What are my roles and responsibilities as the 'tenant' of a 'landlord' who is also my partner?
October 9, 2011 3:31 AM Subscribe
My girlfriend wants to buy a house for us to live in – what are my roles and responsibilities as the 'tenant' of a 'landlord' who is also my partner?
posted by UltraFleece to Human Relations (19 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My girlfriend and I are both in our late 20s, we’ve been together for two years and we’ve been renting a flat together for nine months. We earn the same amount but she has ~5 times more than me in savings because she has an interest in finance etc., while I took a bit longer to ‘grow up’ and be financially responsible. I am responsible now and have savings and a steady (beginning of a) career, but I’m by no means wealthy. I’m quite happy renting for the time being as I can’t afford to buy a house, and am not at that point in my life where I want to buy.
My girlfriend has been doing her research and wants to buy (mortgage) a house in the next twelve months or so, and has asked me to live with her in that house. She has asked my opinion about locations, what facilities I would like, etc., but we are both very clear that this would be her purchase, her decision, her house. (We’re aware that there may be some legal issues around being a de facto couple and her having a mortgage, etc. but she is still at the early stages and we’ll address these when we get there.)
My questions are about my financial (and ethical) responsibilities as a ‘renter’ in my partner’s home – she is effectively the landlord. Should my monthly rent be half of her monthly mortgage payment? Or whatever the typical rent is for a property of that type when owned by a landlord, whether that’s higher or lower than the mortgage? My current landlord is responsible for organizing maintenance and paying maintenance costs, for paying council rates, ensuring that boundary fences are maintained, responsible for the garden and for mowing and maintaining the nature strip, among other typical landlord responsibilities. How do I navigate these issues and responsibilities when my de facto partner is the landlord?
If anyone has suggestions on how to approach this topic, advise on what’s standard procedure or experience with this situation I’d be very keen to read.
We live in Australia, if that helps. Thank you!