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    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 18th Jun 19, 5:40 PM
    • 214Posts
    • 96Thanks
    MSE Sarah
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I make my friend pay rent?
    • #1
    • 18th Jun 19, 5:40 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I make my friend pay rent? 18th Jun 19 at 5:40 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    My best friend recently moved in with me and my partner after a break-up. We thought it'd be short-term, but she hasn't settled on a new flat yet. We suggested once that if she stays longer-term, she could contribute a small amount (about half 'normal' rent), but this hasn't been mentioned since and she hasn't offered any money.

    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
    • onwards&upwards
    • By onwards&upwards 18th Jun 19, 5:54 PM
    • 1,398 Posts
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    • #2
    • 18th Jun 19, 5:54 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Jun 19, 5:54 PM
    Give her a date by which time it’s either move out or start paying rent.

    I’d ask which you’d prefer to happen, but I know the person with the dilemma probably won’t respond.
    • MovingForwards
    • By MovingForwards 18th Jun 19, 6:59 PM
    • 2,675 Posts
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    • #3
    • 18th Jun 19, 6:59 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Jun 19, 6:59 PM
    Set her a deadline and that's it.

    If you want her to stay them charge proper room rent, or slightly under, and do expect her to move out.

    It will probably put a strain on your friendship whatever you do as one party will feel resentful.
    • gran3
    • By gran3 18th Jun 19, 8:23 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 1,137 Thanks
    • #4
    • 18th Jun 19, 8:23 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Jun 19, 8:23 PM
    Yes. Pay or go.
    • JReacher1
    • By JReacher1 18th Jun 19, 9:05 PM
    • 3,245 Posts
    • 4,546 Thanks
    • #5
    • 18th Jun 19, 9:05 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Jun 19, 9:05 PM
    Depends how long they’ve been there and how intrusive they are. It’s your best friend and they are going through a bad personal situation.

    Personally I would give it 6-8 weeks before I broached the subject of things like rent.
    • Afourteen
    • By Afourteen 18th Jun 19, 10:12 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    • #6
    • 18th Jun 19, 10:12 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Jun 19, 10:12 PM
    Yes, 33 or 50% after the first four weeks they are stopping with you (even if you give them the money back when they move out - actually it's probably best to as you may be breaking your tenancy agreement)
    • ajr77
    • By ajr77 18th Jun 19, 10:30 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    • #7
    • 18th Jun 19, 10:30 PM
    Serious conversation...
    • #7
    • 18th Jun 19, 10:30 PM
    How does your partner feel about it? She's on hard times, but three's a crowd long term, you don't just want to be 3 flatmates. The three of you should sit down together and have a serious conversation. What is her action plan to get new, permanent accommodation? (This is a short term arrangement, right?)
    Agree a timescale too. In the meantime, agree what she will contribute to the household - 1/3 of the bills perhaps. Perhaps just food costs and a housework contribution if it's really short term. Good luck!
    • misswansea
    • By misswansea 18th Jun 19, 10:36 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    • #8
    • 18th Jun 19, 10:36 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Jun 19, 10:36 PM
    My usual attitude to indefinite stays is:

    First two weeks are free

    Next two weeks I make it clear that contribution to food costs and household chores is expected

    Second month I work out a fair split of household bills, and ask for it

    If there is no sign of movement after 3 months I consider how much rent would ameliorate the inconvenience, and ask accordingly.

    Keeping this in my head allows me to manage stress and avoid loosing friends to not very subtle nagging.

    The one time i got to the 3 month stage I explained how the rent would be used to improve the living arrangement- buying a decent bed and proper wardrobe for the spare room, making minor home improvements that would make it more suitable for shared living. The following day he found out he qualified for subsidised acoomodation through his job, in a more convenient location, and moved out a fortnight later.

    If any stage is not accepted, a leaving date is firmly set.
    • Marvel1
    • By Marvel1 18th Jun 19, 10:50 PM
    • 4,558 Posts
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    • #9
    • 18th Jun 19, 10:50 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Jun 19, 10:50 PM
    Yes and if she says no, then bye bye.
    • marich
    • By marich 18th Jun 19, 11:08 PM
    • 124 Posts
    • 154 Thanks
    Yes !
    Ask - don't 'tell her to' .

    If she wants to contribute then set a move-out date - say four months for her to get it together . If she doesn't want to pay then tell her she should be out by the end of next week . Be prepared to get tough about this .

    It's your place , you didn't move in with her . She has enjoyed shelter but has to make her own arrangements .

    Simple enough ? Not a good idea to let her in ! Get her out - !!!!!! her having rights as a rent-payer - get her out , sooner is best !
    • PhillR
    • By PhillR 19th Jun 19, 8:38 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Definitely she should contribute! Either by paying towards rent/amenities or by doing washing/cooking/cleaning.
    Friends are friends, but you and your partner are the priority, so work out between you as to what you expect, then time for a friendly chat.
    if she's a true friend, then she'll not have a problem with you raising this, (though probably should have thought to sort it herself earlier)
    Good Luck:
    • Ebenezer_Screwj
    • By Ebenezer_Screwj 19th Jun 19, 8:43 AM
    • 437 Posts
    • 231 Thanks
    She's having a free ride, present her with a bill for rent owing and if she doesn't pay up then she's out.
    • Roy The Boy
    • By Roy The Boy 19th Jun 19, 8:59 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Roy The Boy
    Hi Roy here

    I would tell her to pay up or do one. Unless she has no money or you're in a relationship with her.
    • Bellisima
    • By Bellisima 19th Jun 19, 9:29 AM
    • 130 Posts
    • 176 Thanks
    It depends what was said at the beginning. Was it “You can stay with us until you find your own place”? and no mention of paying some rent?

    I think short term is fine, for example we had our granddaughter and boyfriend stay with us for a couple of months (they live in New Zealand) and they used our place as a base whilst they travelled around Europe. I refused rent or money for food as they were my guests, and I knew our son would never ask us for rent if we visited them. But if this has been going on for months then you need to sit down with your friend and ask her to contribute. She’s your best friend so surely you can ask her?
    • awm49
    • By awm49 19th Jun 19, 10:16 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    Yes she should
    By all means if it is less than a month I would not charge rent but she obviously understands that living somewhere costs money and is probably waiting for you to bring up the subject - why change the status quo if its in your favour?

    A good place to find appropriate rents in your area are the local housing allowance rates set by your council. Simply put in your postcode and it will tell you the appropriate rate to charge for rent in your area.

    I would then approach her and say you have been staying for a while and I would like to talk about paying rent if you want to stay here long term. You can than suggest that amount and how you came to it, she can either agree or give her a reasonable amount of time for her to find her own place.
    • gloriouslyhappy
    • By gloriouslyhappy 19th Jun 19, 10:24 AM
    • 434 Posts
    • 878 Thanks
    Depending on how recently 'recently' was, I'd have a chat over a cup of tea and a biscuit, and ask how things are with her. Acknowledging it's a traumatic time for her, and gently discussing long-term plans. Be careful about asking for rent, as that might look like an invitation to stay on a permanent basis with you and your partner, but discussing contribution towards food, cleaning etc, and setting a time limit for more definite plans, say another chat in two weeks. When that time comes, it's either set a move out date, or if happy to have her permanently, start paying rent or move out.
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 19th Jun 19, 10:28 AM
    • 10,457 Posts
    • 36,881 Thanks
    +1 for pace it according to how recent, but the friendly chat asking how she's doing can't hurt. (And how much has she saved, maybe?)

    Sets up future chats & possible help flat hunting.
    • inigma
    • By inigma 19th Jun 19, 11:03 AM
    • 131 Posts
    • 419 Thanks
    You offered to help them in their hour of need now they are taking you for granted. Personally I would put the room to rent online (on the grounds that you've gotten used to have a lodger) offer your friend a 10% discount, otherwise boost your income. In this world there are givers and takers, you are a giver and you need to learn how to establish your rules. This is your flat and she is a guest she needs to accept that and show gratitude.

    Speaking from experience, give some people an inch and they'll take you as far as they can.
    Original mortgage free date 01/09/2036
    Current mortgage free date 01/09/2024
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    • REJP
    • By REJP 19th Jun 19, 11:40 AM
    • 130 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    Should I make my friend pay rent?
    Be very careful about charging "rent". This gives her rights as a tenant. Real minefield here.
    Do you own your own property or renting or paying mortgage?
    If so, you need to check if you can sub-let.
    The simple answer is to tell her to contribute to food and utility costs, or to move out.
    Please do not give your friend a tenancy agreement whatever you do. That gives her legal rights to stay. If she is not working tell her to go to a lettings agent and find a flat for which she can claim housing benefit. Claiming for living with you creates responsibilities for you as a landlord including Income Tax problems.
    So final advice is as stated by many on this forum, tell her to help with some costs, or tell her to leave within a set time.
    • janelinedancer
    • By janelinedancer 19th Jun 19, 3:07 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    I feel if this person is a true friend, they would have offered to 'pay their way' from day one.
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