Blake’s Advice Column
I recently moved into a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment with my good friend from college. My room appears to be slightly larger. I also have a slightly bigger bathroom attached to my room. Her bathroom is smaller and down the hall. Amid the stress of moving, I impulsively agreed to pay $100 more for my room. I know I should have measured the footage to calculate what would be fair. We are two months into living together and, overall, things are going well. It has finally hit me that I’m paying $200 more in rent. (She pays $760, and I pay $960.) It just seems like a huge difference when I don’t feel like our situations are that different. Would it be rude to ask her to reconsider the difference in how much we pay? This time around, I’d definitely want to take measurements so there’s no guesswork. However, I value our relationship as friends and roommates, so I’m hesitant to go back on our original agreement.
From Austin, Texas
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You should’ve did all of the measuring and negotiating before you moved in. But now you are reduced to doing something underhanded to offset the additional cost… and I’ll be happy to help you. So, here are some ideas. Try to eat about $3.00 worth of her groceries every day. Even though at the end of the month it comes out to be about $90, the additional $10 is what you’ll save by not using gas to go shop for food. Or you can sue her in small claims court, arguing that she knew how stupid you are, and she exploited it. If she’s really book smart, copy her homework and sell it to other students. This is not the same as your parents bribing your way in school, besides for college students, cheating prepares them for the real world. But if you simply want out of the lease, try to get her to encourage you to leave, and this is how you should do it. Constantly tell her you are strapped for cash, and you heard of people making tons of money by organ harvesting. And then constantly ask her in a creepy voice, if she’s healthy, does she lock her bedroom at night, and what’s her blood type. I hope this helps.