Should you take rent from the adult child who lives with you?
Maybe they just finished high school or high school and are looking for a job. Maybe they need to save money to pay off student loans or other debt.
More and more adult children are living with their parents. Twenty-five percent of adults ages 25-34 lived in multigenerational households in 2021, compared to just 9% in 2010. And 68% of these people resided in the home of one or both of their parents.
Karen Fingerman, a professor in the school of human ecology at the University of Texas, noted that the same study showed that 20% of the income in these multigenerational households came from young people.
So it may be worth billing these adult children for rent or utility costs.
If your child lives in your home, you should encourage them to act like a responsible adult and at the same time guide them to an independent life. Depending on your circumstances you can make some concessions, but you can't keep them for free.
Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a professor of psychology in Massachusetts, also thinks it's perfectly reasonable to charge rent to an adult child.
"Parents have household expenses, and every other adult in the family has an obligation to contribute to paying those expenses," Arnett told HuffPost.
“The reality is more complicated,” Arnett said, noting that while a 19-year-old and a 40-year-old may both be grown children, their needs and resources are likely quite different.
Of course, you wouldn't ask rent from a child who lives at home with you because of a mental or physical health problem. Likewise, if your child is at home to attend an unpaid or low-paid internship, this may be a time for you to step in and offer them support.
Sometimes grown children return home not because they need help, but because they need their parents.
A parent can claim rent from an adult child if he or she is in financial difficulty due to a layoff or health problems. In this case it is also a matter of pride, in addition to help. Even the parent feels good when the child has the opportunity to help him.
When is it a problem?
It is a problem when parents choose to ask their children for rent as a means to keep them under control. This is manipulation that damages the relationship.
How much should you charge?
Ideally, a parent should do some research about what the rent is really worth. Of course, the charging is more modest.