Since there are a number of you who won’t be persuaded by yesterday’s blog on living together (Why you shouldn’t live together), the next best thing you can do is to protect yourself both legally and financially.
- Never lease a place that either of you can not afford on your own. You can rent a nicer place based on both incomes but if you break up, you will be responsible for the entire amount each month.
- Have one partner’s name as legally responsible for the lease and the other with residence privileges. The one whose name is on the lease will be responsible for full payment each month. The one with residence privileges will be at a legal disadvantage but will be safer financially. Decide which one you want to be.
- If you do decide on a more expensive place based on both incomes, each partner should put half the amount required to break the lease into a savings account. You should also save up additional money for a first month’s rent and security deposit should you need to move out quickly.
- Draw up a legal contract stating how much rent is to be paid by each partner each month and when it is due by; the document should also include how the security deposit will be split. Have it notarized. If you want to be legally secure, have it drawn up by a lawyer.