Financial Considerations When Choosing a Roommate

Things to Think About When Splitting the Rent

Living with a roommate is a great way to reduce your monthly bills and afford an apartment that might otherwise be out of your budget. Before signing a lease, it’s important to make sure your roommate can afford their share of the costs. Following are some points to consider as you search for a roommate.

Choosing the Right Roommate
Obviously, you’ll want a roommate who has a steady job and who can afford to pay half the rent and utility costs. If you’re considering a roommate that you don’t know well, ask if you can talk to their previous landlord or roommates, to get a reference. (If they say no to this request, you might want to consider someone else).

Shared Costs and Bills
The biggest advantage of living with a roommate is that most of your living costs are split in half. Before moving in with a roommate, though, it’s helpful to have a conversation about how household expenses will be managed. Draw up a mutually agreed-upon list that spells out which bills are in each person’s name, and what happens if one of you can’t pay a bill.

Typically, cell phone plans are individual expenses in a roommate situation, but you might want to explore whether you could both save money by sharing a “family” wireless plan.

Who Owns What?
When it comes to shared living space, it’s a good idea to set expectations about what’s considered communal property and what isn’t. For example:

Will grocery shopping be a shared expense with both roommates having access to all the food, or will each roommate shop separately and have their own items to use?
You’ll need a renters insurance policy – is it clear what’s yours and what’s your roommate’s, in case you need to make a claim?

If something is needed for the household, will you split the cost of that purchase? If it’s an item – like a new TV – who will take it with them when moving out?

Could You Cover Rent on Your Own?
Another important factor to think about is whether you could cover expenses if your roommate moved out. If you were without a roommate for a few months, could you swing the bills on your own? Do you have a savings account you could dip into, if needed?

Find Your New Home at Williamsburg North
Ready to make a move? With spacious, pet-friendly apartments and plenty of community amenities, Williamsburg North is a great place to call home. Get a virtual or in-person look at your new home – just give us a call at (317) 648-5854!