Should parents charge their adult children rent?

@Awinds (2475)
United States
July 14, 2011 12:34pm CST
You kid just reached eighteen, or your adult child is coming home again because they graduated college but have been unable to find a job. Do you charge them rent? Why or why not? Should parents not charge rent because of the kinship or should parents freely charge the kid rent since the kid is no longer being raised as a dependent?
15 people like this
63 responses
• Philippines
16 Jul 11
Personally, I believe that adult children should move out and live independently. But in the event that they need to come home and live together with their parents once more, I think that they should share with the bills. As for paying rent, it's a possibility, but there's a lot of social mores and cultural ethics involved that... It's really better that adult kids move out, you know?
2 people like this
@stary1 (6622)
• United States
16 Jul 11
I agree with you they should move out but sometimes circumstances are such they have to come back. Mine did and frankly it was a most enjoyable experience. I was very happy to go through it.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
17 Jul 11
Well in some cases adults living with adults can cause friction. When a child becomes an adult, they are will an adult as there parents are. This change can be the source of friction. It does seem that getting a fresh start is a good idea. :)
@stary1 (6622)
• United States
17 Jul 11
I understand what you are saying Awinds. I just like to see adult children living and getting along with their parents. I greatly admire those cultures that encourage several generations to live together and take care of each other. :)
@mindym (979)
• United States
15 Jul 11
After I graduated high school, I went to a 2 year community college and worked full time. Then I transferred to a university to finish my bachelor's degree, while continuing to work. During that time, I lived at home and commuted to and from school. I was not charged rent during that time. However, after I graduated college, I continued to live at home, and was charged rent, but it was about half of what and apartment would cost to rent. I had no complaints of paying rent and I thought it was fair. I am now on my own and have lived in two apartments since leaving the nest. I personally think it is fair to charge your adult child rent after a certain age, or if your child is NOT going to school or working. It is good to cut them a break if they are working or in school, but I think after a certain age, I think it's fair to charge rent. Paying rent promotes some motivation and responsibility for the real world.
2 people like this
@mindym (979)
• United States
15 Jul 11
Thanks for the best response ! This was a good question that lead to many great and different responses.
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@Awinds (2475)
• United States
15 Jul 11
Welcome! I feel that the way you recounted your own real life experience (as the child-adult) gave strength to your response. Opinion is one thing, but opinion with experience to back it up is another. I found your specification of not charming rent if the adult-child is going to school interesting - but it makes sense. A parent should want their child to focus on school, which impact that child for the rest of their lives.
• United States
14 Jul 11
Abso-freaking-lutely! If they don't have a job they can always work for me, which I guarantee will encourage them to get a job quickly! I'll help them out as much as I can but I won't completely coddle them, 'cuz I want them to be successful or at least be able to support themselves when I'm gone. Now the true crime is charging a rat rent to live in your garage. Do you hear me, Fat Man?
2 people like this
@phyrre (2324)
• United States
14 Jul 11
LOL I like the way you think. I never thought of charging them rent by putting them to work for you, but I kind of like it. xD Knowing my husband and I, that would definitely be good motivation for our child to get jobs because we wouldn't take it easy on them.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
15 Jul 11
@BalthasarTheRat - Now there's a fresh idea! No more jobless children. ;) It actually sounds better and better the more I think about - you're the genius of the thread!
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (93566)
• Marion, Kansas
16 Jul 11
When I was an adult and moved back home, I gave my mom a token amount of rent money once I got a job. I even did that when I was only twenty. When my son moved home after quitting school, once he went to work he paid rent. He is thirty four and pays rent now, much less than if he had to get a home. He got a divorce and also lost his home a couple of years ago. He uses our power, he eats what I cook, I pay more utilities because he is here. It would not let him have self respect to pay nothing and live here like a little child, he is an adult. If I was not in such a bind financially, I would be like the parent who saved the rent money to give back to the child. Right now my son, my husband, and I are all supporting each other.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
16 Jul 11
That sounds like a great situation! I mean how you are all supporting each other (not your financial situations). It sounds like all of you are going through some tough times, so you band together and make the best of it. That is better than remaining separate and slogging through it on your own. :)
1 person likes this
@_sketch_ (5711)
• United States
15 Jul 11
I say no. I think that that is stupid. If they are unable to find a job, then how would they pay rent? It would just be very cruel to even suggest it, especially if they'd just graduated college, clearly they had been working hard.
1 person likes this
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
15 Jul 11
That would be taking advantage of your own kid. What if the parents did not money for rent though, but rather chores and the like?
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@_sketch_ (5711)
• United States
15 Jul 11
I think that that would be great. They should definitely help out around the house and even help with things like groceries if and when they are able. This is much different than charging rent.
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@Awinds (2475)
• United States
16 Jul 11
True - and that's not exactly taking advantage of the kid. :)
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@phyrre (2324)
• United States
14 Jul 11
I think if they didn't have a job it would be kind of pointless to charge them rent wouldn't it? xD How would they pay the rent? And what happens if they don't pay? They're your child and could you really kick them out because you chose to charge them rent knowing full well they had no means to pay you? I would encourage them strongly to get a job, however, and not rest until they did since at that point they should be working somewhere. At that age I believe they should be at least somewhat self-sufficient rather than living off of us as their parents, but I would still want to support them because in the end they are still my child. I do plan on charging my children rent as soon as they get their first job, though, like my grandmother did with her children. Something small and reasonable that goes into an account for them so that if they need money in the future it's there. I like that idea because it basically forces them to save for the future without letting them know that's what's happening.
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14 Jul 11
That's sneaky. I like it.
1 person likes this
@phyrre (2324)
• United States
14 Jul 11
Yes indeed. Wish I could claim it as my own idea, but, alas, I'm not that smart. xD I got the idea from my grandmother. So now you know who the brains of the family is.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
15 Jul 11
@That is an excellent idea! Not only does it give your kids a mild, semi-sweet taste of a real world occurrence but it just benefits them in the end. It would be less brilliant though if you used the rent money for yourself. :) Overall, that is a great system!
@aerous (13475)
• Philippines
16 Jul 11
Ouch! What parents regulation is that? Parents are responsible for their kids until get an stable jobs to live freely on their own. That is a kind of abuse...they know that the kid did not find a jobs yet then charge him/her for a rent. it seems not your kid...
1 person likes this
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
16 Jul 11
I know of only one real life example where this happened. My mom moved back to her mom's house in her mid-twenties when she was fired from a job. Her mom still charged her rent - which I feel is wrong. How can a parent - who was once the caretaker and now the mentor of the young adult - do that? It's raw exploitation if you ask me.
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@aerous (13475)
• Philippines
20 Jul 11
Yup! That is inhuman...because mother is one of the mentor of her children
@sid556 (31018)
• United States
16 Jul 11
It would depend on the situation, really. So much depends on the kid and why they are still at home. If they did not have a job but were honestly looking then, no, I would not make them pay.My girls have all moved back in because they have broken up with a boyfriend or things fell through with a room mate. I did not charge them rent because they were working and saving to get a place of their own and charging them would have just made it harder. Once one of them moved in because rents were too high unless she had a roommate. Because I live in subsidized housing,my rent goes up according to their income if they are staying more than a couple of weeks. I did ask her to pay the amount that my rent went up because I really couldn't afford it. It wasn't much and she earned plenty enough to afford it.
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31018)
• United States
16 Jul 11
Ok I always do this...respond and then read the other responses. Just to be clear, even when I did not charge my girls rent, they did contribute to the household...helped out with food, cleaning, etc. It just wasn't the same as "rent". No free loaders here and they wouldn't expect it either. They also knew that in times of need...they always had a place to stay and that we'd work out arrangements that were fair and workable for both of us.
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@Awinds (2475)
• United States
16 Jul 11
I think that sounds like a wonderful situation. It allows all of you to keep your dignity, but everyone's needs are met as well. You can pay your higher rent without asking friends of loans. Your girls don't have to go to shelters but can have a warm refuge with you - while still being working adults. Also having your one daughter pay rent in this case sounds fine to me. You had a legitimate need and were not taking advantage of your kids. :)
1 person likes this
• India
15 Jul 11
Let me tell you with an open mind that my interactions with western culture and way of life is only thru mylot and it is in mylot that I first came across the concept of parents charging their adult kids for staying or parents renting out their kid’s rooms to augment their own income, since that kid has grown up and gone away and wont be needing that room anymore. I’ve come across quite a few mylotters here charge their kids and they were so casual and commonplace about it, that I thought that this was the way of operation in the west...once kids grow up and start earning, they cant stay for free with their parents (one particular person spelt out the costs clearly saying that their adult son was temporarily moving back with them since he’s lost his job at the gas station in some other city and that they would expect that son to pay about $7 a week as fooding & lodging, even saying that this was way cheaper than what he’d have to pay if he’d decided to stay back unemployed in that other city)… all this was definitely a shock to my oriental upbringing and its only now, thru this discussion that I’ve come to know that not all people are like that… personally, as I said its my Indian background that would never even allow me to contemplate such a thing and yes, to me and my culture, its immoral to put a fixed financial deal between parents and offspring. If they have no job, no question of paying anything…once they do have a job, they can pay part of the bill and contribute to the expenses in general or save for their own future…it totally depends on them. Actually the very concept of moving out of the parents’ home is a new concept in India…usually, men marry and stay back with their parents as a joint family where all responsibilities are shared.
1 person likes this
• India
18 Jul 11
Not only for the newly married couple, but for the parents too. You see, it’s a way of life here…parents give their EVERYTHING for their kids, in fact, parents don’t have any life of their own, excluding the children. Our society doesn’t traditionally have any separate plans for geriatric care and such. It is expected from the sons to look after their parents in their old age… so the married sons stay with their parents and look after them while the aged parents are a big influence on the growing grandchildren! It’s a link really from one generation to another where finances really take a back seat.
14 Jul 11
I expect (once the whole process of spawning progeny is completed) to do the same thing my parents did with me: if I had a job, I paid my "keep"; if I didn't, I didn't. As soon as I had a job, they expected some money - admittedly, a small, nominal sum to cover food and to say "thanks" for them being there for me. It's much better that way, in my opinion: the kid gets a lesson on what life's really like with a gentle parental touch in the reduced amount (and flexibility if they lose the job). I would also expect to live by their house rules, the same as when I was under 18. In fact, if they were alive today, I'd STILL live by their rules if I went to stay with them for a while. It's their house. Personally, I see the whole "parental rent" thing as perfectly normal. Why should they support me if I'm an adult?
1 person likes this
@phyrre (2324)
• United States
14 Jul 11
I agree whole heartedly! I moved out when I was 17 to go to college in a different state, lived with my grandparents for month, and moved out to my own place. Haven't lived with family since (except for those occasional extended visits here and there you know ). My sister, on the other hand, is 2 years older than me and she has yet to move out of our father's house. She just started paying rent, though, and she's 23 so it was a bit delayed but she was partying a lot and skipping work so she wasn't really keeping a job or anything and now she's finally starting to work steady and pay the bills that have piled up. My brother in law, too, lives at home for free and he's 5 years older than we are (26). He's got a good job and makes quite a bit of money, but he's got very little responsibility because he lives with his parents so he can go spend his money basically on whatever he'd like instead of thinking ahead and saving. So I've seen both sides of it and I think the charging rent thing makes sense. My parents never charged me rent and I started working when I was about 15, but I also kept good grades and went to college a year early so I was gone by the time I was 18 and I put most of my money into savings. But I think that if you don't charge your children rent by the time they're at least 19 or 20, as long as they're working, then you're just encouraging them to be dependent on you and they don't get the real life experience of having to fend for themselves and kind of take care of themselves. It just makes it harder when they do move out and suddenly have all these crazy bills just for their residence. Sometimes they don't know how to handle that sudden change.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
15 Jul 11
@SpikeTheLobster - That is very true. To let the adult-kid be a freeloader (or worse a freeloader without rules) is to harm them in the long run. This does not teach a young adult the reality of real world rent.
• Indonesia
16 Jul 11
No, I won't. Because they are my children. I don't have a heart to charge them a rent. I will understand them that looking for job is not easy. Then I will encourage them to struggle harder and harder. That is better I guess. And I hope my children will be more spirited. Thank you.
1 person likes this
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
17 Jul 11
Sounds like a plan! I wish the best to your kids and you! :)
• United States
16 Jul 11
Adults should always make at least a contribution toward the household. An unemployed adult child would not be given free rent any place but in his/her parent's household (or grandparent). That is the way things work, you live here you pay here. If finances are not available for rent or bill paying then labor is. Sitting on the couch all day watching TV, eating food provided by someone else's labor, using water, heat, air conditioning...hygiene products...these can be paid for by labor, cleaning, cooking, lawn care among other chores which can be found. There is no free lunch as we all know, always there is some type of payment. Charge kids rent? Kids should volunteer to pay it.
1 person likes this
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
16 Jul 11
I never thought about that. The kid may be the parents' "baby," but they are adults. Part of adulthood is gaining an understanding of the real world and being able to take care of one's self. Freeloading is a child's behavior.
@Alex_Ray (16)
• Malaysia
16 Jul 11
Charging children?Obviously not.No matter wether they employed or unemployed,they are still our kids.
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@Awinds (2475)
• United States
16 Jul 11
What if having the child move back home increases your rent to a level you can't pay? Is ok to charge rent then, or still morally wrong? :)
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@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
16 Jul 11
if they work, I'd ask them to contribute to grocery, mortgage and utility doesn't have to be big, any amount is good if they don't work, I'd ask them to help around in the house I did this in my youth when I still lived with my parents
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@Awinds (2475)
• United States
16 Jul 11
It seems only fair. After all the parents don't have the luxury of longing around the house all day doing nothing. They usually have no one they can retreat to - unlike that child that has moved back in with them. Chores and such are only fair.
2 people like this
@katie0 (5212)
• Japan
16 Jul 11
It is really sad if they do, but I know there are adults (my cousin) of 34 years old, that doesn't work and she doesn't plan to get out anytime soon...So in that case as much she could be hurted to have her parents asking for rent, what she's doing is awful.
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@Awinds (2475)
• United States
16 Jul 11
In that case, I agree. It sounds like your cousin is skipping out the less enjoyable parts of life, like bills. Freeloading at that age isn't exactly admirable.
@bellis716 (4807)
• United States
16 Jul 11
Yes. an adult child who is living in his parents home should at least contribute towards groceries and utilities. If they can afford to pay rent in addition to that, that's even better. Our grocery bill doubled when our son returned to the nest. The electric bill and water bill also increased. I was glad when he got a job and moved into his own apartment.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
16 Jul 11
If the returning child is going to cause a financial strain, then it is only right that they contribute. Otherwise it is just shady freeloading.
1 person likes this
@daeckardt (6245)
• United States
16 Jul 11
I think if the child is working, I would encourage them to contribute to the household bills , but to call it rent might not be accurate. If they didn't have a job, I would hope that they would help around the house in order to stay there. At least as much as what they were doing when they were younger. It seems like in most homes the kids were expected to do some kind of chores so if they were unable to contribute monetarily due to no job, they should at least continue that practice. I like the suggestion that at least one reader made that the money the child paid in "rent" went into an account that would later be returned to them.
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@Awinds (2475)
• United States
16 Jul 11
How can an adult offspring have any self respect of they just freeload of their parents without giving anything in return? Not even many younger children are allowed to do that!
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@diala84 (139)
• United States
15 Jul 11
I would say it depends on the situation. If they are fresh out of college and really doing the work to find a job and get on with life then I would cut them some slack. However, If they are spending most of the day with friends, eating all your food and generally being pretty useless I would say it is time to give an ultimatum. You don't have to charge rent per say but I would at least require some choirs out of them and that they spend "x" number of hour looking for a job a week or volunteering outside the house in order to live there. Maybe the nagging will be an incentive to move out and look for a job as well.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
15 Jul 11
There does seem to come a point when you can no longer allow a lazy child to leech off of you. :)
@rowantree (1190)
• United States
15 Jul 11
If your child is back home because they're unable to find a job, how do you charge someone rent who has no money to pay rent? I think a parent would help that child get back on his or her feet. If your adult child is living at home and working full time and has the means, I think that child should help contribute to their living expenses. This could be chipping in for groceries, paying the gas/electric or water bill, or paying a monthly rent. For an adult child who doesn't have a job, I don't understand how you would expect them to pay you rent!
1 person likes this
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
15 Jul 11
Rent can by payed in work - like chores. Or, if the adult child has a job, then the rent can be monetary compensation. :)
1 person likes this
• Philippines
15 Jul 11
If the parents know that their adult child is not having a good job, how can they still ask for money to pay the rent? If the adult individual has to stay with his/her folks it also depends if the parents would allow them to stay for free or without anything to pay in return. Lets view it this way,most Asian countries do have closer family ties, even if their kids have their own family, they still do stay with their folks. If your Westerner, at your age of 18, you already separate yourself from your parents and live life independently. It is really a big difference on how the viewpoint is also different. For me I won't charge my own, its free! everything I have I share it with them. I won't ask anything in return especially my kids.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
15 Jul 11
I'm beginning to think the common way in Asia - adult children with living with parents still - might be a better way, especially with the recession. It is unrealistic to push an inexperienced eighteen year old out into the world and expect them to come up with a job right now.
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