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Sharing Living Expenses with a Partner

She: My friend is living with me, we are both retired and living in my house. My house expenses for mortgage and utilities are around $1000 per month. I feel that he should contribute $500 per month. My contention is that if he wasn't living here it would cost him minimally $500 per month for a place to live which would not include the furnishings he has here. He feels that this is my house and therefore my investment. He is willing to pay the utilities which fluctuate from $200 to $400 per month. As a side note he has 5x the financial assets I do. I buy furnishings and other things for the house that make both our lives more comfortable. I do have 2 renters that have minimally impacted my water bill. It costs the same to heat and cool the house whether they live here or not.

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He: I own a house in Florida, but I have been mostly staying here with my friend for the last three or so months. I have been paying all of the utilities and we split groceries. There are two renters here and one utility bill. When my friend and I go out I usually pick up the tab. My feeling is I should pay absolutely all the costs of me being here plus some extras, but I don't understand why I should pay for expenses that would exist whether I was living here or not.

Please weigh in on this and give us your opinion. We have reached a brick wall on this topic! Hopefully your insights will help us resolve or me to let the whole issue go.

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October 30, 20160 found this helpful

There are no easy or quick answers to your situation. The living arrangement and financial information you both have provided here is not thorough enough for even a professional financial counselor to provide guidance and answers to your concerns. There are also many other considerations and legal concerns that should be addressed.

I strongly suggest that you both see an attorney in your area to consider the possible and probable financial, legal and other issues that you need to address. You may need to meet with several attorneys before choosing the best professional to work with you. Keep in mind that you are looking for an attorney that is specialized in your personal and financial questions to clarify all issues and develop a legal and financial contract to address all concerns.

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October 30, 20161 found this helpful

Is this a friend situation, or a rental situation?

If you're doing a friend a favor, you do just what you are doing now. He pays his own utilities and grocery expenses, and you get to share his company. It is certainly not freeloading if you never agreed to anything else. And it doesn't matter how much money he has. It's his, not yours.

If this is a rental agreement, you set a fixed rental charge and your friend gets to decide whether it's worth paying that. If not, he leaves.

However, you run the risk of hurting your friendship by assigning a monetary value to it.

Either way, the decision is made by the person who owns the house.

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