Renting and Living with a Romantic Partner
According to a study published by the Wall Street Journal the number of young adults aged 25 to 34 who choose to stay unmarried has exceeded the number of married couples in this age bracket. This is the first time since marriage statistics have been recorded that non-married persons in this age demographic have out-weighed those who engage in wedded bliss. Although the number of marriages is down, there is no shortage of couples wishing to take their relationship to the next level by sharing an apartment. Renting with a romantic partner is slightly different than with a standard friend, and like other roommate situations there are certain steps that may help streamline this process while keeping both partners happy and content.
Selecting the Apartment
Obviously, this is a major decision involving both partners. Unlike married couples, romantic partners tend to keep their finances separate, thus take both partner incomes into considerations. Each partner must agree on a maximum rent amount. If one partner agrees to pay more on rent or utilities, lay down the ground rules for the other partner. Will the partner spending more money expect the other partner to clean the house? Do yard work? Wash the dishes? This is not the time to leave any stone unturned. Communication is key when romantic partners are dealing with financial situations. Do not move forward unless both parties are 100 percent comfortable with the situation and both understand what is expected financially.
Signing the Lease and Dealing with Utilities
After the perfect apartment has been found, it is time to sign the lease. To prevent hurt feelings or a complicated situation in case the relationship fails, it’s best both romantic partners put their names on the lease agreement. This is a safe bet as each partner is equally accountable for the bills and upkeep of the property. When it comes to utilities, it is best to split each bill between both partners. For example, the first partner places the electricity and water in his name while the other partner puts cable and internet in her name. Even if both partners will be sharing the cost of utilities, it is best to split up the bills in this manner to ensure each partner is carrying his weight within the financial responsibilities of the apartment.
Remember – Romantic Partners Are Not Roommates
Once the apartment is moved into and all the furnishings are set up, the romantic partners can begin living their life as a unified couple. There is one vital aspect of this scenario both partners must understand – this union is not a roommate situation. Roommate living situations typically call for a give and take mentality. For example, a roommate cooks dinner while the other cleans. Romantic partners are just that, partners. Treat each other with respect, enjoy having unlimited access to one another and above all else, revel in each other’s love.
Jon Engle is currently the editor of the California Apartments Blog providing tips on negotiating rent, apartment living and apartment community reviews such as these Cupertino, CA apartments for rent and these San Juan Capistrano rentals.