Published on: 8 February 2023
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Finding Your First Apartment As a Couple: The Checklist
Living together as a couple can be synonymous with happiness, but it's important to know a few elements when it comes to renting an apartment as a couple, particularly if your young couple decides to rent their first apartment. How do you choose the ideal apartment? How do you make sure it fits both parties? How do you share the administrative aspects? And how do you proceed if one day the couple separates? Studapart will tell you everything.
What Type of Apartment is Best for a Couple?
Here are some tips to help you choose the first apartment as a young couple.
Opt for an Apartment with Two or More Rooms
Be aware that a studio or one bedroom apartment may not be suitable for a couple in the long run. Even if the members love each other, it is essential to preserve each ones privacy and the possibility of being alone. A home with at least two rooms would be more appropriate in order to maintain good relations and harmony within the couple.
Agree on the Decor
It will be very advantageous for you to talk about this aspect together in advance. Decoration is a matter of taste so it is quite likely that your partner and yourself will have different preferences. Try to give prominence to aesthetics, neutrality, sharing and novelty.
Create a Joint Account to Pay Your Rent
A first apartment for two is above all a shared budget that allows you to limit expenses, or at least distribute them. When it comes to paying rent, fees, insurance, subscriptions, it is preferable that the payment comes from a joint account from which you have defined the replenishment rules together. It must be clear that each one's investment should not suffer any shadows or doubts.
Invest in the Details
Sometimes in a couple, one person has a more "accounting" profile and automatically gets the administrative management of rent, insurance, subscriptions, etc. that the other will willingly leave to them, considering themselves allergic to paperwork. However, we advise you to keep in mind that sooner or later, the accountant might get tired and feel their partner's lack of involvement. This should not be a source of tension. The same goes for other areas such as DIY projects, for example.
Young Couples in a Registered Partnership or Married: Move In Together Into Your First Apartment
When you want to rent your first apartment as a couple, the first step is to compile a rental application. For example, each member of the couple must indicate their guarantor.
It is not necessary to be married or in a registered partnership to live together in the same accommodation. If you are cohabiting, it is recommended that each of you sign a rental contract with the landlord separately. This allows you to simplify your application for housing benefit (APL).
The rental lease can only be signed by one of the two people in the couple. But this person becomes the sole legal tenant of the accommodation. They are considered to be solely responsible for rent payments and could very well, for that reason, ask the other person to leave the apartment (unless they have acted as guarantor: they automatically become liable in case of default of payment by the main tenant). Another consequence is that if the main tenant were to die, the other person would need to prove that they were sharing their accommodation for more than a year.
It is therefore preferable that both names appear on the rental contract. With either joint responsibility, i.e. each member of the couple agrees to make up for any failure to pay rent by their partner, or with each party responsible at 50% (of rent, charges, defaults in payments etc.)
Things become a bit simpler if you are married or in a registered partnership. If only one person has signed the rental lease, then their spouse is automatically considered as a tenant of the accommodation. Therefore both parties are jointly liable for rent and charges.
Renting as a Couple: What to Know in Case of Breakup
What happens in case of separation while the couple is renting?
If you are living together, you can be glad that you both signed the rental lease. The fact that your name appears on the contract guarantees your right to occupy the accommodation. If one of them leaves the apartment and they are jointly responsible at 50%, then the person leaving must pay their part of rent until the other one leaves (or another person joins their couple). If a clause of solidarity is included in the contract, then the departing party must pay for six months after leaving.
If they are married or in a registered partnership, then the person leaving will remain liable for rent until the partnership is ended or divorce granted.