Who should get master bedroom in apartment with roommates?
February 18, 2013 10:57 PM   Subscribe

I live in a three bedroom, two bath apartment. Roommate A (current occupent of master bedroom) is moving out. Roommate B and I are trying to decide who should get to move into master.

Roommate B has a bf, who has been unofficially living here (read: living here full-time but not paying any rent or utilities) for the whole time I've lived here (1.5 years). bf will be officially joining lease when we resign in April with new roommate (so there will be total of 4 people in apartment--me, Roommate, bf, and new roomie).

Roommate says since she has seniority (she moved in 8 months before I did) and since she is sharing room with bf, they should get the master bedroom. If they stay in current bedroom, three people would be sharing one bathroom (her, bf, and new roomie), and that would be too much. Whereas if they moved into master bedroom, it would be two people per bathroom (her and bf in master bathroom, me and new roomie in other bathroom). She also thinks that since they will be paying significantly more in rent (according to lease, adding a 4th roommate is an extra $500/month, which they would of course be paying), they should get the biggest room.

While I get her points, I feel like I've been really taken advantage of during my residency here. I was not aware when moving in that bf was permanent, free-loading fixture. He and Roommate were dismissive of my request that he either be paying some rent, or spending less time in the apartment (he had his own key, and spent lots of time in the apartment when Roommate was not even home, which I didn't think was a fair imposition on me--when I brought this up, he said that I was asking him to pay money to breathe the air, and that I had problems). I did not get any say over him now officially moving into the apartment (though I am glad he will at least finally be putting on his big-boy pants and paying rent). Situation is not helped by the fact that I am (as you probably have gathered) not a fan of the guy--he has always made me a bit uncomfortable, and by now, things have escalated to the point where we basically avoid each other at all costs.

Anyways, being put in this situation for the past year and a half has made me really, really ready to have more of my own space. Having the master bedroom would be great in giving me more of a sanctuary from bf.

I don't think that I should automatically get the room. But I do think I have equal claim over it. I proposed flipping a coin, but Roommate was very dismissive. She thinks I should just concede room.

If I do get master bedroom, I would feel slightly guilty about sticking new roomie with bf. But at the same time, he's not my responsibility, and I'm not sure it's fair to put that concern on me.

Other potentially relevant info:
Master bedroom is $950. Roommate's current bedroom (which I would move into if I didn't get master) is $800. My current bedroom (which would go to new roomie) is $750. This does not reflect rent hike once bf joins lease--they would be paying the $500 on top whichever room they're in.

I thought about moving out entirely, but our rent is really, really reasonable compared to what else is currently on the market. And even if I get Roommate's current room, and they get master, I'll still end up with more space and privacy than I have now--bf would (theoretically) spend much of his time in master, my bedroom would be larger than my current one, I would no longer have to deal with lots of hallway traffic, and I would only be sharing bathroom with new roomie. Also, I like Roommate (though issues with bf has made things decidedly more strained lately).

tl;dr, Does roommate with bf get automatic master bedroom dibs, or does fact that he was inflicted on me without my consent give me the right to request a coin-toss? Is it my responsibility to take new roommate into account, or theirs?

Please no advise to just move out--Trust me when I say I've given it a lot of thought, and staying is my best option at the moment.

Thanks all!
posted by tan_coul to Human Relations (42 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would consider letting the couple take the largest room. Even though to you it would seem like giving in to someone you do not like (the bf), there are so many pluses you mentioned to letting them have the largest room. 1: only having to share a bathroom with one other person (potential new roommate). 2: bf would theoretically spend most of his time in the larger master bedroom, leaving you some peace and quiet in the rest of the apartment. 3: This decision would probably keep the peace.

Think about it: if you push for the larger room and you win, you will probably be living with 3 unhappy people instead of maybe just the one (bf). Imagine how the new roommate might feel, moving into a situation where they have to share a bathroom with another couple, while you get a whole bathroom to yourself. They might not mind at first, but if the bf is as hostile as he sounds, the new roommate might not like him either. Added on to this is the resentment that your current roommate will have for you. If I were in the couple's situation, even if I really liked you, it would be hard NOT to resent someone for doing that. Even if they are fully in the right to want to move into a larger room.

In my opinion, disregarding hurt pride, the pros of letting the couple take the master bedroom far outweigh the cons. In a living situation where one is not super friendly with all roommates (whether they are paying or non-paying) it is often a wiser decision to keep the peace.
posted by ruhroh at 11:13 PM on February 18, 2013 [9 favorites]

The situation with the live-in BF sounds annoying, but seniority being the deciding factor in who has dibs on a room when it opens up seems standard to me.
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:14 PM on February 18, 2013 [13 favorites]

Give them the room. You're already going to have what sounds like a slightly larger ($50/month larger?) room. If things are as tense as it sounds like they are, why make it even worse?
posted by MiaWallace at 11:15 PM on February 18, 2013

They're paying more money, so they get the biggest room, imo.

I'd stop worrying about what other people are getting and consider what you are getting for the price. Sounds to me you are keeping score which is kind of immature. If you want a master bedroom, find a new place. If you're going to stay there, learn to get along with the BF.
posted by empath at 11:16 PM on February 18, 2013 [12 favorites]

It will be be better for everyone if they take the master. Really.

However, it's weird to me that you would choose to pay the same amount for "adding" another roommate to your home. You're sharing your kitchen with an additional person and should see a reduction in room price for the non-shared rooms.
posted by samthemander at 11:17 PM on February 18, 2013 [29 favorites]

Absent any past drama, the master bedroom goes to the couple, open and shut, especially since they are paying extra rent. Having two people share the big room with its own bathroom just makes way more sense than any other way of doing it.

I sympathize with you and I agree it sounds like you have not been treated very well, but the common-sense solution is on their side, and that is going to make this a very uphill battle which I think is not worth fighting.
posted by PercussivePaul at 11:17 PM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Master bedroom occupants take over entirely one household chore you hate....then you feel like you're getting something in return.
posted by Pomo at 11:26 PM on February 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

She's got seniority AND they're a couple. It's a no-brainer, even if it's annoying. The main thing is to let it go and stop keeping score; maintaining a sense of grievance only prolongs the problem.
posted by scody at 11:27 PM on February 18, 2013 [5 favorites]

From my own experience, I came into this question to say "whoever has been there the longest". Then I read that your roomies-to-be are a couple, and I would have said that MAYBE trumps seniority. But in this case, they have both reasons. So I think it's a no-brainer. You could offer them a tonne more money, like maybe covering the bf's $500, if it really is that worthwhile to you. After all, you say you'd be paying more elsewhere.
posted by lollusc at 11:42 PM on February 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

Two things: the roomie and bf should get the master, but the rent should be higher on it, both for the luxury and because the bf has been living there rent free. Secondly, are you saying the place costs more depending on how many people are living there? That actually may not be legal.
posted by rhizome at 11:49 PM on February 18, 2013 [4 favorites]

An auction is guaranteed to be fair: Winner pays the loser and takes the room.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 12:08 AM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

All Roommate Protocol I've been a party to would suggest that 8 months seniority gives the roommate dibs on openings. Also, the coin-toss suggestion would have rankled me, were I the senior roommate.

I don't understand the $500/month extra roommate fee. If that weren't part of the equation, I'd say you might be entitled to a retroactive rebate on your rent from the boyfriend (that is, rent split 4 ways instead of 3 should be cheaper), but it sounds like maybe your lease doesn't work that way. I'm with rhizome on that, too, by the way. It sounds kind of fishy and you should investigate if that's legal in your jurisdiction.

I think you'll be best served by graciously conceding the larger room. Fostering discontent among roommates is a recipe for pain. Take the high road and enjoy a more pleasant living situation. Good luck!
posted by maniactown at 12:26 AM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

Roomie has seniority....but bf hasn't "just been breathing air". He's made use of heat, electric,water, phone, internet, cable and groceries--and should be paying his share.
posted by brujita at 1:19 AM on February 19, 2013 [6 favorites]

Either take the middle room (there's your more space) or move out on your own. If you somehow force your way into the master things will be eternally awkward around your house.
posted by mannequito at 1:24 AM on February 19, 2013

I absolutely do not think they are entitled to a bigger room simply because they are a couple. They are, however, entitled to it because they are paying more rent.

I don't understand the bathroom thing tho- can't you still have two people in one bathroom and two people in the other regardless of who is rooming where?
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper at 1:52 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I do not think this is a battle, you're going to win, and you're going to have HUGE problems down the road if you do not let the couple take the room. However, to play devil's advocate...

1) how are the room prices assigned? All leases that I've been privy to specify a lease rate for the whole unit, not broken up by bedroom. Why is Master bedroom $950, the other room $800? You should auction the room - would you be willing to pay $1100? $1200? Person who pays the maximum gets the room.

- I don't buy the argument that because they're paying the extra $500, they should get the room. Assuming that fee is legal, it's not part of the lease agreement - the boyfriend is not a required item. She can't use that for "points" on top of you.

2) Why get the extra roommate at all? If she's moving her boyfriend in, she's paying the $500 fee. If you cut out the new roommate, and if he becomes the 3rd roommate, then that's $750 - only $250 more. Would you be willing to pay that $250? What if you split it? Then you each have your own room/bathroom, and you can use the 3rd room as a study.
posted by unexpected at 2:18 AM on February 19, 2013 [6 favorites]

Yes, I think it would be pretty unfair for you to be paying $950 for the master while a couple paid $1300 for the room with the shared bathroom. If you flip for it and get the master, I'd be prepared for them to not resign the lease. (Perhaps your desired outcome?)
posted by murfed13 at 2:22 AM on February 19, 2013

The couple definitely takes the master bedroom - it makes more sense that way. If you still want to convince yourself the rent distribution is fair the way I've seen it done is split the total rent over the total floor space, all common areas divided by 4 (for the 4 people living there) and everyone pays for their own private space.

So for example if it's a 100 square meter place, typically it's built out like this

Master Bedroom + Bath = 20 square meters
Bedroom B = 10 square meters
Bedroom C = 10 square meters
All other common areas = 60 square meters

And the rent is $3000 per month (as per your example)

Couple = $900 for share of common area, $600 for master ($1500)
Single B = $450 for share of common area, $300 for Bedroom B ($750)
Single C = $450 for share of common area, $300 for Bedroom C ($750)

The common bathroom is counted as part of the common area and shared, because if the couple have guests over they use the common bathroom too.

Which turns out nearly exactly how you're planning to split things anyway. Ask yourself, if you were to take the master bedroom your rent would go up from $800 per month to $1500 per month, nearly....
posted by xdvesper at 2:57 AM on February 19, 2013 [9 favorites]

I re-read it. I get the bathroom thing now. Yeah, Roommate B and Boyfriend get the larger bedroom with the bathroom in.
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper at 3:41 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yes, they get the master. But I'm also puzzled as to why your rent isn't going down with the addition of a new roommate? It sounds like you're adding a new roomie plus the contribution from Mr. lazypants BF.

Also, he wasn't just using the air -- he was using the space, which is what you're paying for in a shared living situation. The joy of having the living room to yourself when your roomie isn't at home is lost if their BF is sitting on the couch scratching his balls all night. With these rents for an apartment, you're in a major city, and space and privacy is a luxury.
posted by jrochest at 3:53 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'd give them the master, with the caveat that they pay the "fair"'share. Are you really willing to pay $1300 or more for it? Wouldn't that negate your affordability argument for staying there?

Actually, I'd find a new place, because it doesn't seem like you enjoy living with them, and it makes no sense to pay money to make yourself unhappy if you can help it.
posted by snickerdoodle at 4:19 AM on February 19, 2013

Obviously you guys haven't set the rent premium high enough for the master bedroom (and it does seem low, I lived in a 2-bed 2-bath where the roommate with the master bedroom paid that much extra for not having to share his bathroom with guests). Negotiate rents until the people with the shared bathroom feel like the arrangement accurately reflects the relative qualities of the rooms. If you still wind up in the smaller bedroom, you can use the extra money in your pocket to relax outside the apartment.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 4:25 AM on February 19, 2013

Also, framing the rent breakdown the way xdvespear has it will help you avoid overpaying in the renegotiations. It sounds like roommate and bf aren't acknowledging the value of the shared spaces in the apartment and you need to make it clear that you will be dividing those costs 4 ways.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 4:31 AM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

You say saying that you deserve the master bedroom because of your seniority, but I can't help but read the words between the lines.

Are you upset that the BF has not been paying for rent and utilities for the last year and a half? If so, room negotiations is not the place to take it out. You should have brought this up much earlier if it was a problem. Unless you made some sort of agreement with your roommates beforehand, you are not deserving of the master bedroom because you stood by and paid for his utilities and rent-share.

You need to let this go. The rent mooching is over, and nothing good will come about if you carry this on and hold a grudge. You are just as guilty for letting your roommate get away with this as she is for doing it in the first place. In fact, if I read your explaination right, you joined this lease long after he had been living rent-free, so it shouldn't be any surprise to you. No one was taken advantage of, so don't go around telling everyone that you were surprised by this whole ordeal and deserve something for your troubles.
posted by nikkorizz at 5:07 AM on February 19, 2013

nthing xdvesper's idea. This is exactly what I did back when I had roommates. Measure every room in the apartment and calculate the rent per square foot. Everyone pays an equal share of the rent for the common space. Everyone also pays the full rent for their private living space. It's the only way to make sure everything is fair.
posted by slkinsey at 5:20 AM on February 19, 2013

Wait a minute. Are you saying that your roommate and her boyfriend are planning to pay $950 + $500, together? So, $725 each, while you pay $800 and new roommate pays $750? If so, you are all doing it wrong, and you are being taken advantage of. When you rent an apartment, you're not paying mainly for your bedroom: you're paying for your shared use of the common areas as well. As jrochest said, when you add a fourth roommate your rent should go down --- otherwise, why would you agree to do it? It sounds like right now only your roommate's rent would go down, which is asinine.

The total rent, once bf moves in, will be $3000. That is, $750 each, and $80 less per person than it was pre-bf moving in. The master bedroom is probably worth extra because it is largest and has its own bathroom --- the way to figure that out is via auction, in which anybody who wants it says how much extra they'd be willing to pay. So if you are willing to pay $50 extra and the roommate-plus-bf are willing to pay $100 extra, it's theirs.

Also, murfed13 is totally wrong. It would be fine for you to pay $950 for the master and them to pay $1300 for a smaller room --- you know why? Because they are two people not one person. And so you'd be paying $950, and they'd be paying $650 each. (I have never understood when, for pricing purposes, people treat a couple like a single unit. Something weird in our brains, I think.)
posted by Susan PG at 5:34 AM on February 19, 2013 [5 favorites]

They're getting the better part of the deal here: they are splitting one person's rent, (even if that share is a bit higher.) Individually, they will be paying less than you. Total rent is $3000; rather than splitting it into three unequal pieces, it should be split into 4 equal pieces: $750.

But yes, it makes sense for them to get the bigger bedroom. They're a couple, and seniority isn't dumber than another other way to decide; plus it's common. And if they don't have a "couple zone" the master bedroom provide, they'll take over the common areas. (They seem totally willing to dominate the house, as the freeloading boyfriend proves.) But they need to pay as much as you guys; and not try to get a relationship discount.

But seriously, move:

While I get her points, I feel like I've been really taken advantage of during my residency here. I was not aware when moving in that bf was permanent, free-loading fixture. He and Roommate were dismissive of my request that he either be paying some rent, or spending less time in the apartment (he had his own key, and spent lots of time in the apartment when Roommate was not even home, which I didn't think was a fair imposition on me--when I brought this up, he said that I was asking him to pay money to breathe the air, and that I had problems).

Just think of how much of a jerk this guy is going to be when he's official. Plus, there's a good chance that even with the master, they will "couple-dominate" the house, a common pitfall.
posted by spaltavian at 6:09 AM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

If you decide to stay, your roommate gets the master. That will work out better for you in the long run because maybe they'll both stay in there more.

I'd MUCH rather get a little studio to myself than live with roommates, especially roommates with freeloading boyfriends.

Or, get another apartment with a different set of roommates and take the master there.

This guy sounds like a pill and I wouldn't want any parts of living with him.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:16 AM on February 19, 2013

If you are indeed OK with letting your roomie have a live-in boyfriend, then her suggestion makes sense. Forcing 3 people to share a bathroom while one person gets one isn't very fair to whomever your new roommate turns out to be.

However, it seems to me like your roommate has been walking all over you, and you would be better served by treating the root of this disease rather than the symptoms. For example, I read this "Roommate B has a bf, who has been unofficially living here (read: living here full-time but not paying any rent or utilities) for the whole time I've lived here (1.5 years)" and it boggles my mind. In your shoes, I would have had this guy kicked out after at most a month, using the police if necessary. If your roommate doesn't like it, tough. She can move out and forfeit her deposit (which will be used to pay the last month of rent while you find somebody to replace her). Another sentence which gives me pause is "bf will be officially joining lease when we resign in April with new roommate (so there will be total of 4 people in apartment--me, Roommate, bf, and new roomie)." Um, he will be signing the lease according to whom? Your roommate does not have the right to make these kind of decisions for you. If you disapprove of her boyfriend staying there in the first place, then letting him stay there and pay rent is only a marginal upgrade. The best solution is to treat the underlying problem - this boyfriend is a cancer, and he needs to be decisively cut out of your living situation.

Here's one strategy: have a three-way sitdown (between you, your roommate, and the landlord) where it is explained that the BF can stay over at most one week per month. At the end, since it is the landlord's house, ask if you have his blessing to consider the BF an intruder if he exceeds this stay and have him kicked out by police.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 6:43 AM on February 19, 2013

I am with unexpected's advice except I would suggest not getting a fourth roommate and letting the couple have the two smaller rooms. They can sleep in one and use the other however they want (big closet, office, study/tv room). Then you get the master for 950 and they split the 800 and 750.
posted by orangemacky at 6:46 AM on February 19, 2013 [4 favorites]

The bf/gf should be paying MORE than $500 extra, since they're TWO people apparently paying the rent of ONE person. Other than that, take the 2nd best room, it's best for everyone.
posted by Yowser at 7:13 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

You will have problems with that dick. There are going to be too frequent occasions when they are using both bathrooms. There will be their guests using the general bathroom. But of course, they will readily explain why they never clean that other bathroom, since it's not "theirs".

And what others said about the rent split not being fair are quite correct, especially when the boyfriend is a dick that makes you feel uncomfortable in your own home.
posted by Goofyy at 7:18 AM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

This is a classic "one person cuts the cake, the other person chooses the slice" situation. When figuring out what scenarios to bring to them are reasonable, make sure you are comfortable being on either side, if so, then it is reasonable. And stop thinking of them as a couple. They are individuals who may choose to split the rent on a room to lower their individual costs. I agree with those that say you shouldn't be adding another new roommate if you aren't getting any financial reward though. And since she is pulling the seniority card, you can pull yours, why is the boyfriend getting to choose his room over you - HE should get the smallest room and pay just $750 instead of the $900 he will be paying (according to your roommate's calculations).
posted by saucysault at 7:26 AM on February 19, 2013

From an impartial observer's point of view, the couple should get the master. It makes sense for all of the reasons people have discussed above (the money, 2/bathroom, seniority, etc).

That being said -- why the heck would you sign another lease to live in a house with a dude who you dislike and his girlfriend who has been dismissive of your concerns? Move out. It might cost you more, but your happiness has a value.

If you decide to stay, you need to work on figuring out a way to swallow your resentment of bf -- he'll be paying his way now (which he should have been all along), and the fact that they get the master bedroom is just simple logic.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:53 AM on February 19, 2013

Your roommate is right -- she and rent-paying permanent resident boyfriend should take the master bedroom.

You don't really have any standing or points in your favor to unilaterally decide that you will be taking the master bedroom. All signs point toward it being the best arrangement for everyone if Roommate and Boyfriend have the master bedroom.

You cannot take the master bedroom simply because you dislike Roommate and Boyfriend and don't want them to have it.

Also, frankly, it sounds like you don't like your roommate or her boyfriend. Why don't you just move out? You say the rent is competitive for where you're living, but it sounds kind of expensive unless you live in one of a few very expensive neighborhoods in either New York or San Francisco. If you live in a cute brownstone on a treelined block in the West Village from which you can walk to work, sure, stay, you're getting a great deal. Otherwise you can probably do better for $900 in most US cities.
posted by Sara C. at 8:18 AM on February 19, 2013

I can understand why the history makes giving these people who you don't really like the master bedroom feel quite galling.

But if all four of you were moving in today, you'd all agree that the couple having the master bedroom is really the only scenario that makes a lot of sense.

Don't let the history get the best of you -- do what makes sense.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:41 AM on February 19, 2013

Imagine how the new roommate might feel, moving into a situation where they have to share a bathroom with another couple, while you get a whole bathroom to yourself.

I think this is an excellent point. This new roommate is not going to give a damn about all the conflicts of the past. All he or she is going to see is you being selfish and keeping everything to yourself. You can try explaining how you've been taken advantage of in the past, but that could easily backfire and make you look petty, just because that's how other people's interpersonal conflicts can look to outsiders. Play this right and the new roommate could be your ally. Play it wrong and you'll have three people to have power struggles with instead of just two.

Wait a minute. Are you saying that your roommate and her boyfriend are planning to pay $950 + $500, together? So, $725 each, while you pay $800 and new roommate pays $750?

I'm not that great with numbers, but it really does seem like something fishy is going on. If you need to address some issues of inequality to make this place psychologically healthy for you to live in, then I would focus on this.
posted by MrOlenCanter at 8:56 AM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

So, for the past year and a half, you have been living with people who annoy and disrespect you. Why are you signing up to live with them another year? Move out, find better roommates, yeah it might be more expensive, but its got to be better than living with people you don't like.
posted by florencetnoa at 9:29 AM on February 19, 2013 [4 favorites]

It was unclear to me if the third roommate (not the BF or the SO of the BF) had any feelings on it? I got the impression that they would have to share a bathroom with possibly two people instead of just one.

Assuming that the third roommate doesn't care, I think that you are totally reasonable to say that you want the master and if she isn't willing to discuss, flip a coin for it. I mean, if the BF doesn't work out, would your roommate be able to afford the master bedroom without his part of the rent anyway?

One thing that has consistently driven me nuts with roommates is this assumption that people who are in relationships somehow have greater rights, so I am sympathetic. I've had some similar issues myself. It also wasn't clear to me if you had some disagreements about the fairness of the rent. I highly recommend this rent splitting tool since it is able to take shared vs. non-shared rooms into consideration.

posted by forkisbetter at 10:16 AM on February 19, 2013 [3 favorites]

In my mind, seniority rules. But he should pay as much as any roommate and rent the other room for himself. She pays whatever for the master bedroom, he pays for another room and they can sleep where they wish.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:32 PM on February 19, 2013

Just a datapoint, but i've been in situations like this three times now. once when it was a couple, and twice when it was somoene who had been unofficially living there without paying rent converting to being an actual paying roommate.

basically, number of times i've been in this situation = 3

number of times it's worked out where all parties involved were satisfied = 0

two times the person who was supposed to start paying rent paid maybe a month, and then suddenly disappeared to some new place that mysteriously had cheaper rent(after freeloading for months). the other time the couple refused to pay more than their rooms share rather than per person, which is essentially what you're describing here with your rent actually going up a little bit. i experienced almost exactly this situation.

you said he's been there for 1.5 years. if he isn't paying rent, does he pay rent anywhere else? there's a big difference in my mind between someone who's just a bit too frequent of a guest and overstays their welcome, but actually has their own house elsewhere... and someone who is de facto living there with no where else to go and just not paying rent. i've actually dealt with both.

somehow, i would be much more willing to let someone move in who was doing scenario A than scenario B, because at least they weren't getting a free ride entirely, they were paying bills somewhere. i might even pop out some sympathy if there were extenuating circumstances other than just wanting to be with their S.O. all the time that caused them to spend almost no time at their actual house.

the main thing is though, you will never get over the feeling that they ripped you off for that share of rent, because they did. i get the urging in here to avoid petty score keeping, but i think in times when it's living expenses(especially over that long of a period of time, which i've also experienced) it's not petty to bust it out.

however, the thing to do here isn't to try and use it as some kind of bargaining chip. they will never go with that, that will just cause some kind of drama-fight. i also, honestly, severely doubt you'll get any real traction trying to make them pay a larger share. they're going to use that $500 cost as a sledgehammer, and point out they're already paying 150+ more than anyone else for the master room. this is just a shitty setup all around.

the thing to do is wait til march when new roommate shows up, and leave. start looking at places now. just walk.

i regret everything i've ever done in these types of situations that wasn't that. leave this mess to the new roommate and other roommate. it's not like they'll be destitute and unable to carry the rent, and they also wont have to deal with the $500 increase. sell them on that if they try and guilt you.

seriously, walk. you have the perfect opportunity with the lease expiring. don't make it a discussion. just say that you would rather move. if they try and frame it as some kind of butthurt over not getting that room, don't engage.
posted by emptythought at 1:06 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'd also like to note since i just re-read, and thought about the comparatively low rent of the place you're noting as a reason to stay...

I stayed in a place because of that(in addition to this same kind of tomfoolery going on, it sucked for other reasons) just because the rent was fairly good for the location. i thought i couldn't find anywhere unless i wanted to throw down at least 1/4 of the rent more, if not more than that.

i started looking really hard, and found several places fairly quickly both by talking to friends and networking, and just slamming craigslist multiple times a day.

unless this is truly grandmas old rent controlled apartment, there will be other places out there in your price range. and they'll be free of this crap situation.
posted by emptythought at 1:11 AM on February 20, 2013

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