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Real-life MMD: Should I let flatmate subsidise me?

edited 14 August 2012 at 3:49PM in Money Saving Polls
28 replies 6.6K views
Former_MSE_DebsFormer_MSE_Debs Former MSE
890 Posts
edited 14 August 2012 at 3:49PM in Money Saving Polls
Money Moral Dilemma: Should I let flatmate subsidise me?


My flatmate and I want to move, but he can afford £200pcm more than me. He’s offered to pay more for a decent location, but I’m worried that he’ll start expecting me to do more of the household chores as compensation. Should I have faith in his kind offer or risk going our separate ways?
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  • VT82VT82 Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Don't do it.

    As much as your flatmate is feeling generous now, the resentment will only grow over time.
  • I would only do it if there was a reason for you to pay less, e.g. one bedroom was smaller then the other, so you start on an equal footing, otherwise it could be used as a reason to win arguments and disadvantage you if you fall out. Also if you are worried about doing more housework, are you ready to actually share with someone yet? you will have to consider if your friend has more money than you may use more resources e.g wasting electricity etc.., as he's not worried about saving money, be more extravagant with shared items for the flat, especially if you share food. There are a number of things you need to consider and a similar outlook on life, money etc would be a better match.
  • fluffpotfluffpot Forumite
    1.3K Posts
    He obviously wants to do it - perhaps to him having a nice flat mate is worth £200! Make sure he gets the better bedroom though. If it really doesn't work out, then you can part company, but I say give it a go first
  • japmisjapmis Forumite
    452 Posts
    I think in house shares it's quite common for people to pay more for the better room (eg has an ensuite). If you're already in a house share with him, and you know that works for both of you, then I would definitely let him pay the extra share of the rent if he is happy with that. However, do make it at least verbal that the deal is only that he gets the better room/first choice, and not that you become his live-in house maid.

    :money:
  • DaftyDuckDaftyDuck Forumite
    4.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Sounds like a deal to me... and if you are both upfront about it at the outset, why shouldn't you do a bit more housework as a reciprocation? Talk it through, but even if you did a couple of hours a week extra housework, that'd still be, in effect, a pretty fantastic rate of pay.
    Talk it through. It may be that he simply thinks it is worth the extra to have a reliable friend in a house but, even if he gets the better room or does less washing up, it sounds like you too will be getting a reliable flatmate.
  • joehooverjoehoover Forumite
    146 Posts
    100 Posts
    Forumite
    Have you looked at any flats, even online to see the standard of accommodation? Just because it has a better location it won't mean it is any better internally. If the total difference is just £200 from living in London for example, that can mean nothing, you could get worse accommodation.

    If you have seen some options then you will know if there is a difference in bedrooms, eg, an ensuite would expect to pay much more for, as long as you would be happy with the room you have.

    Also look at it another way, again I only speak form London living, I live in a great location and do pay more than friends who live further out, but then you factor in travel costs saved we are on a par and I benefit from my travel time halved too.

    Look at any savings you may make from moving in that sense to enable you to transfer it to rent. Also, what benefit will you gain from the location that is better, do you want to move to that location?

    If the flat didn't get him a better room by paying £200 (ie bigger, ensuite etc) then I'd be ok with a few more agreed chores if the benefits of living there outweighed it, I mean unless you live in a house that Kim and Aggie would be horrified by then doing a bit more cleaning isn't really a bad thing.
  • marichmarich Forumite
    125 Posts
    Yes - go ahead .

    It's his privilege to choose to pay more than you .

    This does not mean you have to be his slave - keep chores evenly loaded .

    He gets a flatmate he knows and obviously must like , you both get a better home - good all round !
  • Hi!
    I think that in order to avoid possible resentment in the future, it would be good for the two of you to agree the terms of this arrangement, to which you could refer in the future if needed.
    I believe if one of you is paying more, he should have some advantage, that is agreed in advance. But that is me, your flat mate could have a different stance.

    If your flat mate insists that he doesn't mind and is happy to pay more than you just because he can afford it - this is also a term, which needs to be worded clear, so there are no unspoken expectations from you.

    You could agree to review it at some point.
  • onesixfiveonesixfive Forumite
    435 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Agree who pays what before you move, on a signed agreement - likewise who is responsible for what duties (if it makes you feel better).
    But as, say, a monthly treat for the extra monies - maybe cooking a nice meal for you both (the extra ingredients shouldnt add up to much), as a sign of appreciation; that way it also gives you time to sit together & review the situation each month.
    You never know - you may in the future get a pay rise, and be able to meet your flatmates extra monies - that way you could have a "treat/emergency fund" which you could share between you periodically if not needed.
  • Don't forget to take into account the other inconveniences of moving - is your new location just a nicer area? Is that at the expense of being further from work therefore increasing your travel costs? Not the main point, but just be sure you're changing location for the right reason, not just because you can, or because your flatmate wants to.

    I personally don't think I could let someone else subsidise me as I would always feel like they held something over me, and I always like to keep money out of friendships.

    Alternatively, is there anything else you can contribute to the flat - eg. is all the furniture yours? That would help justify him paying the larger share.

    Whatever you decide, I would definitely make sure it was clearly worded in an agreement, and he has first dibs on the bedrooms - but you have no obligation to start doing all the housework!
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