If you’ve ever shared an apartment, you may be familiar with the potential awkwardness of deciding how to split rent with roommates. Even if you’ve asked all the right questions ahead of time, the initial conversation with a roommate over how to split apartment rent can be difficult.

Unlike a utility bill that can be evenly split, dividing rent fairly can be tricky. After all, everyone has different priorities. For example, one roommate may prefer getting the largest room, while another might want the bedroom with the most natural light.

To make things easier for all parties, here some suggestions for how to split apartment rent in a way that’s fair to everyone.

Dividing Rent Evenly

This is, of course, the easiest option. If all rooms are relatively similar in size and have the same amenities, splitting rent evenly is the best method. You just divide the rent by the number of roommates and you’re done.

Splitting Rent Based on Room Size

More often than not, there will be one bedroom that is larger than the others or one that has extra private space in the form of a balcony, bathroom, or closet. In this case, determining financial responsibility based on square footage can be a fair way to split apartment rent.

If you plan on splitting rent based on room size, here’s how you do the math: 

  1. Add the square footage of all the private spaces in the apartment, including bedroom, bathroom, balcony, closets, etc. (Leave out shared or common spaces like the living room, kitchen, or communal bathrooms.) 
  2. Divide each person’s individual space by this number. This will give you each roommates’ portion of the apartment’s private space, in the form of a percentage. 
  3. Multiply the total rent by each roommates’ percentage. This will give you a rent ratio that is proportionate to the individual space each person occupies. 

Voila! A fair way to split rent with roommates!

Splitting Rent by Income

If your roommate happens to be a family member or a significant other, this method to split apartment rent can work out fairly without leading to hurt feelings.

Dividing rent this way works best in two cases:

  1. The incomes among the roommates are significantly different.
  2. One of you has a much longer list of must-have amenities than the other and is willing to pay to have them.

Keep in mind that the general rule of thumb is to spend no more than 30% of your monthly income on housing. It’s also a good idea for the roommate who is paying less to contribute to the household in other non-monetary ways, such as pitching in a bit more on household chores or offering to handle the grocery shopping. 

Tips for How to Split Rent with Roommates

  • Use a calculator: If all else fails, use an online rent split calculator, like Splitwise Rent-Splitting Calculator or Good Calculators. With just a few numbers such as total rent, total square footage, size of rooms, these calculators will help you split apartment rent fairly.
  • Put it in writing: Now that you’ve established everyone’s portion, it’s a good idea to draw up a roommate agreement that outlines the details. The contract can include items such as which room each roommate is taking, how much rent each person will pay, and what will happen if someone moves out or their financial situation changes. An agreement in writing will help prevent potential roommate conflicts in the future.  
  • Figure out a payment method: Transferring rent money from one roommate to another has never been easier. Apps like Venmo, Paypal or Cash allow you to send or request money for free. Because they are linked to your checking accounts, you won’t have to ask your roommate for a check or wait for the check to clear.

Split Apartment Rent Without Stress at Southern Management

Whether you’re dividing rent evenly or splitting it based on another method, you want to love where you live! Choosing the right property management company is the best way to ensure a happy living situation for everyone.

With 75 apartment communities and more than 25,000 apartment homes, Southern Management knows a thing or two about helping people find beautiful, affordable, shared places to call home. Whether you’re moving in with a friend, family member or significant other, we’re confident that we can help you find the floorplan and amenities that will please every roommate.

Additionally, our online resident portal, RentCafe, allows roommates to set up automatic payments. You’ll never have worry about whether rent has been paid on time, no matter which method you use to split apartment rent. 

To learn more, contact us today.