Can My Roommates Opt Out Of Paying Utilities?

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There are 3 single roommates and a married couples in our house. We want to split the utilities equally. The married couple feel they count as 1. What is fair?

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

There are not really any laws that will decide this issue for you. You and your roommates are free to determine an arrangement that you all agree is fair. That agreement can then be enforceable against a party who does not follow the agreement. As far as what is “fair,” you will all have to discuss your usage and determine that yourselves. Some utilities, such as water, probably relate very closely to the number of people. On the other hand, something like your heat may depend more on the size of the home than the number of people living there. Your best solution is to look at recent bills or utility rates and determine what is fair based on your usage. Once everyone has agreed to this, you can put the agreement in writing to avoid future confusion.



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Author: House Attorney