty one, then move the first bedroom's contents out of the shared space, then rearrange the shared space again. Too much of a hassle, to me. If I get a bedroom, I'm staying there.

Then again, I don't mind being in a tiny room, I don't have much by way of furniture or belongings, and I can easily sit on my bed to entertain myself or study or do homework. I expand into the space given to me, but don't generally overflow.

bopper

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12418
Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2013, 11:13:59 AM »
Maybe psychologically if they pay by square footage it would help. It shows that all have equal access to the common areas but the ones that have their own bathroom/bigger bedroom pay more.

1) Common areas  - each pay 33%
2) Bathroom areas - pay by square footage %. If one gets a bathroom to themselves, they pay 50% and the other two pay 25%
3) Bedrroom area pay by square footage %


Sophia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11784
  • xi
Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2013, 12:52:25 PM »
One important point, your daughter doesn't get total say since it isn't her money.  It is your money.  She can use that to reopen negotiations on the large bedroom.  It is called the "Higher Authority" strategy.

-----------------
Warning Engineer Logic. 

Figure out the square footage of each bedroom. 
Add those three numbers together.
take the square footage of each bedroom and divide by the added number.  This will give you want percentage of total bedroom space each bedroom represents. 

Occupant of each bedroom pays the same percentage of the rent as the percentage of the bedroom space. 

Propose that to the group.  If there is arguments, then reach an agreement on a formula so that everyone would be equally happy with any bedroom, then draw straws. Since access to common space is equal, maybe say 1/3 of the rent is equal for everyone and then apply the percentage calculation to the rest of the rent. 

I bolded what I think is the most important point. 

If they are stuck on equal rent, then I think person with the smallest bedroom should be able to put three wardrobes or chest of drawers in the biggest bedroom.  7x9 isn't really a bedroom.  It is a place to put a bed.  Or a prison cell. 

Dawse

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 148
Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2013, 01:14:02 PM »
We had pretty much this EXACT situation in the first house I shared. Three bedrooms of almost equal size, one about half that size. We came to the agreement that the girl who had the smaller bedroom paid slightly less rent* and got to keep a wardrobe in the living room. (We were pretty lucky in the sense that we had the luxury of enough space to allow for wardrobe in the living room!)

*The way we worked it out was to divide the total rent amount by four (I forget exactly, let's say 1200 by four so 300 a month per person), then each girl with the larger sized bedroom paid an extra 10 per month and took that from small-bedroom girl's rent. IOW, small-bedroom girl paid 270 a month and the others each paid 310. 10 isn't a huge amount extra on top of 300, but 30 was enough discount for SBG to be happy.

I don't know how well that might work with three different sized bedrooms, but it was a pretty good solution for us!
'I reject your reality and substitute my own!'

Shoo

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 16393
Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2013, 03:51:59 PM »
Where I live, if it doesn't have a closet it's not considered a bedroom. Same with windows.

And based on this, this apartment actually sounds a lot less than "perfect."

If your daughter gets the tiny bedroom, regardless of what she pays for it, how will she deal with not having a closet?  I can imagine it would be something of a nightmare to have to barge into someone else's bedroom every time I wanted something from my dresser or the closet. 

Assuming everyone can agree on how it will work, though, I think it's only fair that the person with the least desirable space pays less.  It's a relatively easy math equation.  Take the total of the square footage of the three bedrooms and figure out the cost per square foot.  Then apply that to the room's square footage.  I think that would be fair.  I would absolutely not want to hassle with figuring out who has extra chores, or who pays for cable, etc.  Rent based on room size is the fairest way, IMO.

Spriggy

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2013, 04:00:36 PM »
In previous living situation where there was bedroom in-equality we split the rent evenly.  However we made it more "even" by giving the person with the smallest bedroom got the assigned parking spot that came with the apartment.  (Obviously, this might not work in your daughter's situation). 

zinzin

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 56
Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2013, 04:17:47 PM »
Maybe psychologically if they pay by square footage it would help. It shows that all have equal access to the common areas but the ones that have their own bathroom/bigger bedroom pay more.

1) Common areas  - each pay 33%
2) Bathroom areas - pay by square footage %. If one gets a bathroom to themselves, they pay 50% and the other two pay 25%
3) Bedrroom area pay by square footage %

This. I've done it in the past and it works well. I think chore-based negotiation is a bad idea, in large part because chore battles are often the biggest issue with roomates, and that could pre-set some bitterness. Money makes much more sense to me - pay for what you use, and it gives people the option to choose bigger or smaller and feel a direct compensation rather than random assignment and feeling like they lost.

NyaChan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4107
Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2013, 05:12:23 PM »
My roommate and I in college rented an apartment that had a difference in sizes between the rooms.  I wasn't happy with how things turned out but it wasn't really her fault as she had caught me off guard with her idea so I didn't think it through.  But if both parties talk it out and take time apart to consider if they want to do it this way, I think it can end up working for both.  Here is what she presented:

1) I could pay more money and get the bigger room based on square footage or
2) We would flip a coin with a 3rd party.


I think that's a fair way of doing it - if it matter enough to one of them to pay more for it, then they can do it.  Otherwise, it is up to the coin toss.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2013, 05:19:25 PM by NyaChan »

Shoo

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 16393
Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2013, 05:15:21 PM »
My roommate and I in college rented an apartment that had a difference in sizes between the rooms.  I wasn't happy with how things turned out but it wasn't really her fault as she had caught me off guard with her idea so I didn't think it through.  Here is what she presented:

1) I could pay more money and get the bigger room based on square footage or
2) We would flip a coin with a 3rd party.


I think that's a fair way of doing it - if it matter enough to one of them to pay more for it, then they can do it.  Otherwise, it is up to the coin toss.

That seems like an infinitely logical way to approach it.  What was it about it that you ended up being unhappy about?

jpcher

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8681
Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2013, 08:48:05 PM »
Thank you, everybody, for your input. You've given me a lot of food for thought.

Again, I haven't talked to DD#1 about this, other than asking her once if she would be happy in the smallest bedroom.

I'm pretty much staying out of it (so long as the rent is within range, and this one is cheaper than what I was prepared to provide) because she's a young adult and should be able to handle things like this on her own.

If she asks me for advice? I am now armed with plenty of solutions.;D



Where I live, if it doesn't have a closet it's not considered a bedroom. Same with windows.

And based on this, this apartment actually sounds a lot less than "perfect."

If your daughter gets the tiny bedroom, regardless of what she pays for it, how will she deal with not having a closet?

Personally? I agree with the bold above. However, the girls have been searching since the beginning of June. It's the location and price that makes this apartment perfect . . . plus they are running out of time.

Red above, there is a small entrance closet . . . you know, where coats and things are hung. DD#1 said that would belong to the smallest-bedroom-person.

Plus, I like the posters thoughts of a wardrobe kept in one of the common areas. I know my mother has one that she uses just for storage. Maybe DD#1 can ask if she could borrow that for a year.

I also have a corner hutch type of thing (I'd be willing to give it up) that is on the small size and has a pull-out shelf that can be used for a desk.

So a bed, a dresser, a corner hutch desk and an outside closet/wardrobe . . . I'm almost thinking the smallest room might work.




. . . just thinking out loud. ;D




Harriet Jones

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6717
  • Yes, we know who you are.
Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2013, 11:30:28 PM »
Depending how handy you are, you could possibly loft her bed so that there would be some extra room underneath. Once you put a bed in there, there's not going to be a whole lot of space left in a 7x9 room

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5659
Re: How would you divide the rent?
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2013, 12:09:25 AM »
I think the best way is to bid on the rooms.

I moved in with someone into a two bedroom apartment. One bedroom had an en suite. I was trying to save money so thought it was a pretty good deal when my roommate was willing to pay $25 or $50 more a month. After all, we both pretty much ended up with our own bathroom, as we didn't have many guests so the other bathroom was essentially mine. She was thrilled to have a better room.


So whoever is willing to pay more the nicer room gets it. The other person gets cheaper rent. (Of course, in this case it feels a little extra unfair as the other girl will have the nicest room and the middle rent, but finding a place can be a royal pain so as long as everyone thinks its fair, it's far)