Living with a roommate will undoubtedly come with some disagreements here and there. One that could arise before even moving in is the debate surrounding who gets the larger bedroom. Luckily, there’s a few quick and easy ways to solve this problem.
One of the first ways to determine who gets the larger room is by figuring out who has more (or bigger) furniture. Naturally the person who has accumulated the most will need more square footage to store it.
If furniture isn’t going to settle the debate, consider taking into account each roommate’s social life. A person who prefers peace and quiet would likely want the master bedroom because it offers more privacy. A social butterfly might not mind the smaller room because it’s probably in close proximity to the living room and kitchen where friends are most likely to hang out.
The last solution is to let the master bedroom automatically go to the roommate who can afford to – and agrees to – pay more.
Speaking of which…
It seems like common sense that the roommate who occupies more space should pay more in rent. But it’s not always that cut and dry because figuring out exactly how much more the room is worth can be a pain point for roommates.
Play the numbers game until both parties reach an agreement. If the total monthly rent is $2,000, the roommate with the bigger room may be okay with forking over $1,100 each month, leaving the remaining $900 for the roommate with the smaller space. You can also do the same in terms of percentages by splitting 60/40 or whatever you two decide is fair and affordable for your unique situation.
There are cases in which, even when one roommate has a larger room, the cost of rent is still split right down the middle. This is common if one roommate did most of the legwork as far as securing the apartment, paying the deposit, planning move in details, setting up utilities, or will take more responsibility for future chores.
Let random chance make the final decision by flipping a coin, drawing straws or wagering a friendly bet.
If the master bedroom also includes a private bathroom, that means the person in the smaller room will be sharing their bathroom with visitors. That person will have to spend more time keeping their bathroom tidy, replenishing toilet paper, hand soap and other supplies. Also, if you’re the person in the master bedroom, where will your guests use the restroom? Will they have to enter your bedroom room to use your private bathroom, or will they use your roommate’s?
Your living arrangement doesn’t have to be set in stone. If you’re under a one year lease, switch rooms at the six month mark so that both parties get to experience apartment life in the master bedroom.
Write this up as part of your roommate agreement. Both parties should sign it. This way when resentment arises, or one party doesn’t quite remember the details of the agreement, it’s right there in black and white and cannot be disputed. Honestly, who’s going to remember every detail of a verbal agreement eight months from now?
If two roommates can’t come to a decision about who gets the larger room, it could be a red flag that living together isn’t a good idea. Surely other disagreements will arise over the length of your lease and if you can’t decide who will sleep where, you may not be paired up with the right roommate for you, with an eventual breakup being inevitable. You may also want to ask these critical questions to your potential roommate.
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