When should guests pay rent?
February 4, 2014 8:15 PM Subscribe
I'd like opinions about whether I'm being unreasonable in wanting an extended guest of my roommate (their spouse actually) to pay a small portion of the rent while they're here.
posted by captain cosine to Human Relations (38 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We live in a 2 bed, 2 bath apartment. His wife is visiting for 3 weeks. She has stayed for a week before, and even 2 weeks one time and I was cool with that. I feel like when someone stays for longer than that though, it changes the dynamics of the shared spaces in the apartment enough that the amount we pay should change as well. What are people's opinions or previous situations with roommates having guests for more than a week?
My roommate and I are on very good terms in general. We're friends and in the same department at school. When something apartment-related comes up (cleaniness, noise, bills, etc), we generally communicate well and it gets resolved without grudges or passive aggressiveness.
However he was surprised that having his wife live here for a while was an issue for me. He has stayed with her for longer periods and her roommates didn't mention it or ask him for rent. Apparently, in their house, his wife's room is quite private and is far from the common space so sound doesn't travel.
Our apartment however is smaller and sound travels readily between our two bedrooms and the common area. His wife is a considerate guest and we get along personally as well. However, I feel that just having another person in such close quarters can be a significant inconvenience regardless of whether I get along with the person. I'm a light sleeper, and having 2 people instead of one in the room next to me means that the noise level will be significantly higher (muffled and not so muffled talking at random times, door shutting and opening more, more bathroom noise, etc). The small kitchen will be busier (which will be cool sometimes, but it also means more noise because sound travels pretty well from there to my bedroom).
I've lived with my roommate for over a year now and I did know he was married beforehand, and that his wife lived on the other side of the country. We didn't discuss how much she might visit before we signed the lease and all, so we didn't have any expectations or ground rules going in. He assumed it would be cool if she occasionally came and stayed for a month or more so he never asked beforehand.
Basically I would like your advice and opinions about whether its reasonable for me to ask that she pay a little rent for the 3 weeks. It would be about $100 out of a total of $1200 for rent (plus an equivalent fraction of the utilities). My approach is usually to keep roommate/apartment issues separate from friend issues, and I think my roommate understands that I don't have anything against him or his wife personally. As a friend I don't want to create tension, but as a roommate I feel like adjusting the rent would be fair in this case.