Roommate Wanted...follow up

Earlier today I wrote about our options when it comes to looking for a roommate and asked for a bit of help. Thanks to those folks that replied to the post, and to those that comment via twitter:

  1. eemusingseemusings 
    @jessiesmoney personally? flat rate, assuming its realistic and reasonable. if i was the head tenant, rather split bills
  2. Krystalkrystalatwork  
    @jessiesmoney well. if I'm the renter, I would like flat rates. But if you are charging others, I'd go for separate.
  3. Jenn @ Paying Myselfpayingmyself 
    @jessiesmoney - definitely flat rate that includes utilities.
  4. Krystalkrystalatwork  
    @jessiesmoney definitely a flat rate. Makes it easier to budget monthly expenses

  1. Frugal Dreamer FrugalDreamer 
    @jessiesmoney Flat rate that includes utilities.
  2. David Coulsondcoulson 
    @jessiesmoney Separate utilities is the way to go - Protects you against unexpected usage if they are paying a percentage.

So far, it seems that most people think that a renter would prefer a flat rate.

I thought I should also look at our joint account and make sure we can get through the next month or so if we don't find a roommate.

I'm still waiting on the shaw (internet/phone) bill for January's usage, so I've just guessed what that will be (and therefore how much utility money we'll get from brad) - but it's accurate within a couple of dollars.

Overall, we're okay for February, however; I carried the numbers through to the end of March (this assumes we can't find a roommate - just in case) and I added an 'end of day' line as well.  If rent for March goes through on the first of the month (rare, but sometimes the landlord is on her A-game) it will bounce.

To cover our butts, I'll transfer $150 from our joint house fund into the joint chequing account which will give us enough breathing room until April 1st.  If we still haven't found someone by the middle of March, we will stop contributing to the house fund and re-direct those funds to the joint chequing account.  We are fairly confident that we'll find another roommate as although people haven't stayed, we've been able to find a roommate each time before.


  1. Other than Facebook where do you look for roommates? I live in Calgary and rent the second room in my condo. I've always used RentFaster.ca and have had no problems. If getting the utilities paid by the roommate is an issue I would try billing them for the portion of the previous month. That way they know what the bills were and you aren't waiting with this over their heads when they do move out. I hope thats clear.

  2. @ Amanda - Other then facebook, I have also used kijiji.ca... made posters and put them up at the university's as well. Maybe i'll give rentfaster.ca a try.

    Getting the utilities paid is only hard when the roommmate moves out... b/c we don't get the bills until the fifth

  3. You could also bill for worst case scenario utilities - say to the tenant, you could pay x and get your DD back now, or wait until I get the bills, which means waiting for your DD.

  4. Do you guys really need satellite tv and a landline? I know I don't have them currently and wouldn't really want to pay a third if I wasn't going to use them.
    Could you try cutting them out, or at least offering to let the renter opt out of those if they don't use them?
    It seems like you are paying a lot each month, which is fine if you make use of them, but it would definitely turn me off as a renter.

  5. @ Anon - thanks for the comment!

    We are bound by a contract w/ the satellite TV until mid-summer(July/August I think). When the contract comes up, we'll explore cheaper TV. If we cancelled now - it would cost too much in early cancellation fees. Unfortunately, we signed up for the TV package when 5 people were living in the house and paying for it - now there's three...it makes a huge difference.

    the land line - i want b/c of the super cheap long distance rate... but it's a good idea to perhaps let the roommate 'opt out' of that bill - thanks for the idea!!


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