How Much Should I Charge a Friend Temporarily Staying in My Apartment?

A friends apartment is under investigation for BGE (Baltimore Gas and Electric) which means she has no electricity in her apartment. She has been here for over a month, doing her laundry and eating. She asked, "How much do I owe you?" My question is what is a fair amount?

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By Leslie from Baltimore, MD

November 22, 20100 found this helpful

Is she sleeping at your apartment too? If so, half of the rent would be good.

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November 22, 20100 found this helpful

If all she is doing is doing her laundry and eating (cooking) which also implies she is using your fridge, I would charge her half the electric & water bills for the month. Or, if she is a real good friend and you want to give her a break, tell her your normal electric bill and water bill is (blah) and she just needs to cover the extra amount on each of the bills.

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November 23, 20100 found this helpful

Of course, every situation is different, but I probably would not ask a friend (especially after I'd volunteered to help without an advanced agreement) to pay rent for 4 - 8 weeks. Since she asked "how much do I owe you?" and assuming she will be able to head back home soon, I would only ask her to chip in on her share of the utility bills and the grocery bills and any out of pocket money her stay may have cost you. If she wants to pay more, be gracious and accept and call it a deal.

Why don't you two friends sit down and have a chat? Find out how much longer she might be staying and if it goes into the third month agree that the situation needs to be renegotiated! Then, stick to that plan! Just my honest opinion, but a truly good friend will always agree on what is fair.

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November 23, 20100 found this helpful

You didn't say whether she's actually living with you or just using your laundry and cooking facilities, but in either case if she's your friend and if you're a really good friend, you won't charge her anything, unless it's going to become a long-term arrangement. If the expense was truly a financial hardship for you, then try to estimate what it actually cost you and let her know the amount. Otherwise, just enjoy your friend's company and feel good about being a generous, kind person. Always remember, what goes around comes around, and you might need a good friend someday yourself. :-)

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