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Should my boyfriend pay something if he moves into my house?

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Question - (4 September 2012) 20 Answers - (Newest, 29 March 2013)
A female age 30-35, anonymous writes:

My bf and i will soon be moving in together - he will be moving into my house. We have already agreed on that we will split the utilities bills and food. However he doesnt think he should pay anything weekly. Obviously i am not looking to make any type of profit by him moving in but the bills wont be that much and he would basically be living for free apart from food. I will be paying mortgage/rates and dont expect him to help with this.

However, Should he pay something?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (29 March 2013):

In my opinion, it might be better if you and your boyfriend discuss and come up with an agreement with paying you not only for utility bills and grocery but also rent.

This will help you financially and you should not feel that you are making a profit out of him.

Consider him as your roommate. In addition, you don't have to charge him that much for rent. But it will give him an idea that he could not take advantage of you.

I am saying this because this happen to my sister and since her boyfriend move in with her, he did not pay for any rent at all. It actually make the relationship very straining and he never once offer to help out financially. I will say that I am not very pleased with my sister for allowing that to happen.

I thought that he will be able to find a job or at least go back to school.

Unfortunately, he did not look for a job and he also quit school. What I am trying to say don't let someone take advantage of you. You seem a very smart woman and if he really love you, he will help you out financially. It also seem you are a very generous person. But don't allow him to become a free loader.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 September 2012):


Only 1 month ago my fiance moved out at my request because it became a matter of him taking advantage of the fact that he didn't have to pay anything with the exception of half utilities and grocery bills.

It was a condition when he moved in that he wouldn't be paying for the mortgage on my house nor the rates or insurance. For the most part, people who lived in another's house without having to pay for shelter would probably help out if push came to shove. You would think that if a little thing such as a fly screen needed replacing, it wouldn't be too hard for him to at least head out and get some, just a couple of dollars right? If you do go ahead with the plan for him not to pay you for shelter, please really consider him paying more of a % if not 100% of certain bills you feel he would contribute to the most. Don't let him tell you that he is helping you out with the costs of that bill because remember, the bill wouldn't likely be that high if he wasn't there.

For the fact that you have asked this question, either raises doubt within your own mind about possibly trusting him or you've known someone burnt by this situation before. Check the law within the state you live in with regards to the length of time that classifies when he becomes your defacto as it can vary significantly, but if you wan't to cover your backside should the unforeseen happen, it is best to not have him financially contribute to your house. He cannot claim any ownership on it this way. For sure, have him contribute to what he uses + small maintenance concerns and get him to pay for ALL costs involved in any damage he causes. If he kicks a ball that goes into a window, get him to pay for the costs of the glazier and the call out fee if applicable. Just make him aware of these types of things and maybe if you head out for dinner, turn back the clock and have him pay. It may be old fashioned but never forget, he is living in your house... that's the difference.

I wish you the best of luck with your decision.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (4 September 2012):

He needs to contribute more. Either he pays 'rent' to you, or he pays all the utilities and groceries and cost of house repairs. otherwise he's just free-loading off of you. being in a relationship with someone doesn't mean you can free-load off of them and if he thinks it does then he's got a wrong idea of what it means to be in a relationship

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A female reader, Lucky786 United Kingdom +, writes (4 September 2012):

Lucky786 agony auntBefore you do anything like asking him to pay rent etc, I'd get some legal advice first. You need to make sure that if you both split up, he doesn't have a share in your house even though it is in your name.

Once you know the legal ins and outs you can decide what you want to do.

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A female reader, Daisy_Daisy United Kingdom +, writes (4 September 2012):

Daisy_Daisy agony auntYes he should contribute. Your mortgage payments are not simply paying off the capital, as you know. You are also paying a fair whack of interest to the bank for what you borrowed to 'buy' the home. Your expenses also include insurance (not just household insurance but income protection insurance) and you may also have to pay grounds rent and service charges. You also need a rainy day fund incase the roof starts to leak ... there are so many responsibilities home owners have that you don't realise while you're renting (at least, that's what I found).

Perhaps your boyfriend thinks that by contributing to the payments he would be paying off your mortgage for you. That's only partially true (a small part, at that!). You should check to see how much your interest repayments are as a percentage of what you pay each month, and explain how it works. Borrowing money to buy a house is expensive and if he's going to enjoy the house he should pay towards it.

I don't think he should move in until you two are in agreement, and I definitely think you should both sign a contract. Once you get it sorted out (minor headache in thr scheme of things) you can live together being happy with the financial arrangement. I worry that if you go ahead and live together without resolving this, it will become a bone of contention that may get worse and worse.

Good luck.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (4 September 2012):

I completely disagree with a person who said , it's your house why should he pay for it.

I came from an old country where men were and are the main providers. If it was reverse situation, I would consider the possibility of a guy offering his roof to his girlfriend, considering that ussualy a woman takes care of a household, like cooking, cleaning. At least most of it. I said, usually, it's not always the case, but in most even modern families that what I observe.

And you should expect him to contribute to household, and not only utilities and food. He is getting free shelter, that accounts to way too much for him not pay anything to you, even if it's your house. He knows very well that renting an apartment takes a big chunk out of salary, and he knows very well how much he is going to save just for moving in with you.

The least he could do is offer you to cover utilities and food, but not to split it with you. That al least would come a little closer to him renting his own place.

We spend around $350/ a months for 2 of us, and we eat lots of organic food. We don't eat meat, but to replace meat with veggies it's not that cheap of a version. For our 2000 sq.feet we spend about 150$ for air, 45$ for water. , so that's another 200$. So if he paid that, it would come to only $550/ a month. Where he cN possibly rent a decent rent for this kind of money.

And to think that you are even splitting that!!

I completely agree with Cerebrus, he wouldmpay rent somewhere else, he should in fact offer to pay part for his shelter instead of arguing with you about it. This whole situation has a bad smell to it, excuse me for saying that.

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A female reader, Abella United States +, writes (4 September 2012):

Abella agony auntIf a person purchases a property they have all manner of property taxes etc to pay every year on the property. They also have maintenance and wear and tear.

If they choose to then rent out part of the property (which they own) they then charge RENT for the part they don't get to live in as they allow another person to live in the property.

As the landlord they still have to pay for water, property taxes etc. The property remains their property.

The tenants are happy to pay rent to live there are they could not afford to buy the property.

The Capital the person who owns the property has the return an income (opportunity cost) for the owner of the property. If the owner were to live alone in the property they own they they would get the pleasure (opportunity cost) of exclusive occupancy.

But no one would surely suggest that a landlord should call the rent equity in the property? So that the landlord had all the responsibility for putting up the Capital to buy the property and maintain the property and insure the property and pay the outgoings for the property AND THEN TRANSFER HALF THE VALUE OF THE PROPERTY TO THE TENANT?

That is not how real life operates.

Protect your interests and your investment. The property is yours. Keep it in your SOLE name. You put up the capital to purchase it. You are responsible for it. You pay the insureance and the outgoings on the property. If it needs maintenance you pay for it.

Of course he should pay rent every single week. And the property reains yours. in your name

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A female reader, blonde30s United Kingdom +, writes (4 September 2012):

blonde30s agony auntits your house so why should he have to pay for it. if he is living there then yes he should be helping to pay the bills and go half each and buy his own food but thats it. maybe you could ask him if he would like his name down on the house as well and if yes then he pay half and it will be his place as well otherwise no you should pay it.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (4 September 2012):

I don't know which country you live in, but in some places having two people living in a house will put up the rates. I know that I get a 25% discount for being a single occupier. If that's the case where you live, I'd expect him to pay his half.

As far as the mortgage is concerned I think he should contribute, but you'll need to check if that gives him a stake in the property as he is in effect helping to pay for it. It's not the same as spliting the rent, he'd be helping you to repay a debt. Get some local advice as to where you would stand. It may be as simple as calling it rent or housekeeping, but do your homework

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (4 September 2012):

Honeypie agony auntWhatever you decide make SURE you and your BF got it straight and preferably on paper.

Figure out the cost of living (and I can't see why he shouldn't help with the mortgage/rent either) Split the other bills. You two can keep your phones/cars/insurance on cars separate, but I would share all other costs.

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States +, writes (4 September 2012):

So_Very_Confused agony auntwhy would you expect him to live rent free?

if you are close enough to live together you are close enough to sit down and figure out ALL your expenses and then write a budget to cover every thing based on BOTH salaries.

that's living expenses







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A female reader, Abella United States +, writes (4 September 2012):

Abella agony auntAnd please consider getting the financial arrangements put into writing and sign off on them, so that there is no doubt whatsover about what you are providing (a roof over his head) and what he is paying for the privelege (his contribution towards the benefit he will be enjoying - a roof over his head)

Love does not stop financial disagreements from flaring.

And he already has attitude as far thinking that he does not have to contribute. At least he is telling you his real feelings - about not wanting to contribute - even though his position is unreasonable.

Never let a person use you financially.

ChiGirl – a really great Aunt on has written a really useful article on being used financially. Another name for it is = Sexually Acquired Debt (SAD)

The article by ChiGirl is below:

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A female reader, Abella United States +, writes (4 September 2012):

Abella agony auntHi

You are not a charity. If he was not living with you he would be paying rent. You have to service the mortgage that will allow him to live in the premises.

he will be enjoying the benefits of the roof over his head.

And his presence means that you are giving up exclusive use of your property.

Therefore he should compensate you for that sacrifice that you have made.

And he should pay you as you are proving him with a place to live.

Of course he should contribute to the mortgage.

When someone gets it for free they do not value that which is so freely given.

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A female reader, Ciar Canada + , writes (4 September 2012):

Ciar agony auntUm...EXSQUEEZE me? You don't expect him to contribute anything to the mortgage? So he tosses you a few coins for utilities and food, which according to you isn't very much anyway, and that's it?

He doesn't think he should have to pay anything weekly toward the house itself, the very roof over his head? Well isn't that just grand of him. What is he? A teenager who thinks he still lives with his mother?

He absolutely DOES owe you something toward mortgage. Consider what his overhead is now (I mean everything) then tally up yours. If he moves in under those terms he becomes your dependent (not legally but financially).

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A male reader, SensitiveBloke United Kingdom +, writes (4 September 2012):

SensitiveBloke agony auntHe should be offering money towards the mortgage and rates if he's living there. Why should you pay for everything? His attitude is all wrong.

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A female reader, person12345 United States +, writes (4 September 2012):

person12345 agony aunt"I will be paying mortgage/rates and dont expect him to help with this."

Why not? Unless he's keeping his other apartment/house why should he not have to pay an equal share? Just because it's your house he's moving into doesn't mean he doesn't have to help pay for it! It's going to be his house too now. My share of the half the bills in my apartment with my boyfriend is such a minuscule amount of money compared to rent.

Your boyfriend is being a freeloader. He should be paying half of the housing costs, half the utilities, and half the food. Why should he get to live for free? If you were getting a new house, you'd have to pay a mortgage on it and have to split that, so why is this different? You shouldn't let him move in if he won't help pay. Why should he get to live for free? Why should you have to support him?

My boyfriend and I have a system for working out a fair proportion so that whoever makes more pays more. We each pay the same percentage of our salary into a joint account and then use that joint account to pay for everything we jointly use. Like rent, utilities, food, eating out, etc... Works very well.

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A female reader, Battista United Kingdom +, writes (4 September 2012):

If you don't want him to pay the mortgage or rates then I don't know what else you do want him to pay for other than what you've already mentioned.

One solution could be to split things a different way:

How about you split food and council tax, but then you could pay the mortgage, and he could cover the bills and utilities? That seems like a more equal partnership to me.

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A female reader, oldbag United Kingdom +, writes (4 September 2012):

oldbag agony auntHi

Instead of him paying half the utilities and food (which is fair)why not agree on a monthly payment that reflects the cost of everything averaged out,including just part of the mortgage?

You shouldn't have told him it was rent free, you have to maintain the property too,repairs etc that come up.

You need to re-think this so your a 'couple' living together and he's not just some lodger.If he's not up for an adult arrangement then he's just maybe using your place as cheap digs.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (4 September 2012):

I agree w cerberus. Split everything and call it rent. Get it in writing and both of your signatures and give him a copy. Seriously, at 19 i was cheated by my bf. He was supposed to pay half of rent and i came up w my half even though i was unemployed at the time, he was working and did not. I had to struggle with food and utilities and usually did without. Get it in ink. Hope that helps.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (4 September 2012):

Well if you don't want him to help with the mortgage then what else is there to pay?

When me and my girlfriend first moved in together we paid half of everything, rent, food etc. and now we have a house together and she pays a little extra because it's a house she chose that was out of my price range but she wanted it as it reflects the standard of life she wants, so she pays a bit extra on it because she earns a hell of a lot more than me.

OP in your situation I would pay half of everything, including the mortgage only really dependent on whether I could afford to or not. Mortgage is basically just rent that you get back if you sell up, I see no difference in it and rent. I mean he;d paying rent and not getting that back anyway if he was living his own place, what's the difference?

I would say he has to pay either rent or help with mortgage and if he doesn't like the idea of paying your mortgage with you then just call it rent.

Bills and utilities don't work out as that much OP he has to pay board too. It's not fair that he live in a house scott free and pay nothing to towards living there that would make him a free loader that gets half his bills and food paid for and has not other costs at all.

Charge him rent in the very least. You're either partners or he's a free loader.

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