The five things you must do when your partner or adult child moves in
Sharing your home with another adult can affect bills, benefits and the amount of tax you pay.
By Sarah Lewis
It happens - your adult kids might have had to move back home with you. Or you and your partner have taken the leap of love (love sounds better than faith, don't you think?) and moved in together.
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.
Finances can be an awkward subject, but have a chat about money early on. 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.
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.
Dumbbells, houseplants, an espresso machine (if you're lucky) - a new housemate means new stuff moving in too. You might need to tell your insurer so their belongings are covered.
Valuable items like laptops, jewellery or sporting equipment might need to be insured individually, especially if they cost more than £2,000. If their things add pounds to your premium then you might want to raise that with them.
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
If another adult is now sharing your car, as well as your home, you’ll need to update your car insurance to stay fully covered.
If your car insurance goes up 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. A multi-car policy can also be used to insure more than one car, often at a discounted price.
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, like your privacy or being able to sing in the shower without fear of embarrassment. Government benefits may also be affected.
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.
Your new housemate will need to:
- Tell their bank, insurance company, employer, the council and DVLA their new address
- Redirect post
- Join the electoral roll
- Put any non-essential items, like furniture, into storage
- Cancel direct debits used for previous bills and set up any new ones that are needed
- Get a parking permit if they've got a vehicle.