Mom's 'Friends Charge Their Adult Children Rent To Live At Home — It's Not Right'

Oct 13, 2021 by apost team

Living with your child when they are an adult can bring up some challenges. Many children are deciding to move back in with their parents after they finish school to save money. However, some parents decide to charge their children rent when they are adults because they think they should be able to contribute to the household. One mother found this practice "very strange" and wondered if other parents agreed with her. 

The mother posted her opinion to the online forum Mumsnet and asked other users if she was being unreasonable. She said that her kids will always be her children, so therefore, they are welcome in her home, and she doesn't expect them to pay. The mother who made the post also pointed out that children who pay rent are less likely to be able to save up for a deposit on a house or apartment. 

Her post caused quite a stir on the website, with 654 people leaving their reactions in the comment section. The mother said she felt it wasn't right to charge children rent, and many of the other users did not agree with her. The majority of commenters said that they could not afford to support another adult for free, so they did not have a choice.

The mom added in response to many of the comments that she is not wealthy and still she wouldn't expect her kids to pay. Some people agreed with her point of view, and the ensuing discussions were heated. Keep reading to learn more and to see some of the responses. 

For Illustration Purposes Only (With Models) - istockphoto,com/yacobchuk

The mother began her post on Mumsnet by saying:

"I have a few friends who charge their adult Dear Children rent to live at home. I personally find this very strange, no matter their age my children will always be my children and welcome in my home without any expectation of money."

She continued:

"I think as well with it being so hard for young people to get on the housing ladder these days one of the only ways they can is to live at home rent free so they can save for a deposit."

Out of the hundreds of comments, the most common response was: "Some of us can't support another adult for free…." 

To which the mother responded: "It doesn't make sense to me that you'd have children but the second they turn 18 you can't afford to have them around anymore." Some users pointed out that the mother wasn't accounting for families that rely on benefits, which often run out after a child turns 18 or finishes school.

Others stopped to ask the question: "How will they learn to manage their money and budget if they don't pay rent?" They are worried that if the adult children don't get used to paying rent, then they will be shocked when they eventually move out on their own.

Someone else suggested: "It is important that these young adults pay their way. I'd be charging rent and putting it away to assist towards their deposit." This way, the children learn about budgeting and still have money saved for when they get their own home.

For Illustration Purposes Only (With Models) - istockphoto,com/tzahiV

Not everyone disagreed with the mother who made the post. One user said:

"I wouldn't charge rent, and I know my parents wouldn't have either (I moved out at 18 so it doesn't really matter). But if they were living with me as adults I would expect them to have some sort of plan for moving on I.e. to be saving for a house deposit."

Basically, they think that the adult child should be contributing to something, even if it isn't the household. 

The mother who made the post added in the comments:

"I'm by no means wealthy, less than £100 left over each month. But I won't top up my budget at the expense of my children. With regards to teaching financial independence- they budget an amount of £ each month to go towards a deposit and then they have to pay their bills (phone, car etc) so they are being responsible." 

Ultimately, the answer to this dilemma depends on what the family is able to afford, and that could be different for everyone. Another person wrote:

"I do think a lot here depends on the family's financial circumstances. Money's a lot tighter in some households than others. And even in cases where the parents are financially comfortable, it's really not unreasonable to expect an adult child with a job to contribute financially."

The mother wanted to know if her opinion was unreasonable, and the majority of users agreed that it was. There is no "one size fits all" solution, and each household will need to decide for themselves what is best. 

For Illustration Purposes Only (With Models) - istockphoto,com/JackF

Do you think this mother was being unreasonable? Would you charge your adult children rent? Let us know, and be sure to pass this along to your loved ones. 

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