Should I charge my Girlfriend rent?

166 Replies

@Daniel Lynch I bought a 3 bed house in college. Rented out 2 bedrooms to buddies and eventually moved in my girlfriend. Obviously in the master with me. She was more than willing to pay rent. It was much more affordable than finding her own place and she stayed with me most of the time anyway. It just made sense. That was 16 years ago and we've been married for 10 years. So it worked for me. Good luck!

It's a bad idea to move a GF in.  When you have a disagreement, you both need to have your own space to decamp to.

Unless you're planning on marriage to the  GF, save yourself.

There’s a saying in economics, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”. There’s also another saying about relationships, “You either want to be right or you want to be in a relationship”.

That’s a tough one but since it’s your g/f, I would calculate your numbers as if she was out of the picture then proceed from there, hope this helps!

@Daniel Lynch

This is easy. No

If you need a reason

1. Family and friends off limits. Especially if your new to this game

2. Your to in experienced in handling difficult situations

3. If you have to ask on a public forum shows your second guessing already

4. If y’all broke up and she lets your brother move in and they pay on time are y’all still swapping gifts at Christmas?

@Daniel Lynch what’s the alternative? She live for free? Replace the word girlfriend with roommate. You wouldn’t ask a roommate to help with the down payment, but you’d expect them to pay their share. If she’s not willing to invest in this with you, make sure your paperwork reflects that.

Anyone here saying that you will lose the GF if you ask her to contribute.... You have no game!

Originally posted by @Shirley R. :

@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)

Like I said in my post it all depends on your personal values.  When I first moved out with my wife, I was 20 and she was 18.  I went to her father and assured him that I was a responsible young man and that I would make sure his daughter would never want for anything. I asked him for his blessing to have his daughter leave their home to be with me.  I gave her full control of my finances.  We had one shared account that our money went into.  I at the time I had great paying career.  She was a full time college student working part time.  All of our money went into one pot.  We grew together.  We now both have our masters degrees and we both have great paying careers.  We still have one pot of money that we live off of.  Our money together.  We own everything together!! 

When we first had children, she chose to stay home and take care of the kids.  After the kids turned 10 she chose to go back to work. Now after 10 years of working she is choosing to stop working.  

I never once tried to figure out my money or her money.  It was always our money from the beginning.  She is the best accountant I could have ever asked for.  She never asked for Gucci, Mercedes Benz or a BMW.  We always lived beneath our means.  She always watched our money.  

We still live in the house that we bought in 1994 when I was 23 and she was 21.  

Maybe I am just the luckiest man in the world to have chosen such a great wife at such a young age. But I have a sneaking suspicion that my values of taking financial responsibility of my house and home has something to do with it.  

@Dennis M. Never. Disappoints.

@Daniel Lynch, I would add two things:

1) I secretly hope the gf is an active BP member and this is your passive-aggressive way of giving her a hint;

2) if you do charge her rent, do it all via email and never address it in person (super passive aggressive) and if she does try bring it up, just refer to "the landlord" in the third person and commiserate with her about what a greedy stickler he is.

Please report back on how this goes. ; )

@Daniel Lynch is this situation any different than if you two were splitting rent elsewhere and paying a landlord? I don’t think so. It’s all personal preference, but I would think that each of you would want the relationship to remain equitable where each person is contributing equally (albeit maybe through different measures). However you decide to split the mortgage with her, you still put down the initial equity check to acquire the property to advance your relationship with her.

I think you should rest easy knowing you’ve already been generous.

Ah. The million dollar question. Unless she is going through some sort of financial hardship, she should be contributing to household expenses, whether its the mortgage, utilities, groceries, etc. Approach the conversation carefully, and just ask her how she feels about contributing and see how she reacts. If she tells you she doesn't feel she should pay anything or wants to short-change you, then she is likely just taking advantage and wants a free ride. 

If she loves you, she will WANT to contribute. 

@Daniel Lynch

Literally just had this convo last month with my girl. She was upset that I asked her to pay for a property I own, cause I’m making money off her is what she said. I explained that I am paying rent to my business account same as I would charge anyone else, because that’s what this is. She couldn’t get a free ride anywhere else. Why should she with me just cause we’re dating. I told her there is a cost of living and if your living with me your chipping in. We agreed she would pay a couple hundred a month (which just almost covers utilities). She paid more in college to live with 4 roommates in a trashy house...

My opinion is yes, you absolutely should. My girlfriend (now wife) paid me $400/mo while we lived in the first home I purchased by myself. The mortgage was around $1,000/mo plus all utilities. Before she moved in, I had a roommate that was paying $500/mo. To me, giving someone (even if it is someone I loved!) a free ride while myself sacrificing $500/mo seemed financially irresponsible.

Boyfriend/girlfriend relationships and living together for the first time are the proving grounds for deciding whether 2 people are compatible for marriage or long term partnership. I've had friends date people for 5+ years and then both in the relationship mutually come to the conclusion that they'd be better off going their own separate ways. Assuming the home owner was not charging his/her significant other rent, he/she has now given up $30,000+ in savings. That is a down payment on a real estate investment!

5 years later, my wife and I have purchased a new home and are hoping to close soon on our first real estate investment properties. The rent she paid me was not squandered on material things. It was instead set aside in savings and we're now able to reap the benefits as a team!

@Daniel Lynch , before my wife and I got married, I paid the housing expense and she paid utilities and groceries. We were each responsible for personal expenses. That kind of arrangement might work out better for you, than charging your girlfriend rent.

@Daniel Lynch

You are a great man. You are to teach her how to be prosperous.

If she is to reign as your queen she must learn not just to stand on her own but how to live and plan for a future with you. She is to be your backbone when and if you have problems in your life. Life will give you scares. Will she be able to handle the load. Will she be able to be your help. Also sit down and plan if things go wrong and you and her break up, this way it would be less stressful and painful. Think, plan, execute you both will be glad that you did🙏