Unfair splitting of bills causing squabbles in house shares, survey finds

Nearly a third of people claim they have ended up paying more than their fair share of the bills while living with other house or flatmates.

Some 30% of those surveyed have forked out more than they really owe, costing them an extra £339 per year on average, student account Nationwide FlexStudent found.

For more than a fifth (21%), the unequal sharing of bills cost them more than £500 extra a year on average.

Three-quarters (76%) of those surveyed said they had shared bills equally between all house and flatmates, regardless of how much each person had used.

Gas and electricity bills caused the most disagreement for more than one in five (21%), followed by food (12%), rent (8%) and the TV subscription (4%), the survey of more than 2,000 people who have lived in shared accommodation found.

Apart from bills, other common sources of tension between housemates were cleaning, food, items being used without permission, music being played, and boyfriends and girlfriends staying over.

Three in 10 (29%) said they had moved out of a house because of disagreements.

Nationwide has recently invested with property-tech start-up acasa, which uses an app to help people set up, manage and automatically split bills.

Carl Burke, head of product management, current accounts at Nationwide. said: “Clear communication and an equal sharing of bills mean people can enjoy the benefits of living together with their friends.”

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