Renting a 2 bedroom apartment with 3 people.

Hi guys,

I'm moving out of home for the first time and I'm considering moving into a two bedroom apartment with a couple. We've agreed to go thirds in utilities however they are insisting upon going halves in rent, despite having the larger master bedroom and the car space. Do you think it is unreasonable to ask for a 45/55 split or is it fair to go halves given I would have my own room, albeit smaller.

Perhaps this is a noob question to ask, go easy as this is my first time renting away from home.


  • +9 votes

    Are you going to be listed on the lease or are they subletting?

    Do you need the garage? If you don't have a car and they are happy to drive you to supermarket once in a while that could work.

    Are there any other benefits you could see from living from them? They might cook for you.

    Is rent below, at or above market price? Is 5% going to be that much of a difference?

    I think ultimately, if you think these are going to be the most amazing housemates, $$$ won't make much difference, because there are some shockers out there.

  • +83 votes

    Splitting the rent 50/50 while the 2 of them get the larger bedroom and a car space is a pretty terrible deal for you. Unless you think they will be willing to occasionally drive you places/let you borrow their car I would insist on a lower rent.

    Does the place have one or 2 bathrooms, if the 3 of you are sharing 1 bathroom you should definitely pay less rent that the couple.

  • +27 votes

    Theres a website thats built for that (how much is each room worth basically), though I don't know how well it works in reality.

    Seriously though even if there was only 2 of you, you are still getting shafted as the other person is getting the better room and car space. I would not ask them to look at it from an amount of people perspective but a fairness comparison of what you each get.

    Basically why do they get a bigger room and a car space for the same price that you only get a small room. Do they think that is fair?

    End of the day though, this may strain the "friendship" you guys have and all that though, especially when it comes down to rent time. So it kind of is, is it worth the confrontation for the extra 10 or less dollars a week or not (depending on house price).

    • +25 votes

      … it actually sounds reasonably fair.

      So are you OP's new housemate?


        Yes. I have the larger bedroom with the ensuite and carpark, but am also the one who bought all of the furniture and white goods for the house. I believe it's fair to consider the $20-25k investment I have made that is depreciating at a greater rate because someone else is using them too.

        • +30 votes

          You moved into a rental two-bedroom apartment and decided to spend $20-$25K on white goods and furniture at the time?
          What exactly did you buy for that amount of money? A gold plated fridge and microwave?

          Or did you factor the cost of the car that you park in "your" parking spot into that amount? LOL.

          (If you've rented an apartment, completely furnished it and then sub-leasing it to a friend or someone else, then it's common to charge the rate for a "furnished apartment".)

          PS. If you actually did spend the $20-$25K on white goods and furniture to furnish a rental apartment, I highly recommend you spend more time on OzBargain!

        • -6 votes


          My car is insured for the value of fuel in the tank at the time it is stolen.


          Did you just leave home for the first time? There's no reason you should have spent this much unless you have next to nothing or unless you got designer furniture.

        • -4 votes


          I didn't just buy it all at once. I have furnished my house over a period of time.

          I also have a gold plated fridge and microwave.

        • +2 votes

          @toristo: funk gold plated microwaves, commercial ones have technology that makes a 12 Min microwaving take 5-6 mind while retaining crispness.

          You can spend unlimited funds on anything, doesn't make it good value.

          If I'm honest you sound like your going to be a SHIT room mate, you have stated you furnished your space. You are in a mine your mentality before your friend even comes, not to mention you justified your 50/50 by suggesting your couch may devalue. What happens when a ring forms on your coffee table, will you expect him to professionals clean it?



          lol I think I furnished my whole apartment for under $2K thanks to Gumtree, Ozbargain, ex-demo whitegoods and friends selling at a discount. What a stupid way to burn money unless you are earning way above the average salary.

        • +1 vote


          He probably bought this after seeing it on OzBargain.



          It was 50% off… didn't you grab one too?

          Srsly though, nobody owns a gold plated fridge and microwave… except maybe Trump, but that's because he's got shitty taste, not because he's rich.

  • +43 votes

    I'd go for 70/30
    They will treat you like an intruder anyway.

  • +14 votes

    Forget it.

  • +18 votes

    Screw them, they're trying to screw you!

    When I shared, the person with the master always paid more because it's a larger room. They should too. Car space, no one usually cared about that.

    • +1 vote

      yep, 10 years now sharing - person in the master (often me) paid more, regardless of numnber of people in the room. Bills were shared evenly amongst everyone, regardless how many people lived in the house. so 4 bedrooms, 6 people - the bedrooms with ensuite paid about $30 a week more (house was about $500pw). Bills come to $600, everyone pays $100.

      Person with the most expensive car got the garage, but then we'd usually charge an extra $20 for that too.

    • -3 votes

      Screw them, they're trying to screw you

      I would only do the chick. Someone else take the dude?

  • +26 votes

    my rule is.

    one gets the large room with en suite, the other gets the garage.

    if they want both, 60/40

  • +3 votes

    Definitely not fair for you to go halves. Best to work out how much the carspace is worth if rented out (they can pay that carspace rental), then split the remaining rental by 40/60. You get a smaller room and no carspace, why pay more?

  • +7 votes

    1/3 each, other wise maybe you consider a threesome in your room and see how they feel.

  • +22 votes

    Basically they are saying the share ratio is 50:25:25, so you are paying 100% more than they are each, doesn't really seem fair does it. Go elsewhere they are taking advantage of you.

  • +3 votes

    Take feelings outta the equation.

  • +7 votes

    60:40 on the rent and split the utilities 3 ways.


      Yeah this is what I do. Same sitch, 2 rooms, couple in bigger bedroom, both have en suites, single person does not use the car bay.

  • +2 votes

    they are insisting

    How are they insisting? Is this something you have tried to negotiate on, and they just won't budge? If so, I would tell them to get stuffed.

  • +1 vote

    40:60 sounds about right.


    I agree with everyone else, 60/40 on the rent, if not a little less for you. They are getting much more value than you.

  • +6 votes

    The bigger room with ensuite should be 60/40

    Bigger room + car space should be 65/35

    Oh, and make sure your name is on the lease!

    • +3 votes

      What advantages are there for having your name on the lease?

      I personally find it a disadvantage.
      Like when I was in OP's position years back… I had ease of mind.
      Because I knew I was going to pay my rent and bills. In Full. On Time. Always.
      So if there was "Late Fees" then I could wash my hands from the blame.
      And after I moved out, if there were outstanding fees or damages… I wouldn't have jeopardised my bond.
      It was a trust thing.
      And it worked out well for me.


        Cos if they could evict op as it's just a handshake deal.


        Who did you pay the rent / bills to? To the person who had the name on the lease? Surely that's a risk in itself?


          Paid firstly to the landlord who was sharing with me and some others.

          Later to the other housemates because the landlord moved out and the couple moved in to the main room and got the garage.

          Bills are POST paid.
          So there really is ZERO risk to me.
          Because if they cut internet service, for instance, they cut it after its use and pending payment. So I would be just paying for what I used until the service is cut.

          With evictions it's a little more tricky.
          Because some sharehouses demand you pay upfront/forward by 4 weeks. Some 2 weeks. But many are lax.

          Mine was 2 weeks. So if anything I risked 2 weeks rent. Better I risk that then risk a 4 week Bond because of some other housemates damaging the rental property. (which could even result in my name being tossed into a small claims court case)



          I assumed since you weren't on the lease, that you didn't have direct contact with the land lord. Why didn't the landlord request you be on the lease I wonder?

          I'm pretty sure in most cases, if you are not on the lease, it usually because you are sub-letting, and paying the person whose name is on the lease, assuming they'll pass on the cash to the landlord, and thus pretty risky.


          I see your point.
          I had the bank details of the landlord and the housemates, so I just wired over the funds online. That way it's out in the open, and there's a paper trail.

          I guess if the landlord tried to kick you out, but you went ahead and proved you were responsibly paying your share…
          …well there's a good chance the landlord will want to kick you and evict the thieving housemate(s) instead.

          So even that risk could be migitated.

  • +3 votes

    This deal may be fair if they both never leave the bedroom - otherwise it should be at least 60/40, although I think 1/3 each is fairer as they are getting the larger room and car space - which is a big deal in most cities.

  • +10 votes

    I lived in a 4 bedroom share house and would often see a room filled with a couple (myself included).

    To start off, no you should not ever accept a 50/50 split in the rent as there are 3 people in a space that is only designed for 2. You will have to fight for the shower, toilet, kitchen, tv etc. with one additional person.

    The way that my old household did it was that we agreed upon an additional amount that the 'couple room' would pay which would ultimately subsidize the other rooms. In our case, the couple room paid $150 more per month, giving the other rooms $50 off per month. Bills were still split on a person basis not a room basis. At the end of the day, the couple room (as an example..) would end up paying $500+150=$650 … / 2 = $325 instead of $250 per person. But considering everyone else is paying $500 to be there ($450 after the discount) it makes sense.

    Second of all, I would move away from small 2 bedroom living situations, go for a 3/4 bedroom place because then if shit hits the fan its easier to reason with other people or talk to other people. Shit can get really horrible really quickly in small living situations like that.


    40/60 split seems reasonable

  • +1 vote

    Sounds like your getting shafted i'd be arguing a you should only pay around 35-40% but if they are going to drive you around because you do not have a car but not expect you to chip in for that 50% sounds fair.

    The truth is you will have fun for about 6-12 months and once you get sick of each other it will go balls up especially because they are a couple which will result in one of two things they will break up destroying you agreement or they will take the relationship to the next level and move out shafting you more so.

    Save you money buy your own place

  • +1 vote

    50/50 is definitely not fair.

    They're getting twice as much space as you are and you're paying the same share.

    You should ask your mate whether he would accept what he's proposing if he were in your shoes.

    Wait… are you actually friends with this couple?

  • +9 votes

    Living with couples can be the worst. I was in a 5 bedroom sharehouse in college and the couple paid half what everyone else paid ie split it 20:20:20:20:10:10 and they had the whole downstairs self-contained area. They also tried to pull shit like only paying one person's share of internet/electricity ect "because we both watch the same shows together anyway, and we share electricity". Ugh. Needless to say no-one from our house is still friends with them.

    So when I moved in with my boyfriend into his 2 bedroom house, we split the rent 3 ways equally with his friend that was already living there (33:33:33). I didn't want to be that awful couple from my college house. I also figure splitting it equally like that sort of makes up for some of the annoying "living with a couple" stuff that inevitably occurs ie. sex noises, smooching, the other things people have mentioned above, ect. Even if you're all best friends and have a blast together. it still happens.

    You aren't just renting out a room, you are paying for the cost of an entire house. 50:25:25 might make sense if they never stepped foot outside their bedroom, but do they use the hallway? The bathroom? the lounge? The kitchen? Unless they are levitating from their bedroom out the front door they should F***ing suck it up and pay for it too! YOU are not the unreasonable one in this scenario. They are.

    Honestly, maybe they haven't experienced it from the other side as a single person living with a couple, but if you talk to them and they can't at lease empathise with you and see the situation from your perspective, I would seriously reconsider signing any lease and moving in with them. Living with mates isn't always all it's cracked up to be. Sometimes it can be awesome! But if you don't know them that well anyway, I think you'd be better off bailing on this arrangement and finding a good sharehouse on gumtree/ Go visit them, get a feel for the place, ask questions (when rent is due/how it's split? Is there a cleaning roster or will you guys spring for a cleaner every fortnight? Sharing food?) and meet the people before you move in. In a lot of cases this tends to work a lot better than moving in with friends. Please stand you ground and remember it's better to sort these things out before you move in. They won't budge if you move in then ask later. Good luck!

  • +1 vote

    I think 60:40 is fair. Some people have mentioned that each person should pay 1/3, but that is not fair on the couple as they are effectively paying for half a bedroom while you get a whole one for the same price, whereas 40:30:30 is a reasonable premium for you to get an additional 1/2 of a bedroom (plus equal shared spaces).

    Do you have a car/are you going to get one? It may not be an issue now, but you may not want to allow them to 'have' the parking bay, but instead split it with you if you get one. Constantly finding street parking every day after work will grow old fast.


      I agree with you. 60:40 is probably more fair for the couple. We went 1/3 in my situation, but we already had a pretty good deal on rent and had the bigger bedroom ect. If the shoe was on the other foot and I was in the single room I would be very happy with a 40:60 split :)


    depends on what you think your friendship is worth.

  • +31 votes

    Get out. Get out now. Hell you're not even in yet. DON'T GET IN!!

  • +3 votes

    Tell them they are drrrrrrrreeeeaming.

    Why pay 50 50 when you can move into another place with one person for the same $.. This way you are much more likely to occasionally have the place to yourself.. And perhaps without having to worry about scratching someone's gold plated white goods. I've lived in dozens of sharehouses and no one ever tried to squeeze more rent from me because they owned the Russell Hobbs kettle ffs.. Look elsewhere.

  • +1 vote

    I'm in a small sydney 2 bed as a couple and it's split 500/300 for 800 total per week.

    • +13 votes

      just the fact they suggested 50-50 is a red flag and a reason not to live with them. I would not try negotiate, I would just bounce.

  • +4 votes

    Everything should be split three ways.

    You're not just sharing two bedrooms; you're sharing one kitchen, (possibly) one bathroom, one loungeroom, one dining area, and so on.

    It's entirely unreasonable to split the rent anything other than three ways unless an agreement as to car space etc is come to. I've done the 3-way split previously (as the couple) and it is the ONLY fair way of doing it.

    In any case, a disagreement and unreasonable demand at a stage BEFORE YOU EVEN MOVE IN should be viewed as a MASSIVE RED FLAG. You will NOT enjoy your time living with these people; sharing with a couple is already a minefield.


    I used to sub-let out my rooms when I was renting with friends. What we used to do was average out cost per person and split it that way.

    In your case its 33% of cost, unless they have garage or any other exclusivity.

    As the leaseholders they have responsibility to inform the landlord and in many cases overall rent can increase.

    Food and consumable items were always the sticking point, so we had a kitty and it wss everyones responsibility to stock those - or you carry your own.

  • +14 votes

    Why not ask them to adopt you then you pay no rent? They are already telling you what to do lol.


    If it's sublet the original tenant can set the rate however they like.
    I was in a 3-person sharehouse, 2 of us were on the lease, 1 was sublet (with permission) and if the room was vacant I had to cover it. Important thing is to put something in writing before you move in. If they own all the furniture, might skew it by $10-$20pw at most. Car space skews it back by $10pw. Just add it all up

  • +3 votes

    Don't live with couples, not even if your are a couple living with another

  • +9 votes

    We didn't know about that site, but we divided the house into $ per square metre.

    500/100sqm, $5 per square metre.

    Common areas 65sqm * $5 =$325

    Your room 10sqm * $5 = $50

    Their room 15sqm * $5 = $75
    Carport 10sqm * $5 = $50

    $325/3 = $108 each,

    $108 + $50 = $158 your share.
    $108 + $75/2 + $50/2 = $170 each their share.

    That's how I would work it out.

    32% is your share, as you get 32% of the house and they get 34% each.


    I've lived in Share-houses for 12 years now, all with a mix of couples and singles.
    Its ALWAYS an even split between tenants, couple or not everyone pays an even split of bills and rent.

    You pay to live in the house, not for the room you rent.


      Also if the car space is something you would/could also use but they are staking claim to it then they should probably be paying more rent than you! (never lived in a place with a dedicated space or no on street parking etc.)
      However if you don't have a car or there is plenty of on street parking then I wouldn't worry about it, not worth the effort of arguing.

  • +5 votes

    I lived with a couple, we split it three ways. They are definitely two people, is two more people in the kitchen, two more people using the fridge. Basically, I lived in my room and the rest of the unit was theirs.

  • +1 vote

    If your feeling spiteful set up an ecoin miner to make that 1/3 of the electricity bill work for you!!

  • +3 votes

    I was in ur boat, my suggestion is 65 : 35

    • +13 votes

      op is moving into a house not a boat. different rules apply

  • +1 vote

    OP should contribute to this thread


    The other thing to consider is that when their relationship goes pear shaped, you'll either have to move out or you'll be copping a rent increase

  • +39 votes

    Simple. Tell them you'll split the rent 50/50 but you'll take the larger room and the garage.

    See if they still think it's fair.

    • +2 votes

      That's exactly it.

    • +5 votes

      Unfortunately I can only plus this once.


      This!! I came here to say this!!
      +100. It's comments like these that really make me wish the upvoted ones would bubble up here.

      If they think this is fair, imagine what else they think is fair.

      Also, even if you don't have a car it's not like the garage holds zero value for you. You could still use it for storage/hobby space (if it's a lock up.)

  • +3 votes

    Don't do it, been there… all the above comments are true. Your room will be yours and the unit will belong to them. Hell am in the opposite situation now and I can tell you it's true, we are in the lounge room all the time, we are cooking together, we leave stuff out… but we're in a much bigger house so it doesn't affect the 3rd person.

    I ended up leaving my last place because it was a nightmare. If you are the type to get annoyed over the way rent is split you will be annoyed by all the other habits too. I ended up setting the whole place up and they did nothing… we had a shared closet and they took it all. Kicking them out will be a nightmare mate.

  • +1 vote

    Stay at home . Parents are the best flatmates - hopefully not much smooching on the couch either. If I had my time again I'd never move out.
    You are already the odd one out when it comes to these flatmates imagine how it is going to be once there are things like washing up etc to argue about.


      Disagree. I live in the family home with my folks and sibling. The only one I get along with is the family pet. I'm hardly ever in the lounge. I'm the odd one out. Looked at moving out - it's only slightly more than what I pay my family in rent but I don't want to leave the pet behind


    The memories of a share house… I don't miss that. Whatever you do, ignore payment based on people because you'll get screwed if one leaves.

    Calculate the value of each room and then it's up to the occupants of each room to split the cost.

    In your case, if the couple breaks up and she/he leaves the house the person could start arguing that because there are only 2 people the rent should be 50-50 - all occupants must understand rent is based on room.

    So: bigger room + ensuite + (cupboards?, Windows?, Insulation?, Aircon?) + Garage. Make sure everything is weighed in and that EVERYONE is on the lease.

  • +5 votes

    Easy everyone, calm down. The OP asking for fairness. Here's the solution. 50:50 in my humble opinion is quite fair. However, op should rearrange something. Ask them for rotation 1 week they sleep in master room, 1 week you will in there. Because it is half half, so when you are in master room, ask them to leave his/her gf/bf in there so OP can share a bed too. See, it's not hard


    At my place I have the master bedroom with ensuite and car space. My housemate's room is a little smaller and he basically gets the main bathroom to himself, although I use the laundry stuff in there.

    We go 57:43 on rent and 50/50 on bills. I wouldn't go 50/50 rent with two people in the bigger room. Also how many bathrooms? If only one, no way as they'll likely occupy it a lot of the time!

  • +3 votes

    Suggest an 'auction' bidding for the master bedroom.

    Offering $5-$10 more for the master bedroom for yourself and see how they react.

    Chances are they want it more than you, and they will be willing to pay more. This can backfire as you might win the 'auction' and get a nice expensive room.

    This worked for me when I shared a house with two others, and everyone was happy.

    • +3 votes

      Another way this works with two parties is getting the first party to split whatever is being shared, and then the second person picks who gets what. This way the first person will split equally (otherwise they will get the shit option).

  • +1 vote

    Omg bloody outrageous. You should split 35 and they pay 65 quite incredible what they are trying to do

  • +1 vote

    if you're thinking about the unfairness of the situation in mind, you're better off not joining, chances are that you're constantly going to think that you're being fked over and this will affect you mentally, you're just going to bring bad vibes into the house. Tell them you want a better deal, if you dont get it, then dont join.


    Think about how much a carpark would cost too OP, look up how much it is to rent one in your area if you want to determine how much value they are getting from the carpark. I loved in Melb CBD for a short while so I definitely realised how much value having a carpark is. Just because they might be your pals doesn't mean they're not trying to take advantage of you. 40:60 or 35:65 sounds really fair :-)


    Should be like 60/40.