Splitting bills with Lodger/housemate, can I have some advice?
Hi, I'm here for some advice to settle something between me and my housemate. I own my house, 3 bedroom terraced house in Bristol. I live with a very old friend, and we have a very harmonious living situation for the most part. But he has raised something about energy bills, and neither of us know what's right or not!
So it's just the two of us here, I use the small box room for a studio/office. Often I go away for work and study, sometimes for a week, sometimes for a month, a few times a year. So he has the place to himself.
We came up with an agreement that if either of us are away for a week or more in a month, then the energy bills get split accordingly, e.g If I'm away for 2 weeks, I only pay half of the remaining two weeks cost. (council tax, internet etc. obviously still get split 50/50).
All the lighting is LED, and as far as I know the only thing using electricity when we both aren't here is the fridge. Then gas is only used for heating or hot water, so we pay for what we use.
He is now saying he thinks it's unfair, because I can decide to go away and suddenly he has to pay more of the bills, and has no choice in it. But my argument is that he only pays for what he uses, (and we turn off the heating in rooms that aren't in use). When I'm away I'm often paying for rent and bills elsewhere, and don't feel I should pay for his baths, and heating.
I understand this is never going to be completely accurate or fair, and I'll often round down the time I'm away in his favour. His rent is very reasonable compared to most places, and we have a big place for just the two of us, where as often these houses have 3 or 4 people or more in them. So it's a good living situation, cheap rent and we are both happy.
What do you think? Does this setup seem fair, if not why. If we both left the house for a month, would the gas bill be zero? And what about electricity, if it's just the fridge and everything else is off.
Thanks if you made it this far, I realise this is very boring! But we can't solve it
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