"Make your choice and stick with it"


Radio 1 breakfast show listeners have been enraptured this week by the story of two listeners who moved in together after only three Tinder dates and have now declared their love for each other live on air. This is, of course, a completely delightful story.

They were following the advice of Dr Jenny Harries and Health Secretary Matt Hancock that couples "test their strength of feeling" and isolate together, rather than continuing to split time between their houses.

The idea of couples around the country taking the next step in their relationships together as part of the fight against coronavirus is very romantic. But moving in together is more than just a step in a relationship; it also is a significant legal step when it comes to property ownership, and it is worrying that couples are being forced to choose in a very short space of time between isolating alone for weeks, maybe months, or moving in with their significant other and in some cases taking on legal obligations to each other.

If couples had already been thinking about one moving into the other's home they may already have had "the conversation" about whether the new resident would be contributing towards the mortgage and outgoings, or "buying in" with capital, and what that would mean for the beneficial ownership of the property. But for those making this decision under significant time pressure, it could feel like a difficult time to discuss this emotionally tricky topic.

It's hugely important not to brush this issue under the rug. Having a frank and open conversation about your financial arrangements at this stage (and, ideally, recording that in writing) will "test your strength of feeling" before you've already moved your toilet roll and baked beans into your significant other's home and given them the password to your Disney+ account. That can only be a good thing.

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