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Ask Marilyn: How to Share the Cost of a Rental
Leslie Pender of Fort Belvoir, Virginia, writes:
Marilyn: Three friends and I are planning a vacation. We want to book a three-bedroom townhouse, and two friends will share a room. The townhouse rents for $1356. How do we split up the cost?
Here's one way to look at it: Consider the bedrooms as half of the total cost. Yes, you're in the bedrooms for only a third of the time, but it's an important third and should count for more. The other rooms (living room, kitchen, any other space or access to a facility, etc.) count as the other half of the cost of the townhouse.
With this division, the friends sharing a bedroom (even if they're married or related, etc.) each pay 1/12 of the total rental, and the friends with separate bedrooms each pay 1/6 of the total rental for the bedroom half of the cost (1/12 + 1/12 + 1/6 + 1/6 = 1/2). And all four friends each pay 1/8 of the total rental for the "other rooms" (1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8 = 1/2).
It works out to $113 + 113 + 226 + 226 = $678 for the bedrooms; and $169.50 + 169.50 + 169.50 + 169.50 = $678 for the rest of the townhouse. So the two sharing friends each pay $282.50, and the other two friends each pay $395.50.