My son has moved back into the house! I was thinking about charging him rent, so at least he'll have some responsibility. Has anyone else faced this situation? How do you sit down with your adult son and tell them that you are now their landlord?! Help!
I'm not sure how old your son is or the reasons that precipitated him moving back in - but my advice is if he can afford rent and you can afford to help him out - get him out of the house ASAP! Not only is having your son back in the house disruptive to your way of life, but the last thing you want is for him to regress and think that living there is acceptable. If that doesn't work for you, then maybe you should draw up a contract to have a mutual understanding for what his responsibilities are in the house (including rent) and how long his room is available to let. Set the guidelines early and be clear on your expectations. This will help aviod any fights later down the road. Good luck!
You sit him down and tell him calmly. No negotiating. It sounds as though you may not have been expecting this so he is probably old enough to be on his own. It is only fair to have him contribute something but, if he was a stand up guy, he would simply sit you down and come up with an offer. We coddle our children. We enable them to be irresponsible and then we become frustrated when they act like small children. I have learned it does not serve us as parents, nor our children well...
First of all, you are not alone! Your son is one of many “boomerang” kids who are returning to the nest.
This can be a time of great stress if boundaries aren’t set and expectations aren’t discussed. Or, it can be a wonderful time of growth in your relationship if you are willing to sit down like grown-ups and talk things out.
That being said, there is nothing wrong with charging him rent. The amount is up to you, but as he is living under your roof and is no longer completely dependent, you should have no qualms about charging rent.
FrugalDad.com offers some great advice on this situation. We’ve highlighted a few of his recommendations here:
1. Have an end game in mind. Is this a temporary solution? Or does your son plan to live there indefinitely? Talk about the reasons he’s there in the first place, his short-term and long-term goals, and how you can work together to achieve those goals (independence should be one of them).
2. Help him develop a budget (and charge rent in the amount of your choosing, if the budget allows). We don’t know what the circumstances are that led your son to move back home. Even if he’s got a job and is doing well financially but just isn’t ready to live on his own yet, knowing how to develop and stick to a budget is a tremendously useful life skill.
3. Agree to a period of transition. If he’s really struggling financially, offer a “trial” or transition period, but stick to the guidelines you set. If you say, “we won’t charge rent for the first 3 months” or “you don’t have to buy groceries for the first six weeks”, stick to it and make sure you’ve got a rent check/cash in hand on day 91.