How to fairly split household bills with your flatmates

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There’s no doubt that the coronavirus has had an adverse impact on higher education in the UK, from students’ access to lessons to the cost of accommodation that they’ve been unable to use.

If you intend to house or flat-share in the near-term, you’ll need to work out a viable way of fairly distributing bills and expenses so you pay only for what you’ve used.

In this article we’ll tell you how you can split bills fairly and transparently.

1. Splitting the Cost of Bills by Size

When it comes to basic costs such as rent, one of the fairest and most transparent ways of splitting the monthly bill is to implement a sliding scale based on the size of each bedroom.

This means that housemates with larger rooms will have to pay a higher (but proportionate) rate of rent, while those in smaller spaces will have a lower monthly premium.

But how do you do this fairly? In simple terms, you need to figure out the relative size of each room in relation to the total size of the apartment or house. To achieve this, divide the full rental value from the total square metre of the apartment, creating a clear metric for the cost of space within the lodgings.

Then, calculate the size of each room to create a proportionate rental value using this equation, ensuring that each tenant contributes a fair amount to the total repayment every week or month.

When it comes to shared living spaces such as the kitchen or living room, you can simply calculate the size and split the total rental cost evenly between each resident.

This sum can then be added to the rental cost of each bedroom, maintaining a fair repayment model that more than stands up to scrutiny.

2. Check Out the Shared Expenses and Amenities

Next up is the cost of shared amenities and similar expenses, which can’t be calculated as precisely or on the basis of square footage.

In the case of gas and electricity bills, it’s incredibly difficult to calculate how much energy is consumed by each individual resident, so you’ll need to identify an alternative way to split the cost.

You also need to factor in other considerations, particularly if the owner of the larger bedroom has a private or en-suite bathroom. In this case, the cost of using that space should fall squarely on the shoulders of the resident, potentially reducing the contribution of those who are required to use shared spaces.

While this isn’t an exact science, it effectively means that one individual is asked to pay a price premium for having their own bathroom space, while others are compensated with a slightly discounted rate of repayment.

The same principle applies to bills such as Wi-Fi, which may well run high if the residence is full of students who are regularly working on dissertations and similar pieces of coursework.

In this case, it makes sense to simply split the total Wi-Fi bill equally between all residents, making the necessary reductions in instances where housemates spend a prolonged period of time elsewhere or without a device to access the broadband.

It’s important to review these shared costs and any potential complications in a proactive manner, while discussing these in detail with your housemates to thrash out ideas and arrive at amicable outcomes.

This also ensures that all bills are covered fairly and in full, which is the single most important factor at the end of the day.

3. Make the Most of Help and Online Programs

Us humans can be inconsistent and temperamental creatures at the best of times, while not all of us are created equal when it comes to making bill contributions in full and on-time.

To this end, you may need some help when dividing monthly bills and managing repayments; but fortunately there are several online programs and service providers that provide this type of assistance.

Take Resooma, for example, which offers bespoke bills and expenses packages that creates more manageable monthly repayments. This includes an array of services and amenities, including energy, Wi-Fi, water, TV license, SKY TV and even council tax.

Not only do Resooma supply these amenities through a single interface, but they also let you decide how you pay for them (whether you only fund what you use or under the terms of an unlimited agreement).

You’ll also be required to make a single payment in full on the first of each month to cover all provided amenities, making it far easier to schedule your bills and collect contributions from flatmates!

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