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to start charging my sister rent?

(381 Posts)
cerealnamechangers Tue 25-Oct-16 10:41:33

My dsis has lived in my mortgage free house for seven years with her adult daughter since we moved to a bigger property, in that time i have never asked for a penny in rent as we were pretty comfortable but she has paid all the bills for the house e.g. council tax. I was intending to keep the house incase any of my dc ever wanted to move in. The market rate for rent would be about 650-700 pounds per calendar month.
However we now have 2 dc at university and money is tight so we could really do with the extra cash to help them out. Dsis is not short of money and her and her daughter drive nice cars and go on multiple long haul foreign holidays, so aibu to ask her for a contribution for living there? I feel awkward asking her as she has never offered.

BadLad Tue 25-Oct-16 10:43:25

I would, but after 7 years of free living it probably won't go down well. The longer you extend a kindness for, the more it will be taken for granted.

19lottie82 Tue 25-Oct-16 10:44:01

Of course she should be paying rent! Why didn't she in the first place?

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Tue 25-Oct-16 10:44:58

Yes, time to ask for rent however you're going to be confronted given you've let her pay nothing for so long. Sit her down with the basics of your finances, but be prepared to ask her to move out if she won't pay up....

Soubriquet Tue 25-Oct-16 10:45:04

What about charging but at a lower market rent?

This is your sister and she has been living there for 7 years. I would rather have someone I trusted renting my house than to have to rent it out to a stranger and potentially have a lot of problems

Sparklesilverglitter Tue 25-Oct-16 10:45:43

She hasn't been living rent free, if she's been paying all the bills for the house.

Do you want her to pay all bills still but pay you 650-700 rent as well? shock

ImperialBlether Tue 25-Oct-16 10:45:53

You must be mad! Who pays for any maintenance to the building? Who pays for painting, decorating, new fixtures and fittings? Does she realise that one day she'll have to leave?

Cherrysoup Tue 25-Oct-16 10:46:17

I would give her the option of paying rent or moving out. Be prepared for a battle if she doesn't want to pay, tho. You may need to make her go.

user1477282676 Tue 25-Oct-16 10:46:46

You've potentially made yourself a rod here OP. She may even try to take legal action.

Jellybean83 Tue 25-Oct-16 10:46:55


It would be a bit rubbish if she didn't take it too well, she's had a good run of living rent free in someone else's house, she should just be greatful for that, it's now time to do the adult thing and pay her way. If she's any kind of a decent person she'll completely understand why you're asking for her to now pay rent.

cerealnamechangers Tue 25-Oct-16 10:47:13

No I wouldn't ask her for full market rent I was just giving you an idea of the value of the house, I was thinking maybe 100 pound a month ish? This would make a difference to us at the moment.

Eatthecake Tue 25-Oct-16 10:47:39

She's paying ALL the bills for the house? So surely that is her "rent". She certainly doesn't live there rent free.

So you want her to pay ALL bills and actual rent? If your going to charge her 650-700 a month then you will need to pay half the house hold bills yourself

HunterHearstHelmsley Tue 25-Oct-16 10:48:16

Sparkle why wouldn't she pay the bills? Your landlord doesn't pay for your gas and electricity.....

ImperialBlether Tue 25-Oct-16 10:49:00

Presumably the OP means gas, electricity, water etc when she said 'bills' - why would the OP pay half of those bills?

cerealnamechangers Tue 25-Oct-16 10:49:21

Imperial, it was a fairly new house when she moved in, we bought it with the profit from a sale of a previous house but realised it wasn't big enough so there hasn't really been many maintenance costs, she has paid for any decorating though.

NerrSnerr Tue 25-Oct-16 10:49:51

Sparkles rent and bills are completely different. Would you move into a private rental and tell them you're no longer paying rent as you pay all the bills?

OP I would tell her what you've said here- you've got 2 children at university and need the income. If she doesn't like it she can move to a private rental.

ImperialBlether Tue 25-Oct-16 10:49:54

I would charge her half what she'd pay elsewhere and if she didn't like it I'd give her notice. You need that money now and she's been spending all hers on treats for herself.

Rent and bills are different things sparkle. If she's only been paying bills them yes she's been living rent free and it wouldn't be unreasonable to ask her to pay some.

Shadowboy Tue 25-Oct-16 10:49:59

How about asking for a nominal £500 a month? That's still below market value but gives you an income. Out of interest who was paying for maintenance of the property?

You've been more than generous not asking for rent for 7 years!!

PumpkinPie71 Tue 25-Oct-16 10:50:16

She pays all bills so doesn't live rent free! Surely the bills are rent?

How much are ALL the monthly bills she pays?

I think if your charging actual " rent" you need to pay half the bills yourself as you would in a house share

WyfOfBathe Tue 25-Oct-16 10:51:08

*She hasn't been living rent free, if she's been paying all the bills for the house.

Do you want her to pay all bills still but pay you 650-700 rent as well?*

Huh? Bills are not the same as rent. I pay rent to my landlord and bills separately to the utility companies.

OP no, YANBU. But after 7 years she might not take it that well. Could you charge her say 50% of market rate (if you can afford that) as having your sister there means that you know that you have someone looking after it, which you can't guarantee with random tenants?

NerrSnerr Tue 25-Oct-16 10:51:27

Sparkles and eat. Since when did a landlord pay half the bills? When you live in rental you have to pay your own council tax, gas, electricity etc. That is not rent!!

cerealnamechangers Tue 25-Oct-16 10:51:43

Bills such as gas, electricity etc. Normal bills that you would pay if you rented from any other landlord!

MrsJayy Tue 25-Oct-16 10:51:49

A relative of mine lives in a flat we own it is mortgage free we just intend to keep it as a pension pot and charge below market rent .

I think because she has lived in it for 7 years you are going to have to be tactful about it so say something like sister things are really tight we might need to sell the house would you rather we kept it and you paid us rent ? See how that goes regardless of their income and fancy holidays you have been really generous to let them live rent free

AmberNectarine Tue 25-Oct-16 10:51:53

I don't think the OP actually lives in the house! It would otherwise be vacant/privately rented were her sister not there.

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