Do You Charge Your Adult Children Rent?

Updated on July 11, 2010
L.M. asks from Meriden, CT
13 answers

My friend has her 3 adult children, her son-in-law, and 2 grandchildren living in her home. She and hubby are struggling financially. Its a long story. But was just wondering, do you charge your kids rent? How much? Who pays for food? Are they expected to do chores?

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your answers. I'm going to pass this along. She's asks that each adult pay her $25 per week, however, they only pay occassionally. All of her children are taking advantage of her and she's finally starting to realize enough is enough.

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answers from Chicago on

Yes they should pay rent especially when mom & dad are struggling financially, that only makes sense! It's probably easiest to pay one flat amount so that it includes rent, utilities, & food (if they want special food they should pay for that themselves).

I am shocked you are asking if they should do chores. What would be a reason for them NOT to do chores? Unless they want to chip in for a weekly maid service then everyone needs to pitch in. That's 8 people living in one house, that means everyone needs to help out.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Kansas City on

My daughter is 19, works full-time, goes to school full-time and has a child that is turning 1 next month. There are 3 grandparents in our house. My mother lives with us and we don't charge her rent. But she helps in our in home daycare. My daughter has little time for chores. But she helps when I ask her to. I don't charge her for rent or daycare. I know she's rather spoiled right now. But she is appreciative and we are not struggling any more than the average American family. My daughter would pay me if I couldn't pay the utilities or buy groceries if we needed it. I just don't want her to. I want her to graduate from college and I want her to concentrate on finding a nice husband and father for my grandson.

I can not help my daughter with college. So as far as I am concerned, giving her a place to live rent free and not charging for daycare is making up for what I was not able to save for school wise.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

My brother lived with my parents till he got married, and then after with his wife. My parents had him contribute to all the bills. It's only fair. He wasn't in school. He was, in effect, mooching. I think it's a different story if the "adult" children are getting a higher education. Otherwise, it's mooching in my book and the parents are well within their rights to ask the kids to contribute to the overall bills- and for groceries. Especially if everyone eats together or out of the same fridge. As for chores- I believe everyone should chip in. Otherwise it's mooching and taking your parents for a free ride. I think that's pretty rude to move into "Mom & Dad Hotel" and not contribute on any level.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My son is only 19 years old. He does pay some rent ($200 per month), pays for his own car insurance. He absolutely does chores. He periodically pays one of the utility bills and will pick up groceries - but this is his choice not anything I made him do. I can say if my he were older my expectations would be much higher. I did have to give him an ultimatum at one point when he couldn't to commit to going to school, military or working full time, but ever since then he has done fairly well.

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answers from Fresno on

I lived with my sister and BIL for about 5 years right after high school. I always paid them rent. In the beginning, I wasn't making much money, but would still give them $200/month (my choice) and would occasionally buy groceries and would share the cleaning w/my sis. Later on, I was working a lot at a good job and making good money so I started giving them $300/month, plus gas money, I would buy them dinner & groceries. Oh, and I was also their part-time nanny to my nephews since the beginning. It really is disrespectful for the adult children to live in their parent's house (with their families!) and not contribute. Even if the parents aren't asking for it, they should be considerate enough to offer. They definitely need to pay rent, contribute to utilities and groceries, and share the chores around the house!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Hi Mom of 2 Girls-

I think it depends on a lot. If you (the host) are struggling, then YES. If the family (guests) were having a REALLY hard time, I'd try not to. But, it may make them feel better about themselves if they paid rent OR did repairs/chores.

If it was a situation of an adult child just living with Mom & Dad and not growing up, then yes, I'd charge rent.

R. Magby

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I lived at home with my mother into my adult years and she charged me $200 in rent. And i was expected to do chores. she did buy all the food. but if i wanted specialties i had to buy them myself. She didn't the money at all but it was to show me that you live nowhere but a shelter for free. i left home after awhile. but i came back when it was time for me to have my son and i still had to pay but when i had him she let me pay 50 bucks a week and since i got food stamps i just bought the food because that was my mom. but she explained to me that she loved me but i use electricity, water, gas and other amenties and if i were living on my own i would have to pay these things. and now i understand why she charged me and i fully agree with her logic. Everybody in your friends house should be contributing including her grandchildren if they are over 10( the grandkids should absolutely have chores if they are over ten). and if they are struggling nobody should be there except for theose kids. if they are mooching off your friend she needs to give them tough love and put them out! and if they try the well technically i live here there is nothing you can do she needs to legally evict them. self preservation is #1! But if they are contributing then she still needs to give them a deadline to be out. good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I was the kid in this situation. I lived with my grandmother for a while and payed her $100/month. Her son lived with her during a seasonal job and also paid "rent". If they are using resources in the house, they should all be contributing. Even if all the adults just contributed $100/month for utilities and $50 for food, that would be huge. They should take care of "their" rooms, and share in the household chores. They live there, they should help out. It's common courtesy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

wow! that is a full house. I would say 100% they are expected to do chores!!! They need to be responsible adults, our job as moms is to make sure our children are responsible (along w/ a lot of other things) and just bc they are still home does not mean they can start to live and learn about the real world and...she is their mother, but not the maid and they are clearly old enough to pull their own weight! I would also say that she should charge them rent...they need to be responsible adults and since she is struggling they should help, she is helping them by letting them live there so they should help her. Of course since she is the parent, and I assume they are living there to help them out for somereason they should not be charged more then they can find on their own. IF it were me and I did not need the money I would collect it and put it aside in an account for them and then give it back to them when they needed it most, that would be a pleasent surprize for them. good luck to her and her family

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Adult children should be paying rent. If they are in school (college) full time then not yet but if they are out of school and working and in your case married and have children. then yes they should be paying rent. at the minimum they should be paying $50 to $100 a week plus a portion of the utilities. why on earth should the parents keep footing the bill? as far as food goes if the mom and dad are cooking each night and all of the people are eating they should be paying a portion of that also. all household stuff should be split with the younger generation doing the yard work etc... I think if it was me I would boot them lol but if it is a family that likes all generations to live together thats good but they should all be helping out with the bills.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

As long as someone is working they should contribute. Me , hubs and babe had to live with my mom for a year. We paid rent and paid for food. Of course it would have been easier if we didn't have to pay her so we could save up to move out sooner, but fair is fair.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Visalia on

adult children should pay rent or pick a ultility bill or groceries. alot of adult kids could not get away with this with a real landlord.

i have a 20 yr old at home, shes looking for work, but basically has never paid rent. as long as she obeys house rules and curfews and does housework or outdoor chores, its all cool with us.

my 27 yr old, has been on her own off and on, she pays one ultility bill and groceries. getting her to do housework is like pulling teeth, she feels like the 20 yr old should pick up after her since she doesnt work. that is a constant conflicked. She is gonna be moving out next week. guess what?, shes gonna have to pick up after herself after a full days work, lol.


answers from Washington DC on

My parents charged me $50 per week when I was working and living at home 20 years ago...

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