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  • SludgeFactorySludgeFactory Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Caliban42 wrote: »
    I can kind of see Mort's point here. It sounds like they either force him out of the living room when they want to use it. I could be wrong, but the way I'm reading it when he's watching a movie, since it is all their stuff in the living room, he either has to leave or maybe he can keep watching it, but the girl and her friends all stay in the room, and I'm sure they don't just sit quietly until his movie is finished, so he might as well leave since he can't finish his movie in relative peace.

    So his roommates get the bigger bedroom, a private bath and priority use of the living room. All Mort gets is the smaller bedroom and he has to share a bathroom with any guests that happen to be over. He also gets to use the living room, but only as long as the other roommates don't want to use it.

    If Mort's girlfriend does end up paying rent, then the other couple should learn to share the living room more, and even then they still should have to pay more than 50% of the total rent since they've got the bigger bedroom. That seems fair to me. That way the common areas are actually common areas and they can pay rent based on square footage of the bedrooms. But if they're just wanting to keep everything the same but split the rent four equal ways, screw that.

    This, QFT!

    SludgeFactory on
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Caliban42 wrote: »
    I can kind of see Mort's point here. It sounds like they either force him out of the living room when they want to use it. I could be wrong, but the way I'm reading it when he's watching a movie, since it is all their stuff in the living room, he either has to leave or maybe he can keep watching it, but the girl and her friends all stay in the room, and I'm sure they don't just sit quietly until his movie is finished, so he might as well leave since he can't finish his movie in relative peace.

    So his roommates get the bigger bedroom, a private bath and priority use of the living room. All Mort gets is the smaller bedroom and he has to share a bathroom with any guests that happen to be over. He also gets to use the living room, but only as long as the other roommates don't want to use it.

    If Mort's girlfriend does end up paying rent, then the other couple should learn to share the living room more, and even then they still should have to pay more than 50% of the total rent since they've got the bigger bedroom. That seems fair to me. That way the common areas are actually common areas and they can pay rent based on square footage of the bedrooms. But if they're just wanting to keep everything the same but split the rent four equal ways, screw that.

    This, QFT!


    They need to "learn to share" the living room as much as he needs to learn some assertiveness. The behavioral issues re the living room don't change the fact that for purposes of the rent, it's a common area, as is whatever part of the house that isn't bedroom - the majority of the property. You're not paying for the square footage of your bedroom, you're also paying for yard, parking, the rest of the building. Saying you should get to pay less because you CHOOSE to shut yourself in your room isn't cool.

    Splitting the rent up because the room is smaller is just so petty that unless the difference is ridiculous no adult should expect to suggest it without getting eyerolls. It's really not worth it.


    I am reminded of one roommate of mine that wanted to split an internet bill (amongst three of us) by by paying 1/5 of it because he "didn't feel" he was using it that much.

    JohnnyCache on
  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    If the events are happening exactly as the OP is stating they are, I think both parties are sort of in the wrong. The OP for believing he should pay less/his gf not pay, and the roommates for kicking him out of the living room.

    noir_blood on
  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I've always lived in the non-master bedroom when I've rented condos/apartments (including now), and in all of them the rent has always been distributed to make the master bedroom more expensive. The size difference has varied from 50-100% bigger for the master -- typically, the master bedroom is made for 2 people, and the other bedrooms aren't. I've never haggled over the price; it's always been decided on before I move in, and I decided it was okay and went ahead.

    It doesn't seem unreasonable to me to try negotiating the split. Not raising the OP's rent at all isn't realistic; it would never occur to me that anyone in the roommates' shoes would okay that outcome. But if other rentals in the area split the rent unevenly, it's worth bringing up.

    However, it also seems to me that the roommates were being fairly generous with a 2:1 split up to this point. While I've paid less for non-masters, I've never paid half, even when the master bedroom was twice as large with walk-in closets and all that jazz. So that's something to keep in mind, too.

    Orogogus on
  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    The size of the master bedroom is a reasonable grounds to pay more rent (which they are doing right now).

    Talk with your roomates about it, point out that the master bedroom is more expensive and they should be paying more for it. If they baulk and argue that it shouldn't tell them that they should have now problem then in swapping rooms.

    I would suggest 40% for your room and 60% for theirs for the split of the rent. Maybe 43:57 and certainly no higher than 45:55.

    Bringing the rent of your room up to 40% would mean that if your girlfriend can't afford it (and it you can't you should tell her to get a damm job) would mean if you continued to pay the same amount then it would mean she would only have to pay 7%.
    I am reminded of one roommate of mine that wanted to split an internet bill (amongst three of us) by by paying 1/5 of it because he "didn't feel" he was using it that much.

    This is slightly different, the internet isn't a room which you get sole access. They get access to the master bedroom, which is more spacious. To throw it back to your example it would be fair if your roommate did not pay for the internet at all if he did not use it.

    Blake T on
  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I think the time for negotiating the rent split was when they first moved in together...they are way past the point where he can try talking about how the rent is being split.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2009
    In the past, I split the difference by splitting rent 5 ways - they pay 3/5 (combined) and you pay 2/5 (combined), provided that aside from them having the master bedroom and a private bathroom, you have equal access to the house.

    That is, if you're watching a movie and they want to do something else in the living room, they don't try to kick you out.

    If they actually do exert control over the living room, you and your girlfriend combined paying 1/3 of the rent is reasonable.

    If they want half of the rent, tell them the only way you are doing that is to switch bedrooms.

    Doc on
  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    If they do come up with the "well the TV is mine" and all that point out that it is in a common area, if they want sole access to it they are welcome to move it into their room.

    Alternatively if she is bringing people around and wants to use the room you should point out it is polite to then call an hour or two ahead.

    Blake T on
  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    I think the time for negotiating the rent split was when they first moved in together...they are way past the point where he can try talking about how the rent is being split.

    Well, they're negotiating now, insofar as I think the OP is still paying 1/3 of the rent, which obviously shouldn't stand.

    Orogogus on
  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    When you rent a place like this with friends there are no real set rules about how it is supposed to work. You have to work together to find something that works for everybody. If your girlfriend is essentially living there with you than yes she should probably be paying something. If they have the bigger bedroom they should be paying more total than you and your girl, but probably not twice as much.

    The rest of the house is considered common area in pretty much 99% of these types of situations. Unless otherwise agreed upon your rent gives you access to your private area (your room) and use of the common areas (the rest of the house besides their room). An important thing to note here is that they have been splitting the rent three ways with you. That is, you, your buddy, his girl. Even though they are sharing a room they are paying two shares. Your girl, is not paying a share despite sharing a room with you. Even if the share is smaller she should probably be paying something.

    rts on
    skype: rtschutter
  • ToefooToefoo Los Angeles, CARegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    This exact situation happened with me in my first apartment straight out of high school. I was in your position, and was fine with paying a little extra for my g/f, but my "friend" refused that and basically tried forcing me to pay 2/3rds of the rent even though he had the master bedroom. Needless to say I left that situation.

    I understand both sides of this argument, but if it gets to the point where someone is annoyed that their roommate's girlfriend hangs out without politely asking about the situation, well then they appear to be very angry people. This whole passive-aggressive shit with getting your g/f to pay rent, and essentially "owning" the living room without verbally saying it really is typical douchebaggery, regardless of if they're aware they're doing it or not.

    You've already taken the right step: sit down as friends and just work something out. Just be sure not to let them walk all over you...don't be an asshole, but don't let them push stuff on you if you don't feel it's fair.

    I really feel for you, this situation is horrible and is why I refused to live with anyone else after that. Balancing household finances/rights to main TV/utilities etc brings out the fucking worst in people.

    Toefoo on
    PSN: Soultics
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  • NPNP Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Well, you know, once money changes hands, your girlfriend will be entitled to come and go as she pleases, not to mention furnish any paid for/common areas with her own shit, plus bring her own guests/parents/whoever whenever she pleases. Is it possible that your roommates may, in fact, not want to open that can of worms?

    NP on
  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    OP, seriously, if your girlfriend is staying over with you all the time, there's a point where she needs to start paying rent. It's not your roomates' problem she's broke. Having a semi-permanent guest is one of "those things" that people do to be annoying roomates - it's right up there with spastically eating people's food.

    ALso, re their bigger room, they're splitting it - they have "half" of a big room, you have a whole smaller room.

    Re the common area: You're being gutless and passive aggressive about the common area.

    Re the split: So much of the property is actually common in a house that dickering about the square footage of the bedrooms is really something you should only do if the inequality is truly gross.

    Agreed on all fronts. When someone basically moves in to your place and isn't paying rent, the very sight of them makes you feel like you're being ripped off. It inspires similar emotions as someone failing to pay their share of rent. It isn't the room-mates concern that the OP's girlfriend is a broke student, and providing her with a free place to live probably isn't high on their list of concerns.

    Most room-mate problems could be resolved so much easier if people sat down and talked about them, as opposed to engaging in the passive aggressive behaviour that is so common. It sounds like the OP is going to to that, so thats a positive step.

    But this thread makes me glad that during the years I shared a house with multiple people, I was their landlord. :P

    Also, is any of this arrangement actually laid out in a lease or tenancy-agreement?

    The OP, and anyone who rents should familiarize themselves with the landlord-tenant laws and regulations in their area. As a former land-lord, I was constantly amazed at how few people took the time to figure out what their rights and responsibilities, and those of their landlord's are.

    Corvus on
    :so_raven:
  • SludgeFactorySludgeFactory Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Caliban42 wrote: »
    I can kind of see Mort's point here. It sounds like they either force him out of the living room when they want to use it. I could be wrong, but the way I'm reading it when he's watching a movie, since it is all their stuff in the living room, he either has to leave or maybe he can keep watching it, but the girl and her friends all stay in the room, and I'm sure they don't just sit quietly until his movie is finished, so he might as well leave since he can't finish his movie in relative peace.

    So his roommates get the bigger bedroom, a private bath and priority use of the living room. All Mort gets is the smaller bedroom and he has to share a bathroom with any guests that happen to be over. He also gets to use the living room, but only as long as the other roommates don't want to use it.

    If Mort's girlfriend does end up paying rent, then the other couple should learn to share the living room more, and even then they still should have to pay more than 50% of the total rent since they've got the bigger bedroom. That seems fair to me. That way the common areas are actually common areas and they can pay rent based on square footage of the bedrooms. But if they're just wanting to keep everything the same but split the rent four equal ways, screw that.

    This, QFT!


    They need to "learn to share" the living room as much as he needs to learn some assertiveness. The behavioral issues re the living room don't change the fact that for purposes of the rent, it's a common area, as is whatever part of the house that isn't bedroom - the majority of the property. You're not paying for the square footage of your bedroom, you're also paying for yard, parking, the rest of the building. Saying you should get to pay less because you CHOOSE to shut yourself in your room isn't cool.

    Splitting the rent up because the room is smaller is just so petty that unless the difference is ridiculous no adult should expect to suggest it without getting eyerolls. It's really not worth it.


    I am reminded of one roommate of mine that wanted to split an internet bill (amongst three of us) by by paying 1/5 of it because he "didn't feel" he was using it that much.

    I agree with you here, however, the fact of the matter is his roomates do not know how to share the living room and unless they "learn" this, I think he is within his right to use that as a bargaining tool regarding his rent. There really isn't a correct answer to this situation as different solutions work for different people, imho.

    SludgeFactory on
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Odds are that attempting to use that as a bargaining chip will just result in them saying, "Okay, we'll share the living room."

    Robos A Go Go on
  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I would not bring up the living room at all, because 1) it should be taken for granted that it's to be shared, 2) talking about how he doesn't use it much makes him sound petty, and 3) the "decorating veto" business is worse and does not put the OP in a good light at all.

    Orogogus on
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Orogogus wrote: »
    I would not bring up the living room at all, because 1) it should be taken for granted that it's to be shared, 2) talking about how he doesn't use it much makes him sound petty, and 3) the "decorating veto" business is worse and does not put the OP in a good light at all.

    It is two seperate issues - the g/f, and the living room area - that shoudl be addressed seperatly.

    Once the OP described how the guy and his g/f behaves, it certainly does need to be addressed. Kicking soneone out of a room because you want it is not good roommate behavior.

    I would probably leave out trying to redecorate, and just be happy with their stuff.

    MichaelLC on
    Jokerman wrote: »
    If sigs were still a thing this would be mine.
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    Orogogus wrote: »
    I would not bring up the living room at all, because 1) it should be taken for granted that it's to be shared, 2) talking about how he doesn't use it much makes him sound petty, and 3) the "decorating veto" business is worse and does not put the OP in a good light at all.

    It is two seperate issues - the g/f, and the living room area - that shoudl be addressed seperatly.

    Once the OP described how the guy and his g/f behaves, it certainly does need to be addressed. Kicking soneone out of a room because you want it is not good roommate behavior.

    I would probably leave out trying to redecorate, and just be happy with their stuff.

    This.

    VisionOfClarity on
  • Caliban42Caliban42 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    They need to "learn to share" the living room as much as he needs to learn some assertiveness. The behavioral issues re the living room don't change the fact that for purposes of the rent, it's a common area, as is whatever part of the house that isn't bedroom - the majority of the property. You're not paying for the square footage of your bedroom, you're also paying for yard, parking, the rest of the building. Saying you should get to pay less because you CHOOSE to shut yourself in your room isn't cool.

    Splitting the rent up because the room is smaller is just so petty that unless the difference is ridiculous no adult should expect to suggest it without getting eyerolls. It's really not worth it.


    I am reminded of one roommate of mine that wanted to split an internet bill (amongst three of us) by by paying 1/5 of it because he "didn't feel" he was using it that much.

    I agree that he needs to man up and tell them he's watching a movie and it will be over shortly rather than retreat to his room. But at the same time, they shouldn't be coming in and saying, "Off the couch, it's time for ER." if he's there first.

    And I wasn't trying to split hairs concerning the square footage of the room when it comes to paying rent, but the OP mentioned the master bedroom is 50% larger than his room, which is a significant difference. Right now, roomie & girlfriend are paying a premium for it, as they should. You're also discounting the fact that they've got the private bath while the OP shares his with any guests or friends that happen to be over. That alone is cause for some sort of premium. But if they want to split the rent four equal ways, they're no longer paying a premium and still get the bigger room, so at that point, the square footage or size or whatever you want to call it becomes relative. And yeah, if one room was 100 sq ft and the other was 110 sq ft, it wouldn't really matter. But 50% larger is a lot larger for the same rent.

    Caliban42 on
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Caliban42 wrote: »
    You're also discounting the fact that they've got the private bath while the OP shares his with any guests or friends that happen to be over. That alone is cause for some sort of premium. But if they want to split the rent four equal ways, they're no longer paying a premium and still get the bigger room, so at that point, the square footage or size or whatever you want to call it becomes relative. And yeah, if one room was 100 sq ft and the other was 110 sq ft, it wouldn't really matter. But 50% larger is a lot larger for the same rent.

    The other couple here are are primary residents, by all accounts, and use the majority of the house. This does not appear to be "hey, let's all go in on a house!" it's "Hey! My girlfriend and I got a place, want to rent a room and live with us because it's cheaper?" This is simply the arrangement, by the OP's description.

    Splitting 4-ways in this situation is asking to get pegged with 12", as you'd be better off getting your own place.

    I still maintain that splitting utilities 4-ways and raising rent by 10-20% if at all is the way to go based on everything I have seen and experienced. If this isn't an option, I'd suggest the OP and his girl get their own place.

    The Crowing One on
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