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I’m flat hunting at the moment. This is possibly one of the most infuriating tasks to undertake, especially if you’re doing it in London, where the property market moves so fast that you can hear of a property coming onto the market in the morning, make an appointment to see it in the afternoon, and get a call at lunchtime to say that it’s been taken already.

But I have good news! My flatmate and I found a great place in Wapping, we’ve made an offer on it and we’re just waiting to see if that goes through. In the process, an interesting little puzzle came to light that I thought I’d share with you.

Like most two bedroom flats, the apartment we’ve seen has a master bedroom and a second bedroom. The master bedroom is better in every way — it has an ensuite bathroom, it’s about 50% larger, it looks cooler and it has a TV built into the wall. Obviously, both of us would prefer to have that room over the smaller room.

The question is, what’s the fairest way to decide which of us gets that room? We’re willing to split the rent up differently, but how should we decide on an appropriate split that leaves us both happy now and, more importantly, will leave us both happy for the foreseeable future?

Both me and my flatmate are ex-mathematicians, and thus are willing to put up with almost any amount of complicated wrangling if it means that we get to the right answer – so feel free to make it as involved as you like.


About me

Proto-hacker, ex-mathematician and aspiring flaneur. Now living in London and making my living from algorithmic trading.