My partner is moving in as my tenant - what paperwork should I put in place, if any?

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    My partner is moving in as my tenant - what paperwork should I put in place, if any?


    Sorry if this question has been asked and answered before, but i couldn't find it.

    I have just bought a flat. The flat and the mortgage are solely in my name. In a couple of months my partner will be moving in and paying me rent, which i will use to help pay off my mortgage. In case this is relevant, I will mention that the rent is fair and reflects the market value of renting a flat in the area.

    So I guess I am about to become a landlord. Obviously I am hoping (and expecting) everything to be fine and - if my partner and i stay together long term - the flat may well one day be transferred into both our names. But at the moment no decision has been made to merge our assets, and if things were to go wrong and we were to split acrimoniously, I would like to be protected financially.

    My question is is there anything I need to do to ensure this? My partner is of the opinion that she should just set up a direct debit for the rent and half the bills (which will also be in my name) and nothing further is required. I feel like there maybe should be some kind of written tenancy agreement, and maybe even a deposit. I'm not trying to be mercenary or cynical, I'd just rather be sensible and - as far as possible - guard against future problems. After all, even though I feel confident about the relationship, so does everyone else who moves in together and for some it all goes wrong.

    Is a tenancy agreement normal in these circumstances? Is this recommended/good practice? I'd be grateful for any advice.

    Many thanks


    I would go for a prenup agreement, it doesn't sound like your relationship is going to last with that attitude!!
    My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.


      Your partner will be a Lodger, as you will be a live in Landlord.

      Suggest you just initialy have a verbal agreement, that the cost
      they pay to live there is £x per month, and 50 % of all the utility
      and council tax bills.
      That's all you need on a piece of paper, addresses, dated and signed.

      I would not go the deposit route, as you are then saying, yes, I
      love you, but want £ 350 up font deposit, and £ 350 up front rent
      ( or whatever it is ) will soon put the dampers on your relationship.

      If partner pays you rent, you can give partner / Lodger 24 hours
      to leave, if you have to, but one week is acceptable.
      Some would argue that if rent paid monthly, you give one months
      notice to leave, but you have a lodger, with vertualy no rights
      whatsoever, so you could ( to cover yourself ) say the rent is £ x
      per week, but equal monthly payments of £ x by standing order is
      required,so that a weeks notice would be acceptable, to leave.

      Rent per week x 52 weeks, divided by 12 to arrive at monthy standing

      HAS to be standing order, as you are not a firm with internet software
      to ASK her bank for the money each month.
      She has to instruct her bank to pay your bank, once a month, via
      Standing order.

      Also don't belittle them by asking for a deposit.
      A surefire way of showing them you don't trust them, or possibly
      don't love them.

      Keep it simple.
      Landlord and lodger.
      Written agreement to pay rent and half the bills.

      My "other" was never asked for a deposit when i told her to come
      live with me, and she left a husband to do so ! ( I have my good points )

      So some sort of legal and moral advice here, for you to think about.



        Originally posted by Omri9 View Post
        maybe even a deposit.
        Are you serious? She's really gonna love that...



          If you're worried about losing a few hundred quid to your partner, and want to protect yourself by asking for a deposit, I'd suggest you have problems already.

          Just go with a simple written agreement setting out who does what, for the avoidance of doubt and future conflict as much as anything else.

          The only thing I'd be worried about is ensuring that your partner doesn't accrue a beneficial interest in your property just by paying the bills/mortgage contribution. This is where one half a couple can claim part ownership of a property even though their name isn't on the deed.

          I'd say the best way to avoid that is just to set it out clearly on your agreement - your partner understands that she is paying fair rent, and does not expect to accrue any ownership of the property.


            Do an inventory too


              I'm all for not allowing love to excuse making poor financial decisions. However I think it might be going too far to make your partner your tenant (or a lodger when sharing the same home). As it's your partner moving in and contributing to the household costs it isn't really and landlord/lodger arrangement and it could start getting complicated with taxable income.

              It sounds like what you need is a cohabitation contract. If you go to Shelter's website there is a section on living with a partner or spouse and it gives good advice. The contract sets outs how bills will be split, what will happen if you break up, if you want to sell, etc. It's best to get this done by a solicitor but is a small one of cost for security and clarity.


                Hey, thanks for all the comments. Sorry if it sounded like a foolish or mercenary question, I'm just entirely new to this and had no idea what was normal or recommended practice. I have no wish to belittle my girlfriend or jeopardise the relationship, and I regret if it came across that way. I just had no language to use other than "landlord" and "tenant" to describe a situation in which one person is paying rent and one person owns the property. Hence my question, as all tenancy situations I have previously encountered involve paperwork etc and I just didn't know what was the right thing to do.

                However, obviously you guys think that this is not appropriate, so I will follow your advice. Following JaneK2011's advice, I've found something called a "living together agreement" which seems to cover all the stuff I was worried about and wanted sort out in advance. This is really helpful and thanks to everyone for taking the time to respond.

                I hope you don't mind if I also say (with the honest desire of giving helpful feedback and nothing more) the following: I came to this site with a genuinely open mind, acknowledged my naivety and lack of experience and asked politely for the benefit or your better knowledge. Obviously some people have given really helpful and thoughtful responses, but others have simply insulted my relationship. I'm genuinely grateful for the helpful feedback i've received, but I think it would be a shame if newer members were scared off by insults and thus never benefited from the excellent advice this community clearly has to offer. Anyway, perhaps this isn't a typical reaction and its just because I asked a stupid question...but I asked it in good faith. Anyway, it's not important and thanks again for the good advice.


                  Glad you found this site useful.

                  Life is made up of different people with different values, needs, wants,
                  and opinions , some good, some bad.

                  I did not see any nasty replies, but replies that stop and make you THINK.
                  and to be honest, we all need comments that make us stop and think
                  about our actions.

                  Yes, there may have been a few who you thought were laughing at
                  you, but better to have a whole spectum of replies, and yes, I too
                  had a giggle, but that did not stop the advice coming from everyone.

                  I too can be guilty of being hard and crule, but sometimes those
                  tactics are needed, to jolt someones brain into gear.

                  Come back if you ever have more questions, and if 20 of us all
                  gave the identical answers, and no poking at anyone, life would
                  be mundane and boring, and no one would readjust their thinking
                  for the better.



                    Sounds fair enough to me. In that case i shall simply say I am glad to have caused amusement (however unwittingly) and I would def come back here for more harsh-but-true advice in the future...! Omri.


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