Q. Why do private bathrooms count as 100 square feet?

A. Well, a bathroom is very valuable in a shared rental. We needed a way to account for the value of a private bathroom in the calculations. After consulting with numerous renters and having them check our figures, the 100-square-foot rule seemed the best approach.

Q. If one person in a bedroom is calculated to owe \$400 in rent, and that person then shares his room with someone else, shouldn't two people each pay half of that, or \$200?

A. No. A shared bedroom will not result in two people splitting the rent that one person would pay in that same room. Remember, we also take into account the common space in the unit that is used by all who live there. Whenever adding or subtracting a roommate, the entire rent needs to be recalculated. Feel free to review the Sample Calculations page for detailed examples of our calculations.

Q. Can we use this to calculate each person's share of utilities instead of rent?

A. Maybe. If everyone in the unit agrees that no one person is using an inordinate share of the utilities, yes, this calculator may work for that. You'll want to keep the same square footages, and just substitute the utility bill amount for the rent figure. People with larger bedrooms will pay a little more, and this makes sense, because they are using more energy to heat or cool a larger room.

This method may not work, however, if one person is using an inordinate amount of energy. This may happen, for instance, if one roommate has an air conditioner in their room which runs constantly, and no one else has an air conditioner.

Also, some monthly charges, such as internet which is shared by everyone, may simply be split evenly between all roommates. This isn't not a charge that's variable based on bedroom size.