Would I be unreasonable to charge my student daughter rent?

(54 Posts)
WestieMamma Mon 08-Jul-13 11:31:29

She thinks it's unreasonable and is throwing major strops over it.

We're in Sweden so she gets a student grant and can top this up with a student loan. Tuition is free. She is entitled to a student flat from the local council. These are really nice flats and the rent includes all bills, even internet. She however wants to live at home and commute each day to save money. By 'save money' she means live at home free of charge, eat all our food, use mum's free taxi service etc so that all her student support can be used as spending money to go and visit friends abroad. hmm

So AIBU to charge her rent? And if not, how much is appropriate? I was thinking £200 per month as rent on a student flat is £300 per month and doesn't include food. (I hope suspect that if she has to pay her way she'll be off like a shot)

YouTheCat Mon 08-Jul-13 11:34:46

I'd charge her rent.

I also feel your pain. My dd (18) has told me she doesn't want to leave home! shock

BlackeyedSusan Mon 08-Jul-13 11:35:29

no. i would charge her the cost of living in your house for a month. so food, bills, petrol, internet etc.

sashh Mon 08-Jul-13 11:38:02

Charge her the same as the uni flat would cost, plus extra for food.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 08-Jul-13 11:38:13

I'd make her pay towards food and travel, but I wouldn't charge rent from my own child unless they were earning a wage.

Fakebook Mon 08-Jul-13 11:42:15

I personally wouldn't do it. I'd make her use that money to learn how to drive and then buy a car and gain more independence. I couldn't ask my children to pay towards food or bills if they weren't working.

Fozziebearmum2be Mon 08-Jul-13 11:42:53

I don't think it's unreasonable if you can't afford to support her and need some extra money towards household budget. But, having been a student (in UK) you get so little money and then need to repay it, it's so hard just to repay the loan itself and this was without having to borrow for tuition fees, which they obviously need to do now.

I'm still paying my small loan off over 10 yrs after leaving and I was the student who stayed in more than others and was by no means frivolous! It was hard to live on under 4k per year!!

A few people I know who lived at home, were charged rent and secretly their parents stashed it away for them and gave it them back when the time was right for a house deposit. It taught them to pay their way, but gave them a helping hand smile

ballinacup Mon 08-Jul-13 11:43:28

I paid rent as a student. It was non negotiable. If I'd been living away from home I'd have had bills to pay, so why should it have been any different for me living at home?

JerseySpud Mon 08-Jul-13 11:45:22

YANBU i paid my parents rent

ThreeEyedRaven Mon 08-Jul-13 11:45:52

YANBU. Sounds like a very good deal and will teach her a valuable lesson.

Aniseeda Mon 08-Jul-13 11:46:00

£200 sounds fair, that should cover her share of the food and bills, plus taxi services!

I wouldn't want to make money out of my child living at home but don't see why you should end up out of pocket either.

I think YABU.

I dont understand the mentality that suddenly your children must pay this or that. If they are working then perhaps, but she is a student. She has a whole life ahead of her for paying bills and being sensible. Why cant she just enjoy being young?

Ofcourse, I will be told I am wrong, and given a host of reasons why you should charge her. But whatever. This is my opinion.

livinginwonderland Mon 08-Jul-13 11:48:26

I didn't pay rent while I was studying. The rules were that if you're in full-time education (school or university) then you didn't have to pay rent as long as you contributed in other ways - chores, cleaned up after yourself etc. When I got a job, I paid a small amount in rent BUT it wasn't much (£50 a month) because I was only working part-time and my wages paid for my car, insurance, driving lessons and petrol.

LRDLearningKnigaBook Mon 08-Jul-13 11:49:43

I think YANBU, because from the situation, it sounds as if she will be the odd one out if she's not paying rent, and I don't think that's an especially great situation to be in - she'll end up with a false sense of how easy it is to be the rich one in the group, but she's not actually earning.

burberryqueen Mon 08-Jul-13 11:50:49

YANBU - if she was living as a student in residence then she would have to pay - at least she should make some contribution.

Nanny0gg Mon 08-Jul-13 11:51:14

Who'd pay for the commute?

I'd do my level best to persuade her to move out. Social life will be much better in student accommodation.

Mckayz Mon 08-Jul-13 11:52:10

I wouldn't. But I am probably basing that on my Mum and Step-Dads rule of if you were in education then you didn't pay rent. Once you left education and were working then you payed rent.

Mckayz Mon 08-Jul-13 11:52:35

payed?? paid.

badguider Mon 08-Jul-13 11:54:57

Charge her 'costs' maybe?

I think it's reasonable that she should save if she lives at home rather than a uni flat as she is compromising her freedom, but she shouldn't live totally free and you shouldn't cover her costs so I would charge her costs and also not do her cooking/laundry/lifts for her.

sleeplessbunny Mon 08-Jul-13 11:55:11

YANBU, she should pay rent if she has the means. Like others have said, it is a valuable lesson.
And I like the idea of keeping her rent saved up (if you can afford to) so you could help her out later when she might need it for deposit/car whatever.

sleeplessbunny Mon 08-Jul-13 11:56:25

Maybe charge a bit less than the flat though (before food/bills) so it is still a good deal for her
unless you really want her to move out

Eyesunderarock Mon 08-Jul-13 11:59:27

I wouldn't charge for the roof over her head, but food and bills absolutely.
£50 a week seems very fair.

WestieMamma Mon 08-Jul-13 12:00:56

I suppose if I'm being really honest I want her to move out and am hoping that charging rent will motivate her to do it. I know that makes me sound like a right evil mum but she's such hard work. She moved out over a year ago into a student flat but came home at the beginning of the year as she wanted to change universities (she's 20). She's been here ever since and has contributed nothing. She's bone idle and getting her to do anything is a major battle which I just don't have the energy for anymore. I have a new baby and really could be doing without having to clear up after her too. Added to that, it's my husband, her stepdad, who supports us all but she treats him terribly and shows him no respect. He's the only dad she's ever known but she treats him like something she's trod in, unless she wants something off him sad

AlwaysDancing1234 Mon 08-Jul-13 12:03:21

Not unreasonable at all. I got a Saturday & holiday job when I was 15/16 and my mum would take half my wages as 'housekeeping' plus petrol money. When my sister was about 18 my Dad took £50 per week housekeeping from her but put £10 per week of it aside and gave it to her as a lump sum towards rent on new flat after a year. He knew she wouldn't save the money herself and it taught her to budget and appreciate paying rent.

Eyesunderarock Mon 08-Jul-13 12:03:47

She's 20. It's time she moved on a bit, especially if the house is more pleasant without her as a resident. She can come for long visits!
So go for it!

RandomFriend Mon 08-Jul-13 12:05:13

Do you want to encourage her to move out? If so, charge her the full cost, which is the amount that you would be paid if you were to rent the room to another student.

If you are happy with her living with you - and I would be very, very pleased if an 18-year-old daughter wanted to live with me rather than in a student hall of residence - then the £200 sounds fair.

If you don't actually need the money, then stashing at least part of it away for her to have later when she needs it is a good idea.

Val007 Mon 08-Jul-13 12:05:25

If she has extra money for 'luxuries' like travel abroad, then you should definitely find a way to show her that she should contribute to living expenses before indulging in these luxuries.

DorisIsWaiting Mon 08-Jul-13 12:06:04

I think the £200 is very reasonable. At 20 she needs to grow up and start taking responsibility for herself (even if that is just budgeting £200/ month).

Maybe reduce the reliance on the taxi service too set and use this time to set ground rules.

Yes, board and lodging, definitely.
If you feel bad about it, siphon it into a savings account and give her the lump sum back as a deposit for a new place.

Trills Mon 08-Jul-13 12:08:01

She should contribute towards the running costs of the household - at the very least the amount that it costs you to have her live there (extra food/water/electric/gas).

She should also do a fair share of household chores.

RandomFriend Mon 08-Jul-13 12:08:38


If she isn't helping out and the house is better without her, then work out at least how much it actually costs you to keep her, including food, splitting the cost of internet, etc. That is the minimum she has to pay.

If you really want to push her to move on, then add something for the actual rent, which could be the cost that you would charge a loger.

McNewPants2013 Mon 08-Jul-13 12:10:01


She can't expect to live life for free, and I think it's a valuable life lesson.

YANBU. Yes you should and start now. My DN is still living with her Dad, rent free at 32yo. She earns c£18/20k pa. whenever he mentions rent/board she throws a strop cos she can't possibly save for a deposit if she is paying yet 14 years of work and she has CC bills and NO savings.

phantomnamechanger Mon 08-Jul-13 12:11:35

YANBU in fact by letting her freeload, you would be doing her a disservice. She needs to learn about the real costs involved in everything and how to budget/save/prioritise her spending. Too many kids don't get this basic grounding and then end up in all sorts of silly debt when they have to face the reality of paying their own way,because they have been so used to having all their money to spend as they please.

My friends (working) DD used to moan about being asked for £30 a week board - then she moved into her own flat and had no idea about the cost of things like bills and laundry detergent - all her money had previously been spent frivolously on nights out and clothes/make up/CDs

her parents still bail her out from time to time which I think is foolish of them - I am not talkng about helping her with essentials, but just buying her whatever she wants or needs. where is the pride in saving up from your pay packet to buy something you really want? and why is noone happy with second hand bits and pieces for their first flat any more?

OP - your DD needs to be financially astute and independent. It is enough that you are willing to keep her at home as an adult who will no doubt treat you as a convenince and expect to be waited on! She should not expect this for free!

ImperialBlether Mon 08-Jul-13 12:14:04

I think she should be told that unless she is respectful to everyone in the house she should live on her own where she might learn some manners.

phantomnamechanger Mon 08-Jul-13 12:17:21

having seen your most recent post, she sounds like a right madam and you should definitely charge her the going rate and set down ground rules of manners, consideration for otehrs and taking her share in chores that you would expect of any other lodger.

if she doesn't like it she can go elsewhere.

Remotecontrolduck Mon 08-Jul-13 12:19:17

DD works and will be doing OU from October. Decided not to go to university because she got lucky with an excellent job after her a levels and didn't want to lose it. I don't ask for money from her because she is making sure she has the money to move out once her study is completed. I also am not struggling, so am happy to sub her for a bit. She buys her own food and cooks most nights though for both of us. She never asks for lifts or is rude either.

In your case, it sounds like you do need to charge something or you're going to end up with a DD who will never take responsibility.

AllegraLilac Mon 08-Jul-13 12:23:56

I'd be encouraging her to move out. University is nothing if you live at home. Living in uni accommodation is a good 70% of the uni experience.

I have two degrees, first in uni accommodation, second living at home at the grand old age of 21. Living away from mum and dad was HEAPS better.

ComposHat Mon 08-Jul-13 12:25:59

Wh not just tell her to move out if that's what you want?

Living at home would still be a better deal for her and you may still end up lumbered with her. So although you may be a few hundred quid a month better off, you'd be stuck in the same situation.

There's nothing unreasonable about wanting your adult daughter to move out, especially when she has a convenient and affordable alternative.

everydayaschoolday Mon 08-Jul-13 12:27:36

Hi Westie. I didn't pay rent to my parents when I was a student and I moved out at 24 into a hard-worked-for career. However, I chipped in with buying some groceries (had saturday job), cleaned up after myself, took my turn in cooking for the family, sorted my own laundry/ironing etc. As an adult now, my mum is my best friend. I don't think your daughter is playing the game, and so I think charging rent would be a good grounding and a realistic welcome into adulthood. If you'd really rather she moved on, you would not be unreasonable to match Uni halls fees, after all she'll still have meals, internet etc at home. Throwing major strops? - she doesn't have to accept your terms! If she calls your bluff and accepts to stay and pay, I think others ideas of putting that money aside for her is a good call (but not necessary if you need it to cover the costs of her staying).

SarahAndFuck Mon 08-Jul-13 13:02:27

I think charging her something is reasonable. It's a good way for her to learn that life is not free and take some responsibility for herself while still being supported (financially or otherwise) by you until she's ready to take the next step to independence.

But if you can afford to subsidise her you could always put the money she pays in rent (all of it or just some of it) aside for her without telling her, so that later on when she needs a deposit for her own home or something she will have a head start on her savings and you can surprise her with it.

She may actually be more grateful for it by then as well.

But if you do let her stay, she needs a sharp change in her attitude as well because at the moment she sounds awful. If paying rent and pulling her weight in the house are what it takes for you to let her stay, make that clear to her.

I'm a mature student and I'm astounded at some of my younger, fellow students' attitude to money.

Whilst I take in a packed lunch and flask they are off to Costa Coffee for lunch. Whilst I leave lectures to work part-time they head off to the Union for a few drinks all funded by loans and parents.

It's really not healthy to have such a cavalier attitude to money. By not asking her to chip in and pay her way you are almost condoning this at best, naïve attitude to money.

delasi Mon 08-Jul-13 13:42:02

Reading the first post, I thought that asking for a contribution is fine but I'm not a fan of "you must pay me £x to stay here". I was never charged rent, but I moved out when I went to uni, self-financed, and only stayed back at home about 3 times for the first few holidays. By 3rd year I was well and truly gone. Before that (ie 16-18yo) I paid for my all of my own things and bought food - the only thing I didn't pay for was actual rent or household bills. So, if your DD was like that you probably wouldn't feel quite as you do right now.

Your second post is a whole other story, as well as the fact that you're in Sweden and she receives much more support than is available here. Perhaps there are emotional issues that are causing her behaviour, conflict over family changes... the only way to address that is through approaching the subject with her directly.

The material details of your situation remain the same however, so I think that instead of "AIBU to charge my daughter rent?", the question should be:
AIBU to ask my daughter to either, A) leave now that she's an adult, has the financial means to do so, is disrespectful, and is causing extra stress and work for me, my partner and our new baby, or B) become our housekeeper so as to earn her room and board, keep our household in order, and treat us with at least the respect she would an employer? To which the answer to either is, of course, YADNBU.

And - congratulations and enjoy the lovely baby-ness smile

Crinkle77 Mon 08-Jul-13 13:55:55

My parents did not charge me while I was a student and that was in the days when tuition was free and you got grants. Would you really want her to get a student loan just so she can pay you rent? They did charge me when I left full time education. Could you not agree that she saves something while she is living at home like driving lessons like another poster suggested?

formicadinosaur Mon 08-Jul-13 14:02:44

I would work out the cost of house bills, food and charge her a percentage of the total. Maybe 200 a month. I would secretly save the money though and give it to her as a lump sum when she needs something major like furniture or a car.

formicadinosaur Mon 08-Jul-13 14:03:54

Even 100 would be acceptable though.

formicadinosaur Mon 08-Jul-13 14:18:09

She does need to pull her weight chores wise though. Write a list of all the jobs oncluding cooking and ask everyone to put their name down for 7 things.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 08-Jul-13 16:12:24

YABU but ultimately the choice is yours. She is likely to be feeling second best given her mum wants her to move out after having a new baby with a different partner.

I never get the change in attitude towards children once they turn 18. Whilst we want them to be independant mature adults the family home should remaim their family home for as long as they want it. I personally disagree with charging rent when not in work but education.

comingintomyown Mon 08-Jul-13 16:45:23

Surely it isnt a change in attitude towards your children but more that you shouldnt need to be responsible for them either financially or practically. You spend 18 odd years bringing them up with all that that entails and hopefully readied them for the outside world.

I suppose FT education is a bit different and I dont know the Swedish system but if the DD is getting a decent grant then why should she expect to pocket that at 20yo and then be funded by her parents.

When my time comes for these kinds of decisions a huge influencing factor on my goodwill will be how helpful and pleasant around the house my DC are. From the description in her second post I would be asking the DD to leave fullstop. I dont see why a child who doesnt contribute in any way and who is indeed hard work should remain in the family home as long as they wish based on the fact they are a child.

OP YANBU but in your place I would say to your DD the time has come for her to leave home

pigletmania Mon 08-Jul-13 17:01:50

Just read your other posts op, yanbu at all. She is a grown adult who has to learn how to respect you, your dh and home, an no treat it lik a free hotel and taxi service! Tough love!

Squitten Mon 08-Jul-13 17:08:38

She is an adult and should be contributing something to the running of the household. YANBU

larry5 Mon 08-Jul-13 18:17:56

Dd has just finished her degree and next year she will be doing a PGCE at a local uni. She will be getting a loan and a grant which is less than she got while away from home but her expenses will be less so she will be giving us a quarter of her money as keep as we will have the expense of feeding her over the next year.

When she gets a job she will give us a quarter of her take home pay which is what her older brothers did.

bellablot Mon 08-Jul-13 18:30:52

Wow kids these days expect to live for nothing, charge her rent and put her in charge of a single bill too, like the Internet for instance. smile

holidaysarenice Mon 08-Jul-13 18:42:29

I completely think YABU.

Also the friends I have who had to do this ended up resenting their parents and having much poorer relationships with them on the whole.

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