Five things to ask your partner before moving in
27 November 2018, 10:23
Moving in with a partner is an exhilarating, exciting and romantic time - but it's important to get answers to these serious questions before you make the commitment.
Co-habiting is a milestone all couples dream of reaching - but the reality of it can easily slip in to nightmare territory.
While we'd like to think it was all cosy nights in and days spent chilling out at home, there is always underlying tensions relating to bills, tidiness and routines.
If you share a credit account with someone - a car or other items on finance, a mortgage or joint credit card - you become 'financial associates'.
This is someone you’re linked to through joint finances or a joint credit account. There are some common misconceptions about financial associations – just sharing an address with someone or even being married to them (but not having any joint credit) doesn’t make them a financial associate.
You’ll become financially associated with someone if you:
- Open a joint bank account with them
- Apply for credit together, such as a mortgage or loan
- Become their guarantor (this means you agree to pay their debts if they can’t)
- Get a joint County Court Judgment for not paying a bill and it being referred to a debt collection agency
Here we look at five things you must ask your partner before setting up home together.
Who is paying for what?
Plenty of money-related arguments can be avoided if you are up front about your expectations before moving in together.
Decide if you are setting up a joint account for house expenses, or who is responsible for what.
It's OK if one of you is a saver and the other loves to spend money as soon as they've got it - but take some time to make sure you are meeting in the middle when it comes to your home.
If you have a pet, it's also important to ask how you will cover his or her expenses like food, grooming and trips to the vet.
Whose name is on the lease?
For many couples, being named on a joint lease is the biggest act of commitment they've ever been involved in.
While it might be uncomfortable, it's worth discussing if both your names are going on the lease, or just one.
If you do decide to go on the lease alone, what will happen if you break up? Will the other person still pay towards bills when they leave, but let you pay the entire rent?
How are we sorting the food shop?
If you're popping to the shops every evening to get ingredients for dinner - but your partner's contribution is just eating what you make - resentment can build.
Agree up front how you'll do your basic food shop - will you book an online order once a week? Use a shared bank card? Or collect receipts and work it out at the end of the month?
Other chores you need to discuss include gardening, cleaning the house, and taking out the rubbish.
How often are we having mates round?
Not everyone wants their home to double up as a drop-in centre for friends and hangers-on at all hours of the day... or night.
Set some clear guidelines about how often you're happy to have people over, curfews, and how much notice you need to give the other person.
Why are we moving in together?
It's not uncommon for one person in the partnership to believe moving in together is the start of the path to marriage - but the other just wants to save money.
While it's not an easy conversation - and your reasons can change - find out in advance exactly what the other person is expecting to be the outcome of you setting up home together... it might stop future heartache.