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    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 4th Dec 18, 3:03 PM
    • 185Posts
    • 81Thanks
    MSE Sarah
    Money Moral Dilemma: How much should my boyfriend contribute to the flat?
    • #1
    • 4th Dec 18, 3:03 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: How much should my boyfriend contribute to the flat? 4th Dec 18 at 3:03 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    My housemate owns the flat we live in and it's just the two of us now, but she's allowing my boyfriend to move in. How much is fair to add to the rent, considering we're taking up the same amount of space and it's only the bills going up?

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

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Page 1
    • heartbreak_star
    • By heartbreak_star 4th Dec 18, 3:43 PM
    • 7,873 Posts
    • 17,462 Thanks
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 18, 3:43 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 18, 3:43 PM
    We had this and we still divided by three. It's per-person.

    HBS x
    "I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another."

    "It's easy to know what you're against, quite another to know what you're for."

    #Starmer4PM #Bremainer
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 4th Dec 18, 3:45 PM
    • 7,912 Posts
    • 8,792 Thanks
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 18, 3:45 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 18, 3:45 PM
    Your LANDLORD owns the flat, and you are a lodger. Basically what's fair is whatever your landlord decides.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 4th Dec 18, 3:47 PM
    • 66,226 Posts
    • 389,096 Thanks
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 18, 3:47 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 18, 3:47 PM
    Get TFO .... a couple in the space of a single never works because they get all shirty and start to boss around the single, making them uncomfortable in the home they own.

    Just get out ..... you know it makes sense.
    • CuppaTea
    • By CuppaTea 4th Dec 18, 4:00 PM
    • 937 Posts
    • 7,072 Thanks
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 18, 4:00 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 18, 4:00 PM
    The landlord doesn't live there, just the couple.
    I'm dealing with stuff.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 4th Dec 18, 4:18 PM
    • 5,522 Posts
    • 12,644 Thanks
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 18, 4:18 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 18, 4:18 PM
    The landlord doesn't live there, just the couple.
    Originally posted by CuppaTea
    Question makes it sounds like the landlord does live there.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek. Home is where my books are.

    5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 4th Dec 18, 4:21 PM
    • 18,991 Posts
    • 48,150 Thanks
    • #7
    • 4th Dec 18, 4:21 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Dec 18, 4:21 PM
    Yes, I read it the same way as Ono.
    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.
    • pickledonionspaceraider
    • By pickledonionspaceraider 4th Dec 18, 6:20 PM
    • 1,423 Posts
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    • #8
    • 4th Dec 18, 6:20 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Dec 18, 6:20 PM
    OP is confusing

    If the landlord lives there, then a third each. Of everything inc the rent

    It isnt just about the rent, it is about the inconvenience of another body in the house, and LL should see some financial relief to balance this - otherwise it is taking liberties

    If the LL does not live there

    Then no reason the rent should go up at all

    I suggest you straighten this out long before partner moves in.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 4th Dec 18, 6:21 PM
    • 22,479 Posts
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    • #9
    • 4th Dec 18, 6:21 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Dec 18, 6:21 PM
    Is this even really a dilemma?
    Has the OP spoken to the 'housemate who owns the flat'?
    If not, why not?
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 4th Dec 18, 6:24 PM
    • 4,073 Posts
    • 11,003 Thanks
    The friend owns the house and is the live-in landlord

    The 'moneysaver who wants advice' is her friend's lodger.

    Its up to the landlord what they want to charge for another person moving in. Its not an equal situation, the landlord gets to decide, and the lodgers can move out if they aren't happy with the costs.

    Its not a moral dilemma.
    • SuperPikachu
    • By SuperPikachu 4th Dec 18, 6:41 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 480 Thanks
    Well you could swap it to 33% each instead of 50/50 if you want to be fair about things (assuming that it is currently 50/50) as you live with the actual landlord of the property.

    Otherwise move out and rent your own place if you or they feel that it is unfair to pay more.
    "Wild Pikachu appeared!"
    • elliep
    • By elliep 4th Dec 18, 8:03 PM
    • 695 Posts
    • 2,123 Thanks
    Whatever your landlord / flatmate wants to charge.

    If she is allowing an extra person to move in then there will be more space occupied in the shared areas of the house, the fridge/freezer, the shower time etc etc. There will be inconvenience to her through having another person in the flat and that's without the awkward feeling of being the single person living with a couple.

    If I was the landlord I wouldn't charge him the same as you because afterall he isn't taking another bedroom but I'd be charging at least half, probably 2/3 of what you pay currently. And if I was in your position I'd share the savings equally with the boyfriend so you and he are actually paying the same.

    Whatever the landlord decides, if you don't like it you can get another place with your boyfriend and she can get another lodger in your room.
    Cross Stitch UFO club member 18.
    • Fleur Baladine
    • By Fleur Baladine 4th Dec 18, 9:09 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Fleur Baladine
    Donít do it!
    Your flat mate/landlady clearly wants to do the generous thing but it wonít work. I have learned from bitter experience in each role. Better to get your own place where you and your boyfriend can be equal.
    • Scbarns
    • By Scbarns 4th Dec 18, 11:34 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Splitting it three ways seems fair, although obviously the owner would have to agree. And it might be worth understanding what might happen if your flatmate decides to get their partner to move in.....
    • shalton
    • By shalton 5th Dec 18, 4:35 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    Split 3 ways
    The only fair thing to do is split it 3 ways.
    An extra person using everything, more wear and tear.
    Less privacy for the single person.
    More queues for the bathroom.
    The single person could end up being pushed to one side as the couple take over.
    IMO this would only work and be fair for a short length of time, whilst either the single person or the couple move out.
    I also think it would strain the friendship, with the boyfriend moving in.
    • Oddballs
    • By Oddballs 5th Dec 18, 6:38 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    As a live-in landlord / owner I wouldn't accept a couple as it's a recipe for disaster but if she has agreed you have to take into account that the landlord has the vast majority of the risk and responsibilities, you are just a lodger with the ability to move elsewhere relatively easily.
    You've had a very good deal if you've been working on a 50/50 split until now.
    It's the owner that's responsible mortgage payments, council tax, water etc and all these accounts will be in their name.

    I would therefore expect you as a couple to pay whatever the going rate is for a shared room in the area plus a third of the utilities. How you split this between you and your boyfriend is up to you.
    • joehoover
    • By joehoover 5th Dec 18, 8:54 AM
    • 145 Posts
    • 242 Thanks
    You only mention rent so why are people suggesting a three way split? Why should your landlord contribute to your rent? Say you paid £600 to them now, are people suggesting you now pay £200, your boyfriend pays £200 and then the landlord in effect 'pays' £200. So basically they get £100 less for him moving in? So assuming they increased the rent why is the landlord contributing to your room rental? They have an extra body in the home, so they can charge what they feel balances that inconvenience with having more money in their pocket to pay their mortgage. It's obviously cheaper for you to do this, maybe your are also on mates rates as it is. You can check what you would pay elsewhere and use that to decide if it's worth that or getting your own place. Even if they charged 50% more for the room (using £600 as a random price), so that is £900 so you and your partner pay £450 each, so you actually save £150 a month and your partner likely saves too. But you then compare that to market rates for your own place or a shared room in another house and weigh up the pros of cons of living with strangers or costs to get your own place. There are more factors to consider .
    • gaving7095
    • By gaving7095 5th Dec 18, 9:11 AM
    • 158 Posts
    • 124 Thanks
    Assuming the owner of the flat DOES live with you, it's up to that owner / landlord to decide the date then up to you to accept it or not, thus bargain for a better rate, or leave. There's no moral dilemma here.
    • bye bye band G
    • By bye bye band G 5th Dec 18, 9:15 AM
    • 160 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    bye bye band G
    It's certainly up to the live in landlord to set whatever rate she wants, but I read this as she herself might need a bit of help on people's opinions too.

    The maths work out like this. You have to pretend the landlord also pays rent even though she doesn't. So if you currently pay her £300, that makes the total pretend rent for the flat £600. When your boyfriend moves in you each pay £200, an equal three way split. What this means in reality for the landlord is she actually now receives £400 (from you and bf) instead of £300 from just you. She wins. You also win as your own rent goes down from £300 to £200.

    I don't think discounts for sharing a bedroom are sensible - it's only part of living in a flat, your landlord will still lose a share of kitchen, bathroom, lounge etc, and if you are grateful to her for letting him move in just accept the simple maths above instead of trying to squeeze out the best deal possible.
    It'll be hard enough to make it work on a personal level, as others have said, so just pay as above.
    Needless to say, all house bills from now on should be split three ways too.
    • Jan1959
    • By Jan1959 5th Dec 18, 9:19 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    If she is a friend then presumably she rents it to you at a good price. Split the rent & all bills into 3, or the landlord could see what the going rate is to rent a spare room including bills is for a couple & charge you the extra.
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