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    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 6th Jul 17, 10:41 AM
    • 81Posts
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    MSE Sarah
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I agree to pay my mum more rent?
    • #1
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:41 AM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I agree to pay my mum more rent? 6th Jul 17 at 10:41 AM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    Since I started working, my mum has charged me £100/month in rent to keep living at her house, to help out with bills. Now after around a year she suddenly wants to increase it to £200/month, but I’ve stayed on the same salary. Is she being unreasonable for bumping up the rent money or am I being tight?

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!

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    Last edited by MSE Luke; 07-07-2017 at 10:28 AM.
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Page 4
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 12th Jul 17, 1:03 PM
    • 27,828 Posts
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    Mojisola
    My 2 pence worth would be to speak to your mother and explain that you need to save for a deposit and ask if you can reduce the amount slightly.
    Originally posted by halesjim
    If I was Mum, I'd want to know how much had been saved while the keep money was only £100 a month.

    If it was nothing or very little, that isn't an argument that would sway me.
    • RedGoose
    • By RedGoose 12th Jul 17, 1:05 PM
    • 164 Posts
    • 1,697 Thanks
    RedGoose
    When I got my first job after uni my parents and I agreed that I would pay 10% of my take-home. I thought this was a bargain (and (on not much over the minimum wage) I thought I was loaded! Bless!)... I must confess I didn't offer to pay more but I was paying off my overdraft and rebuilding my savings.


    Mum said that when the 10% got larger than a monthly mortgage payment it would encourage me to move out. In our area, pre-housing crash, the idea of 10% of my wages exceeding a mortgage payment was optimistic, to say the least...


    Even though it wasn't a realistic "rent" amount I'm glad they did it as it meant I didn't take my bed and board for granted (and if they wanted to spend it on luxuries I would have been completely fine with that).
    Sealed pot challenger#1677
    2012 total: £252.11/£200; 2013:£0/£250
    Virtual sealed pot challenger 2013 no.12: £25.97/£200
    • pollyanna24
    • By pollyanna24 12th Jul 17, 1:12 PM
    • 3,645 Posts
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    pollyanna24
    I charge my son £100 a week and where I live that is a bargain. The cheapest one bed flat to buy is £200,000 and they come with very large service charges and ground rent. Rental flats could easily be twice what I charge him.

    Unbeknownst to him I have not spent a penny of his rent but have saved it for a flat or house deposit. I did the same for his sister who has now bought a house with her partner. I sympathise with any parents who need to charge their adult children rent because they need the money for essentials but I find it shocking that parents would charge 'keep' to downsize their own jobs or to spend the money on holidays or selfish indulgences.

    It is not good for young adults to live for free for several reasons:-

    -They need to learn to pay their way and to be financially responsible
    -They need to know their wages are not just pocket money for splurging
    -Without paying 'keep' the difference between price of living at home free and moving out and being totally independent is too much like a cliff edge. It might even prove prohibitive and keep the young adult at home
    -Only children are kept by their parents. Not to encourage a young adult to pay his or her way is to keep them in a state of prolonged infancy

    That said, with the housing and mortgage market the way they are I can see little chance for my son to move out without finding a partner to share a mortgage with.
    Originally posted by Teacher2
    Is it still unbeknownst to him or is he not aware that you contributed towards his sister's house?
    Pink Sproglettes born 2008 and 2010
    House Worth (approx) - £400,000
    Mortgages (2nd July 2017) - £183,377.40
    Equity - £216,522.60
    • pollyanna24
    • By pollyanna24 12th Jul 17, 1:24 PM
    • 3,645 Posts
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    pollyanna24
    My kids are only young, so don't have to worry about this yet. But I have it in my head that, if I can afford it, then I will let them live in my house for free while they are still studying (hopefully they won't be studying forever...), but they would probably have to get a job to pay for other expenses and special food and the like.

    I regret not doing a degree and because I live on the outskirts of London, it's not like they have to move out to "go the big city."

    On the flip side, my Mum and Dad charged me £100 back in 1999 when I was 18. Think my brother was still only paying this in 2011 when he moved out.
    Pink Sproglettes born 2008 and 2010
    House Worth (approx) - £400,000
    Mortgages (2nd July 2017) - £183,377.40
    Equity - £216,522.60
    • Judi
    • By Judi 12th Jul 17, 1:36 PM
    • 14,846 Posts
    • 59,719 Thanks
    Judi
    £25 a week doesnt go far. I think an increase is well overdue. £50 a week though, I wouldnt charge that much. Our Son pays £25 a week but he's an apprentice (on a decent wage due to bonuses) but hubby can afford to subsidise him.
    'Holy crap on a cracker!'
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 12th Jul 17, 1:38 PM
    • 5,658 Posts
    • 7,411 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    The people who are comparing the amount to how much it would cost to rent a room in the area are completely missing the point!.

    When you rent a room from someone they are making a good profit from it. I don't think a parent should aim to make a good profit from their children paying lodge.

    If you want your children to pay their way then you should sit down with them and work out how much of each bill they should be responsible for. For example them living there won't cause the mortgage/rent to increase. But there will be a small increase in electricity for example; but not by much. If they don't buy there own food then a proportion of the food bill should be included etc.
    Once you calculated this then a fair amount can be paid to the parents and it will help them understand the cost of living.

    Simply saying they should pay £200 a month doesn't help them understand anything about the cost of living and it could be way to much for someone who buys all their own toiletries and food. It could also be way to little for someone who doesn't buy anything and their parents still even buy their clothes, takeaways and entertainment.


    Another theme that seems popular is secretly saving the money for them and giving it to them as a house deposit. This in my view is pointless and you should be working with your children to encourage them to save and get the best interest rates.
    Secretly saving money for them is something you do for a very young child who you don't trust to not blow all their money.
    Originally posted by takman
    Actually, I think comparing it to what renting a room would cost is an extremely valid point, particularly where the question is from the adult child. Regardless of whether the parent is making a profit or not, if the 'child' is paying less than they would to rent elsewhere then they are getting a good deal.

    The issue of whether a parent should make any profit from having an adult child living in their home is I think a different one. I don't think that there is necessarily anything morally wrong with them doing so, once the child has reached the point of being an independent adult, I think it is a personal choice for the parents.

    Most parents want what is best for their children. Whether they decide that what is best is to subsidise their child financially well into adulthood, or to expect them to be wholly financially independent, or something in between, is a matter of personal choice and will also vary a huge amount depending on the parents own experiences, their financial position (actual and perceived) and their needs and plans, as well as the child's circumstances and attitudes.

    If the child is only charges the extra on the bills, as you seem to suggest, they aren't really getting a real feel for costs of living as they are not paying any rent.

    I do think that it is a good idea for parents to talk to children about finances and budgeting from an early age,at a level they can understand,so that by the time a child leaves school they already understand abut costs of living, budgeting, saving etc, and I also think it is reasonable to discuss with the adult child why you have come to the figure you have.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 12th Jul 17, 1:38 PM
    • 17,060 Posts
    • 43,124 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Maybe it's not the fact that the OP's Mother is increasing the rent but the fact that she's doubling it.

    Would anyone be happy if their rent or mortgage doubled overnight?
    • REJP
    • By REJP 12th Jul 17, 1:46 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    REJP
    £200 a month for full board and lodging is a bargain.
    However we don't know the income of the writer, and how the extra payment is going to effect savings for his/her own home.
    Anyone living at home "all in" should have spoken with mother to see if the rent was adequate, and taken the initiative to see that she was not subsidising them to her loss. Love is a two-way street after all.
    Speak to mother, might get a shock if she shows annual cost of council tax, electricity, water rates, and the weekly shop for food. Better still, go food shopping with her and see the bill for even basic food, could get a nasty surprise!
    • Ziggazee
    • By Ziggazee 12th Jul 17, 1:49 PM
    • 444 Posts
    • 569 Thanks
    Ziggazee
    Crikey. I paid £140 a month 30 years ago.....and I was only earning £85 a week. I had to pay my bus fares to and from work, pay for my own lunches and often my own tea.


    Maybe it's time to grow up, move out and support yourself....or just pay the extra
    • alggomas
    • By alggomas 12th Jul 17, 1:50 PM
    • 136 Posts
    • 46 Thanks
    alggomas
    I would think the mother would give a months notice before payment. As stated before we do not know the financial status of both. Frankly £25 a week is a pittance! Also mother's would not charge more than the young adult could afford. Remember the person was contributing only £25 a week for a year. Common sense would dictate it may be going up. Also it was a request for £50 a week. I am sure they would discuss it.What young adult would question what the parents spend the money on?
    • svain
    • By svain 12th Jul 17, 2:24 PM
    • 117 Posts
    • 247 Thanks
    svain
    Always a good one this ....

    The people that justify charging board as some kind of life lesson always makes me smile. Charge board by all means, whatever you feel suitable but please dont disguise as a "life lesson" ... its not, its about money.

    Then there are the ones that hike prices and justify it to comparing with renting .... give me a break, living at home is nothing like living (or even sharing) away from the family home .... The independence of living away trumps it all, because you can do what you like when you like and with whom you like.

    Then there are the ones that like to justify it by charging a share of home running costs .... when in reality a lot of bills would be no different whether they had children still at home or not.

    Moral of this story is the ones that cry the most about justifying the higher board costs are normally the ones that are the money grabbers.
    The ones that go about it quietly, requesting a nominal amount as a sign of respect have got it right imo
    Last edited by svain; 12-07-2017 at 2:26 PM.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 12th Jul 17, 2:29 PM
    • 17,060 Posts
    • 43,124 Thanks
    Pollycat
    I would think the mother would give a months notice before payment. As stated before we do not know the financial status of both. Frankly £25 a week is a pittance! Also mother's would not charge more than the young adult could afford. Remember the person was contributing only £25 a week for a year. Common sense would dictate it may be going up. Also it was a request for £50 a week. I am sure they would discuss it.What young adult would question what the parents spend the money on?
    Originally posted by alggomas
    I agree that we don't know the financial status of both (odd how these 'money moral dilemmas' always lack important details) but we do know that the OP is earning the same salary as she was when she first started paying board and we do know that the OP's mother intends doubling the amount she wants.

    'common sense' may dictate the expectation of an increase - but a 100% increase?
    • chelseablue
    • By chelseablue 12th Jul 17, 2:47 PM
    • 2,046 Posts
    • 2,494 Thanks
    chelseablue
    I used to give my Mum & Dad £150 a month while living at home, it started off at £100.

    It was £150 a month until I moved out when I was 27, but I used to save a lot for a deposit.

    Wish I could live for 150 quid a month now!
    Baby Boy born May 2014

    Mortgage starting balance 26.02.16 £231,294
    Mortgage after Year 1 £225,078
    • mouse118
    • By mouse118 12th Jul 17, 3:01 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    mouse118
    Are you for real?
    Of course you should pay. Have you worked out how much it would cost you to keep yourself?
    Rent, Council tax, Gas, Electric, Water, Insurance, Broadband - and we haven't even thought about clothes, food, laundry, fares etc. etc!
    I don't know how much you 'take home', but you have to learn to pay your way. Your mum has kept you for a long time and £100 will go nowhere near what she is paying out for you.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 12th Jul 17, 3:04 PM
    • 35,515 Posts
    • 149,803 Thanks
    silvercar
    Since all 3 of my children left home 2 of them have returned at different times (1 with her 2 children). I have always applied the same formula for calculating board. Basically regardless of earnings I total all of the expenses for the year, divide it by the number of adults and then calculate the monthly cost. I have never included my mortgage payments because if I decide to sell it is up to me how I will spend any profit. This encouraged my youngest to return to college and he is now at university. All of my children think its fair and it has taught them how to manage money
    Originally posted by sherri01
    The unfairness of your method is that you chose to live in your home. For example, the heating costs of my home are high because it is an older house and less well insulated. If I lived in a modern purpose built flat the heating costs would be lower. So saying you split the costs equally dumps your choice of home onto your offspring's costs.
    • takman
    • By takman 12th Jul 17, 3:19 PM
    • 2,402 Posts
    • 2,015 Thanks
    takman
    Actually, I think comparing it to what renting a room would cost is an extremely valid point, particularly where the question is from the adult child. Regardless of whether the parent is making a profit or not, if the 'child' is paying less than they would to rent elsewhere then they are getting a good deal.

    The issue of whether a parent should make any profit from having an adult child living in their home is I think a different one. I don't think that there is necessarily anything morally wrong with them doing so, once the child has reached the point of being an independent adult, I think it is a personal choice for the parents.
    Originally posted by TBagpuss
    If there are questions about the amount of rent being paid then a response of "If you had your own house it would cost X amount more, so your getting a good deal" isn't very useful at all!.

    A detailed calculation showing how they arrive and logical response to any questions or arguments.

    Most parents want what is best for their children. Whether they decide that what is best is to subsidise their child financially well into adulthood, or to expect them to be wholly financially independent, or something in between, is a matter of personal choice and will also vary a huge amount depending on the parents own experiences, their financial position (actual and perceived) and their needs and plans, as well as the child's circumstances and attitudes.

    If the child is only charges the extra on the bills, as you seem to suggest, they aren't really getting a real feel for costs of living as they are not paying any rent.
    Originally posted by TBagpuss
    This concept makes no sense to me at all. How does charging them more money to pay a proportion of all expenses help them in any way in the future?.

    If a parent has done their job well their child should understand household budgeting and the importance of saving money (especially while living at home to be able to fund a house).

    So by charging them more money to live at home so they get "a real feel for costs of living" the parent is actually depriving them of money that could be used to help them get an even bigger deposit.

    I do think that it is a good idea for parents to talk to children about finances and budgeting from an early age,at a level they can understand,so that by the time a child leaves school they already understand abut costs of living, budgeting, saving etc, and I also think it is reasonable to discuss with the adult child why you have come to the figure you have.
    Originally posted by TBagpuss
    • pugsydog
    • By pugsydog 12th Jul 17, 3:20 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    pugsydog
    Tight
    If you can find somewhere to live, with heating, lighting, council tax and probably food, cleaning etc, etc for around £20 per week, good luck. Even 200 is cheap!
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 12th Jul 17, 3:37 PM
    • 27,828 Posts
    • 70,693 Thanks
    Mojisola
    The unfairness of your method is that you chose to live in your home. For example, the heating costs of my home are high because it is an older house and less well insulated. If I lived in a modern purpose built flat the heating costs would be lower. So saying you split the costs equally dumps your choice of home onto your offspring's costs.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    A working adult offspring is also choosing to live in the house.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 12th Jul 17, 3:46 PM
    • 35,515 Posts
    • 149,803 Thanks
    silvercar
    A working adult offspring is also choosing to live in the house.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    Not much of a choice if they are on a low income and have no other option.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 12th Jul 17, 3:56 PM
    • 27,828 Posts
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    Mojisola
    The unfairness of your method is that you chose to live in your home.

    For example, the heating costs of my home are high because it is an older house and less well insulated.

    So saying you split the costs equally dumps your choice of home onto your offspring's costs.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    Not much of a choice if they are on a low income and have no other option.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    If the offspring is paying over the odds at home, they will have the option to be a lodger in a cheaper house.
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