How to Share Mortgage With Boyfriend But Avoid Feeling Like a Landlord?

How to Share Mortgage With Boyfriend But Avoid Feeling Like a Landlord?

Tess Wilson
Sep 3, 2015

Q: My boyfriend is going to move into my condo, where I currently live alone and am responsible for the mortgage, condo fees, and all utilities. How do we split these costs?? His current rent is less than half of the expenses related to my condo. It would be challenging for him to pay exactly half. I am very conscious of not wanting to feel like I am the landlord, and he is living in my space....

I want it to feel like "our space" as much as possible, but I also don't want to make him live outside his means just to make a point. That being said... do we split everything down the middle? Do we take salary into account and he pays a portion? Does it matter that no matter what he pays, I am the owner and should things go south (not that I'm expecting them to, but you never know what may happen and I am just trying to be realistic), I am the only one left with this asset?

A note in case it comes up in the answers- there is not an option to move into a new place together. What would you do? Please help! -Sent by CondoConundrum

Editor: Oh, man, this is a tough one. I've read a ton of discussions on Apartment Therapy and elsewhere regarding fair ways to share household expenses, but never one just like this, in which one partner owns the shared home and basically charges the other rent. What is fair to both parties? What percentage of housing costs could the non-owner be reasonably expected to pay? Do you go by current rental market prices? And what about future complications, such as if the owner eventually sells- would the non-owner get any of the (hypothetical) profits?

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