Partner moving in with me - how to work it financially

I would be interested to hear your views on how to split bills when a person moves into their partner's home. I will be asking my partner to move in with me in the next few months. I live with my 2 children now. He will hopefully join us early next year.

What would you think would be usual in terms of what he should contribute towards financially?

My bills are as follows, totalling £1381 per month:

Mortgage £775
Gas & Elec £140 
Council Tax £160
Water £58
Home Insurance £9
Internet £25
Netflix £11
Car Insurance £20
Car tax £16
My phone £6
Son's phone £8
Life Assurance £13

I wouldn't expect him to contribute towards the bottom 5 at all but what would be reasonable about the top few. Is there a danger in him technically contributing towards my mortgage when he's not named on it? Is there anything I should be mindful of?

His current situation is that he travels a lot for work, and spends only 2-3 nights a week at home. He doesn't rent his own place because of this, but pays his parents a rent payment of I believe £400 a month, plus he buys his food on top.

I'd be interested to hear people's views.

Thanks in advance
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Comments

  • jlfrs01
    jlfrs01 Posts: 279
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    If it were I, unless you were going to add me to the mortgage and therefore give me an interest in the property, I wouldn't think it fair to expect a contribution to the mortgage. Likewise, I wouldn't expect to pay towards "personal" payments such as mobiles phones and so on, just the things which I would use or need such as Council Tax, utilities, insurance (which would cover my belongings so I think legit), broadband and netflix. I think a 50:50 split on those is fair.

  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,294
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    If he is specifically paying towards the mortgage and/or home improvements and he could be acquiring a beneficial interest in your property. And although he is saving on rent it would seem unfair if he’s paying for a house where the equity will increase and he will get no benefit from it.
    I think you need to stick to the other bills, food, leisure activities et cetera side of things.

    And of course, asking him what he thinks is fair. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • When I moved in with my partner into the flat he owned we agreed on a fair amount of "board" I would pay. This covered bills, council tax and helped a little towards the mortgage. I did not expect to be named on the mortgage. The amount I was paying was way, way lower than I would have been able to rent anywhere alone and I put the saved money into a Help to Buy ISA. The idea was that eventually we would put that money towards a house we would buy together (which is what happened), or, if we had split up - I would have built up a decent amount of savings to put towards a place of my own, and he would have reduced his mortgage a little bit more than otherwise. Both of us felt happy with that arrangement (I did have a few friends tell me I was "making myself vulnerable" by not insisting on being added to the mortgage, but I can't really see why it made me any more "vulnerable" than I would have been renting a room in a shared house, which is what I'd have been doing otherwise).

    This is just one idea though. Every couple is different.  It doesn't really matter what you do as long as:
    a) you both feel it's fair
    b)you've checked on any potential legal and financial consequences of what you choose to do and are both happy with them

  • Exodi
    Exodi Posts: 2,788
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    edited 2 November 2023 at 2:05PM
    This situation comes up time and time again. I think the first thing to say is that there is no right or wrong answer, it depends on what you both agree.

    However, in my personal view, it is not fair to charge him part of the mortgage. Your mortgage payment does not change because he moved in, and you are also the sole beneficiary of any equity. Even if you ignore morality, legally there have been cases where ex-inhabitant have successfully argued that they believed that contributing to the mortgage gave them a beneficial interest in the property (proprietary estoppel) - so generally it's safer for someone wanting to preserve their property to ensure any inhabitant are not contributing in any way towards the property (e.g. mortgage, renovations, repairs, etc).

    This can breed a different thought of unfairness - where the inhabitant was previously paying £XXX in rent, but is now paying nothing. It can feel like they're getting a very good deal. Likewise if one person is paying the mortgage + bills, whereas the other is only paying bills, one person will be significantly better off. In this case I'd recommend that the money they are saving is put into a savings account to buy an interest in the property down the line. Otherwise one person will forever feel insecure about their housing situation.

    Communication is key with this. It's not uncommon for the person paying £0 in housing costs to offer to pay for all the food as a gesture of goodwill.

    Also on the note of bills, I'm not a big believer of 50:50 once the relationship is developed (early on it's fine). If one person earns £1000 and one person earns £3000, and the bills are £2000, I don't think it's reasonable in a relationship to leave the first person with nothing and the second with £2000 by splitting the bills. In most of my previous relationships, we ended up in a system where we split bills according to income (e.g. in the earlier example, the first person would pay £500 and the other person would pay £1500 - 3x more as they earn 3x more). A lot of older couples just throw their money together and don't worry about his and hers.

    But everyone is different, and I certainly wouldn't insist a particular method on them if they are unhappy with it. Reach an agreement that works for you both, talk about it.
    Know what you don't
  • DigSunPap
    DigSunPap Posts: 375
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    Perhaps best to have a discussion together about what each of you can afford to share? And maybe getting a joint account where you both agree to put a certain amount into each month. Just an idea.
  • jlfrs01 said:
    If it were I, unless you were going to add me to the mortgage and therefore give me an interest in the property, I wouldn't think it fair to expect a contribution to the mortgage. Likewise, I wouldn't expect to pay towards "personal" payments such as mobiles phones and so on, just the things which I would use or need such as Council Tax, utilities, insurance (which would cover my belongings so I think legit), broadband and netflix. I think a 50:50 split on those is fair.

    However, you would need to rent your own place so to say "I'm not contributing to the mortgage" is not right.  IN my view, you should contribute some to the mortgage i.e. rent, half the council tax and bills etc.  Personal expenses are your own.

  • However, you would need to rent your own place so to say "I'm not contributing to the mortgage" is not right.  IN my view, you should contribute some to the mortgage i.e. rent, half the council tax and bills etc.  Personal expenses are your own.

    Thank you everyone for your comments. I was quite surprised to see some people say he shouldn't contribute at all to the mortgage. His alternative would be renting so he wouldn't be gaining any beneficial interest doing that either, and it would seem strange to me that he should live here for free. The above comment is more in line with what I was thinking.

    In terms of food, he eats A LOT, so food is going to have be an entirely separate issue. I am fairly minimal and simple in my eating, but thats not going to suit him at all.
  • maman
    maman Posts: 28,397
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    Although it may sound strange when you're in a relationship, I think you need to treat the financial side of things almost as if he was a lodger.  This might change in the longer term if you decide to marry and perhaps want to own the property jointly or buy another together. 

    Posters have tried to explain that if you say to him up front that you want a contribution to the mortgage as well as other bills then he's effectively buying into a share of the house. 

    You need to make it clear that his contribution is for rent (using the facilities but not owning them) then other bills on top. 

    I think the food costs are a bit of a red herring because you're feeding your two children as well as yourself. Maybe do a few shops together and see what the difference is compared to what you spend now. You need to consider this as well when working out his share of some other bills. 


  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,637
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    But he would not be paying you 'rent'. If he was, the rent money would be taxable  and he would not contribute to any repairs etc. 

    What he pays his parents is and agreement between them and him. Perhaps he sees it as a way to help them out with their expenses.

    If he pays towards the mortgage  and the relationship breaks down in the future  he would be entitled to some equity from the value of the house.

    If you want him to pay towards the mortgage then get a joint mortgage.  if you don't want to do that ask yourself why he should pay for some of it.

    it is not all down to what you want, you need to discuss with him what you both agree. If you are considering moving in together then you should have a close enough relationship to discuss that.

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