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Old 11-29-2011, 01:05 AM
 
Location: Noo Yawk, Noo Yawk
639 posts, read 1,391,807 times
Reputation: 636

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I live in a 1-BR apartment in Manhattan. Been here a long time, and haven't had to share with a roommate in a number of years. I'm over 40 and enjoy my independence, so don't relish the idea of sharing an apartment at my age but now I need to for financial reasons. Even though the rent is pretty low for Manhattan, I cannot afford it by myself until things get a little better for me.

I've decided to rent out my small BR (which makes the most sense), and that means that a roommate would have to walk through my LR where I will have my bed, but I can divide it in such a way to make it work. I'm sure I can handle the limited privacy with the right person. The 10x12' bedroom has a door and a good-sized closet. I will move my IKEA closet unit to the LR as well.

SO, I have a few questions about splitting the rent & utilities. Last time I shared my apartment was over 12 years ago, and we always split ConEd & phone. Now, obviously each of us will have our own cell phones, so I don't have to think about that, but I am wondering how would I share cable? Will I have to add a cable hookup in the bedroom for a roommate's personal TV since the TV in the LR would mean that my roommate would have to sit on my bed to watch it, which I wouldn't want? I have Triple Play (TV, phone, internet). Do roommates these days expect to be able to use someone's wireless router for internet access when they move into an apartment? I don't like the idea of giving someone my security code for the router. How should I do this? To those of you who share your cable bill, how do you do it?

Now, about splitting the rent. What would be a fair percentage of my rent to ask a roommate for, if they have the BR in a 1-BR apartment and I'm sleeping in the living room? The building is super clean and in a pretty great neighborhood. Common areas would be the bathroom (of course), kitchen, and a dining area, but I wouldn't want them hanging out in the LR on my bed. Basically they'd be more like renting a room rather than sharing the whole apartment. Even if they paid me 75%, they couldn't find a deal this good in Manhattan very easily because I've been there along time and the rent's real reasonable. But I want to be fair. I would probably only ask for a month's rent for security. Is 75% too much to ask?

Also, what do you guys think of just adding an averaged amount to the rent for cable and ConEd without bothering them with the bills each month? Just name an amount, add it to their share, state the rent as "utilities included," and just deal with paying all bills myself. Good idea or not?

Thanks!
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:38 AM
 
2,853 posts, read 6,659,877 times
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75% is not too much to ask if your rent is low - especially if they have the BR and you are sleeping in the living room. I would also just charge half of the usual montlh utilities, so 75% of rent + $50 or something like that. If it's a good deal, it's a good deal. Getting an extra cable hookup in the bedroom might not be a bad idea. The person might not want to always watch TV with you. Just make sure you find someone you are comfortable with.
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:41 AM
 
4,891 posts, read 9,486,021 times
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I think 75 might be a little steep if they are only getting a room.
50% might be doable when you consider they can't use the living room.
Tough call.
Why not put it up on Craigslist and just see----
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:52 AM
 
2,853 posts, read 6,659,877 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StaggerLee22 View Post
I think 75 might be a little steep if they are only getting a room.
50% might be doable when you consider they can't use the living room.
Tough call.
Why not put it up on Craigslist and just see----
It really depends on what he is paying for the apartment. 75% might still be a steal for someone.
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:53 AM
 
233 posts, read 682,873 times
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I would say 50-50 bc that just seems fair...

"hey come live at my apartment pay 75% of rent do NOT hang out anywhere except your bedroom and you can NOT use the internet or watch TV"
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:55 AM
 
233 posts, read 682,873 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mc33433 View Post
It really depends on what he is paying for the apartment. 75% might still be a steal for someone.
true.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Central NJ
631 posts, read 1,748,626 times
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Just wondering, does your LL know you have rented out a room?
Does your lease allow you to sublet and rent out a room?

If he does not know, do you think it's fair he should have to pay the extra water bill?
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Manhattan
1,790 posts, read 3,669,056 times
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I think you should go 50/50 on everything, rent and utilities. It prevents resentment from the roommate later and potentially a battle later on.

When I had roommates, I shared the wireless router password with them and it was never an issue. If you are trusting this person to be around your computer and belongings as a roommate -- sometimes while you aren't there then concern over your wireless password seems illogical. However, if you really don't want to do this, then you or the roommate can simply purchase an additional wireless router, plug it into the modem and the roommate can connect to that one. You'd each be connecting to a separate wireless router that way.

Keep in mind that most people looking for shares are young people in their 20's or early 30's.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Noo Yawk, Noo Yawk
639 posts, read 1,391,807 times
Reputation: 636
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoPoliticsNoGamesJustMath View Post
"hey come live at my apartment pay 75% of rent do NOT hang out anywhere except your bedroom and you can NOT use the internet or watch TV"
That's not the scenario at all. If you read my post correctly, I am asking how to share my cable internet with a roomie, and how to make it possible for them to watch TV without sitting on my bed. The living room would have my bed in it, but part of it is used for dining and my home office, which would be a common area. Obviously I would have to put a password on my computer, but they would have access to the dining table and chairs, and free use of the kitchen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by new jersey mike View Post
Does your lease allow you to sublet and rent out a room?
Yes, I am allowed to have roommates and have had many over the years. It's not any different from having a spouse move in. It's just been a long time since I shared with someone I wasn't in a relationship with.


Quote:
Originally Posted by barkomatic View Post
If you are trusting this person to be around your computer and belongings as a roommate -- sometimes while you aren't there then concern over your wireless password seems illogical.
Well, I have to familiarize myself with how this works. Don't we establish passwords on routers to keep prying eyes out? I wouldn't want them to be able to access anything sensitive like my online banking, etc. Of course, I would hope that, with references and whatnot, I'd find someone who is trustworthy - but you never really know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barkomatic View Post
Keep in mind that most people looking for shares are young people in their 20's or early 30's.
Oh, of course. That's a given. But I think that the economy has forced some older folks to share space after not having to in a long time. It's a better option than becoming homeless or moving somewhere they'd rather not. I'm in a great neighborhood in Manhattan.

Hopefully, if I can't find someone closer to my age, I can find a younger person who isn't all about partying, and knows how to be responsible. The bigger problem might be that a younger person wouldn't even be interested, because of whatever ideas they may have about someone my age. They would have to be open-minded enough to realize I wouldn't necessarily be a fuddy-duddy old fart.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mc33433 View Post
75% is not too much to ask if your rent is low - especially if they have the BR and you are sleeping in the living room. I would also just charge half of the usual montlh utilities, so 75% of rent + $50 or something like that. If it's a good deal, it's a good deal. Getting an extra cable hookup in the bedroom might not be a bad idea. The person might not want to always watch TV with you. Just make sure you find someone you are comfortable with.
This is good feedback. Half of "utilities," which is what I am calling ConEd AND cable, would be about $150. Hmm, I don't even know how to get another cable thingie, will have to find out how that works and what I need, but it could be a good selling point if someone has their own TV.


Quote:
Originally Posted by StaggerLee22 View Post
I think 75 might be a little steep if they are only getting a room.
50% might be doable when you consider they can't use the living room.
Well, it's not just that they would only have a room. They would have to walk through where I sleep to get to it. I am giving up privacy and they would have the ability to shut the bedroom door behind them. In the past, I never split it evenly because of that, but that was way back when my rent was less than $900/month. I am just not sure how high I can go now.

Maybe somewhere between 50 and 75 percent would work?

More feedback on these questions is welcome, as well as any thoughts on sharing this kind of small space where a roomie has to walk through where I sleep. Anyone here share a tiny apartment with a roommate?

Last edited by citychik; 11-29-2011 at 08:03 PM..
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Manhattan
22,319 posts, read 29,496,500 times
Reputation: 10249
chik,

Rent Stabilization has VERY strict legal limits on what you can charge a roommate. While I don't know the particulars but I DO know that you cannot charge a roommate 75% of your stabilized rent. Remember, that your tenant will know this and can hold it over your head like the sword of Damocles at the first disagreement...which you WILL have.

You will be safer sticking to 50% rent...perhaps you can ask them to pay the entire Triple Play bill and/or Con-Ed to stay on the up and up with the City.
Ask your cable company how to plug in their computer to your router without networking the two computers together. It isn't too hard. Wireless is easier. Might as well not worry too much about security, because any time you are not in the apartment they have access to EVERYTHING you own.
Remember, even Vampires have to asked in, but once in, you are at their mercy.


I must say, having a roommate with only a single bedroom is going to be a CHALLENGE.
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