Should your child pay rent?


While some matrics are planning to move out of home next year, perhaps into their university res or to embark on a Gap year overseas, others might plan to stay living at home until they find their feet in the working world.

Read more: When adult kids still live at home

With a tough employment market it’s becoming more common for children to stay living at home.

All part of growing up?

Many parents feel that their child should be introduced to some of the financial responsibilities that come with adult life while living at home.

It's a sticky subject to tackle and some parents might feel guilty when asking their adult children to pay rent.  

From sharing the utility bills to contributing a certain percentage of their salary towards rent, the extent to which a child contributes financially will vary from family to family. 

Making it count

  • Without your kids knowing, keep aside all the rent money they pay and put it all into a savings account. One parent suggested giving that rent money back to their child when they're ready to move out. 
  • If you're allowing your child to stay at home so that they can focus on their studies and so that they don't have to stress about working overtime to cover rent, there are other ways to get your child involved in the contributions. Perhaps suggest that they pay a small percentage of rent, or that they cover the cost of electricity and some groceries while they're living there. 
  • Teaching your child to share responsibility by contributing towards rent or living expenses will prepare them for the day they move out. 
  • Your child might enjoy knowing that they're contributing and feel better about not free-loading off you. 

Save up or pay up?

We asked Facebook and Parent24 readers how they feel about charging their children rent. 

"I agree they should pay rent. I lived with my parents after school and had to pay rent. I didn't mind because it taught me not to be a free loader." -Ronel Jacques Richards 

"Wont charge rent, but she has to help around the house and pay her own petrol ect." -Elmarie Nortje 

"Yes a child must learn that its hard out there in the big world. Best they pay something small from the beginning. My kids have and they're handling 'life better than friends of theirs who still have no car etc. It's a way of teaching them." -GoggaCindz Botha

"Family friends had their kids pay "rent" once they started working. The kids thought the money was going towards the monthly costs. Little did they know, their parents never touched that money. They put it into a savings account and when the kids moved it, all that money was given back to them as a "start up capital" for them to use towards their own house/furniture/etc! This is brilliant and something that I will do for my kids one day!" -Caitlin Mezger 

"My son works and pay us a little, if I was rich, I wouldn't want him to pay, but he only got a job so that he could help us out. He left school to do this." -Landi Lubbe

Should you charge your child rent if they choose to stay living at home after school? Send us your comment to

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