This is an extension of my question asked here.

Four roommates are living together. Two are co-tenants, who hold the lease, and the other two sublet from the co-tenants and pay rent and utilities to one of the co-tenants. Subtenant A has an agreement that utilities are included in his rent and do not need to be paid separately. Subtenant B is responsible for utilities as normal.

Does subtenant B pay 1/3 of the utilities, or 1/4?

  • need more details: are you the landlord? if not who is the main tenant and who sublets? Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:36
  • I am main co-tenant, with another co-tenant and a subtenant. I am the one who pays all the bills.
    – Bigbio2002
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:37
  • 2
    I'm not sure there's an objective answer. However, if one tenant has utilities included in his rent, it seems to me that this means they are included in his rent, and the other two tenants should each pay 1/3 of the utilities. Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:50
  • 3
    the tenant with the the free utilities has a contract with which party? Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:51
  • 1
    The free-utility-tenant's lease is with me and my co-tenant.
    – Bigbio2002
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:55

5 Answers 5


In my opinion, subtenant B should pay 1/4 of the utilities.

Each person consumes 1/4 of the utilities. Normally, each person would pay 1/4 of the utilities. However, Subtenant A has an agreement with the two co-tenants that he doesn't have to pay for utilities (it is included in his rent). This means that the co-tenants get the rent, but need to pay for his share of the utilities. Subtenant B was not part of that agreement. He doesn't receive any of the rent money from Subtenant A, so he shouldn't have to pay for any of Subtenant A's portion of the utilities.

Here is how I would divide up the utility bill:

  • Subtenant B pays 1/4.
  • Subtenant A pays 0.
  • Each co-tenant pays 3/8. (1/4 for his own share, plus half of Subtenant A's share)

An alternative to Ben Miller's answer is for you to see if the subtenant A would agree to start paying a share of utilities in exchange for lower rent. Since his contract may not change when a fourth person begins living in the home, he would still be paying the same as when he was the only subtenant. His rent is probably near 1/3 of the total rent plus some amount since his utilities are covered. It would probably be beneficial for him to renegotiate so his rent is 1/4 of rent plus 1/4 of utilities.


Assume that the rent you owe the landlord is $1200 a month and the utilities are $300 a month on average.

Each person is responsible for $400 to the landlord (1200/3) and each person is responsible for $100 in utilities.

You should have factored into the subs rent the 1/3 of the estimated Utilities. If you didn't do that, then each of the main tenants will have to pay $400 rent and $150 in utilities.

Or you can think of it this way:

  • Main tenant #1 Rent $450 Utilities $100
  • Main tenant #2 Rent $450 Utilities $100
  • Sub Tenant Rent $300 Utilities $100

The risk to your finances is that the sub tenant has no incentive to conserve.

  • I think you misread the question. The numbers in your answer look like they are from the previously linked question, and not the current one
    – Bishop
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 21:10
  • 1
    They imported the answers from the original question. Which was the strange way to do it. Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 21:29

Here is another possibility. Let the co-tenant who receives payments from subtenants be C and the other co-tenant be D.

D is responsible for 1/4 of the utilities. Subtenant B is also responsible for 1/4 of the utilities. As far as utilities, co-tenant C is responsible for himself and Subtenant A and should pay 1/2 of the utilities. His agreement with A should have been made with this in mind and he should have the funds to do it since he receives payments from A.


Why would the agreement with subtenant A affect subtenant B? Of course each pays 1/4, and since A pays it as part of the rent - the tenants who sub-leased will pay 3/4 (together, i.e: 3/8 each) and B will pay 1/4.

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