Should You Charge Your Kid Rent? (Teen or Adult)

teens counting money

It never occurred to me that a parent might charge their child rent.

Regardless of the child’s age, I thought the parent’s responsibility was providing for their kids.

However, after doing some research, I’ve found there are times when charging rent isn’t just acceptable but also better for everyone.

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Should You Charge Your Adult Kid Rent?

Sometimes charging rent is a good life lesson for your kids. Any adult child who needs to learn how to be independent could benefit from paying at least some rent to their parents. An alternative is to ask your child to pay some household bills rather than a set amount each month.

Should You Charge Rent to Younger Children?

No. Do not charge rent to your young children. It is your responsibility to provide basic needs to your kids, including shelter. A child under the age of 18 and still in school should always have a place to stay without feeling like they have to pay for it.

If you insist on charging rent, even if it’s only a small amount, you are conveying to your child that you are no longer a parent but a landlord.

When to Charge Rent to Older Teens

daughter gives mother the money

Some older teens may be charged rent by their parents.

If a child drops out of school and has no plans, charging rent might be a good way to encourage them to learn responsibility.

You could give your child a period of time to either return to school, earn a GED or get a job and begin paying rent.

However, you must be prepared to enforce this. Would you be willing to kick your child out if they fail to pay? Most parents would say no.

Another time you might charge rent is once your teen has graduated high school. If they have no college or military plans, they will need to learn how to function independently.

Charging them a small amount could help them. You could even put that rent money into a savings fund that you regift to them once they move out.

Not only will you have taught them about paying monthly bills, but you have put away some surprise savings for them as well.

Living With Your Adult Child

man giving money to mom

My parents were very old-fashioned. They did not believe it was appropriate for children to live outside of their parents’ homes until they were married.

My older sister moved out the day after she was married at age 25. My brother didn’t get married until he was 40, which was also when he finally moved out of my parents’ home.

I was the rebel in the family who moved out at age 18 and never looked back.

Though I had to pay rent to my various landlords over the years and my siblings didn’t, I feel that I learned more about how to be an adult than they did.

An adult child who continues to live with you probably does so for a reason. Your child may not be able to afford a rental property.

They might be between jobs or newly divorced and without a home.

They could have fallen ill, or they might think you need the extra help. It is up to you to decide if these reasons constitute the need to charge rent.

Key Takeaways

There might be reasons to charge rent to your child.

However, these reasons must be thought through and explained thoroughly, so your child is not caught off-guard by your financial demands.

Do you think you should charge rent to your child? Tell us in the comments!

Have You Read These Yet?

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s within your right as a parent to charge your adult children rent if you so choose. You don’t even need a good reason. Once they’re adults, your obligation to provide for them from an ethical and legal standpoint ends.

If the adult child is responsible, many parents will opt not to charge their adult child rent. But some parents may still choose to charge their adult kids rent to encourage them to move out or to learn responsibility while they’re living with them.

Parents will often charge their adult kids rent to encourage them to move out or learn responsibility while living with them.