Should Working, Adult Children Who Live at Home Pay Rent?

Should Your Adult Children Pay Rent to Live at Home?

Once upon a time, it was commonplace for people to move out of their family homes as soon as they reached adulthood.

In recent times, though, a noticeably higher percentage of younger adults continue to live with their parents for years after finishing school.

It’s a situation that raises a series of questions – perhaps none greater than the issue of whether working, adult children who live at home should pay rent.

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Why Are More Adult Children Living At Home?

Statistics show that over one in three young adults aged 20-34 now live at home with their parents (1).

While some of them are college students, an increasingly large number are in full or part-time employment.

The reasons for living at home are fairly transparent.

The main issues are that:


  • Property prices have soared while banks employ stricter lending requirements;
  • Rental prices and living costs have also increased at a rapid rate, making it harder for young adults on low incomes;
  • Young adults are increasingly interested in travel and other expenses lifestyle choices.


Regardless of the reasons behind delaying the process of moving out, the family dynamic dramatically changes once adult children start working.

Consequently, the situation needs addressing, even if the decision is made for the adult child to make no financial contribution.

What Are The Pros & Cons Of Adult Children Paying Rent?

When a young adult pays rent, there are significant benefits and drawbacks for parent and child alike.

Some of the key issues are as follows:




  • Child: Develop an added level of financial responsibility while gaining insight into future living costs;
  • Child: Appreciate the value of money while also understanding their budget limitations for the future;
  • Child: Gain a sense of pride for contributing to the family finances and helping their parents;
  • Parent: Avoid financial hardships caused by increased family home costs;
  • Parent: Have the opportunity to guide young adults to smarter financial decisions.




  • Child: It’s harder to save for a deposit on an apartment;
  • Child: The financial obligation makes it harder to take career risks;
  • Child: Lose the opportunity to build their credit score as quickly;
  • Parent: Cannot rent the room to a lodger;
  • Parent: The revenue is often far less stable as young adults can lose jobs, etc.


The Paying Rent At Home Option

Once a child starts working, most parents will allow them a small window (maybe 3-6 months) for the child to enjoy the first significant money they’ve ever earned.

However, once their salary is stable, most families will choose one of the three options below.


  • The adult child continues to live at home without paying a dollar towards rent;
  • Adult children pay a small monthly rental fee while maybe helping out with a few bills and groceries;
  • The adult child pays for their room in the same way they would use a house share.


There is no single right or wrong answer, but a lot of families find that the second option works well.

It allows the young adult to gain the benefits of added responsibility and financial management while parents avoid seeing their financial health taking a turn for the worse – even if the benefits are negligible.

To learn more about the different routes and how to create a transition plan that sets the monthly fees, utility bill contributions, and potential incremental changes, get in touch today.

We’re more than happy to help!



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