Apart from marriage, moving in together with your significant other is one of the biggest and most important decisions you will make in your adult life. But before you embark on domestic partnership bliss,there are some important questions both you and your partner should answer honestly prior to taking the plunge. While some of these questions may seem obvious, most people don’t bother asking them until it’s too late. You should take some time to ask your soon-to-be roomie these questions before putting both your signatures on the lease to. When these issues are brought to light and discussed in an openly respectful manner, there is much less room for disappointments and resentments down the road. Talk to the talk before you walk the walk!
Some of you might find these questions “awkward” to ask, but just because you don’t ask it openly doesn’t mean that the problem will solve itself.
Question To Ask: How will we pay the rent? How much will each person pay?
There are some questions that are essential to discuss and this comes up as the top contender when moving in together. Money and the discussion of money tends to make people uncomfortable, but it is a common issue that needs to be laid out on the table and discussed openly. If two people are to make a domestic partnership work, there are certain things that need to be agreed together in advance so that you can avoid arguments and misunderstandings later on. What are some things you should openly discuss?
For starters, you should decided as a team whether you should set up a joint account for household expenses and to allocate responsibilities in a fair manner. Decide who is responsible for that. People,even couples who have been in relationships for years can have diverging spending and saving habits. Perhaps one person is more of a spender and the other one is more of a savvy saver. It is so important to work together cohesively and decide on how you both think is best to spend your and save your money when it comes to the household. You probably won’t agree on all aspects, but as long as you both can learn to communicate and compromise (meet halfway in the middle), there is no problem that’s too big to workout. Remember, being in a partnership is not easy, it takes work. It takes even more work to be in a domestic partnership, and sometimes that means meeting in neutral territory about sensitive topics such as how money is to be handled.
Question To Ask: Who is going to pay for what? What are we purchasing together?
Question To Ask: Should we put both of our names on the lease?
For some reason, this question is really uncomfortable for a lot of people. There’s always a degree of risk when you decide to co-habitate with someone else, especially a significant other with whom you are not married to. You probably haven’t acknowledged many important facts and just left the big elephant in the room hanging awkwardly. Thoughts may be plaguing your mind.Are we going to be together forever? Is there a possibility that the relationship won’t work out and we will end up breaking up and moving out before our lease is even over? These are all very legitimate questions to ask yourselves, and it’s essential that you feel comfortable in discussing these topics with each other so that neither of you are left blindsided.Sometimes the most uncomfortable conversations are the most necessary conversations. If you are grown up enough to take the step to move in together,you are grown up enough to have these crucial discussions like logical adults.
You need to decide whether you are both renting a home as co-tenants (which means that both of your names are on the lease), or if only one of you serves as the tenant while the other partner is a subtenant(someone who rents from you, technically speaking). When both partners’ names on on the lease, it means that both people have legal obligations to the landlord and with each other. There’s some legal complications in this that’s very applicable to a lot of people, especially when things in the relationship turn sour between two people. The main different between the co-tenant and tenant-subtenant arrangement lies in the tenant’s ability to evict a subtenant. This means that you can be unceremoniously locked out of your house, under legal rights, if your tenant significant other decides you are not good to have around anymore. However, if your and your partner are co-tenants, you legally cannot just evict him or her.
In most cases however, it’s up to the landlord to decide whether you and your partner will be co-tenants or a subtenant. Usually, most landlords will want all parties living on the property to sign the lease and rental agreement and become tenants. This is all very case-by-case though. Of course, from the landlord’s perspective, it’s better for both people to sign the lease. With two signatures by both tenants, the landlord has two people to hold responsibility to if problems arise down the road. For example, if your boyfriend loses his job and cannot make rent, the landlord can still pursue you as the co-tenant to pay the rent that is owed. Both parties are liable to rental agreement terms and policies in this case
It’s important to know your rights also if your name is not on the lease. Knowing your rights before you move in can save you a great deal of time and money in the future.