Should I charge my Girlfriend rent?

166 Replies

It only seems fair for a partnership to be based on equal contribution. It might be okay if she contributes in other ways that you don't. If not I say split the bill 

@Daniel Lynch Be careful here because it will set the precedent for the rest of your relationship. IMHO, a relationship is a partnership and should be treated as such in many respects. If you are both working, committed adults then it seems perfectly reasonable for her to pay her portion of rent and living expenses. I would consider your income and her income added together, and calculate the ratio of both your incomes to your total income and apply that to your living expenses to keep things fair (i.e. if you make more, you pay a bit more of the expenses and vice versa). Also, do not put her on the deed/mortgage to the house and make sure she understands she is paying rent and not investing in the home with you. 

Originally posted by @Mike Dymski :
Originally posted by @Daniel Lynch:

@Aaron K. Agreed! I love her but I know how she thinks. She gonna want to live free.

 bye bye felicia

For serenity, peace and harmony, nobody knows I own nuthin.

I would be the 'manager' of this duplex. I'd be paying 'rent' to my mgt corp. She would pay her share with no resentments or sense of entitlement.  

Problem is, most like to run their mouth about what they're buying and the great deal they got, etc. Anonymity is where it's at if you like freedom and serenity.

Absolutely she should pay . Woman need to pay their fair share in life . I would even charge late fees and be quick to post up quit or pay notices if she gets wobbly . It’s the only way to train them and set the bar . If she has no expectations set then she will be like a mischievous dog that continually poops on the living room carpet .

@Daniel Lynch I would say to tread carefully because it could upset her. But at the same time there’s no reason that she should be living free of expenses. In my house groceries end up at maybe $350 dollars per month, maybe ask her to take care of groceries from now on, if you buy that much, and don’t even ask about the rent. I’m definitely not saying she’s sleezy, especially since I don’t know her, but I think most self respecting people would be happy to contribute to their living situation. My guess is that she won’t have a problem helping out.

@Daniel Lynch  So the girlfriend wants free rent plus all the fringe benefits? No way. I'd have her pay half rent-sounds like she can afford it, and even though you think you know how she thinks no man knows how a woman's mind really works! ;<))

Yes! You totally get it! If all my bills are paid I'm wondering if still having her pay rent is morally wrong. She isn't into the financials as much and may not even notice that I'm profiting off of her. I also am a strong believer of karma and don't want any bad stuff coming my way.

Originally posted by @Linda S. :

@Daniel Lynch,

I'm guessing the other side tenant completely pays for your bills, so your ethics come from the idea of charging her when you don't have any expenses.    So first, you're making a phenomenal investment, so congrats on the duplex!      I would say have her pay the cable bill and the electric/gas bill (don't do food, IMO it always gets messy b/c it ends up costing a lot more), no reason she gets  to live completely free... remember, you're still on the hook for maintenance for both homes, and stuff will come up! 

I like this idea of thinking a lot. I'm actually going to use this with my family. They tend to have a hand out

Originally posted by @Steve Vaughan :
Originally posted by @Mike Dymski:
Originally posted by @Daniel Lynch:

@Aaron K. Agreed! I love her but I know how she thinks. She gonna want to live free.

 bye bye felicia

For serenity, peace and harmony, nobody knows I own nuthin.

I would be the 'manager' of this duplex. I'd be paying 'rent' to my mgt corp. She would pay her share with no resentments or sense of entitlement.  

Problem is, most like to run their mouth about what they're buying and the great deal they got, etc. Anonymity is where it's at if you like freedom and serenity.

Do you live in a community property state? Can she claim you're common law married if it sours? If so, she'll have rights.

You may look into some of those things. I know it sounds crazy, but after being in banking for almost 20 years I've seen some things happen when money is involved.

My girlfriend and I had been dating a couple years before we decided to live together.  We are also on the same page when it comes to our investments, our future, and most importantly our real estate.  My house had better cash flow potential so I moved in with her and I pay her monthly “rent” on the 1st of every month that is right around total living expenses minus mortgage, taxes, insurance. When we get married we will reevaluate and split things differently based on incomes but we decided a simple “rent” agreement is the best and safest way legally for me to contribute with putting her equity at risk.  I rent my house out and I keep that cash flow, when we get married we might re-evaluate that as well.  We have both seen friends and family lose their assets to a less deserving spouse during splits so we tread carefully but with the best intentions.

@Daniel Lynch no not unless she offers. I try to pay for everything because I make about quadruple what my GF does and she insists that she pay her half and does not let me pay for any of her stuff. I wouldn't ever consider trying to make her pay for something that she didn't offer (or demand) to pay for. I love her and making or saving money has nothing to do with that.

@Daniel Lynch   I would say have a conversation with your GF.  IMO, it is totally acceptable to collect rent.  She is a live-in roommate, and she is still using the water and electricity.   

Once you are married or have children, then it can change, but if she was living with another person, would she be living for free?  Probably not unless it was family. 

Also, I'm not sure the size of each duplex unit your are buying, but it is probably at least a 2/1 unit, and I'm guessing with your GF that you won't be renting the other room, so in a way, her paying rent to you is like if you were renting that room out.    

@Daniel Lynch you're not profiting off her, you're profiting off of your hard work and investment. If you're even considering she live for free because making money off her would be wrong, what about your parents? Siblings? They all deserve a place that you pay for more than a girlfriend, why not move them in next door and let them live for free too? If you start with it now, it will not only continue but snowball for the rest of the relationship, which won't be that long or fun as the resentment builds and boils over

@Daniel Lynch I charged mine a measly $300 a month for rent & utilities combined, just so that she was contributing. That's a personal preference determined by you, her, and the dynamics of your relationship. I don't think charging a reasonable rent is morally fishy, unless you subscribe to the belief that you should be providing the financial contributions, and she should contribute in other ways. 

If you want someone to share financial burden with you over the longer term, then she should want to pay for part of that monthly housing bill. If you want this from someone, and she doesn't like the idea of it, you might have some serious fundamental differences.

I was house hacking a duplex, and also had a roommate in my 2 bed apartment.  That roommate paid $400/mo all utilities included.  When my roommate moved out my boyfriend (now husband) and I decided to move in together, so he moved in and started paying me $400 toward our living expense (rent seems like the wrong word for a boyfriend, but he contributed the same as my roommate did).  It was a win win for both of us as he had been paying over $1000 in rent plus utilities at his old place.

I think she should contribute something toward living there.  Maybe she just pays the utilities or buys all of the groceries if neither of you like the idea of "rent".

@Daniel Lynch Boiii, you don't charge rent to your Girlfriend, what if she starts charging you for that A** lol

Just get her to pay some utilities or groceries my man !

My partner and I own three rentals together. Not married, living together 20 years. The cash flow from those rentals pays for everything related to his (and most of my) living expenses. So one option is for her to come up with a down payment on a property you buy together with her. Not sure you two are ready for this step yet....maybe some day.

P.S. There have been a bunch of similar threads on this topic.

My husband and I were not married when I bought my first duplex.  However, we were already living together and kept our finances separate.  He had nothing to do with the purchase of the duplex.  My down payment, my loan, my mortgage payments.

At the property we were renting before I bought my home, the rent was $1,000/month.  We each paid $500/month and split all the other bills.  I told him he'd need to pay $400/month, plus everything else split, once we moved into my house (comparable to the rental) and asked if that sounded fair.  He said that sounded great.  We even wrote up a basic agreement and both signed it, though not quite as formal as a lease and substantially shorter.  Because I am a paperwork kind of gal!  Written agreements protect everyone and helps to insure everyone has the same understanding.

With that said, I could pay the mortgage on my own and the property already cash-flowed from just the tenant side.  I was NOT relying on the rent he gave me.  But I charged him rent because that was what we both felt was fair.  We got married two years after I bought my personal duplex and he no longer pays me rent because our finances are mostly combined.