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My boyfriend is moving in to my flat – should I pay the bills?

Virginia Wallis
Photograph: incamerastock/Alamy Stock Photo/Alamy Stock Photo

Q I currently own a flat in London and my boyfriend of two years is due to move in with me soon. I won’t be charging him rent but we will split the utility bills and all utility costs.
It makes sense for me to keep the bills in my name and have him pay me 50% of the bills in total. Is any of this taxable and does this sound like the best method? I’m not sure if it’s better to somehow divide the bills at the provider sources.
HD

A Splitting the bills down the middle sounds perfectly sensible and having your boyfriend pay you rather than the supplier doesn’t mean that you’d have to pay tax on his contribution. Keeping the bills in your name is also reasonable but you will need to let your local authority know that your boyfriend has moved in to ensure that you pay the right amount of council tax (the bill will go up).

Where you might want to think twice is having your boyfriend pay half your monthly mortgage repayment. If a person moves in with someone and the house is only in that person’s name, he or she usually has no rights to own any of it simply by living there or paying towards the bills. However, if you were to split up and your boyfriend could prove that he had contributed to the mortgage payments – or made some other financial commitment such as contributing to the deposit or paying for renovations – he could make a claim for a share in the property. So if you do want financial help with your mortgage, it might be an idea to get it in writing that you don’t want your boyfriend to acquire such a right and your boyfriend agrees to that.