Flatmates, Renting apartment, Roommates, Sharing costs, 7 July

Best tips to split the costs of an apartment with your flatmates in Budapest

Looking to rent an apartment in Hungary? Or looking to find roommates in Budapest? Don’t let all the confusing details of sharing the costs of the apartment ruin your enthusiasm and relationships. These tips will help you figure out how to share the costs of the apartment easily.


A great advantage of having a roommate or more, beside the company is that you can split the cost of the rent and utilities, which usually means you will be able to afford a bigger, nicer and better equipped apartment than you could on your own. However, when it comes to sharing the expenses, money can be an extremely sensitive subject.


Everyone values money differently, some people like to spend more, and others tend to save it, and there are people who like to do a little bit of both. Before you sign a lease together, you have to make sure that you and your roommates are on common grounds regarding the finances, so none of you will be left disappointed or financially broke.


Before you sign the lease you should define how you will split the rent and the other expenses. You might say that is the easiest part. We can just split the rent and the bills in half and it is perfectly fair, but if the bedrooms are different sizes, one person has more amenities than the others; these little differences could create future problems in the relationship. So, in this case, what can you do? Here are some tips that can help you calculate how much each roommate should pay:


Splitting the cost by the size: If the bedrooms you are using are different in sizes, you may want to consider calculating what each roommate should pay by the size of the rooms, on a square meter basis. To do so, first, you need to figure out the cost per square meter of the apartment. You can do this by dividing the cost of the rent by the total square meter of the apartment. To give an example, if your rent is HUF 100.000 per month for a 100 square meter apartment, the cost for a m2 is HUF 1.000. Next step you need to determine how big the bedrooms are in square meters, and multiply the number by the cost of a square meter. If one bedroom is 30 m2 and the other is 34 m2 then the rental rate for the bedrooms would be HUF 30.000 and HUF 34.000 respectively. For the shared areas, such as the kitchen, living room and shared bathrooms you can split the cost, and this is how it will be fair according to the sizes of the bedrooms.


Checking the amenities: In addition to the square meters, you should also consider the amenities. For instance, if only one roommate wants to use cable TV but the others didn’t, it wouldn’t be fair if everyone had to pay for an expensive subscription. Also, Internet and Wi-Fi are vital these days, but there are also packages that cost very differently. If one doesn’t need a super-fast internet because they only need to read emails, but the others want to stream and upload videos, then the one who requires a minimum internet speed doesn’t have to pay the extra fee. Discuss with your roommates what extras are absolutely necessary for the apartment and decide fairly how you will pay these bills so no one will feel like you are paying for something you don’t use at all. We should not forget about shared tools, such as the cost of cleaning supplies, toilet paper, kitchen equipment. These must be distributed fairly and paid accordingly. It is also possible to keep a nice system of keeping the apartment tidy and clean on a weekly basis in order to sustain a peaceful atmosphere.


Considering other shared expenses: When talking about how to split the rent it is worth to talk about the utilities as well. If only one roommate wants to have cable TV, but the others don’t feel it would be necessary, or they would not use it, it would not be fair if everyone had to pay for the expensive subscription. Also, nowadays Internet and Wi-Fi are a must, but there are different packages with very different prices. If one does not need a super fast and huge Internet, because they only need it to read emails, but the others want to stream and upload videos, the one needing the minimal Internet speed should not pay for the extra charge. Talk to your roommates what are the extras they definitely need in the apartment, decide how you will pay for these bills, so no one feels like they are paying for something they are not using at all.


Payment Management: When living with roommates, it is very important to decide who handles payments. Maybe one person handles them all, or everyone handles the rent themselves. Choosing a responsible person for this task is the most ideal decision because otherwise we may find ourselves in a situation where everyone is waiting for the other to take care of the bills and as a result you will be late with payments, which can often result in a late fee. The landlord is likely to clarify how the rent is to be paid; you need to discuss these details properly.

Cohabitation with roommates shouldn’t be taken so loosely, but that doesn’t mean it has to be stressful. If you discuss the terms fairly with your future roomies, living together can be a great and fun experience. You may need to review one or two rules after moving into the apartment. Managing your finances wisely doesn’t mean you’re not flexible and fun, it simply means that you’re a responsible adult who takes care of their future.


I hope these tips will help you figure out how to split the costs with your roommates. Good luck on your new apartment, and don’t forget if you have not found the perfect apartment for you and you future roommates in Budapest yet, I am positive, that our website will help you with that. In the meantime, check out our active Roommates Budapest Facebook page or Accommodation for students in Budapest: Erasmus, CEU, Semmelweis, ELTE Facebook page where we post new blog posts every day.