Should I charge grown kids rent?

Karen - posted on 04/23/2010 ( 425 moms have responded )

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I was fortunate to get family home from divorce.I couldn't bare to stay another minute in home due to bad memories.I moved out.House was empty for about 7 months.I left all furniture.I started fresh and new!

Grown kids were having trouble with their living situations so I gave them the house rent free!Large 3br 2bath 60 by 30ft yard.Sons 28 and 20 daughter 22.They keep breaking things in home and don't tell until mad day comes.Then they call me to fix the repairs. All of them work.I don't want my property to go down. I had the faucets replaced, the storm door is falling off,The carpet needs shampooing! ( I love my Bissel and don't want them to break it!) I offered to buy paint for the downstairs,they had a nerve to tell me what color they want.All I wanted was for them to have a good head start in life and not have to worry about a roof over their heads. Lets not get into how they call me up and argue over who ate the food up in the frig.I'll come running with groceries every 2 weeks.I spend more money on the grown kids than I do my 16yr old that lives with me and new husband!Hubbie tells me to cut them off and let them fall and learn.I know he's right,but I sneak behind his back and still do for them which causes friction in my home.Whats wrong with me? I owe them nothing!!I'm just a sucker for them.

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Barbara - posted on 04/26/2010

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Have then either start paying equal share of everything (mortage,utilities,cable,internet and etc.) make them buy own food and make them responsible for what they do or make them move out and get renters who are willing to do so.

Becky - posted on 04/26/2010

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If they are grown ups then let go and as hard as it sounds but let them grow up. There has to be consequences to actions at some time in their life or you'll be cleaning up after them forever & not teaching them to take care of themselves. If you are sneaking its the same as a lie and it will get back. Come clean with it before it hits the fan.

Michelle - posted on 04/26/2010

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I have a 23 year old son that I just asked to mom back home, he said no way, that the best thing I did for him was two years ago kicked him out, he's learing to pay rent, buy food and not count on mom and dad. To be honest I do kick him a little money here and there, really not much because I have an 8 year old at home that cost's me plenty. I also save bottles and cans for the older child. He's going to school and getting paid for that and he has if tough but he does not want to come back home, he says I make it to comfortable for him and he has a 2 year old son himself that he needs to set an example for. Your chidlren have jobe, yes make them pay rent. There are times when they may truly need your help, but it sounds like they are just taking advantage of you. Good luck.

Debra - posted on 04/26/2010

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Ah, things we do for our babies - no matter how old they are! OK, I reckon you need to tell them that they can either pay a nominal rent, or fix things up themselves! I would go for the rent, for I doubt they will fix up things. The rent should be half of what the going rate, if you were to rent it out. If divided by 3, that is a great deal for anyone, and it pays for your house to be maintained. They pay the utilities for the house, ie electricity, gas etc. You can pay the taxes.
Secondly, are they saving anything? Or do they have all the new beaut gadgets, go out partying and have nothing left over at the end of the week? If they are saving that is good, if not - what are you really doing for them? Paying for their social life? Ask for their savings record - isn't that the whole idea - to give them a good start? Insist on it! Or get hubbie to!That is just giving them a false sense of security - is that what you want for them? What happends when they meet someone? And move out? As for the food - tell them to work it out themselves! Give them a weeks warning, so they will not go hungry.
You are scared they will no longer ring up, or even love you, if you put your foot down. I doubt it! Have them over for a home cooked meal every so often - they won't miss out on a free meal - trust me. You still have your 16 year old and a new hubbie to take care of - the hubbie sounds very patient.
My eldest is 25 and still at home with his girlfriend - he went around the world for a year and has travelled quite well, however, they are looking to move out in the next couple of months. He is finishing off uni and only has a part time job, and pays for himself and the uni fees, so we do not charge rent. He thought I would go over and do his washing for him, when he moves out, as his girlfriend refuses to - guess what - he thought wrong. He is a big boy - and for his sake, it is time he grew up. And yes, he still loves me! And respects me even more!
And if they will not pay up - do throw them out! If they haven't the respect to pay nominal fees, then they do not deserve any help at all.

Cheryl - posted on 04/26/2010

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If they don't want to help with rent/upkeep then tell them go find their own way in life..Why should you shoulder everything for them to come and spoil it? They are not kids they are adults and should take rsponsibility for their actions...Sorry but why should you be treated like a door mat? You have gone through enough and don't need any more ....

Terri - posted on 04/26/2010

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Evict them asap. They are disrespecting you and you don't deserve that. They need to learn how to behave like adults. I think you need to bill them for the damage caused and for all the repairs and cleaning that needs doing. Then rent your house out to someone else who will pay you for the privilege. My kids all had to pay rent when living at home or in one of our other properties, and although I have been known to buy a few groceries to help them out during lean times, I do it unexpectedly, and they appreciate it, they certainly don't expect it. They know if they ask there's a high probability I'll say NO!
Good luck sorting it out, and take heart, they will respect you more in the long run.

Mayra I. - posted on 04/25/2010

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Hi, I'm a 43 yr old mother (separated) who has to live with my mom because I can't afford to live to on my own. Ever since I first started working (age 16) I always helped to pay the bills. My dad taught us to be responsible teenagers and that helped us to become responsible adults. Where I live, we split all costs and that benefits everyone in the household.
Your children are never too old to learn what it is to be responsible. Who better than Mom and Dad to teach us. If you don't, they WILL unfortunately learn the hard way.
They will give you a hard time about it but in the end, it will teach them to finally grow up.
Good Luck....

Susan - posted on 04/25/2010

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I agree that a family meeting is about due and possibly overdue. I'd let my kids know that they are putting strain on your home life and that you don't want to end your marriage over what's going on. You wouldn't let them do that to you, would you? I mean, your kids are important, but it's not like they can't make it on their own and you've more than taken care of them. It's truly time for the 16 yr old and your husband. Beyond that, visits is about all I'd worry about doing for them. They have a roof over their heads, but the upkeep should really be up to them since there is no rent expected. That would be their rent. It's like I said before, if you weren't around to do for them what you have already, just where would they be??

Elizabeth - posted on 04/25/2010

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Tracy your kids are lucky if your landlord lets them stay for free. I had a place rent free once in my younger years but I worked in the office as a payment clerk and that was deducted from my pay. So it wasn't really free. nut that was one bill I did not have to worry about sending it off. Then I lost that job and the apartment at the same time and that was a real eye opener for me and the babies. But we managed and that made us stronger a family having to go through the tuff times together. and Karen I know I have said my peice before but if they(the kids) want to find out if they really have the sticking power then let them hit that wall and let them see what it really takes to make it in the real world. They will moan and bitch about it but in the end they will be better off for it. I know it is our nature to want to help our kids but there is a time that help is not help but hindering or enabling how ever you want to look at it. I have had to do this as well with a young man that me and my boyfriend let stay in the back room for a while. And he is now totally on his own and doing very well for it. Now we have said that any one stays with us they have to be one of my children no more charity help for there friends. And I have always been the one everyone called mom and I still have them come over several times a week but it is never to ask for money or even food( like I would refuse them food). But the eldest does sometimes bring home a lot of his buddies over to eat with out telling me and they don't get feed. I tell my son that if you going to do that then he has to feed them I can't know how much to take down if I am not told. Love them to death but there has to be a limit that you are going to tolerate and don't let them push you back into the bull you are dealing with now. Stand your ground girl you did not make it this far without fighting to get there this is just another fight to be defeated except they will be stronger for it. I mean you did not give them everything when they were younger did you you had to be able to say no at some time. This is the same thing it is what is best for them and you and your new marriage.

Tracy - posted on 04/25/2010

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I would explain that you do have a 16 year old to care for and they have no bills but ulilites and food.. They need to learn to manage money to survive.. What would they do if they indeed had to pay rent... My loandlord lets his son stay at one of his houses rent free but has the utiitlites and food on his own

Ellie - posted on 04/24/2010

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I have faith that a family meeting is a good thing and well like me I can be a push over too :) but when I am over my head that is when I have my husband come into the picture, just like you probably have done when they were growing up. This is a good thing keep your feet planted.

Ellie - posted on 04/24/2010

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Charge them rent there adults and being an adult is responsibilities, that is life. If they don't keep it up then they are just using the situation and taking advantage of you if they can't even keep it clean somewhat. Denial on your part will only become worse.

Karen - posted on 04/24/2010

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Thank you all for you wonderful advice! I know deep down inside everything your saying is true!!!!!!!! I'm tired of the situation and get frustrated!!!!!! The majority of my problems are the kid and that house!! We don't even have stress in our home!!! Our stress stems from them!!!! It's not fair to my husband or myself!! What if I ask for rent and they don;t pay? They know I'm not going to throw them out! Husband told me to let him be the bad guy and put it on him to press for rent. They have the utmost respect for him and don't play games with him! They always try to catch me at work or away from hubby so they can work on me to get what they want,They know what buttons to push to wear me down.I'm too weak!!!!!!! I will call a family meeting and let Allan take over! They know he's fair,he's a man of his word and they can't pussy foot around him! Oldest drives a forklift for an Iron Co.Daughter works at the Overbrook school for the Blind and youngest son cooks with Chef Frank at the Germantown Jewish center!

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I have to agree with your Hubbie!! Your kids are taking advantage of you, because they can!! They are fortunate to have such a loving, giving, Mom, and you deserve their respect!! It's time to cut the Apron strings!!

Julie - posted on 04/24/2010

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most deff. YES.where ever you live you have to pay rent.why take that adult responsability from them.i thinks it's and inconciderate to even think to live free.

Nancy - posted on 04/24/2010

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Karen, I'll add my voice to the rest. Your children are taking advantage of you, and you have to stop letting them do so.

You might want to look for a sample lease agreement online - set out the rules, which responsibilities are yours and theirs, and treat them like the tenants they are (within reason, of course). They probably won't like it, but I think it's the best thing you can do for them. If they don't like it, let them try to rent a place on their own and see how a real rental arrangement works.

Our daughter and her fiance are living in a condo we purchased, and every month they pay the rent and bills (we combined them all in one payment for them, to help them with budgeting) and we've never had a problem - but the rules were set out early in the game. We did load them up with groceries a couple of times a year, when they were in school, but now that they're both working, that has stopped.

You've been very good to them, maybe too good, but it's time they grew up.

Martha - posted on 04/24/2010

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You are not a "sucker" but you are an enabler. You are enabling them to ruin you emotionally, financially, and physically; the stress from them calling to complain about each other, you running over to bring food, and take care of your own home. Plus sooner or later, if it already hasn't happened, this will ruin your life with your new husband. You need to let them fend for themselves, start charging rent, no where else would they live for free, or put the house up for sale and take that money and enjoy yourself. Adult children, and that is what they are adults, should be looking to help you out in life not to continue to live off you. At 18 your job to take care is done. Your love never ends but your responsiblities to care from them, unless physically unable to care for them selfves, ends. They are adults TREAT THEM AS SUCH. And best of luck to you.

Nancy - posted on 04/24/2010

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Truthfully, you are not teaching them anything about 'real' life. When they (if they ever) leave your extra nest, they may fall flat on they're faces....not being fair to them. I charged my grown kids a minimum amount of rent while we resided in Military housing, as long as they were enrolled full time in school, plus they had chores to do to maintain our living space, no one was overlooked. My 3 oldest 28, 26 and 24, now live on their own (2 oldest share and apartment), and have for quite sometime now with no problems, we helped them out as necessary, but being first time home buyers ourselves recently we've had our ups and downs over the last few months, all of which we have shared with our children (to a point) so they know what lies ahead. Draw up a rental agreement, make it legal, that is the best way to teach them. Not saying you have to follow through on it, but make it right for them and teach them, you will always be there mother, and that's what they need right now.

Sorry if this causes offense, but my mom did things like this to me and I was totally unprepared for the world.

Nancy

Joanne - posted on 04/23/2010

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dear karen,
there is nothing wrong with you you are just being a mom some of us keep that title until we die others let it go once kids turn grown nothing is wrong with either way and knowing that you don't want them to fall is what they prey on. Intoduce them to food pantries and the public food stamps let them know your well is running dry they have to learn to do for themselves as long as u do for them they won;t try.

Sandy - posted on 04/23/2010

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Karen, I think you should be aware that you are not doing them any favours by being there for them at ttheir disposal. Firstly they will not learn how to be responsible for their own actions i.e. looking after the place, paying bills, rent etc., budgeting for food and so on. It is hard, we actually moved out of our old house and into a new house 10 years ago, leaving the old house to the two older kids. They were told that under no circumstances were we going to finance their living and they did learn to cope. At no time did we back down on this decision and it is probably one of the most positive things we have done and to this day, we will not help out financially. They wont learn how to be dependant and this will carry on to their perspective lives when they become involved with partners, have kids and get their own places.
It is hard to say no, and they will probably crack the grumps big time when you start to say no, but just explain to them that they are now adults and need to be behaving like adults. You didn't mention if they worked or not, I would be charging 20% of wages or payments for the rent. I would give them an altimatum, and I know this sounds harsh, but basically saying "if you dont pay rent, water, gas and electric bills and taxes, then I am asking you to leave" I am not carrying you any more". It is called "tough love" and believe it or not one day they will appreciate and respect you for it.
Good luck with this, it isn't an easy situation to be in, as I say having been there myself, but it does work.............
ps. we have an 20 year old living at home with us and hubby charges minimum board and he is the most spoilt little brat I have ever met, many arguments over this but this is his son and the older two are my kids. The difference in the kids is amazing..........Sandy

Linae - posted on 04/23/2010

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My husband and I are long haul truckers. Our two kids (29 yr boy, 27 yr girl (and her 2 yr son) all live at our house because it is easier for them and there is someone in our house while we are gone. We charge them $250/month which covers their share of the water, sewer, gas, electric, garbage and cell phones (they're on our plan) plus leaves cushion room for when the cost of the utilities fluxuates (I don't change their costs each time the electric goes up or down). My daughter pays her own part of the car insurance (she drives and just bought a used van with her income tax refund) and he doesn't) and they both buy their own food (my daughter is on state assistance right now so she gets food stamps and help with her daycare while she works and goes to school). Right now my daughter is only paying what she can because she is only working part time while she goes through dental assistant school. But once she graduates and gets a good job, she knows that she is back to $250/month again. Occasionally when we have a really good paycheck we may donate money to help them with food. We pay the mortgage which includes the taxes.

We have had kids in and out of our house for approx 14 of the 22 years we have owned our home and each one there has always had to ante up. We split all of our utilities between whoever is living there and we even pay a share because we use the utilities (obviously) when we are home which can be anywhere from a weekend a month to a weekend every 6 weeks.

If your kids aren't expected to pay anything, they are going to have a very rude awakening when the cost of what it costs hits them full in the face because they can't live off of your generosity anymore. I don't want to be rude, but they are destroying your house and you are covering the cost of everything....how long do you want this marriage to last? If you current husband finally gets sick of the situation...get a backbone mom and set some rules and some rent (at LEAST that).

Elizabeth - posted on 04/23/2010

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I most definitely agree that if they are staying rent free they should at least pay for the repairs that they cause. I don't mean to sound like a real stickler but it is only fair. You could have other renters in there that pay and then you would have to pay for the repairs but with them there rent free they should at the very least pay for the repairs to it. you are letting them stay there out of the goodness of a mothers heart and they should have enough respect for your things to pay or at least half the cost with you if they can not do it all at once. they are taking advantage of you and that is not right.

Susan - posted on 04/23/2010

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My daughter and I have both our names on a lease to purchase and she pays more than I do on the bills as she makes more than I do. I've been lucky to NOT have to get my kids to help out when it's needed. I'd say it's most definately time for you to at least give them fair warning that THEY are living there in YOUR home and THEY need to fix what they broke. What would they do if you were no longer around to do for them? Not that I'd wish that on you, but they would pretty much have to stand on their own two feet and maybe it's time they know that BEFORE anything were to happen to you and they are SOL. Don't you think??

Karen - posted on 04/23/2010

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They buy clothes,go to movies eat a lot of fast food, pay cell phone bill. Then they argue over electric and gas bill. I pay taxes and water.

Corrina - posted on 04/23/2010

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if they are living rent free tell them they are responsibe for the upkeep and if they dont like that arrangement they can move out and find a more agreeable landlord. and as far as the food what do they spend their money on? ya i know its hard and ive been going through sinilar with my 2 oldest off n on but enough is enough. its hard but we learned and need to help our kids learn you have to take a grown up pill and start taking care of yourself.

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