By Sarah Lewis
The kids were gone, but now they’re back. If you have an adult child aged between 20 and 34 there’s a strong chance that, if they’re not already living with you, they will do at some point.
Whether their return is through choice or necessity, a temporary or long-term arrangement, sharing your home with another adult can affect bills, benefits and the amount of tax you pay.
Here’s what to do when they move back 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. Parents can be out of pocket by as much as £5,000 a year 1.
A contribution to cover the extra food and utility bills will make sure you don’t lose out, while costing your adult child 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.
Have a policy with us? You can make changes online at MyAviva.
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 have a policy with us you can update your cover at My Aviva.
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 on 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 will need to:
- Tell their bank, insurance provider, employer and DVLA their new address
- Redirect post
- Join the electoral role
- Put any non-essential items, like furniture, into storage.