By Sarah Lewis
It happens - your adult kids might have had to move back home with you. Or your partner's decided to make your house their home through lockdown.
Having another adult move in with you can affect all sorts of things - bills, benefits and even the amount of tax you pay.
No matter whether it's a temporary or long-term arrangement, here are some things you should do when someone new (or in the case of your kids, not so new) moves in.
Have a chat about finances straight away. Although sharing can make economic sense for everyone, your household costs are likely to increase by having another person, or more, at home.
A contribution to cover the extra food and utility bills will make sure you don’t lose out, while costing your new house guest far less than it would to rent privately. Read our article on how much rent to charge.
If you don’t need the money you could put it aside to help them with a deposit when it’s time to move on.
When an extra adult moves in you’ll need to tell your insurer so their belongings are covered by your home insurance.
Valuable items like laptops, jewellery or sporting equipment might need to be insured individually, especially if they cost more than £2,000.
You’ll also need to tell your insurer if your home will be occupied or unoccupied for longer periods than before, or if anyone plans to use it as a business address. These things can affect the cover you’ll need.
Sharing the driving seat?
You’re sharing your home, but what about your car, or theirs? If another adult is using your car, you’ll need to update your car insurance to stay fully covered.
If your car insurance increases or if you’re spending more on fuel, you might want to split the cost. Sometimes adding a second named driver can make your insurance cost less, so you might get a partial refund.
Drivers with our comprehensive car cover are insured to drive other people’s cars.
If you’ve been living alone you’ll most likely have claimed the 25% off your council tax bill. But if another adult moves in, you’ll lose the discount. Let your local council know, so you can make sure you’re paying the right amount of tax.
If the adult you live with is over 18 but is either in full-time education, completing an apprenticeship, or if you’re their carer, you may be entitled to another council tax discount. Take a look at the government’s website.
Check your benefits
Some benefits will be affected when another adult moves in.
Housing benefit, for example, might be reduced. Or, if you or your relative are claiming child benefit, this might be affected depending on how much you both earn.
If you claim benefits that might be affected, let the government know.
They'll need to:
- Tell their bank, insurance provider, employer and DVLA their new address
- Redirect post
- Join the electoral roll
- Put any non-essential items, like furniture, into storage.