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Should I Charge My Adult Child Rent? Navigating Fair Contributions for Adult Children

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Updated May 16, 2024
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Should I Charge my Adult Child Rent?

Navigating the financial landscape of adulthood, many young adults find sanctuary in their childhood homes. In fact, a Pew Research Center study found that as of July 2020, 52% of young adults resided with their parents—the highest percentage since the Great Depression. 

While the desire to shield offspring from economic hardship is strong, parents may ponder the average rent to pay parents in 2022 to instill fiscal responsibility. According to a survey by Country Financial, one-third of parents ask their adult children to contribute financially while living at home. Charging rent, even at a reduced rate, can prepare them for future independence and financial stability, striking a balance between support and life lessons in money management.

Many financial experts agree that parents should charge their adult children rent if an adult child lives in the parents' home or in other property the parents own. Financial advisors have usually seen many cases in which young adults don't take their obligation of paying rent seriously and end up in high consumer debt with an eventual inability to make rent or mortgage payments. Those who do understand that rent and fixed living expenses have to come first, on the other hand, may still have high consumer debt but are less likely to be as seriously behind in housing payments for the most part.

Paying rent and the other fixed fees that go along with it such as electricity bills, is a necessity in the real world and parents not expecting their adult children to pay them anything for living in their premises aren't doing their children any favors. Some young adults keep living at home in order to reduce expenses while saving for their own home and this is commendable and a good idea with the high housing rates today – either renting or owning.

But allowing adult children to live rent-free so they can drive fancier cars and spend more money on trips with friends and dinners out is not teaching them responsibility about money. Learning how to cover basic fixed expenses while putting away some savings will better prepare them for the harsh reality of living in the real world. Financial experts say that, ideally, no more than about 35% of a person's net income should be used for housing costs. You can still give your children a big savings in costs compared to their income, yet have a reasonable percentage of their income to cover your expenses and inconvenience of helping to house them.

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Discussion Comments

By anon1006742 — On May 13, 2022

I was raised in a culture where parents support their children until they are on their own feet, but only the basics. If I want anything extra, I would work to pay for that. Another but: we don’t have an age like 18, when things change. So, I can stay at home and not pay rent. However, once I am gainfully employed, I would help with expenses by offering what I could. It’s not thought of as a landlord, tenant relationship; it’s just being part of the family. We don’t operate like the American culture. We do it out of love. Family is forever, it’s your tribe. Nobody takes advantage of each other, we protect the elderly and nurture the young.

It’s sad that the American culture divides families. The relationships seem so transactional. I hear 18+ olds children complaining that they don’t have money to go out, entertain, etc., after paying towards household expenses. That’s such an entitled and spoiled response.

Instead, show some integrity.

By anon997878 — On Mar 12, 2017

If an 18 year old is in school, is it illegal to charge them rent or ask them to help with bills?

By anon992633 — On Sep 21, 2015

First off, 35 percent is wrong. The max (according to financial advisers) is about 25 percent, with rent being more reasonably about 20 percent! People need to eat or commute to work which costs money. Given the cost of housing where I live (Los Angeles), it is wrong for parents to charge rent to their children if that child (adult or otherwise) is still living by their house rules. I graduated three years ago, and I still do not earn enough money to feasibly move out on my own, and I have what most would consider a "good job" for the area. Rent is between $1500-$2500 for a 1 bedroom apartment in LA (particularly if I don't want to be raped or shot at, you can look at the higher end). I would need to be earning about $5,500-$6,000 after taxes to be able to comfortable afford rent in Los Angeles. That equates to approximately $7,000 month or about $85,000 per year. I'm nowhere near that with what I earn.

I know some horrible parents who charge their children who are making less than $2k a month over $600 in rent. What is wrong with these people?

In other countries, children are cherished, loved, and the parents are happy to have them live with them until they are old. Here you are told you are a piece of crap! It really sickens me that America has equated freedom with kicking your children out. It's led to nothing but stupid crap, like their kids having eight babies with three different men, or couples moving in to "save money" (sure), then having a bunch of issues. When people are away from friends and family and isolated, they make bad life choices, I can't help but think part of it is because of our huge push to tell an 18 year old to leave home, or to extort them with high rent.

Now if your kid is a hot mess under your roof and does drugs, has men or women overnight, etc., kick them out so they have to learn the hard way. There are consequences to being an idiot, one of which is the parent shouldn't have to raise your illegitimate brat.

By anon955827 — On Jun 09, 2014

The corporatization of family is pretty typical of U.S. thinking. Just like corporations, families are expected to "follow the norms" of society while functioning in completely dysfunctional ways. Then as the "employee" (the kid) grows older they do not get rewarded by getting a promotion to take on more responsibility and success (in this case a "promotion" would be moving and moving on with their own adult lives).

Instead, the kid/employee bears the brunt of the failures of the company while the "owner"/parents seek to continue to drain the life blood from the kid and "allow" them to live rent free (as if someone older than 21 prefers to live rent free and girlfriend free). Then the parents/owners place all the blame of the failure of the company (family) on the employee (kid), despite them never having written a proper business plan (college savings, detailed healthy family upbringing) and proceeds to threaten employees by cutting their salary (forcing them to pay rent and "help out" around the house) attempting to sell them into a slavery. I think you can see the connections.

Even all the senior baby-boomers who have had a lifetime of dreams fulfilled while everyone under 40 is forced to eat each other here in the 21st century. Sure, we all have technology. But is that really what we want? Sitting on the internet all day and quantifying our lives into online applications in order for a corporation like McDonalds to decide not to hire us because of that "Elderly Abuse" arrest we got at age 34 because we were living with our alcoholic 74 year old parents?

Yes, that is exactly why I went to Catholic School from age 6 through 18 and finished college and worked for a city and for companies in the U.S. by age 29 -- all so that I could move in with my parents and get arrested for the first time at age 34 and then not be able to get a job the rest of my life.

By anon947340 — On Apr 25, 2014

@Dreambound: Wwherever you live, you have to pay rent and would not get it back if the landlord died. Why should you think you have the chance to use your rent as a savings account? Sounds like you are shafting your brother and blackmailing your mother.

If your mother rented the place out to someone else, you would not get a larger proportion of the flat than your brother in the end.

By anon944543 — On Apr 08, 2014

I'm 21 years old. I make $100 a month if I'm lucky. I'm a full time student at a university, hopefully planning on going to medical school. My parents pay for everything: gas, rent, food, cell phone, car and insurance for my car. I pay for my own clothing and eating out and health insurance is free for me because I am a full time student, but I feel like such a failure. I cannot find a job and they are always throwing it in my face that they pay for everything, and when times get tough, they ask me why I am not working.

I don’t know what to do. I hate living at home but am not allowed to move out until I am married. I drive a Mercedes C class and am from a privileged home. If I could, I would move out and leave everything behind. I'm suffocating.

By anon942836 — On Mar 29, 2014

Wow, I am flabbergasted at some of the responses here. When I was a teenager I worked two 40 hour jobs all the time. I moved out at 19 and lived in Tampa. My two jobs paid the bills and allowed me to eat eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I would have loved to have Ramen, which would have been a nice change of pace.

I got married, and after having three kids, my ex decided to go on a midlife crisis and asked for a divorce. I moved back in with my parents. I had a couch, which I had to vacate by early morning and one shelf in a closet for my clothes. I paid off my divorce lawyer, old debts and finally got an apartment after two years.

My ex rolled back into town and I foolishly allowed him into my apartment. After four years I managed to remove him. It took 600 dollars to a lawyer after paying my new debts down, to clean my credit. I purchased a home in 2008.

I have raised three kids. I have a paralegal degree but no jobs in the area. I worked cashier jobs, two at a time, to raise three boys. I didn't gripe when my parents put restrictions on me. I didn't let my boys, now adults slide, either. They pay their insurance, medical, dental bills and $100 rent. In my opinion, it's too little.

If you put in 200 applications and can't find a better job, you're doing it wrong. If you're letting the economy be your excuse, you're doing it wrong.

Welcome to adulthood. As parents, we give up all of our creature comforts to provide for our children, only to have them say we are being hard on them.

My kids tried to lay that "It was different when you were a kid" line on me. Yes it was. We had it so good. Instead of filing applications online, we got to put on our sneakers and search out places of employment. Instead of having cell phones, we got put a dime in a phone booth and made phone calls.

Instead of having a convenience store on every block, we got to go 10 to 30 miles to find more than five places to apply for a job. Instead of big box stores with 300 plus employee positions, we got to compete with about 50 people for one job in a 40 mile radius.

But let's forget about all the benefits we had when we were kids. Many of us don't have career jobs. We are out there in the same job market you guys are in, competing with much younger, stronger teenagers, who gripe about the effort it takes just to clock in, who gripe that their parents aren't giving them a fair deal, who don't want to work more than 15 to 29 hours a week. But somehow we still pay the bills that feed, cloth and put a roof over our kids' heads.

Your parents didn't jump into a time machine and go back to the past to do their jobs. They are out there in the same market you are in. So put a sock in it nancy boys, and get a job. Because if you're not in school, you're not working and over 18 living with Mom and Dad, you're doing it wrong!

By anon926383 — On Jan 18, 2014

My wife paid $50 a month for rent in 1992 at age 15 and at about the same time, I had to pay rent at age 21 of $200/month, but not to my parents -- to my brother instead. My parents definitely could have used the help having six kids. When I look back, I can see that my parents did more for us than I ever knew, even though at the time, I had always felt like it was never enough.

I tend to agree with the idea of learning responsibility. Many hands make heavy work light, which means the more help there is the easier the work becomes. Also, the reverse is unfortunately true as well; the less help available the harder the work ends up being. Help out, kids. Don't be a deadbeat mooch. No one will want you around. If you aren't being helpful then yes you are being a deadbeat mooch.

Kids have been having fun their whole lives. Any kid who would abandon or curse their parents for asking for help does not deserve their generosity/hospitality or assistance. The guy who threatened to lock his parents in a nursing home and hide his children from his parents sounds like a very disturbed, selfish individual in need of an anger management counseling session or two. My eldest sister did just that to my parents. It's manipulative, spiteful terrorism if you ask me. Nobody likes her much anymore. She's a big drama queen, always stirring up trouble, yet claiming to be the victim.

If your parents charge you rent, it would be only fair for you to charge them rent should the tables be reversed and especially if monetary assistance is needed.

Kids who can't pay rent should at the absolute very least offer to assist with important projects and overwhelming chore/duties like firewood, fixing the car, painting, digging, hauling junk to the dump, sweeping the porch /driveway, organizing the garage and by all means clean up after themselves when cooking creating designing or whatever -- not just basic household chores, but the hard stuff.

Parents don't last forever. They need us. Try learning this phrase and you will impress a lot more people than you can imagine: "Is there anything I can do to help?" or "Do you have something I can assist you with?" Ask not what your parents can do for you. Ask instead what you can do for your parents. This will help you in life. Employers will love this, too!

Don't just stand around. Pay it forward. Who has been feeding you? Whose roof are you under? Who gave you life, clothes, medicine, birthdays, toys... it all adds up.

Parents with a baby born in 2012 will spend $217,000 to half a million dollars to raise the child to age 18. Divided equally by 18 years, to raise a child will cost you roughly $11,000 USD per year.

Does anyone think of that before they have the baby?

By anon924184 — On Jan 02, 2014

I moved home after college and did not pay rent. I would have but then I got laid off. Then when I was 25, my parents charged me $100/month. I understood it, even though I pay for my own clothes, shampoo, food, etc. Might I add, I am also staying home, since my parents are opposed to me living together with my boyfriend before marriage. So, I am staying home until I marry my long time boyfriend.

I stay to save money, but also to make them happy, because I could afford to move in with my boyfriend, since he has a good job and could help support me. Then, at the age of 27, I decided back to grad school, and they decided to raise my rent. I understand teaching "responsibility," but that extra money is now money I need to take out in student loans, which I pay interest on. Even so, I have come up with money saving tricks, but the tricks will just get me money to pay them, and not use for school.

I understand that it is not my parents' choice that I am still home, not married, and now going back to school for two years. However I am "under employed" and couldn't live on my own, hence why I am going for my masters. So I feel I am doing right by them, and now forced to stretch my savings further for school, when my parents don't need the money.

I am not angry, but I would maybe like some parental insight as to why this makes sense to them.

By anon356590 — On Nov 26, 2013

That is so sad and typical. Only western parents could ever think of charging their own child for rent; the most cheap thing I have heard in a long while.

By anon353097 — On Oct 28, 2013

My boyfriend’s 26 year old daughter still lives with us. The reason why she’s here is because her dad wants to help her save up and pay her bills, to be debt free. She is not paying rent or giving her dad money for electric bills or for groceries. However, she is paying her dad back the money she owes him when he helped her get a car. By the way, she does have a full time job. She works at a bank making decent money and it is a full time job.

As far as housework goes, I think she could do more around the house. I have not seen her lift a broom and sweep the floor or even empty out the dishwasher, or mop the floor. She leaves dishes in sink for days. She also has her boyfriend living at the house. He pays $300 rent, but he also does not help around the house.

When I cook they eat. They hardly ever cook their own food. I think they leave their meat in the freezer to rot. I didn’t want to tell my boyfriend what bugs me about her, but I did anyway. Since I feel like I can’t talk to her anymore about the situation, I thought getting her dad involved would solve it.

When I confronted her, I told her that I was sorry, I wasn’t trying to apologize to her, but what I was trying to say was, I was sorry that I had to tell her dad and that it has to be that way. She asked me why I had to tell her dad, and said she didn’t want to stress her dad out because he’s got medical issues.

My question is, is it fair that she pays rent and do more things around the house because I am tired of cleaning up after her and her boyfriend? And is it wrong for me to involve her dad?

By anon339773 — On Jun 26, 2013

I make $440 ($320 after the government steals 26 percent of it), a week which is more than most people make out of college. I pay for everything: phone $50 a month, gas $80 a week, food $100 a week, car insurance $155 a month and everything else, plus having a girlfriend. It comes out to $232 a week and doesn't include going out or buying alcohol or using any of it for the girlfriend or clothes. Just expenses! So even with $200 a month, I'd only have $120 a month to pay for everything else or learn to save! How am I supposed to move out or go to school saving maybe at most $1400 a year and that's having no life, girlfriend or health problems or other expenses. I might as well just get another full time job at that point and move out. I've had a job every summer since I was 11, mowing lawns then full time right after high school and my mom still complains I don't do a lot around the house, even though I work 53 plus hours a week and spend my other time sleeping or with my girl or friends. She threatens me with paying rent or kicking me out, and my two sisters just got their first jobs this year and they don't have to pay or do anything since they went to college? I didn't go to college because my mom didn't want to pay for the schools I wanted to go to and said she would only pay for community college.

If your adult kids don't pay for anything and have a car, phone, and you pay for clothes, yeah, you should ask them to pay for that but don't charge rent. That's just messed up and you crossed a line you can't go back over. I'd move out and probably not talk to her ever again because she's making me choose between having free time but no money to do anything or working two jobs with no life and having extra money.

By anon339671 — On Jun 25, 2013

I just graduated with $28,000 in student loans. My dad (who makes a bucketload of money) paid roughly half of my college tuition and room and board while I was still in school. I graduated in May, and let me tell you the weight of student loans is heavy.

My ultimate goal is to move to abroad a year from now, but I want to pay off as much student loans as I possibly can within a year. Nobody can say I am not working towards financial independence; I just can't afford paying $400 a month for the next ten years.

My parents and I are talking about rent options, as my mother foresees me having trouble helping around the house while working a full time and a part time job to foot the bills. She probably has the gist of it, but I'm hoping that the rent is low so I can get on my feet as soon as possible! It doesn't help that I'm a type 1 diabetic and have to pay roughly $250 a month for diabetic supplies in addition.

Times are tough, man. I can see how a leecher should pay standard rent, but for us on really hard times striving for financial independence? Not so much.

By anon339526 — On Jun 24, 2013

As a young college student I was always able and welcomed to live at home and my parents paid for everything as long as I was a full-time student. I also worked part-time for gas and spending money.

After my sophomore year, I began working full-time and only attending school part-time my parents required me to pay them $200 a month. Up until that point they paid my car/car insurance also. Once I began working full-time and only attending school part-time, that also became my responsibility.

My opinion? I say that is completely fair! Had I not lived at home I would have had to pay more than that somewhere else. It gave me wings and taught me to fly.

By anon338532 — On Jun 14, 2013

I am 37 years old. Five years ago I owned my own home, own cars and had a job that paid very well. Then I got sick (cancer) and lost it all. My mom got a house given to her in an inheritance. It had been empty for over a decade and she kept referring to it as a white elephant and said she didn't want it. We made a verbal agreement that I could move in. I pay the electric, water, garbage, taxes, insurance, and upkeep. I even put money in a fund for repairs. I hired a housekeeper to clean as I am not able to do it all and I have hired a gardener for the same reason. All in all, I pay about $900 per month for a three bedroom, two bath home. The going rent in the neighborhood is $1200 per month. I do not expect to live here for free. I wanted to live here until I could save up money for my own place and pay off all my medical debt.

Here is the deal. My mom does not want to be a "landlord." She wants to be a "roommate". She has not now nor has she ever lived here. She owns a home and lives with my father 45 minutes away. She has also decided that because we are "roommates," that she gets to make all the rules, come and go as she pleases and move stuff around when she pleases. I have to ask permission to do anything in the house, including move the furniture. I would gladly pay the rent of $1200 to get her out of my hair, but she refuses to be a "landlord". Here is my situation: even though I can afford the $900-$1200 a month for a decent place, my credit was so badly trashed that at this time cannot buy or afford the deposit for a nice place. I am limited by really bad neighborhoods and/or bad housing. The last deposit quote I got was over $3000.

My question is, even though I don't pay the full going rate, does anyone know if she is a landlord anyway? Can I demand tenant rights to privacy? We only had a verbal agreement that I would pay the above items and I have faithfully paid them every month on time.

I really am at a loss here. I want to move out if this is going to keep up, but I'm not crazy about my options. The last place where I lived made me sick because they had gas leaks that they wouldn't fix. I couldn't do anything about it though, because the gas company said they were within legal levels.

By anon334087 — On May 09, 2013

I think it's disgusting for grown children to keep sponging off their parents. Remember, you are not "profiting". Keeping up a rental property costs money, and the people living there should be paying for it. Letting a child live there for free is letting them be a mooch.

Why should kids get a free ride once they grow up? At what point are parents going to start holding them accountable for taking care of themselves instead of always running to Mom and Dad for money and a place to live? Marriage, home and family? Good luck with them learning how to do any of that when they aren't even expected to support themselves and make their own way in the world.

By anon331087 — On Apr 20, 2013

I am 19 years old and I live with my mom. I am a freshman at a community college and went during both the fall and spring semester and kept my grades up. I decided to take the summer off and my mom told me if I am not going to school I need to get a full time job working 40 hours a week. She also wants me to pay for half of all the bills.

I work part time and I am currently paying for my car (insurance, maintenance, gas, other fees) my phone, clothes, and anything else that I want. I barely make enough to cover half the rent. Is my mom being a bit harsh or am I being a baby?

P.S. My current job won't let any part time employees get close to 40 hours and our schedule comes out every Friday only showing one work week at a time. My mom said if my current job wouldn't let me work 40 hours to get a second job but scheduling wise, I don't know how it would work. I also want to be able to have fun this summer.

By anon330982 — On Apr 19, 2013

I am a 19 year old living at home. No, I'm not in college yet, but I work a part-time job at $7.85 an hour, four days a week, about 20-25 hours a week. I get paid every other week. I do work around the house, pay for my own food and medication, and my mom still expects me to pay her $309 a month, plus medical expenses. That's more than a full paycheck. I'm behind three months, which means I owe her $927 that don't have. I just find it ridiculous and over-the-top. As do my own dad and my best friend's parents.

By anon330842 — On Apr 19, 2013

Most parents need to pull their heads out of their butts. I am a young person struggling to find any sort of work (it's so bad in my town there's people's parents working at MacDonald's) I've handed out over 200 resumes (count) and not even a phone call back.

I have no patience for most parents anymore, I want to grab them, shake them and scream at them about how it isn't 1972 anymore and you can't just drop out of high school and find whatever job you want.

I swear if you took a huge majority of parents, took their jobs away and went oh sorry about that it's a bad economy, so eat ramen noodles and tough it out, half of them wouldn't be able to do it and the half that could would be so shaken they would never gripe at their kids ever again.

It's the incompetent parents who have leech children because they haven't taught them any useful life skills, probably because they are baby boomers and have this delusion that the world is made of money and they wonder why their kids don't "just get out there and do it." It's because you did a poor job of raising your kids and now it's going to come and bite you in the butt.

By anon330159 — On Apr 14, 2013

Here is a situation. I am a 38 year old single mother with three kids. I have lived in the same neighborhood for many many years. Unfortunately, I get very little child support and my parents have offered to buy me a very low cost home.

We have lived here for about three years now, and my parents set a few rules. I pay the light bill, the water bill, and heat. I am not allowed to have animals in the home or anyone else in the home without their approval. I do not have to pay rent. This is a fair, generous offer for someone in my situation.

However, here is the dilemma. My parents (mainly my mother) always comes over when I am not home, going through the laundry, going through my kids' clothes, "saying she is helping me." I do not ask her to do this, nor do I appreciate the invasion. I know she has gone through my mail also, and just in general keeping up on what is going on in the house. How do I tell them nicely that I do not want this "help" when they own the home?

By anon327582 — On Mar 29, 2013

My 19 year old son flunked out of junior college after a year of not working and having a great time with the grant money given to attend school. (He does play in a band} My husband literally had to take him to temporary work sites to get him to start working.

After months of watching him spend everything and not saving for a car or helping around the house, we told him he had to contribute 50 dollars a week plus pay for his portion of car insurance.

It's been horrible trying to get the money from him. I still have access to his account since he had it when he was a minor, so I have sometimes just taken it out. He barely speaks to us, acts like we are horrible parents, and does nothing to help around the house. He says it's not fair because his brother didn't pay rent. His brother has been in college the whole time, and worked and bought his own car. He is still in school and has moved out. What he doesn't know is that I opened another saving account and have been putting the "rent" money there. I just want him to save some of his money and to learn to budget. He is free to move out, but also does not seem to want to. We pay for all other bills including his cell phone. I even wash his clothing, which most of the time he doesn't bother to put away. I sometimes worry that our relationship will be damaged forever.

By anon322062 — On Feb 25, 2013

I find all of the posts interesting. I am a single mother of a 21 year old girl who still lives at home. She does not go to college but has a full time job making about $30,000 per year. She does pay for her car, car expenses and her cell, but nothing else. Nor does she help out with household chores often.

I feel that it is only fair to charge something towards household expenses. After all, they use the utilities and sleep under the same roof. Everything keeps going up but income, and it is very difficult to make ends meet these days.

I do not think it is unfair for an adult child who has a full time job to contribute. It teaches responsibility and prepares them for at some point being totally responsible for themselves. I will always be there for my child if needed, but that does not mean parents are obligated to give them a free ride when they have the ability to contribute.

By anon294134 — On Sep 29, 2012

My step son of 20 is moving in with us. He works full time and makes same amount of my husband. I think we need to charge rent!

By anon278040 — On Jul 03, 2012

I'm an 18 year old female, living with my mother and step father. I have no job, and have come out of college for the summer, waiting to go to university in the autumn. My parents made me start paying rent by the age of 16 because they wanted me to get used to budgeting myself, but as a teenage girl, am I not entitled to go out and spend a bit of cash on myself once in a while?

And when I have to buy supplies for college, etc., I became unable to pay my parents rent. When I was 16, I had a job, and then my family moved, me along with them and I lost my job due to transportation which also made me unable to pay the rent that they wished for.

Since then, I have been trying to save the money I gained from the 'EMA' scheme (which helped students with their funds for college etc.) to rent a flat and to move out of my parents house, but what money I did save was snatched away from me by my parents and they abuse my money like I'm not trying to get away.

So in answer to your question, I'll ask another one:

Is it fair on children if their parents take the child's bank card and take money out of their personal account for their own benefits when the child is trying to save money ready for university and future life?

By anon274721 — On Jun 13, 2012

I am a widowed mom whose 26 year old daughter lives with me, works 30 hours a week and makes approximately $800 a month take-home and goes to school part-time. I can barely afford my expenses myself.

She pays for her cell phone, car insurance and helps chip in for groceries. She doesn't help around the house much unless I ask her to do things the majority of the time. Should I charge her rent and what is fair?

By anon270856 — On May 24, 2012

@Ric: That's just what I'm doing with my adult children. I believe there was a person who posted above that once you start charging rent, you just lost the right to just say get out.

I beg to differ with that. If it comes to that, then the rent that's been saved just became a deposit and move in money. If you tell them to just get out when they ticked you off and they're not prepared, they'll just boomerang back anyway. You wouldn't just want to send them out there wandering around like a pack of wild dogs.

By anon246162 — On Feb 08, 2012

I have a 24 year old step son who has been living with us since 2004. My wife works and I am disabled due to a disease called sarcoidosis. It has invaded my bone marrow and now my bones are weak and I was forced into retirement in 2006.

With my cut in pay -- almost in half -- it has put a stress on our wallets. My stepson lost his job in December 2010 and is on unemployment. He says he is looking for work on the internet (which I do think many companies require now), but he never leaves his room to go out to look for work. He is supposed to be paying us $200 a month but has not done that ever and my wife does not force him to do it. I feel she still treats him like a child and fears that he may try to harm himself. He tried once before.

All he does the entire day is play video games and watch TV. Very rarely will he help around the house and I feel that I do not have to beg for his help. He feels that he is entitled to living here free and has all free functions of the house e.g.: cable, phone, internet, laundry, food, drink, electricity and so on. If I say anything to him, he complains to his mother that I am picking on him and my wife does not support me or any of my suggestions. It is putting a stress on my health and marriage. What should, can, I do?

By anon241795 — On Jan 20, 2012

It depends on the child. If the child has been living on their own for years, then either has to move in, or is willing because it would help their folks with bills/yard/chores they cannot do, then charging is nonsense. I help my parents out, give them cash for whatever they need. Should I be able to then make demands on them because I pay rent, and thus contribute? Legally the answer is yes. Can of worms opened now.

Sure, if you have crap quality kids (their fault) because you didn't raise them with the proper aspects of being an "adult," then it is your fault as parents. If my parents turned stone cold and charged me significant rent, say as much as I would pay splitting a flat with someone, then I'd laugh, move out and then put them in a nursing home with nothing. See how that works? Mess up your kids’ future (your genetic lineage huh?) and you end up living in the poor house, or an abusive nursing home with no money and here's the kicker: you do not get to see my children, the grandkids. Try living that down..

People had children because they chose to, so they should raise them properly or face a cold future of being alone and helpless when the nursing staff abuses, robs and eventually drains their life's earnings dry. What kind of "parents" treat their kids like some animal that kicks them out of the nest because their job of raising them is over? Do people not see why most adults hate their seemingly sweet elder parents? It’s because they didn't prepare them for the real world properly, and on top of that, still play the hardcase role of "do as I say, not as I do."

All that fluoride in the water/medication must be negatively affecting some people’s minds. A parent’s job is to raise their children to do as or better than they are. Who wants to be lower or middle class? We all want to be rich, because rich folks are free from most of society’s scams (high taxes on everything with little advancement for the commoner.) People who allow their children to become or stay "commoners," they’ve failed in a big way. Rich people have as a fact better educational opportunities, a much easier chance to start a financially successful business, huge credit lines, freedom of not working like a serf for some fat, lazy rich Boss Hogg! They do not rent apartments, nor any of that commoner crap. If someone is proud to be a commoner, well then I guess ignorance is bliss. For the rest of us with a historically accurate education, the rich are breaking away from us all. Haven’t you noticed the gap statistics widening, while austerity is increasing for the middle and lower classes. I wonder why? Because it’s always been this way. The rich rule us all! Wake up!

Pull the cheap carpet from your eyes. Life is about money because money equals freedom from "work," a.k.a. servitude, whether you like your "career" (long term job turned paid-hobby) or "job."

By anon226614 — On Nov 01, 2011

I am really torn on this one. I feel that I should be charging my 26 year old some rent, and of course she feels insulted by this.

By anon210478 — On Aug 30, 2011

The parents that charge rent to their own kids will be treated the same way when they will be really old. They will have to pay somebody to take care of them (from the rent money).

By anon191588 — On Jun 29, 2011

If you want to raise a "child" who will always be dependent on others, don't charge him/her rent. I can guarantee you that you will enable that "child" to never be responsible for themselves!

By anon161302 — On Mar 19, 2011

I personally think charging your kids for rent is so wrong. Kids are not strangers and the money should be saved for when your kids have their own marriage, home and family.

By anon160637 — On Mar 16, 2011

I can't believe some of the stuff I'm reading on here. Everyone I know who has adult kids living at home would like them to move out but doesn't know how to do it because they have not set proper boundaries.

It seems many young people today automatically move back to their parents home after school while they "collect themselves,” find a "decent" job or just "think about the future". The parents often don't collect rent and then, to make it worse, they do laundry, cook meals and let the children use their car. What is this teaching them about life?

There's nothing wrong with a little struggle. People are supposed to be poor when they graduate from college. You rent a crappy apartment with some friends, eat Ramen noodles, pay off your student loans and work your way up. If you work hard enough and save money, maybe you can afford a house similar to your parents'.

What is this expectation that you will live a lifestyle much higher than your stage of life? I hear so many adult kids saying they're living at home because they can't afford their own place or they haven't found a job yet, but what they usually mean is they can't afford a place like their parents or they haven't found their perfect job. We learn and grow through struggle.

My sister and I were doing our own laundry, dishes, etc. since we were 15 so there was never any expectation that our mom would do it when we were adults. When my sister wanted to move back home after school, my parents reviewed the classifieds and charged her market rent. It took my husband and me 15 years to save $30,000 to put a down payment on our own home while also paying rent. That's life. Sure, some more help from our parents would have been nice, but looking back, we're happy our parents taught us to be self-sufficient and responsible adults. We'll be doing the same with our own kids.

By anon138304 — On Dec 31, 2010

I hate anonymous posters, but am not signing up to yet another website to post this. At least in the state I live in, Oregon, I would say no rent. period. once you charge rent you lose the right to just say "get out" when things go wrong.

I watched as my parents had to pay hundreds of dollars to file for eviction through the local courts, just because they collected a little rent money from my sis and her boyfriend to live with them.

I listened as they related, that despite repeated violent episodes, my sister and her boyfriend had the "right" to occupy the residence until they either voluntarily vacated, or were formally evicted by the courts.

Justification: I said "when things go bad" earlier. I meant it, it doesn't matter how close of relations are involved, roommating should be left to the college kids, especially once your kids begin having kids of their own. Ideals and patience become strained quickly when you have too many "top dawgs" under one roof.

I'll probably catch heat for that, but I've seen it with the best of families, but I'll also say that a short term, limited assist could be the difference between your kids' success and failure at getting on their feet.

Sorry for the long post, but a record for if you "do" the rent game with your adult kids.

1. Always check your state and local renters rights laws.

2. Set boundaries at the start, and never give an inch on them.

3. Sit down and talk with them. Sometimes, the best help seems the cruelest at the time, but tell them their faults, but encourage their strengths.

4. Underhanded savings plans just don't sound that effective. Rather than "collecting rent" and saving it, get them to start a savings account, and have them put the rent you would ask for away.

Hope I helped. I don't know how old this article is. I found it while searching another topic, lol.

By anon127001 — On Nov 14, 2010

my husband and I purchased a home for my daughter to live in and charge her a rental fee. We pay all repairs when necessary. the house will go to her when we die. she asks now that we have her on our bank account that the rent is in so that when we pass away that money won't go to her siblings. Should we do that? I like to keep control of the rental money.

By anon99400 — On Jul 26, 2010

This sounds like a great idea if you've spent your entire adult life with your parents paying for everything. However, I got a job when I was 16 and since have paid all my expenses (car payment-down payment, monthly payments, I bought my last car flat-out, schooling, tuition and books.)

I'm going to nursing school and never once have my parents given me a penny. Car insurance, gas, money for food if I eat out during lunch at work, cell phone, eye contacts. My parents don't even carry me on their health insurance anymore because they were paying for it and I didn't want to. All these things I pay for by myself, with never any help from anybody, especially my parents.

I think it's ridiculous to pay rent to them when all I really do is sleep there.

By anon92333 — On Jun 27, 2010

I think it's disgusting to charge your adult children rent to live in a separate property that you own. I would not want to profit off my daughter in this way even if I were on my last dollar or were ill!

By anon55713 — On Dec 09, 2009

Ric, that may be nice that you could just give that money back to them by saving it for them. Perhaps making it grow in an monthly income fund would be good.

You should however, keep the capital gains on it, and give back only the principal, since they do consume your food and electricity right? Unfortunately, we are not as well off due to having our hours cut due to the recession, so in our household, we don't charge rent to educate, but rather because it is a survival necessity.

By Dreambound — On Apr 14, 2009

Hi there,

My mum owns her flat outright and will shortly be moving into her partner's house so they can rent her flat out. She will use this rent money as her pension as she doesn't have one.

I currently rent privately and am thinking of suggesting that I rent my mum's flat from her. (I can't get a mortgage yet as I don't have enough savings for a deposit).

I want to somehow suggest that the money I pay her in rent she allows me to get back once she dies (I won’t get this naturally as I have a brother). So - if it works out that over the next 30 years I've paid £250,000 in rent, I'd get that back on the sale of the flat. She wants the sale of the flat to go to my brother and I so how can I make it fair on him? On the surface you could say that if the flat sold for £350,000 - then I'd take back my £250,000 and my brother gets the remaining £100,000? But, given that I would have avoided paying any mortgage lenders interest I would have effectively got the flat interest free. Whereas my brother owns a flat and pays a mortgage on it.

How can I make it fair? I don’t want to be paying dead money to a landlord when I could be giving it to my mum but I want to somehow have that as an investment too.

Hope you can help! Thanks.

By AuthorSheriC — On Apr 29, 2008

That's a good idea for a parent or parents who can afford to do that. Some parents may actually need the rent. Also the child should learn to save on his or her own as well, but that would be a great starter gift for parents to reward kids that deserve it by always paying the rent on time to their parents etc! A great option, Ric. Thanks.

By anon11711 — On Apr 21, 2008

One good strategy is to charge the adult child a reasonable rent (based on the 35% rate above), and save it on their behalf. This way, they'll have a small nest egg to get started on their own earlier, while still being responsible for their rent.


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