Should I charge my Girlfriend rent?

166 Replies

Originally posted by @Daniel Lynch :

So in the next few months I plan to buy my first duplex! I plan to house hack; rent out one side and live In the other. While running the numbers a thought crossed my mind about my girlfriend paying rent. Here’s the thing. She isn’t too interested in real estate and won’t be helping with the down payment or any renovations. Anyone else ran into this sensitive subject. Essentially if I made her pay “something” it could help with cash flow but morally it seems fishy. Any suggestions?

 I don't like freeloaders so I personally would charge something, perhaps give her all the utilities to pay or at least split them with her. I wouldn't charge a significant other rent if i own the property. If I was renting I think it's fairer game. 

I'd say if you're going to live with her, just marry her and avoid the awkwardness! What did my parents say? Why buy the Cow when you can get the milk for free? LOL, ok, I went down a different road, but think about it. An awkward break up, then you're paying rent by yourself. Just my 2c. 

I agree with most comments here. It is all about communication and sharing the responsibilities. Unfortunately, things are different than before when a single source of income was more than sufficient to support two or more people. Now, everyone has their own individual responsibilities and the shared ones as well when living together. I suggest having her help with some utility bills, weekly grocery bills and such, if she has a stable and sufficient source of income.  Good Luck!

Originally posted by @Rhonda McDaniel :

Not if you want to keep her as your GF. :) just from a women's perspective.

 While he shouldn't call it rent, I respectfully disagree.  She should pay her fair share to housing costs whether it is groceries, utilities, etc.  

If the roles were reversed, I would say the same thing about him.

@Daniel Lynch This is a tough call. Like many others have said, if you two rented a place together she’d be responsible for her share. At the same time, it’s hard to treat her like a tenant. If the situation where reversed I’d have no problem paying rent to my girlfriend. But I also understand real estate pretty well. In my situation, I’d probably just ask her to pick up some other expenses. Maybe I cover housing related expenses, and she would pay for groceries. The two aren’t the same, but it’s still something. Besides, she’d be saving a third of her income by not paying rent-she should do SOMETHING to cover it.

@Tyler Lee I don't think this is the place to ask this question since this isn't a landlord-tenant relationship. If it was i would say sleeping with your tenant is a good way to screw up your wealth building. Seriously, no one looks at a girl and think "damn she's an easy 10.....CAP. I bet those ***....sets would give me some serious cash flow."

Wait wait... you mean having a boyfriend means I get to live for free while keeping all my money for myself and future investments of my own? Dang I have been doing this wrong! 

Yes she should pitch in for rent and/or bills, especially since it is still a savings for her. If she pitches an attitude about it then that is a sign of her character and you need to take that into consideration of what you want for your future. Only exception is if she is taking care of your children, in which case that is a job in itself.

I would never ever expect a free ride, but a situation that is mutually beneficial for us both. 

Hi  @Daniel Lynch

I actually have a very close girl friend who is in a similar situation. Her boyfriend owns the home they live in and she pays half the mortgage. I think its a very fair thing to charge your girlfriend half of the mortgage if she was already paying half of your previous rent. You as the homeowner should pay all repair expenses, insurances etc. but I do not find it unreasonable to ask her for half the rent since its something she would have to pay anyways. 

@Daniel Lynch just need to have the communication and make sure it’s fair for everyone involved. I would say she should help out with bills if not rent. Anyone can’t argue that deal because it’s a win win for everyone. Try to make those situations.

@Daniel Lynch

To be honest I don’t know how straight forward you are in your relationship but for me I’ve always been straight to the point some times coming across as blunt but my girlfriend loves me because I am who I am and I don’t lie about anything. (I’m 24, she’s 22) I recently purchased a three family as my first move as a house hack like you said but set the expectations with her ahead of time. This is MY investment property. The expenses and income of this house is MINE. Whatever I decide on this house whether to sell it, rent it renovate it will be my decision. This is not a typical scenario happy warm house/brag about being homeowners this is strictly business and to give us a roof over our head as we transition in life (I work a relatively higher paying job that may not be around forever; she is in nursing school).

Now to go about your actual question of whether to have her pay rent in the way that I have gone about it and how it works. My girlfriend does not pay me rent. She only works 16 hours a week while she is in nursing school (studies for hours on end and finished both semesters with A’s and in the summer time works 35 hours and saves her money for the semester). The 16 hours a week she works at the hospital pays her enough to split the bills with me and pay her bills. (Groceries, Heat/Electric, Cellphone, car ins, gas). The mortgage in my three family only leaves me to pay 300 a month out of pocket to myself and once she finishes school the plan is to get a place TOGETHER...and i’ll rent out MY MULTI as income towards OUR HOUSE...

So my advice if you see yourself in the future with this girl make sure you word it that this is your investment to help you both towards the future. I do not collect rent because I do not want to have a sticky situation on my hands should anything happen. This is my house. We have future plans together for our house though believe that baby!!!

@Daniel Lynch I would not say or use the term “you pay rent”. Rather, you need to sit down and ask if she would consider moving with you and share the payment for housing and utilities. Also, how committed you BOTH are also weighs in. In every house hold married or living together, living expenses are born by both individuals and often split equally. You just need to be fair. Most likely rent from the duplex next door would be covering your mortgage so I would recommend that you ask her to chip in for utilities or groceries equal to her current rent amount. Anything over that will be paid for by you. This way she gets a break from other expenses that are associated with running her own apartment that she currently has and also helps you offset the cost on your expenses. Moving in with girlfriend is a serious business so tread carefully. Good luck.

@Daniel Lynch you should absolutely charge your girlfriend rent to live with you especially since she is your girlfriend and not your wife. I was in the exact same situation as you. I put the full down payment for the duplex, and my fiancé had barely an emergency fund saved as she was aggressively paying off her student loans. She helped renovate the duplex and we got it to the point that the other side covered the mortgage and all expenses. I still charged her rent (about 80% of market rent) and I paid the same, putting both in my landlord checking account should any unnecessary expenses come up with the property. Now we are married and do a % income split based off how much money we make, with leftovers after expenses being reserved for future down payments on more property.

@Daniel Lynch

1. Sharing is caring

2. Before I got married I insisted on paying 1/2 the rent so I'm not in some kind of position where I owe something to someone or that there's an unbalanced power in the relationship. I'm not sure I'm wording it well, but any self respecting woman doesn't need a man's favors housing her.

15 years later, I can say that was one of my parents' best advise.

That, and to buy, never sell, real estate,

@Damaso Bautista

Interestingly, my father was the same way, till it was time for me, his daughter, to move in with a man. The man, who is my husband now, offered to pay the rent in full, since I was moving for him to a far new place. Now my father had the wisdom to see the position that would put me in: dependent, needy and scared I wouldn't be able to take care of myself if needed. So he insisted that I pay half the rent and financially assisted me in doing so till I was established. And no, it's not the same. Accepting money from your parents isn't the same as depending on a man for your living situation, especially in a foreign country (which was my situation)