Who Should Pay When Sharing Bills, And Who Owes Which Amount?
Renting a home with your friends can be an excellent solution to today’s costly housing dilemmas. Finding affordable rental accommodation in Bedfordshire can be challenging, especially if you’re a single professional who doesn’t want to move into a HMO with strangers.
However, while living with your friends may be a fun and convenient answer to your accommodation problems, there are a few aspects of the shared lifestyle that can cause issues and even sour your friendship.
Top of the list is how the household bills are going to be handled!
Although sharing bills might seem fairly between you and your friends, once you actually move into the property together, you may begin to realise just how difficult it can be. There’s often a gripe or niggle about who should pay which bill and who owes which amount. In short, it can ruin friendships all too easily.
Luckily, our team at Sperring Residential have some top tips for tenants when it comes to sharing bills.
Splitting The Rent
The first aspect that you need to sort out when you move into your shared property is how to split the rental costs. There are three ways of doing this:
- Equally between all parties
- Based on each person’s income
- By room
While dividing the rent equally between all the tenants sounds like an obvious way to do things, it might not be the best option. If some rooms are much smaller or larger than others, for example, if one room has an en-suite, or if couples are living together in a single room, this may seem unfair.
Dividing the rent based on income may also be problematic. After all, not everyone will want to divulge how much they earn. The best option is usually paying by room, although deciding how much more someone should pay for a larger space may also present some difficulties. Using an online rent splitting calculator can help with this.
How To Share The Utility Bills
It’s typically easier to work out how to share out utility bills than the rent, as most tenants equally divide the total amount between them. Nevertheless, talking it through together before you move in is a sensible idea so that everyone knows what they’ll be paying, when they’ll be paying it, and who they’ll be paying it to.
Deciding on one person to handle payments and to set up the standing orders or direct debits is the best course of action, but avoid setting up a joint account from which to pay the bills as it could have a negative impact on your credit history in the future, not to mention putting you at risk of one housemate withdrawing all the money and running off with it! Unfortunately, sometimes it’s only after living together that you find out who your friends really are.
What Do We Do If Somebody Won’t Or Can’t Pay?
If one of your friends falls behind with their bills or, worse, refuses outright to pay, that will inevitably lead to some difficult conversations. You’ll also potentially have to cover the unpaid amount between the remaining housemates. With any luck, the situation will be a temporary one, but if you struggle to get your money back, you may need to resort to the Small Claims Court.
At Sperring Residential, we’re your local, friendly property experts. If you need any help or advice when it comes to renting, get in touch today. Our team are always on hand and more than happy to help!