General Question

YARNLADY's avatar

Should adult children living at home pay rent?

Asked by YARNLADY (46405points) 1 week ago

If they are employed, but can’t afford an apartment.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

32 Answers

jca2's avatar

I think they should pay something.

A friend’s son was living with his mom and dad (my friend and her husband) and he was paying a little rent, and the parents actually put the money aside, or maybe part of the money aside, and didn’t tell him, for when he moved out. It was like a little savings account/gift.

I think it would be nice and responsible for the adult child to pay something, at least toward food, even if it’s minimal like 50 dollars a week, which is 200 a month. If the adult child could afford more, they should pay more. I am guessing the main goal is for them to save and move out, so hopefully they’re doing that, too.

chyna's avatar

Yes. I paid rent to my mom as soon as I turned 18. I went to college, but it was a community college. I only paid 100.00 a month, but it helped with her bills. My dad had just died and I was getting social security, but she wasn’t. I did that until I moved out at age 20.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

It depends on so many things. At the very least, they should be helping with household chores. It is incredibly hard for young people to afford even the most basic rent right now. Parents allowing their children to stay at home can enable them to avoid massive debt while they’re getting on their feet. When I graduated college and got a job I had to spend a few months saving to get my first place. I lived at home rent-free but… I kept the yard mowed and the dishes clean. We may be moving into an era where we start to mirror Asian countries that have generations sharing the same roof. It’s not good, but there are some major positives when family becomes close like this again. People should not be shamed for living with their parents now, it’s more of a necessity when housing is unavailable and unaffordable.

JLeslie's avatar

Depends. An adult child in their early twenties who is working full time and starting their career and who is saving to move out sometime soon, I would say they should not pay rent, unless the family is poor or lower middle class and check to check, and the extra water and electricity really burdens the parents. If the kid is being productive and saving up, I think that’s fairly normal and giving your kid a good start.

When I stayed with my inlaws in my 20’s a few months we didn’t give them anything. In our 40’s we stayed with then for several months and we gave them money every month, but it didn’t cover much more than the food we were eating plus a little extra. Culturally, they would never expect or charge their kids when staying with them, but we wanted to make sure we weren’t costing them money.

Culture really plays into it I think. My husband’s brother lived at home into his mid 30’s. It was expected you live at home until you get married. A girlfriend of mine, her sons lived at home into their late twenties. She used to say to me, “you know I’m Asian.” Lol. She is Pakistani-Scottish. I’m not sure what finally prompted them to move out, but they finally did. I would bet they didn’t pay any rent. They did run the take-away business she created, but my guess is she didn’t take any money from it, I’m not sure. The business was for them.

Kropotkin's avatar

They can pay a contribution to share the costs of maintenance, bills, groceries, etc and continue as members of the household.

They should not pay “rent”. Parents aren’t landlords to their children,

Smashley's avatar

If they can afford an even split of expenses, they should pay it. If not, they should be supported until they can. Rich people give their kids so many legs up, it’s ridiculous that anyone should be critical of middle and lower class people contributing to their own familiar wealth by leveraging their resources, There should be a term for the social conventions designed to keep people generationally poor.

JLeslie's avatar

@Smashley I didn’t understand your answer. You say the children should pay half, but then you talk about rich people. Rich people (I’m not sure what qualifies as rich) would probably be the least likely to charge rent to an adult child, unless some extreme circumstance where the kid should be getting out of the house and isn’t or the kid is spending his money on wasteful things and the parents want to encourage their child to be more responsible and/or leave.

filmfann's avatar

I had my son pay a small amount ($150) per month. When he moved out, I gave it all back to him to help with everything.

canidmajor's avatar

It depends entirely on context. My child is 35, not a freeloader by nature, and behaves like a responsible adult. They recently stayed with for four months, and was welcome without condition.

janbb's avatar

@canidmajor I agree. When my child was 24, he had a job where he worked in the city three days a week and from our area, four. We didn’t charge him rent as it was a temporary situation. If a child is gearing up for something like a move or saving up for an apartment or house, I probably wouldn’t charge them. If it seemed to be a semi-permanent situation, I probably would charge some rent and certainly a food contribution as well as expecting them to do some house work.

seawulf575's avatar

Even if they aren’t employed they should be on the hook for rent. It gives them some incentive for being something other than a weight around your neck. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it should be enough that they would need a job. Even if you took the rent they paid and set it aside for them to have when they moved out, it is the lesson that life as an adult isn’t free.

seawulf575's avatar

@canidmajor I view even an extended visit as okay. I currently have a 37 yo living at home. He moved to our place in September with the estimation he would be out by January. That is the dangers of the extended stays. Of course that was September about 6 years ago. He just never specified January of which year. He has the skills and degree to have a great paying job but he refuses to work at a job that requires him to go to the same place day after day. As a result he wastes a whole lot of time.

canidmajor's avatar

@seawulf575 not sure why you addressed that to me, but I hope you can work out whatever issues you and/or the 37 year have, amicably.

elbanditoroso's avatar

In principle, yes. But as someone above said, each situation (and family) will be different.

jca2's avatar

If it was temporary, I wouldn’t expect anything. If it was part time, a few days a week, I wouldn’t expect anything. If it was years of working full time and living at home full time, I would expect something.

What would be ideal is if the house was large enough that we both could have our own spaces so we were out of each other’s way when necessary but yet could be together when we wanted, for meals or hanging out. I used to say that about marriage, although I’ve never been married, it seems like it would be ideal for each person to have their own wing. Same for friends living together, like roommates. Each person has their own wing, and a communal living area and eating area for times they want to hang out together.

seawulf575's avatar

@canidmajor You mentioned you had adult children that stayed for only 4 months. To me that is an extended stay and I wouldn’t think about charging them rent for that. My point was that a 3 or 4 month stay can stretch and at some point the dynamic changes from extended stay to just living at my house for free. Not a slam on you at all.

As for getting my adult child out of the house, I need to have his mother do that. She doesn’t really want him to move out but doesn’t want to force him to go get a job or to pay rent either. She enables. I suspect it will go on until I just put my foot down and piss them both off. He isn’t a bad sort but he is hiding from life. He needs psychological help but doesn’t want to admit it. He’d rather just stay here for free, doing whatever he wants.

jca2's avatar

@seawulf575 Maybe a good start for him would be some community service or volunteering somewhere, like a library or animal shelter, or landscaping for a church.

jca2's avatar

As for the q, I don’t think it makes much of a difference about what it’s called. “Rent,” or “paying something,” or “chipping in,” or whatever the household wants to refer to it as, same difference.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Unless they are invited guests guests for a week or so, nobody should stay for free. There should be some contribution somehow by providing service or a minimal payment.

Does he take care of the landscape? Mow the lawn? Take care of your digital devices? Help you plant garden? Paint the garage? Something!
He should WANT to do these things for you.

Zaku's avatar

Should? With no other information about the situation, no.

It’d be a matter of negotiation between the parents and children.

I tend to think that in the majority of cases where parents charge their children rent, that there are problematic things going on in the people’s ways of thinking, and/or that the parents are being unwise, in the long run, from many perspectives that I consider healthy.

When I hear someone opine that in all cases kids should be paying rent, I tend to lose a lot of respect and goodwill toward whoever is saying that.

But I’m sure there are cases where it’s not a problem at all. For example, it gives children who are in a good position to do so, a conventional way to contribute to their parents.

Lightlyseared's avatar

No. But it would be nice if they used the opportunity to save some money…

SnipSnip's avatar

My mother expected about 40% of my paycheck beginning with my second one. My first paycheck was the most money I had ever held in my hand. My salary was $80/week. Me getting a good job right out of high school was a boon for our household. I didn’t mind. I married a year later and she knew it would then stop. My husband helped with keeping her house in good repair, along with my sister’s husband. Adults should pay their own way and care about their parents’ wellbeing. My opinion.

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_III I think it’s easy to say “kick him out” but unless the person has money saved and has the capacity to pay rent and function on their own, if @seawulf575 kicks the son out, the son may very well end up homeless and no parent wants to see that, if there’s a better way to go about it, and if the person needs other help (like mental health treatment or substance abuse treatment or some life counseling).

Caravanfan's avatar

If our daughter had to live at home I would not charge her rent. She will be getting all my money anyway eventually.

seawulf575's avatar

@jca2 I’m enough of a curmudgeon that kicking him out isn’t out of the question. But I would do it as his choice. He has weird mental things where his routines mean everything, a bit of OCD (things like having to flush the toilet 5 times in succession each morning), and I believe a bit of anxiety, a social hermit, etc. Sort of a low key Mr. Monk. I truly believe he needs help. The entire family thinks so as well. But getting him to admit it and then to take any action towards it is almost impossible. And my entire life has been filled with people that need help and won’t admit it. And if they don’t admit it, even going through the motions is meaningless. So setting a deadline to either get help or get out is certainly not out of the question. But I still love his mother and she isn’t to that point yet so that adds another layer into the quagmire.

Strauss's avatar

We have two adult children and a grandchild living with us, and they do pay rent. They also contribute to utility bills, groceries and maintenance costs and chores.

JLeslie's avatar

Picking up on @Caravanfan answer, that’s where my head was at, but I failed to clarify in my answer that we sometimes give my inlaws money anyway, even not living with them, they need the money. My parents give me money, so I wouldn’t be paying them, unless my dad was worried I was mooching for bad reasons and ruining my life.

I don’t understand so much negativity (in real life, I don’t mean this fluther Q) about adult children moving back home at times if they have a big life event and need a place to stay or some help, that’s what family is for!

Plus, the other side of it, is one day the parents might be living with the children.

I think the particular situation really matters.

Pandora's avatar

As @jca2 said above, I did the same thing. My daughter paid rent when she came back home to save money on rent. My husband said sure but didn’t want her to pay rent, but I asked for rent. I pitched a lower amount but she offered more. I took about ¾ of that and saved it for her and gave it to her to buy furniture when she moved out.

I think a person can’t claim to be an adult while still living off your parent’s income. You get free wifi, electricity, maybe gas and food, and do laundry and wash in that home. We don’t get that free. We pay for all of that.

Once children are earning money and are self-sufficient they should contribute to the home income since they too use those things. Food alone for an extra mouth to feed can come out to an extra 400 dollars a month. I think it’s disrespectful to expect your parents to pay for everything as if you are entitled forever. My husband and I provide our children with all the tools they need to survive. As parents we do this to ensure their survival after we are gone.

Coddling grown children will keep them from growing and eventually they will be a burden to others. We all know of that one relative or friend who doesn’t know how to fend for themselves and deal with life’s rough spots because they always had mommy and daddy do everything for them and now mom and dad are gone. Now you have a 50-year-old man who goes from home to home living off of people’s kindness or guilt and they are all equally miserable.

jonsblond's avatar

I’m in agreement with @Blackwater_Park. My two oldest are almost 30 and 32 and they live together with two other friends in a four bedroom rental. Rent is outrageous everywhere, and good luck being able to afford a home. Our youngest who is 20 lives with us rent free. He works full time, helps with chores, and buys most of his groceries. He’s saving his money so he can eventually rent a place with a friend. Times are hard and I see nothing wrong with family helping each other.

Demosthenes's avatar

While I will not give a blanket “no” to that question as I am not in a position to judge every familial relationship and in some cases, the charging of rent may be appropriate, I lean towards thinking it unnecessary, especially if the adult child has a job and is trying to get back on their feet. I don’t think for most of us living with parents as an adult is an ideal situation (though it certainly is the norm in many countries and cultures—it just happens to not be in America), and I don’t know that a child/parent relationship needs to be made transactional. I also am from an area where making $100K a year is considered “low income”, so I admit that colors my view of adult children temporarily moving back home until they can find an affordable place to live. I am inclined not to view it as inherently the purview of lazy freeloading layabouts with no motivation.

Dutchess_III's avatar

When my oldest was ready to start college, which was literally 4 blocks away, she wanted to move on campus.
I pestered her to live at home,
rent free.
She declined.
She regretted that decision.
She had a two year old son that I would walk over to her tiny apartment on campus to babysit, 2 or 3 days a week. Also free.
She had a good mom!

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