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Boyfriend moving in - how to discuss practicalities

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
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krlyrkrlyr Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
I'm looking to ask my boyfriend to move in with me, to the property I own (mortgaged). I know this subject has come up a few times and think I'm pretty much set on the way to deal with finances to be fair but protect myself (half of bills, half or perhaps slightly more of groceries since he'll eat more than me, the rest to go into a savings account for a future property) but just wondering how those that have had the conversation have approached it?

He's already mentioned paying me rent, splitting chores, etc. so he's certainly not expecting a free ride, and we've discussed marriage/kids at some point in the next couple of years so there needs to be some element of trust, but I have a fair bit of equity in the property and having been through the breakdown of a long-term relationship and the resulting asset split, I'm definitely wanting to be sensible about it.

He's very pragmatic and we talk loads so I'm not overly concerned, but the overthinker in me realises how unromantic it is to ask someone to move in but then start talking about protecting my assets from him in case we split up! Just wondering how others approached it, ways they may have done it differently, issues their OH raised during the discussion etc.
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  • DUTRDUTR Forumite
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    You are right to be wanting to protect your assets if things don't work out.
    Remember it is you who is asking him to move in, perhaps continue as you are and look to get a joint place if the wedding materialises.
  • krlyrkrlyr Forumite
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    DUTR wrote: »
    You are right to be wanting to protect your assets if things don't work out.
    Remember it is you who is asking him to move in, perhaps continue as you are and look to get a joint place if the wedding materialises.

    Wedding is a little way off, buying a house together would likely come first, so knowing for sure we can live together is important to me.

    I'm more just wondering how people have broached the subject and dealt with any issues the discussion has raised. Not anticipating any protests but I'm looking at it from my POV and there might something I've missed :)
  • tacpot12tacpot12 Forumite
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    My partner and I manage our finances via a shared budget. We started by listing all the bills we have and then discussed how we were going to pay them jointly. We have split the bills so that I pay some, she pays the rest and where this produces an imbalance, one pays the other via a monthly standing order so that we are both contributing the same to running the house we live in. But paying a fixed monthly amount into a joint 'bills' account would also work. We review the amount when any bill changes, e.g. when energy bill DD amounts change You need to decide how annual expenses like house insurance will be handled; options include:
    - a separate joint account annual expenses (and emergencies?), with both of you paying the same amount to it,
    - both having a separate savings accounts that you individually use for annual expenses so that when the expense is due you both can pay the same amount into the bills account and you pay the annual bill from there (we do it this way for reasons I would prefer to keep private)
    - both pay into the joint bills account enough over the year so that when a bill becomes due the bills account has enough in it to cover the bill.

    We also keep a spreadsheet of costs that we have incurred on each other's behalf, something that occurs quite frequently in our relationship. One example is fuel for our shared car. Whenever either of us buys fuel, we record the cost on the spreadsheet, and 'charge' the other person for half the cost. At the end of each month, we settle up. The spreadsheet tells us how much one person owes the other and we do a bank transfer of that amount. It works well for us, but we are both divorced and so somewhat uptight about money.
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • StokeStoke Forumite
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    I don't think there's any harm in asking for rent (especially if he's offering) and I don't believe this gives him any specific right to equity in the house? Not as far as I'm aware anyway.
  • krlyrkrlyr Forumite
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    tacpot12 wrote: »
    My partner and I manage our finances via a shared budget. We started by listing all the bills we have and then discussed how we were going to pay them jointly. We have split the bills so that I pay some, she pays the rest and where this produces an imbalance, one pays the other via a monthly standing order so that we are both contributing the same to running the house we live in. But paying a fixed monthly amount into a joint 'bills' account would also work. We review the amount when any bill changes, e.g. when energy bill DD amounts change You need to decide how annual expenses like house insurance will be handled; options include:
    - a separate joint account annual expenses (and emergencies?), with both of you paying the same amount to it,
    - both having a separate savings accounts that you individually use for annual expenses so that when the expense is due you both can pay the same amount into the bills account and you pay the annual bill from there (we do it this way for reasons I would prefer to keep private)
    - both pay into the joint bills account enough over the year so that when a bill becomes due the bills account has enough in it to cover the bill.

    We also keep a spreadsheet of costs that we have incurred on each other's behalf, something that occurs quite frequently in our relationship. One example is fuel for our shared car. Whenever either of us buys fuel, we record the cost on the spreadsheet, and 'charge' the other person for half the cost. At the end of each month, we settle up. The spreadsheet tells us how much one person owes the other and we do a bank transfer of that amount. It works well for us, but we are both divorced and so somewhat uptight about money.

    Thanks, I think we'd lean towards a joint account at some point but I'd prefer to wait a bit. Mortgage renewal due soon and don't want complications of being linked financially, credit score wise etc. before then.

    Stoke wrote: »
    I don't think there's any harm in asking for rent (especially if he's offering) and I don't believe this gives him any specific right to equity in the house? Not as far as I'm aware anyway.

    Gets fuzzy if the money given is used towards the mortgage. Intent etc. comes in to play but I'd rather be cautious - my plan is to ask him to save the extra 'rent' into a savings account he can then use for a deposit towards the house we'd buy together.
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  • PrimrosePrimrose Forumite
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    Given an earlier relationship breakdown I think you are right to take a cautious approach at this stage.


    Why not get him to pay a relevant and fair proportion of your household expenses and put any money he saves into a Wedding/House deposit fund.


    If the marriage goes ahead you can then put the mortgage/property into joint names, put each other as a beneficiary in any pension fund scheme, make Wills and do all the normal things that married couples do. You should perhaps make a Will now anyway, if you are sure in your mind what you want to happen to your assets if you die, but bear in mind marriage invalidates Wills and you will have to make a new one on marriage.


    Also if you're not married and just living together, would you want to nominate each other as a Next of Kin for legal purposes. Bear in mind if one of you had a serious accident and needed to act for each other or look after each other's finances etc until they recovered whilst merely living together you would have no legal power to do so unless you had created a formal Power of Attorney so something else to think about.
  • CorrineCooCorrineCoo Forumite
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    "...but the overthinker in me realises how unromantic it is to ask someone to move in but then start talking about protecting my assets from him in case we split up!" As they say there is a time for everything in life. Don't raise the issue on a romantic night, talk about it in the cold light of day with a practical head on.
  • onwards&upwardsonwards&upwards Forumite
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    Don’t talk about ‘protecting your asset’ call it ‘keeping things uncomplicated at first’ while you trial living together.

    See what the bills are as they come in and get him to transfer half in time for the DD rather than fixing a set amount, hard to say how much they will go up and some will be much lower in summer than winter.

    I doubt he will eat that much more than you, surely you’ll share most meals? If it’s because he drinks and you don’t or he likes lots of treats/extras just have those kept separate from the main shop and he pays for them as and when he wants them.

    Set a review date, 6 months gives things time to settle, and at that point make yourselves an ‘appointment’ to sit down together to talk honestly about how it’s going, any concerns, gripes, good stuff, bad stuff, not just about money but all domestic stuff!

    If at that 6 month point (or whatever suits you but don’t leave it years) you can still stand each other and want to live together forever, make yourselves another ‘appointment’ a few weeks later to come up with a plan and a timescale for making more permanent arrangements and talk about how you both think finances should work for a committed or married couple, as well as what you both think about children, parental leave, savings, home ownership, job loss, ill health etc. Full disclosure on all your income/debt/assets/ etc will be necessary. Talking about it first and knowing whether you’re on the same page or not can save you enormous amounts of stress/heartache further down the line!

    Good luck.
  • LadyDeeLadyDee Forumite
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    If your boyfriend will be paying "rent" do check the terms of your mortgage - it's years since I had a mortgage but I seem to remember there was a clause in mine that precluded having "lodgers". That was back in the Dark Ages and probably things have changed a good deal but you never know.
  • krlyrkrlyr Forumite
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    Don’t talk about ‘protecting your asset’ call it ‘keeping things uncomplicated at first’ while you trial living together.

    See what the bills are as they come in and get him to transfer half in time for the DD rather than fixing a set amount, hard to say how much they will go up and some will be much lower in summer than winter.

    I doubt he will eat that much more than you, surely you’ll share most meals? If it’s because he drinks and you don’t or he likes lots of treats/extras just have those kept separate from the main shop and he pays for them as and when he wants them.

    Thanks. Fortunately most my bills are fixed - other than electricity (no gas) but I've been the property nearly 2 years so have an idea of what it averages out to. But I don't see it being an issue to discuss with him if the bill increased a lot. Long-term we'd go for a joint bills account which would account for fluctuations in bills.

    He eats about twice the amount of calories as me a day, haha. I'm a short-!!! vegetarian in an office job and he's a giant rugby-playing meat eater so probably a bit of a difference in grocery shopping. I don't want to get too nitpicky about it though but it was his idea to pay more of the groceries when we roughly discussed how we'd manage joint finances in the future. Again, long-term I think it would be a much more even split as a family unit.
    LadyDee wrote: »
    If your boyfriend will be paying "rent" do check the terms of your mortgage - it's years since I had a mortgage but I seem to remember there was a clause in mine that precluded having "lodgers". That was back in the Dark Ages and probably things have changed a good deal but you never know.

    He won't be paying rent - just contributing towards bills :) Good thought though.
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