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Adult children living at home - Do they pay rent? (ETA in red and a new ETA in blue)

Posted by on May. 26, 2013 at 3:27 AM
  • 380 Replies
1 mom liked this

Do you have an adult child living at home?  Were, or are, you an adult living at home?  

Do you pay rent?  Do chores or have responsibilities to care for the house?

What space do you use?

ETA:  My 21yr old boomeranged back after graduating from college - she is supposed to pay $300/mo rent and keep her room and bathroom clean, as well as picking up after herself in the common areas and cleaning the kitchen once a week (Everyone has a day of the week assigned to them to clean the kitchen).

We gave her 6 mos free rent while she found a job, she was supposed to start paying rent in Feb - she has paid a total of $100 out of the $1,200 she owes.  Her room and her bathroom are disgusting.  She has a FT job, but still whines that it's not fair we make her pay rent.

She complains that none of her other friends have to pay rent or do work around the house....

I can't imagine what we ask of her is too much.  Especially since she doesn't do much of anything she agreed to do.

Sadly, we were planning on saving half her rent every month, so we could help her save and get out on her own - but we can't help her save if she never pays.  She has a fantasy that she can get her own apartment (1bdrms go for a min of $500 around here - we are in Austin, TX) - If she can't afford $300 all bills paid, how can she afford $500 rent plus bills?  

DH and I are at our wits end.  We feel we've been more than fair - and now we're faced with making her move out....

What would you do?

New ETA 10:30am 5/26: I neglected to add part of the situation - for six months all we asked her to do was to do a set of chores and occasional extras, in exchange for free room and board. Nothing more than I mentioned before, except the occasional help carpooling the youngers (which was 20 min out of her time twice a month).  She did NONE of that - We are trying to teach her responsibility by charging her rent.  

Her bathroom and bedroom are disgusting - she refused to change her cat's litter box regularly, so her cat peed all over her room (new carpet) and has been pooping in other parts of the house.  I'll post some pics of her room, if I can get them to upload on here - The other three kids only use her bathroom as a "back-up" to use the toilet, even though it's supposed to be for all of them, because she has it so disgusting.  We broke down and cleaned it for her and she still hasn't maintained it.

By charging her rent, we are trying to accomplish a few things.  1) We want her to get used to paying someone out of her paycheck. 2) We want to save most of it to help her move out on her own.  3) We want her to feel a sense of responsibility for where she lives - we were hoping that if she pays for it, she'll take more pride in it.  4)  We want to give her a small level of being uncomfortable - we want her to get in the mindset of "If I'm paying THEM, then I can pay a landlord and move out" 

One very important note: She inherited a good chunk of money, but blew it on nothing and everything.  She ignored our advice to budget and save, and instead partied it all away - now she's broke and living with us.  It is frustrating because she could easily afford to live on her own if she had even listened to a fraction of our advice.  She had a good financial start in life, and instead she is here sucking off of us.

My husband was laid off in December and I am only working part-time right now - so for her to live at home and not contribute (at least by helping with chores and the youngers) is just despicable, IMHO.

...Let me try and add pics of her room so you can see what I'm dealing with....

Here we go - That food trash is next to her bed.  What you can't get from pictures is the smell of cat pee and poo - The cat pees and poops all over her stuff.  She is constantly washing her stuff (which seems harder, to me, than changing the litterbox once a week - but she doesn't learn).

She also carelessly bleached a dress over our new carpet - so there are bleach spots all over the hallway carpet.

I'll spare you pics of the bathroom....really, you'd thank me if you knew.

Can anyone see why I'm so adament about getting her out on her own?

One important thing I left out - She is my stepdaughter - I have tried to lovingly move her out twice.  I have tried to set boundaries countless times.  I even tried to kick her out of the house once when she was cussing at me in front of the younger kids (I have a stepson and two bio daughters), but her dad, my DH, caves every time.

Call it divorced dad's guilt - or guilt that her mother is dead (died from cancer 2yrs ago) - I don't know what it is, but IMO, he is not doing her any favors by allowing her to live here.  Ironically, my mom died from cancer when I was the same age as my SD, so I empathize with her, for sure - but enabling her is no way to give her the independence she needs to move on with her life.

She's been here since last August and frankly, she's worn out her welcome.  I love her to pieces.  I've been in her life for 15yrs, I love her like she's my own daughter - which is why I love her enough to give her the tough-love she needs for the independence she needs and desires.  I know she hates living here - who wouldn't hate living with their parents at the age of 21?

Anyway - If she helped out and cleaned up after herself, and bought some of her own food, that would help tremendously and she could stay forever, but she doesn't want to be here - it shows - and that's okay.  But why would I want anyone in my house who doesn't want to be here?

So our plan was to save most of her "rent" for a few months, then pay her deposit and supplement a portion of her rent for a few months to ease her into independent living, but we can't do that unless she pays us rent!  GAH!

If I could just win the lottery, right?  LOL

by on May. 26, 2013 at 3:27 AM
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by Emerald Member on May. 26, 2013 at 3:31 AM
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I was an adult (18-22) who lived at home.  I contributed to the household bills and when able i did household errands during the day while dad worked like taking water bill to bank to pay.   Yeah I know that sounds weird but water dept set up a way you go to bank to pay them.  I also cleaned when necessary even though my room was a wreck.  I had the whole top floor attic to myself.  It was finished with wallpaper and carpet for as long i could remember.

by Member on May. 26, 2013 at 3:38 AM
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im 19... no i dont pay rent, i wouldnt call it "chores" i just clean my room and my bathroom anything i get dirty and i use two rooms since the apt is so small but we all share that one room ... im so grateful for the mother i have shes never left my side and is always there for me nd has helped me out a lot!! i would help pay if i had a stable job but i dont at the moment its hard tryin to balance a job school and a baby so mom helps as long as i stay in school
by on May. 26, 2013 at 3:42 AM
1 mom liked this
I live with my mom and my brother who's an adult. I pay 300 a month in rent and half the electric bill which is 200 and food for everyone. my
Brother who works full time pays 100 a month and that's it. I also do all the cleaning. Absolutely all of it. How's that fair?
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by on May. 26, 2013 at 6:59 AM
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I would never make my adult child pay rent if they lived at home. Thats the point of living at home. If they could afford to live on their own I'm sure most of them would. However, they would be responsible to help pitch in on the cleaning and it doesn't sound like she is. I would take a big trash bag to her room one day while she was at work and it'd be sitting on the porch when she got home. Tell her the next time she forces you to do that by not keeping her room clean she can find the garbage bag in the actual garbage. I understand you wanting to help her save and thats why you are having her pay the rent but to be honest I've never seen that really work before. An individual is either a saver or their not and you can help them but then what happens when they get out on their own? 

by on May. 26, 2013 at 7:08 AM

my daughter pays the cable/landline phone/internet bill and the cell phone bill (this bill has a combination of 3 phones....mine, my husband and daughter's bill are combined in one bill. easier to pay that way). my daughter receives desability each month and she also make a little extra by delivering newspapers once a week. 

my son works, but only gives us a little bit. we are not asking him to contributed too much (he already buys his own snacks, drinks, some foods and pays for his sports pay-per-view events). he is going back to school in January 2014, so we just want him to save his money for that. we are fine with that deal. 

by on May. 26, 2013 at 7:09 AM
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I was a newly single mom with 3 kids and had to move in with my mom because my house flooded. I was expected to pay $200 a month in rent plus food and 3/4 of the utility bill. I actually appreciated it. I'm an adult, not a child. If you can work, you can pay rent and if you don't like it, then move out. Saving your children from life doesn't do anybody any favors.
by on May. 26, 2013 at 7:17 AM
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My step-brother lives with my mother and step-father. He is 22 years old, working full-time, and a full-time student. He does not pay rent there, which is why he moved back in the first place. My parents are big on the non-necessity to pay to live somewhere else when they have a home. That does not change until the adult-child starts a family of their own.
by Candy on May. 26, 2013 at 7:21 AM

Maybe she IS saving the money on her own... You don't know unless you look at her bank account.

Our parents never had us pay rent just the utilities cause they had two apartments built into the garage years ago. Utilities alone were like $300 a month. Then my mom started talking about renting out the studio sized apartment for $800 or $900 a month. I was like, this isn't NYC mom, good luck with that, no one will pay that much! Studios go for $500-$700 at most LOL & this was a SMALL studio.

by on May. 26, 2013 at 7:21 AM
I was. I tried to pay rent but my parents wouldnt let me. I was 24 at the time

Eta- i had free reign of the house. I did do chores and cook
by on May. 26, 2013 at 7:24 AM
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Can she afford to move out? If not, do you know where she would stay if you and your DH forced her to move out?
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