All Topics / Help Needed! / Splitting rent according to number of tenants

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  • Profile photo of JustAllanJustAllan
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 168

    I decided to revive my account here to ask a question.

    I’m currently a tenant renting a 3bd rental property.  I use 1 bedroom.  I’d like to reduce the rent I’m paying to save more $$$ sooner for a loan deposit, by having someone move into one or both spare rooms.   It won’t be a sublease but “a friend” that must be approved by the REA and added to the existing lease.  (Yes I know, don’t do it.  But I’m going nowhere fast.  No risk, no reward.)

    I’m trying to decide how to divide the rent and utility bills (electricity/water).

    Most advice I see says to split rent by the number of rooms.  But that is not a great idea because a couple would pay 50% of the rent and bills while using 2/3 of the water/electricity.  And a single person with a 5 year old might move in, or a single with a 5 year old and a 16 year old, or a couple with two teenagers, etc.

    So I’m trying to keep things simple by setting a “share” each person pays toward rent and utilities.

    My first thought was to set adults as 1 share and children as a half share.  So if only 1 adult moved in each of us would pay 50% of everything.  And if 2 adults moved in each of us would pay a 1/3 share.  But any children complicates things.

    Basically I’m uncertain what share I should set for children, and if that share should be less or more according to their age.  Because a 5 year old obviously uses “less” than a 16 year old.  Would a 1/2 share for children regardless of their age be too much?  Should I set different share amounts for different age groups?

    Thanks for reading.

    Profile photo of BennyBenny
    Join Date: 2002
    Post Count: 1,416

    Hi Allan,

    My thoughts would be to “Don’t overly complicate things”.   I’m sure there will be people who will be happy to pay $200+ per week just to have a roof over their heads.  I think if I were in your situation, I’d be setting a base price (let’s say $200 per room for argument’s sake) but have a flat rate for utilities. Maybe $20 per week flat rate – you then make up the difference with the bills.

    If children involved, then sure, add an extra amount per child ($20/week?)   By having a fixed amount stated, anyone taking the room knows their required input accurately and can say Yes or No to that amount.   You pick up the difference (or pocket it) if utilities are more (or less) than the $40/week you get.

    Note, the prices I quote above are realistic for Brisbane prices – you might choose a different base figure based on your area.

    The above method saves arguments over power bills and who used what amount of water, power, etc.   It also saves time getting all bills and then divvying them up, then trying to sell those divvied up amounts to the sharemates.   It also saves nasty surprises if a power bill hits an abnormal high and they are only just scraping by with your roof over their heads.   Give them a fixed rate (rent + utilities) that they can depend on.

    Let’s see what others think…… :)


Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)

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