Take the test: How much rent should you charge your grown-up kids?

Updated on 26 November 2018 | 0 Comments

When adult children move back in, it can be tricky to decide on a fair amount to expect for rent and bills. Luckily a new online tool is here to help...

You thought the ransacked fridge, piles of stinking trainers and constantly engaged bathroom were a thing of the past when your kids flew the nest. But with the latest research from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showing 26% of 15-34 year olds are living with their parents - up from 1997 when that figure was just over a fifth - you might not have seen the back of your adult children, and their clutter, just yet.

And when the kids bounce back to the family nest in their twenties, thirties and, let's be honest, sometime their forties too, how much do you charge them when it comes to bills and rent? If the answer is ‘I haven’t a clue’ then you aren’t alone.

74% of parents feel there isn’t enough information on how much to charge according to a study by comparison site comparethemarket.com. In fact, 47% of parents aren’t charging their children anything at all. And of the 53% who do expect payment the average ask is just £68 per month towards their mortgage or rent, £31 towards bills and £33 towards food, considerably below the average UK rent (excluding Greater London) of £760 per month

Easy online tool

To try and combat the uncertainty, comparethemarket.com have launched the Pa-rental Meter, a new online calculator that does the maths for you.

It’s a practical guide based on your postcode and breaks down the total into rent, food, gas and electricity. While aimed at parents, it could also come in handy if you’re looking to rent out a spare room to a lodger in your home too. 

The amount you could be charging might comes as a shock though. A sample postcode in Stockport revealed that parents should be billing for £628.76, with £420 in rent and the rest for bills and food, while parents in Dulwich, south London should expect £828.08 in total for a stay at the hotel mum and dad. 


Doing it for the kids

How much you should expect your children to stump up is of course a knotty issue, especially if they're living with you because they're saving for a home of their own. But the consensus is that rent-free living isn't helpful for them or you. 

“With the cost of living increasing year on year, we’re not surprised that more than half of parents are charging their adult children to live at home with them, not only from a financial perspective but also to help teach them the true value of money, says Chris King, Head of Home at comparethemarket.com. 

When asked why parents are charging their kids to live with them, the fact they're in full or part time employment was the number one reason.

This was followed by the expectation that they are now an adult, and therefore should be putting their hand in their pocket for bills and rent. Teaching kids how to manage money also scored highly.

For 24% of landlord parents though it's not a matter of principle but because they simply cannot afford to pay for the mortgage or rent, as well as bills, without a contribution from the kids.

Take the poll

LovePROPERTY.com would love to hear your opinion on this thorny issue, so please take part in our anonymous poll below. 


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