Should I charge my adult child’s rent? (with photos)

Renting an adult child to live at home can help teach financial responsibility.

Most parents want the best for their children, including a comfortable life where they don’t have to face financial hardship. Parents who have gone through their own financial difficulties especially understand how difficult it can be to try to find money for rent and bills every month. While it’s understandable and generous that parents don’t want to charge their adult children for living in their home, not doing so can actually be a disservice to the adult child.

Renting an adult child is an extension of the financial responsibility they should have learned decades earlier.

Many financial experts agree that parents should charge their adult children rent if an adult child lives in the parent’s home or other parent’s property. Financial advisors have generally seen many cases where young adults are not serious about their obligation to pay rent and end up with high consumer debt with an eventual inability to pay rent or mortgages. On the other hand, those who understand that rent and fixed living expenses have to come first may still have high consumer indebtedness but are less likely to be late on housing payments for the most part.

Renting an adult child can help them cut down on frivolous spending.

Paying rent and other flat fees that go with it, like utility bills, is a real-world necessity, and parents who don’t expect their adult children to pay anything to live in their facilities aren’t doing their children any favors. Some young people continue to live at home in order to reduce expenses while saving for their own home and this is commendable and a good idea with today’s high housing rates – whether renting or owning.

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But allowing adult children to live rent-free so they can drive more fancy cars and spend more money on trips with friends and dinner out doesn’t teach them to be responsible with money. Learning how to cover basic fixed expenses while saving some savings will better prepare you for the harsh realities of living in the real world. Financial experts say that, ideally, no more than about 35% of a person’s net income should be used for housing expenses. You can still give your children a huge savings in costs compared to your income, but have a reasonable percentage of your income to cover your expenses and the inconvenience of helping to house them.

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