So, you’ve been together for a couple years, but lived separately. And now you have started talking about taking the next step – moving in together.
Choosing to live with your boyfriend or girlfriend is a big decision, and one that should not be taken lightly. There are all kinds of things to consider, from the practical to the financial, to whether your relationship can handle it.
For many couples, it is a tempting prospect. The financial benefits are clear to see, but this can lead to people rushing into it before they have taken everything into account.
So before you rush into anything, it is important to think about every aspect about moving in together. So what do you need to consider before the big move?
One of the biggest motivators for couples deciding to move in together is money. It is simple mathematics: if there are two of you, you’ll be spending half as much on things like gas, electricity and food.
And if you are renting, then your bills will also be less. But with renting, there are a number of other aspects to consider.
Firstly, you need to decide which name will go on the tenancy agreement. You can either go for separate tenancies, a joint tenancy, or a single tenancy with just one of your names on it.
Many couples opt for a joint tenancy, which means that you will both be jointly and individually responsible for the rent. So, if your partner can’t or won’t pay their rent, then you are legally obliged to cover them.
You may not want to think about it, but it is important to consider what would happen if you and your partner were to split up. If you have a single tenancy agreement with your partner’s name on, then it could be you who’ll have to move out if you split up.
Another aspect of finances to consider is bills. Again, you may think that you’ll both just split the bills each month. But things could turn sour if one of you loses their job and can’t afford to pay their share.
One option is to have a co-habitation contract drawn up. It may seem a little formal, but it will set in stone the rights and responsibilities you both have. And it will prevent any ugly disagreements in the future.
A co-habitation contract can set out things like childcare arrangements, the dividing up of rent or mortgage payments, and what rights you have to shared belongings should you split up.
One final thing to consider is the practicality of actually living in the same place. You may spend all your time at each other’s houses already, but living in the same place is an entirely different kettle of fish.
Seeing each other every day can put a strain on even the strongest relationship, leading to arguments over the smallest things. So before you move in together, seriously consider whether you are both ready for it, and whether your relationship can handle it.
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