Should a Roommate with Master Pay More?

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Living with a roommate can save you substantial money (as you can split rent), but one must consider whether the rent split should be even or if one roommate should pay more.

If one roommate has the master bedroom, it is typically fair for one roommate to pay about 5 percent more in rent.

The test for this is the “naked eye test”. If you can visually see a difference, it is probably considerable enough for the person with the larger bedroom to pay more, especially if the master bedroom comes with a bigger closet and bathroom.

Should a Roommate with a Larger Bedroom Pay More Rent?

While it’s up to you both, in general, having the roommate with a larger bedroom pay more is considered an acceptable practice. It doesn’t have to be a significant increase, but paying 5 percent more than other roommates might be considered fair.

This rent split be an agreement between you and your roommate(s). The landlord likely will have nothing to do with it.

Let’s take a look at some of the other considerations for roommate rent splitting.

Should You Split Rent Based on Bedroom Features and Size?

Master bedrooms with extra storage and en suite facilities (attached bathroom and closet) are considered a luxury so you might consider having that roommate pay more. Consider if one roommate has a huge walk-in closet when the other does not.

What About Parking?

parking lot urban apartment building

If one roommate gets to park in the designated spot within the apartment complex, ideally they should be paying additional rent. If the spot is shared between roommates (one person parks in the spot one day, the other parks inside on the next), then you may consider splitting the rent equally.

What About Utilities?

If some roommates use more features in the apartment (more than others), then there might be an agreement where they agree to pay more. For example, if someone wants the air conditioning running overnight, then perhaps they can pay extra for the additional comfort. If one person wants to pay for high-speed internet for gaming, then perhaps they pay the additional costs for that.

Get It in Writing

At a minimum, make sure everything is agreed to by all roommates and understood. Getting this in writing is a good way to eliminate confusion down the road.

Deciding how much rent each roommate pays can be a tough conversation, but using these guidelines should provide talking points, and help to formulate an agreement that is equitable to all parties.

Remember, if one roommate fails to pay, you could be held responsible for his or her rent, regardless of whether it’s your fault (this is usually in clause called ‘joint and several’). Check your lease to confirm.


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