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Roommates, And Awkward House Meetings

Amanda Bar

I've lived with my roommate Bridget for two years now, and whatever problems we've had have been few & far between.  Previously we had lived in my grandfather's vacated home, and my father had charged us very reasonably for staying there ($750 a month, so $375 each).  Now that I have my own home, complete with mortgage and home insurance payments, I've come to the awkward conclusion that in order to take advantage of the benefits of having a roommate (namely the extra income) I was going to have to broach the subject of raising the rent.

I'm aware that $375 is extremely cheap rent for a bedroom, your own bathroom, and complete access to the rest of the house; but I've also never rented a room before that wasn't by proxy of my father, so I was hesitant to approach my roommate with an exact figure.  I knew I wanted (on the borderline of needed) more money to help me with the necessary household costs, but I also didn't want to be unreasonable.  Luckily I have an awesome roommate who basically took the pressure off of me by readily agreeing that I should raise her rent, and offered a $100 increase when I only asked for $50 (making her rent $475 a month).  This is a cumbersome weight off my shoulders and will certainly help with the mounting pile of bills I seem to encounter every week.

To any readers who have rented out property or rooms in the past, how do you approach this type of situation?  Especially when the renter in question is a friend, is there a way to enter into a financial discussion without it becoming awkward for the both of you?

Posted by Amanda Conwell at 08:24 PM on May 29, 2010 in Housing , Savings | Permalink | Facebook | Digg | del.icio.us | AIM


Bridget Carey

When living with friends, you got to always be honest about things that you are concerned about -- even on the awkward subject of money. I told Amanda from the start she should let me know right away if there was a money issue, and I'm glad she did.

Whether it's about money, utilities, the dishes piling up, a painting -- its best to just bring up issues as they come up. And set that rule up from the start of living together! Because if you don't, feelings will build up, turn your stomach, and eventually explode and hurt a friendship.


In the past we have gone by the total of the rent divided by half, then adjusting based on living space/other perks. It sounds complicated but it works out easily enough when you sit down and talk it out. I'm glad you guys were able to make simple sense of anything. Luis and I do it proportionate to income (Thank you Suze Orman for that idea).


I meant simple sense of "everything" not "anything" haha

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