When you live with roommates, one of the most complicated topics of conversation can be discussing how to split up the rent. While there are many viable options for splitting rent, and there is so one-size-fits-all, it’s important to consider each option and figure out what works best for you and your roommates.
Here are some of the most common ways for roommates to split rent, how to calculate what each roommate should pay, and how to make split rent payments.
What’s the Best Way for Roommates to Divided Rent?
There are plenty of ways to split the rent (some more creative than others), but these four are the most popular among renters:
Divided the Rent Evenly
The easiest option is to split the rent evenly among your roommates. This method does not factor in variations in room size, individual incomes, or cost of living. Because splitting the rent this way establishes everyone at an equal fiscal level, it works best when you and your roommates have relatively similar room sizes and amenities.
If those factors don’t matter or keeping track of finances between roommates is not something you are concerned about, this is probably the option for you.
Divide the Rent by Room Size and Amenities
Another popular option is to split the rent by room size or other apartment amenities (like parking spots, ensuite bathrooms, walk-in closets, etc.). This is a smart choice if there are clear differences in the way that each roommate lives and the apartment resources that they have access to. For instance, if only one roommate uses the apartment’s parking spot for their car, it’s most sensible for that roommate to pay the extra fee for parking.
Many roommates also choose to split the rent based on bedroom size. To get an appropriate calculation for how much each roommate should pay depending on the size of their room, take the square footage of each room and divide by the total square footage of the apartment. This will give you a percentage for the size and value of each room, which you can apply to the total cost of rent.
Divided the Rent by Income
Another way to split rent is to adjust each roommate’s portion of the rent depending on their individual incomes. As this can be a sensitive topic even among the closest of roommates, it’s best to discuss how much rent each person can take on depending on their finances. If one roommate is earning significantly more than the other roommates, they may be willing to pay more in rent. This rent-splitting strategy is less common, and often works best between couples who are already sharing other expenses.
Divided Rent Calculator
If you would rather not leave rent up to your own judgements, consider using a rent calculator to do the work for you.
Spliddit is a free site where you can divvy up what each roommate brings to the table. Not only will Spliddit calculate what each person owes in rent each month, but it will also give an explanation of how and why the final calculations are fair.
Splitwise is a similar tool, but a little more straightforward, and can also be used to calculate other expenses, like shared trips. If you want to calculate rent divisions quickly, Splitwise’s simple calculations are probably the way to go.