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Cohabiting - how do you pay "rent" to your partner when he owns the house?

(83 Posts)
yayforspring Sun 21-Apr-13 23:22:32

Hi all

Im hoping to move in with OH in about 6 months. He has just bought a house and is expecting me to contribute, and I was planning on doing so. I currently pay £540 inc rent and bills in a shared house. His mortgage on a 2 bed place is £1300 a month plus bills (prob £250). Im not sure how I should pay him. I thought initially I would just pay him £540, to keep outgoings the same for me, as its not my property. I wouldnt get a whole room to myself as such although if we were renting together I'd be paying a lot more. I would be technically paying off his mortgage, but if i dont contribute I'd have no say in things and wouldnt feel it was my home. He wants a bit more than £540, i think about £600. I wondered whether I could just pay him £540, and then pay the rest of my half of everything into a savings account for us to use in the future if we stay together (ie for the next house) so that things were really equal. Anyone else in the same situation? what is the normal thing to do?

Heatherbell1978 Mon 14-Apr-14 13:14:13

I was in the opposite situation when my OH moved in 2 years ago (we're now married) as I own the house. He paid me half of everything but it was less than he was paying renting a property on his own so he wasn't too bothered. However a lot of my friends said the normal arrangement would be for him to pay half of all bills and come to a separate agreement re any contribution to the mortgage. So if I were you I'd play it that way. Offer to pay half of all bills and some toward the mortgage so it adds up to what you paid before. The whole 'paying off his mortgage and not being on the deeds' isn't a great argument though because if you rent a flat, you're paying the owners mortgage but not getting a share of that flat or going on the deeds so it's kind of the same thing.

TypicaLibra Fri 04-Apr-14 08:21:12

iolloyd, one reason is that you are sharing a bed with the person sharing the mortgage. So really you don't have your own 'space' in the home like a proper lodger would - they would at least get their own room to do whatever they wanted with.

If the morgage is on a one-bedroomed house / flat the homeowner is taking the piss really expecting their partner to contribute significantly to the mortgage, as there's no way they could get a lodger.

Viviennemary Thu 03-Apr-14 17:09:27

I don't think I'd like to be contributing to a partner's mortgage for any length of time. As others have said you will have no rights and no home if you split up. But maybe as a short term thing it would be OK.

iolloyd Tue 01-Apr-14 17:23:45

Why is it okay to pay off the mortgage of a landlord, but when the landlord is your partner, suddenly it's not? If you were not living together, surely you would have to pay rent or a mortgage elsewhere?

Quantum1971 Sat 22-Mar-14 04:22:29

I've been in a situation before of cohabiting with a boyfriend for over two years who took rent from me to help pay a mortgage in just his name. Even when I lost my job and was unemployed I continued to pay. When we split up I felt terribly jipped for stupidly helping someone pay 12k towards their mortgage when they had not shown any sign of commitment to me. I felt especially bad as I slept on a friends floor in their lounge so that I could save up a deposit on a place to rent in the months after our split.
Now I find myself in a situation where I have been with a partner for 2.5 years and renting together for the past year. My partner however has suddenly decided that he wants to buy right now and that he wants to do this in his name because he earns more, has a deposit. I've been feeling pretty awful since he told me this as I envisage ending up in a situation like before. I don't want to contribute to someone else's mortgage again without something for me. I liked the suggestion that whilst not included in the equity of the house, just splitting bills and money saved on rent to go into a pot that will enable me to come onto the mortgage at a later date together. This seems a pretty fair idea. He's not losing anything by doing that and if is serious about a future with me, should be happy with that. If he can't afford the mortgage without my contribution, then I should be on the deeds to a % what I contribute from start. I would suggest to lady that started this thread as you've not been together long, to propose he gets his tenant in do he does not need you to live with him. Then take it from there. You need to know he wants to be living with you, as apposed needs your rent! That's the mistake I made the first time. I won't again!

Silvia232 Thu 13-Mar-14 04:23:24

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

FioRez Mon 24-Feb-14 16:24:41

Hi, I'm hoping this thread still has some life in it because I want to add some experiences.
I invited my OH to live with me 3 yrs ago. Obviously the extra income was welcome, but it was really having him with me which I really wanted. For the last year I've been talking about us selling the flat and buying a family place together. He has a good job and we could probably get a joint mortgage now. The equity from the flat would have given us a really good deposit which I was totally up for sharing with him, without rule. For whatever reason, our relationship is breaking down every day and although I have kept trying to work at it, things just get worse and I can't see a good future for us. I'm actually relieved that I didn't involve him with the mortgage from the start, because as much as I've wanted it to, relationships don't always work out. The equity on the property is because of my hard work and savings when I brought it (before I met him). I doubt he would ever have bought property on his own, maybe because he's not that way inclined. So I've given him a lovely place to live throughout our relationship, which he would have otherwise paid to an absent landlord. I'm just very sorry that he couldn't be bothered to work through our minor issues to see the way to a real future with complete equality on every front. I think everyone looses here, most of all emotionally.

"I think I'd delay moving in until the two of you are truly ready to go the whole hog, tbh."

I'm keen on people being financially sensible, but honestly the only way you know if this relationship is going to last is to start living together.

If it was me, I would be thinking that I would propose paying £540, same as now, on the understanding that after a year, the two of you will review the situation and consider adding your name to the deeds and the mortgage.

So you are no worse off than now, you can start lining together but you have made it clear that long term you want to be a couple financially, not a bloke with a lodger.

VestaCurry Fri 29-Nov-13 01:31:14

Agree with expat's last comment and augustrain.

Sclark41264 Fri 29-Nov-13 01:14:23

I have recently bought a house and spent a considerable amount renovating it in my own name. Saved the deposit and paid the first year of mortgage payments myself. I have had a girlfriend for 2 years now but I would like to know what rights I have if she was to move in now then move out after a few years of paying 50/50 towards bills but less than 1/3 towards mortgage payments. What rights would she have to my property and money? Cheers

aroomofherown Fri 26-Apr-13 15:14:16

I wonder how much your contribution would decrease if he took on a lodger as well? Or would you still pay £600 and he pay less?

Planetofthedrapes Fri 26-Apr-13 08:22:47

Just a thought...

His mortgage payment, will be mostly made up of interest on the amount borrowed, but some will be capital repayment, or payment into a policy to pay off the capital sum - in other words paying for the house.

So, to be fair yo you, I don't think you should pay towards the capital cost of the house, if you have no stake in it. You should therefore pay less than half his mortgage payment. Additionally I don't think you should pay towards any repairs or refurbishment either, or furniture (unless you can take that away with you if you split up).

mediaword Wed 24-Apr-13 11:53:30

...and I have just read the sensible message from GreenEggsandNichts. You do need to look ahead. Get legal advice, please! Also, have you considered buying a place for yourself for your own financial security? You can let it out which will cover your mortgage (great deals around for first time buyers) whilst you live with your chap. It can be anywhere in the country.

mediaword Wed 24-Apr-13 11:47:02

Hi Yayforspring. See a solicitor who specialises in 'co-habiting, financial and legal'. You get 30mins free advice. You can phone and discuss that way. I have done this with my daughter who is in the same situation. It is too easy to confuse 'lodger' with 'live-in girlfriend'; you are his girlfriend. If you contribute to the mortgage then you are obviously entitled financially if you split. You really MUST discuss with a specialist solicitor/lawyer.

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 24-Apr-13 10:00:40

Seen the update from OP, sounds very sensible.

I realise some people don't see this situation as any different from a normal renting situation, but it is. OP has fewer rights in this situation, and will actually be paying more for the privilege.

Whatever you end up doing, do not pay more than what you're paying now in rented. You need to look ahead (for both yourself, and for this possible relationship). Putting more money into rent (his mortgage) means less money to put aside for a deposit on your own house. Or, a house for the two of you together. Basically, all money you're giving him now won't count towards your part of a property, for yourself or shared.

I'm not saying he should let you live there for free. But you shouldn't be worse off than you are now, just because he's decided to take on more of a mortgage than he'd planned. For the sake of seeing if this is a long-term relationship, I'd say keep things separate for now and let him take on a lodger.

You've said it's still early days etc. in which case, it might be best to put off moving in together until you feel it is not 'early days'.

ivanapoo Wed 24-Apr-13 09:07:51

Er, if you both rented you would walk away with nothing too! Although I would advise not moving in together until you are fairly certain about your future.

ivanapoo Wed 24-Apr-13 09:06:21

When I moved into my now DH's flat he stopped renting out his spare room so I paid what he would have rented it at - which was half the mortgage plus half of all bills.

Fortunately this was quite affordable so we both benefited.

Notmadeofrib Tue 23-Apr-13 20:28:42

this is the sort of situation that BURNS people all the time (usually women unfortunately). You move in, pay rent, live, love, help with the home, make it your home... split up and then get kicked out without a bean. You emotionally invest as time goes on, but you have no rights. The whole thing is built on very poor foundations. If it come tumbling down then you have nothing.
It’s mortgage, his INVESTMENT, let him pay for it. If he wants you to live there DO NOT make it more expensive for yourself. Please please do not think love will find a way because when money is involved, money will trump everything.

I would be tempted to say if you really want to live together equally; rent his place out and rent somewhere together. Do not become his lodger 'with benefits' as TBH this seems to be what is being offered.

<I have seen this many times personally with friends and professionally as an IFA and sorry for shouting and ranting but it makes me so cross>

LillianGish Tue 23-Apr-13 20:19:14

"Having just seen my sister go through hell getting out of a long term relationship with house and joint finances" - however hellish that might have seemed I assume your sister came out of it with some sort of share. How much more hellish to live with this man, break up and find yourself homeless and with no deposit because any money you might have saved has gone into paying his mortgage and doing up his house - exactly what happened to a friend of mine. I think it speaks volumes that he's talking about getting a lodger - that's why he wants you to move in - so you can help pay the mortgage and much nicer for him to have you than some stranger. My advice would be start as you mean to go on - if you are happy to be the lodger then go for it, but don't fool yourself that it's any more than that. If he thinks anything of you he'll see your point of view and put things on a fairer footing if he doesn't and you move in anyway then at least you'll be doing it with your eyes open.

careerbreakMum Tue 23-Apr-13 19:59:29

This is quite a tricky question - to which i have no real answer. However this is what we did.

When I got together with my husband to be, we first got engaged (which obviously has no legal status but showed commitment) and then chose a house together which we then bought together so we are both named on the mortgage. My earning power and savings were a lot less at that point so I paid as much towards the deposit as I could, about a 1/3, and my fiancé paid the rest. My fiancé then paid the mortgage and I paid all the household bills including council tax. We kept separate bank accounts although we do have some joint savings accounts. When we had children we carried on in a similar way although my husband now transfers money into my account as I have minimal cash coming in as a SAHM.

MummytoKatie Tue 23-Apr-13 00:05:49

DB has a 2 bed flat. His gf lived in a house share with people she didn't particularly like.

When she moved in she paid less than she was paying for the house share but more than the cost of the extra council tax / electricity / water etc.

Therefore both she and DB were financially better off and living in a nicer home situation than they were before. (No more meals-for-one for him and no more smelly-bloke for her.)

olgaga Mon 22-Apr-13 23:53:35

Very sensible yay - good luck.

Somethingtothinkabout Mon 22-Apr-13 23:25:28

Just be careful OP that this latest " <gasp> the mortgage is more than I thought!" isn't a way to manipulate you into paying more in rent to him.

I think your idea of keeping your own flat and him getting a lodger for a while is a good idea. Add I agree with you that when it's right, neither of you will be so concerned about how much to the pound you pay him.

If you insist on moving in, definitely pay no more than you are paying now, and save what you can. All renovations are to be paid by him.

I'm a bit dubious that he is quibbling with you over £60 a month, which makes me think he's a bit of a stingy git and his reasons for doing this are all wrong. I mean, £60 per month on a £56k salary is a bit miserly really.

redwellybluewelly Mon 22-Apr-13 22:46:17


If you move in and share a room and foodbills etc then be wary of how having a lodger might impact on that agreement. Its never happened to me but a good friend let a room from another friend. When the home owner friend met her boyfriend and he started staying regularly the bills went up. Lodger friend was a bit hmm at having to 'go halves' when it should have been 'thirds'. And that didn't end well.

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