Just Bought an Apartment, Should The Girlfriend Pay Rent?

So I have just purchased an apartment previously rented @ 530p/w. My plan is to move into this with my partner on a part-time basis. Financially I earn around double her after tax (approx 55k). What would be a fair amount for her to pay living there at 4/7 days a week? Is anyone currently in this situation?



  • +18 votes

    She needs to Pay. But give discount of course.
    It's winter. Need to make her happy.

  • +48 votes

    At the minimum, a fair share of utilities/groceries. At the maximum, no more than half of the weekly rent. It's a bit slack for her to help you pay off your mortgage while at the end of the day, the apartment belongs to you only.

    Since she stays over 4/7 days, I assume she stays at her parents for 3/7 days? I mean, there's no reason for her to stay at yours really when she can still live at home.

    • +33 votes

      It's a bit slack for her to help you pay off your mortgage while at the end of the day, the apartment belongs to you only.

      Not in nsw. Op should proceed with caution when it comes to letting his partner pay for the assets and utility bills.

      • +7 votes

        Ah right, de facto. Yea I dunno. Does OP intend to marry her?


        she doesn't have to pay anything once they are defacto (if living together as a couple for a year or two) to be eligible to a percentage of it after a set time unless a prenuptial type agreement is made….


          Prenups "Financial agreements" are not worth the paper their written on in Australia. It can be challenged anytime for whatever reason. Been there done that.

    • +8 votes

      It's a bit slack for her to help you pay off your mortgage while at the end of the day, the apartment belongs to you only.

      Absolute tripe. She has zero financial responsibility for the sizeable home loan that OP has taken up. Why on earth should she only pay rent and be entitled to the property? That's ridiculous.

      • +8 votes

        Why on earth should she only pay rent and be entitled to the property?

        I'm not saying she should be entitled to the property. It feels like there's no real reason for her to live at OP's home, considering she'll only be there 4 days a week. I mean, does that even count as moving in if she's just going to be there half the time?

        It really comes down to OP and his girlfriend's commitment to the relationship and their stance of their future.

        • Does OP's girlfriend intend to eventually move in officially?
        • Do they intend to be lifelong partners?

        Only OP/his girlfriend would know; then maybe they could explore the option of his girlfriend buying the other half of the apartment to be fair.

      • +3 votes

        That wasn't his point at all. Read it again…

      • +8 votes

        Tell that to family court


        Not really man, if they have been together for abit. http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2458162

      • +2 votes

        Yeah thats family law.

        What you need is a binding financial agreement which states who owns what abd the percentages in case of breakup. Of course if you have kids or get married it ruins the agreement.

  • +8 votes

    No. Don't let her pay rent or utility bills.

    Btw how long have you been together?

    • +22 votes

      As above, OP, read up on de facto laws.

    • +3 votes

      Thanks for the advice. Coming up to 2 years now but separately at our respective parents houses.

      • -5 votes

        de facto only kicks in when you've been living together for 2 years.


        • +2 votes

          Not true, as you can fulfil other criteria to qualify.


          @kingmw: From the govt fact sheet. What am I missing?

          OP hasn't been living with his GF prior. OP hasn't mentioned kids. OP has bought the apartment himself. OP hasn't mentioned voluntarily entering into a de facto relationship and getting it registered.

          Charging his GF rent for 4/7 days a week she is there ain't going to satisfy "substantial financial" contributions.

          The Family Law Courts can make these orders if satisfied of one of the following:
          • the period (or the total of the periods) of the de facto relationship is at least 2 years
          • there is a child of the de facto relationship
          • one of the partners made substantial financial or non-financial contributions to their property or as a homemaker or parent and serious injustice to that partner would result if the order was not made, or
          • the de facto relationship has been registered in a State or Territory with laws for the registration of relationships.


          What relationships are covered?

          A de facto relationship is a relationship that two people who are not married or related by family have as a couple living together on a 'genuine domestic basis'.

        • +2 votes

          @ChickenTalon: You missed this part. Also it does NOT say you have to live together for 2 years which you stated.

          All the circumstances of the relationship will determine whether a couple have a de facto relationship. These include:

          the duration of their relationship
          the nature and extent of their common residence
          whether a sexual relationship exists
          the degree of financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support, between them
          the ownership, use and acquisition of their property
          their degree of mutual commitment to a shared life
          whether the relationship has been registered, in a State or Territory with laws for the registration of relationships
          the care and support of children, and
          the reputation and public aspects of their relationship.


          @ChickenTalon: It's a lot more complicated than what you have quoted.

          There is no need for

          1. de facto relationship
          2. financial contributions
          3. living together.
          4. children

          If certain criteria are meet, a claim can be made against someones assets after a period of 2 years. For example, a mistress made a successful claim after several years of a relationship that consisted dinners and 'meeting' in hotel rooms and the mistress had never been to the husbands/wife home.
          Sorry I can't reference this, came across it several years ago. Do your own research and you will be shocked at what can happen.

        • +1 vote

          @kingmw: Yes, that's what they'll use to DETERMINE if a de facto relationship exists. Being in a de facto relationship doesn't immediately mean a court can make orders concerning the division of property etc.

          IF a de facto relationship is determined, THEN it must exist for 2 years before orders can be made, UNLESS one of the other criteria are met:

          • there is a child of the de facto relationship

          OP doesn't have to worry here, unless his GF is or becomes pregnant and they have a child.

          • one of the partners made substantial financial or non-financial contributions to their property or as a homemaker or parent and serious injustice to that partner would result if the order was not made, or

          OP is thinking about charging a bit of rent, this will not qualify. Neither will having her pay some utility bills. It must be substantial.

          • the de facto relationship has been registered in a State or Territory with laws for the registration of relationships.

          OP hasn't said he's done this.

          So much fear mongering about claims on property in this thread, none of which fits with what the OP is proposing. Not even close.

          Heck, living there 4/7 days a week might not even qualify as a "genuine domestic basis", which would require an even longer term relationship to exist.


          @bigticket: This is a great point! Of course, it's only regarding extremely long term relationships with mistresses or he has a child with a mistress, but OP should definitely be concerned about this.

        • +2 votes


          spot on. Straight from the Family Law Act



          Whats you don't realise, she can file an application with the court and the trial date will be about 3 years ago in Sydney.


        2 years? just put a ring on that and have her move in full-time, she would be more likely to contribute to the bills as well.

  • +19 votes

    What would be a fair amount for her to pay living there at 4/7 days a week?

    Probably nothing. Maybe she buys the groceries or something.

    I'm not sure how the 4/7 days is relevant … she's either moving in or not.


      Is she moving in or just staying over? Is there a difference there?

      • +1 vote

        Is there a difference there?

        Of course.

        Moving in = come and go as you please. Bring your bags and no attempt to take it back.
        Staying over = Invited over. Brings an overnight bag and makes some attempt to take it back.

        • +12 votes

          Your girlfriend would probably think you have another one or two on the side if she is required to remove all trace of her existence after every sleep over, lol.

  • +23 votes

    Tread carefully, relationship is good and all but so is asset protection.

  • +60 votes

    Perhaps charge by the hour?

  • +3 votes

    So what, your repayments might be >$2,400/month?
    I would say, if you have to put a figure, she could pay $200 flat.
    You can pay all the bills and the groceries, and the rest of the repayments.
    Suggest it as a form of YOU not taking advantage of her, because people don't like other people knowing that they're "weak" or being helped by others. And that the modest contribution will be helping you out heaps to keep on top of the repayments. Also she would see the value in working, in money, and in assets and grow as a person (I'm guessing she's young)… we might even see her on OzBargain because of you : )

    I mean if she were to go out on her own, she would be looking at sharehouses with 4 strangers and paying $150 weekly PLUS bills and food.
    So her weekly expenditure would come around $300 anyways, so your helping her out, she's helping you out, and you're both better for it.

    But beware, this is a rocky road.
    And she might become de facto relation to you, and can sue you for your property after some time baring she meets some (low) criteria.

  • +30 votes

    I think you have another question to answer before you ask for room and board allowance from her sorry.

    Everything is in your name i'm assuming, or hope.

    If you have shared accounts and and bills that are accessible and payable by her your way past the point of asking this kinda question.

    It's time to man up you earn double what she does and your trying to work this out?????

    The relationship will be over before you introduce the punchcard for her clocking in and out. what if she spends 2 nights are you going to give her a discount?

    Please neg this all you want there is some sensible advice above but the i'd actually neg your entire post it's something the pair of you need to talk about and work out.



      Hey, we are both relatively young, (23 and 21). So no accounts/bills are shared. Despite earning double, mortgage payments still stretch me pretty thin. We are both pretty organised people with a schedule (as boring as it sounds).

      • +25 votes

        you should not have purchased if the repayments are out of reach, consider renting out the home to an independent

        It is irrelevant in life if you earn more,
        At the end of the day,
        Think to yourself
        if she pays doesn't part of your bills or mortgage repayments: will i make by every month without doubt?
        Does she do any home duties that allows me to rest? (home duties = Time and Labour ; rest = better work place performance or more hours either way indirect upward support to salary)

        If you earn more:
        in the real world in court defacto settlements do not consider salary alone but where did it come from.
        Did the partner choose not to earn more because the limitation of staying near you (location/city) or be available to do home duties.
        Did the lower earning partner provide support indirect direct or improved emotional support ; in job seeking, work place stress support, confidence to increase partners income.

        (if you are short $ and she gives it to you which helps you avoid defaulting, then in reality you would have nothing without her which means
        she is entitled to fair share as a codependent and a de-facto relationship) Without her you would have no home.

        If you have incapability of making repayments without assistance from a live in partner then that is co dependence and a de-facto relationship.
        She will be entitled to what ever a defacto is entitled to these days.

        A few years ago I heard of an elderly couple in Brighton writing invoices to each other every day for 30 years mudane things like a 75c receipt for a light bulb was split and squabbled over.

      • +2 votes

        Agree with carlb.

        You should consider living in there for 6 months and then renting it out thereafter as an investment property. Move back home and save some money unless you need/forced to leave home.

  • +2 votes

    I've always paid rent to my partner (we've been together about 17 years and have 2 kids now). When we moved into the house he bought I offered to pay the same amount as I'd been paying in our previous rental (which was much smaller - we shared the rent there 50:50). Then after the kids were born and I went back to work part time the rent was reduced by the same amount as my work hours had reduced. I am meant to pay a pro rata share of the bills but he can't be bothered to ever calculate what this is and I just keep quiet about it. So I am on a good deal.

    I only started paying him rent when I moved in full time.

    We both have investment properties in our own names and we're both on good salaries.


      I offered to pay the same amount as I'd been paying in our previous rental

      you guys had a history of sharing. op's story is starting with him saving, family money and buying a ppor.

    • +34 votes

      Hey, if it works it works. If I was in that situation I would feel a little weird about the power dynamic, but thats me, and with how I would structure things it would work out roughly the same anyway. Plus, your way opens up the door for some fun little bedroom games down the track

      Excuse me madam, I've come to collect the rent
      I'm so sorry, I don't have it!
      Well, maybe I'll have to collect it in another way..

      Cue jazz music, played by Steve, a very uncomfortable family friend who you make stand in the corner and play his clarinet while you do your thing.


      Why not getting married?

  • +62 votes

    call me old fashion. if my gf moved in with me. she pays nothing towards my mortgage. sure she can buy the groceries if she likes. not necessary though. i can do that to but if she going to cook she gonna know the ingredients of what she wants to cook.

    • +7 votes

      You sound easy to take advantage of.

      • +39 votes

        You sound like you'd even charge your mother rent!

        • +1 vote

          Well unless OP's gf has raised him from birth your comment makes no sense.

        • +4 votes


          Life with friends, partners, family or even strangers - there's always "give and take". We don't go around counting every cent or every favour. And when you're at the "give" stage, it doesn't necessary mean that you're being taken advantage of.

          your comment makers no sense.

          When you're in a serious relationship, a gf/bf is quite high up there (if not the highest) on the priority list. I would say that if it came down to it, a lot of people would have a very hard time trying to choose between their gf/bf and their own parents. Given that, which part makes no sense?

    • +7 votes

      Extremely old fashioned, and short sighted. OP is only making 55K (after tax, I think …), which is a very decent wicket - don't get me wrong. But why one earth should OP be subsidising his partners life?I'd say he should negotiate a small amount per week. Maybe a portion of what rent she might expect to pay if she were sharing an apartment.

      EDIT: Also, OP has stated that his partner earns around 50K.

      But also he needs to take into consideration De facto laws.

      • +2 votes

        I dont make much more than the op and im sure i can support my partner if she needs it.

        But why one earth should OP be subsidising his partners life

        Because when the relationship progresses on to marriage and kids. Both their income becomes one income pool.

        • +7 votes

          I never said he can't afford to support her. Of course he can afford it. But let me get this straight - you expect OP, who is now paying off a mortgage, to support his partner, whom is earning around 50K herself? Seriously? That's steeped in old-school sexism. OP isn't a fricken meal-ticket, dude.

        • -3 votes

          @ThithLord: > OP isn't a fricken meal-ticket, dude.

          You make it sound like one cannot break up with them if they are being treated like a meal ticket.

          Typical if they are not contributing i am getting taken advantage off comment.

          Whatever happened to showing you can be a provider?

        • -4 votes


          Paying the partners living expenses is being a meal-ticket, dude.

          What happened to showing you can be a provider?

          It died in the 50's, where it belongs, Xoom. What a Beta comment - you're embarrassing yourself.

        • +1 vote

          @ThithLord: all you had to say was. We cant have guys being a provider for their partner because i dont want my future partner to expect it of me also. There wasn't that what you meant?

          If there was an embarassment it would be the drop kicks who walked out on their partner and kid or kids and provide no support for them whatsoever.

          But hey 27 people seem to agree with my comment about not asking the gf to pay their share. So what do i know.



          You now know the gender of 27 people?

        • +2 votes

          @ThithLord: Please don't tell someone who's just being honest that they're embarrassing themselves. But I think you both have good things to say.

        • +1 vote

          @ThithLord: there's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to provide for your partner, male or female, 1950 or 2050.


        What are the defacto laws on this issue? Can you point me in the right direction, a court case perhaps? Or some newspaper article?

        Interested to look further into this.

      • +1 vote

        I put any money my partner gives me into a mortgage offset account, and whenever we go on holiday, that's our pool of spending money


        Financially I earn around double her after tax (approx 55k).

        G/f therefore makes ~27.5k

    • +4 votes

      You are what I would call normal and decent and what is the norm back home.
      I cannot believe how money-oriented EVERYTHING here is, even when it comes to love.
      I agree with asset protection but one can overdo it too.
      The de facto legislation is so stupid and crap. All it does is sow mistrust, suspicion, and problems.

  • +1 vote

    It's a tough situation that can lead to resentment towards each other if you're not careful. As others have said, if you expect the relationship could go the whole 9 yards, then you probably want to help each other out financially. If you talk openly about your budget, you might find your partner offers to chip in without you having to ask. Everyone is different though, and relationships are really all about managing expectations.

    Hopefully you're both on the same page and end up building a financially successful life together. Best of luck!

  • +2 votes

    If it were me, I certainly would ask her to contribute to some expenses if she's staying there a few days a week but I would then also consider the length of the relationship and her current financial situation (still paying off student loan, other debt etc.). A bit more info on the relationship and her background would have been helpful.

    The most important thing I would take out of this is how supportive she is willing to be and if you can both manage to successfully resolve this. It's a good test to see how issues with money in the future may pan out. If the relationship is still relatively new, this may be a way of telling that she just isn't there for a free ride…or in this case…free accommodation! I would even be more cautious if you've been supporting her financially and have been paying for everything else along the way since you've been together.

    • +4 votes

      So her background:
      -Full-time student
      -Part time worker at big 4 accounting firm
      -Her Uni is being paid for
      -has pretty decent savings.
      -earns 50k p/a if full time
      -currently living at home

      My Background:
      -Full-time worker for 5 years now
      -Part time uni
      -earn approx 80k p/a

      • +11 votes

        In my opinion, it looks positive and see no reason for her not to contribute. Nor would I think that it would be unreasonable if these circumstances were reversed.

        You've worked full time since you were 18, earn approx 80k p/a and just purchased an apartment at 23!

        Username does not check out. :)

        Seriously, well done.

      • +11 votes

        -Part time worker at big 4 accounting firm
        -earns 50k p/a if full time


        • +2 votes

          The OP’s GF is most likely on a Cadetship program with the Big 4, so pay is pro-rata. During semester breaks, when you work full time for the firm, pay will jump to the full time rate.

  • +2 votes

    I think $100 a week is fair. Best thing you can do is just talk with your partner and see what they think and go from there. It's not about what you ask for - it's how well you can discuss practical things like this together and make it work.

  • +27 votes

    Your main concern should be what she is entitled to if you break up.

    My friend had his girlfriend live with him rent and bill free for 3 years while she went through uni. She broke up with him and took 50% of the house shortly after graduating. This was in WA approx 8yrs ago.

    • +3 votes

      This story here is my main concern with OP sharing property with his gf. They might end up being together forever and ever and ever. Or they might separating and things get ugly.

      I wouldn't recommend moving in together if the property is under one name only and the loan is under one person. Better scenario would be OP buying the property together with the gf, 50:50. If it's too hard financially, OP can rent out the property he's bought and live in rental place elsewhere.

      Initially I thought if the other pays rent (not directly contributing to loan) then the other party isn't entitled to a portion of the property. Based on the comments, I'm wrong.

    • -1 vote

      He should of burnt her at the stake, what a cow…


      Spent more on the ex missus than a good lawyer.

  • +8 votes

    No, no, no, no.

    With absolutely no ill intent toward your partner - the laws and interpretations of same today will mean if there is any split esp if it is acrimonious it could involve you in a world of pain just fighting for what you see is yours let alone whatever the final result may be. Once married it should be a relationship based 100% on trust but till then wall off your assets AND keep records that showed you paid 100% of whatever has been paid towards the property.

    Paying a part of the grocery (and services??) bill SHOULD be safe IMHO as it is a shared residence at least some of the time…I say "should be" as, really I do not trust a court to use common sense in these PC, nanny state times.

    You can call me cynical as much as you like but that's my opinion on the matter………..and if she was the owner and you the partner and she was asking the same question I'd advise her exactly the same as I have you.

    • -9 votes

      makes NO difference, married or not after 6 months in the EYES OF THE LAW your treated the same as if you was married and her contribution does not have to be for rent at all. Hells bells she can be a stay at home lazy sod and a good judge will still give her half, more if you have children so either marry her or screw her at her place! Cheaper to pay a hooker becuase until your married thats what youve made her, so dont blame her if one day she gets half. Sex isnt free, ever

  1. xoom on 13/07/2017 - 21:29
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  3. ronnknee on 13/07/2017 - 20:01
  4. bobbified on 14/07/2017 - 00:58
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