Should your son or daughter pay rent while living at home? (Teens & Adults)

Should your son or daughter pay rent while living at home? (Teens & Adults)

August 25, 2022

From Quora to Reddit, to Mumsnet and now even on TikTok. This topic has even hit the top headlines lately. And, truth to be told, everyone jumped into the conversation with pretty good views.

We thought it was worth going through it with you.

Who knows, it may give you some ideas on how to handle this kind of situation if it comes up now or in a few years further down the line. But before jumping straight into what the parents at Nosso think, we decided to do some research.

Why are parents asking for advice?

Charging your kids rent can be a pretty controversial thing to do with both sides team rent and team no rent both having strongly held beliefs. What team you’re in tended to come down to a few factors.

  1. Your background - how you grew up and how you were taught about money and its value plays a huge part in your views.
    This doesn’t only come down to your social status but also from your cultural heritage.
    Some cultures believe it’s a no-no while others believe it’s completely normal.
  2. Your beliefs and values - let’s be frank here, your parents may have taught you this, that or the other about parenting, but in the end it’s up to you to come up with your own views.
    If you have a partner, that can make things even harder.
    They’ll have their own beliefs and values that they grew up with which need to be factored into the equation. How long parents were responsible for their children was one of the biggest factors and varied massively from family to family.
  3. Money factors - No wonder more parents are asking for advice. With the cost of everything going up lately, every household is being affected. From petrol to food and record-breaking gas and electricity bills, life has become more pricey for us all.
    For a lot of families, money is becoming even tighter and this tended to be the trigger that led to parents thinking about charging their kids rent in the first place.

Team rent or no rent?

We’ve skimmed through the multitude of posts and responses on each platform and here’s some of the most popular reasons people gave for being in team “Rent” and team “No-rent”.

Team Rent

  • Need an upper hand to cover the extra cost of living.” Hey, we hear you. And you’re not the only one. Over 91% of adults in Great Britain reported an increase in their cost of living between 22 June and 3 July 2022 (ONS, 2022).

    With 95% saying it has mostly to do with the price of food shopping, while another 83% pointed to the increase in gas and energy and 79% to the price of fuel going up.
  • Use a % of the rent they receive from their kids to save it or invest it for their future.” This was a very popular response. Parents decided to charge their kids different prices when it came down to rent money. It all depended on how much their kids were earning, average rent costs in the area they lived and their kids’ age brackets. Some parents also considered what else their kids were doing around the house (e.g. buying their own food, covering bills, or doing chores).

Team No Rent

  • “None. They didn’t ask to be born.” 
    Some parents expressed their opinions and said they would never charge their kids to live at home. While others prefer not to charge rent as their kids would then be able to put some money aside to build up an emergency fund or start saving for their first home.
  • “£0. They're your child, not a lodger.”
    This one made us laugh. But the parent explained that their kids were already paying for their own food and clothing, while also contributing a small percentage to bills. It seems pretty fair as the young adult would still learn the value of money and still save some additional money for their future.

What’s the average age of young people leaving their parents’ nest?

Remember how it felt when you had to move out? 18, 21, 25 - whenever it was, we’re sure you remember the day. ‘You’re not a child any longer and you have to learn how to fend for yourself in the real world.’ might have been the words coming out of your parent's mouth.And why did you move out when you did? The reasons behind it may vary for each one of you. But statistically, it was one of the following:

  • becoming independent
  • studying
  • working
  • moving in with your partner.

What’s interesting is that the average age as to when that happens now varies quite a lot within the UK and other European countries.

According to Eurostat in 2022, the average age of young people leaving their parental home in the EU was about 26.4 years.

Surprised? Let’s look at specific countries to get a better view.

  • Sweden recorded the lowest average age at 19 years.
  • Portugal recorded the highest average age at 33.6 years.

When looking at the trends within Europe it looks like young people are more likely to move out of their parent's homes earlier in countries within Northern and Central Europe compared to Southern and Balkan states.

But how does the UK compare against them?

The average age to move out is 24.6 years old. Obviously, this may have to do with the growing number of kids attending university and even their return home after graduating before securing a full-time job.

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What are your options? And why should you consider charging rent now?

Start thinking about it and have a conversation with your partner. And why not?

Even with your kids (if they’re already in their teens obviously).

  1. The cost of living and soaring bills are affecting you more than you thought.
    You’re either having to work extra to keep the heating on or having to give up some luxuries in life. Why should it be you alone doing that?
    We don’t think it’s fair for you to put yourself under that pressure if your child is out enjoying themselves every day and spending money that could make a huge difference to your household situation.

    Of course, they’re only kids and they should not feel the entire burden of it all, but you could always ask them to cover their own expenses such as their phone bills, and days out with friends, and you could ask them to cover a small percentage of the rent to help you out when food shopping and paying your monthly bills.

    You’re teaching them not to be entitled and to appreciate the value of money and work before they fly out of the nest. We’re sure they’ll thank you one day.
  1. You’re fortunate enough to be comfortable and don’t need the extra help.
    Even if you’re fortunate enough to be comfortable and not need the rent money, we still think it’s a good idea to charge rent.

    It gets your children into the habit of putting money aside and being financially independent early on in life. This is likely to help them mature quicker and prepare them for the real world.

Charging your children rent to help them get on the property ladder earlier

Each month when they pay you rent, put it into a savings or investment account on their behalf earmarked for their first home purchase.

This way you’re directly helping them get on the property ladder sooner whilst also getting them started on their savings journey. If you can afford to do so, you can also spice this up a bit and give them some added incentive.

You could match their rent → i.e. they contribute £100 rent a month, you match with another £100. If that money then goes into a Lifetime ISA (”LISA”) (if they’re 18+) it could get another 25% from the government.

With this tactic, your child’s rent (and therefore the amount going towards their first home deposit) could be nearly 3k every year!

Imagine how quickly they’ll be on the road to financial freedom then?

So what do you think?

To charge rent or not to charge rent?

That is the question.


Remember you can only put a maximum of 4k into a Lifetime ISA each year. Nosso helps families invest. As with all investing, your money is at risk and it can go up, but it can also go down. We don’t give any financial advice and anything we say should only be seen as helpful factual tips.