My son is moving back after 8 years away, how much do I charge him rent?

Hi everyone,

My son is moving back in with me after moving out at 18 - now 8 years ago. Currently it is me and my daughter (who is 17).

I have absolutely no idea what to charge him for rent and was hoping for some guidance or suggestions from fellow money savers!

I live in a 3 bed semi, me and my daughter have a double room each and my son will be taking the smaller room. His current housemate is moving in with his girlfriend and my son can't afford to rent a house on his own.

He works full time, as do I, and he earns around £20k a year. The ultimate objective is for him to try to get some money together to get a deposit on a house. I am not in the position to help him do that in anyway unfortunately, so I suggested that he move in and try and actively save some money using one or other of the government incentive schemes that are available, but he has to be actively making an effort to do this, he is not coming home to use the house like a cheap hotel room.

It will obviously mean some adjustments to everyone in the house, me and my girlie are used to living in a girlie house, with no men in it - so getting used to having an almost 6 foot young lad around again will take some getting used to I am sure - even if I do adore him!

So how much rent do I charge, knowing that I am not in the position to be able to support him for free, but want to help him as much as I can so that he can get his foot on the housing ladder.

There are the obvious increases in all the bills, and the loss of single council tax occupancy, then all the increase in food/cleaning stuff/washing powder etc.

Aggggghhhhh - PLEASE HELP ME!!!

I think I have 2 options - £300 a month with everything paid for, (he can do his own washing and stuff - I am not being a skivvy!!) although I don't mind cooking when I do it, because i will be doing it anyway. With £300 a month, I was thinking of filtering £75 into a savings account to give him at some given point in time (when he either moves out, or is almost to his goal or whatever) and the £225 to help towards bills and food etc.

The alternative I thought of is that I just charge him a flat £200 rent, spend it all on the bills, and he pays for his own food, washing powder etc, or we keep all receipts and split it up between 3 at the end of the month (I pay 2/3rds for me and my daughter) and he pays 1/3rd for him and we keep it on actuals.

The only thing that slightly concerns me about that option is that he just does't buy it (cos he is skint or whatever) and I end up paying myself anyway! Which I guess wouldn't happen if we did the maths on our paydays (luckily we both get paid on the same day - so this would work!!) So effectively he is always a month behind - he eats etc for a month, then pays me the proper total.

Any ideas or inspiration or wise people that can help?!


  • jon81uk
    jon81uk Posts: 3,785 Forumite
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    add mortgage/rent, insureance, tax and bills together and divide by 2.5 people (daoughter counts as the 0.5) and that should give an idea.

    So if mortgage £500 a month, plus £100 elec/gas/water and another £100 council tax and house insurance £20 maybe is £720 total, or about £288 each for the adults and £144 for your daugter. So charging him £300 wouldn't be wrong in that respect to give you a buffer. But obviously these are just example numbers. But he would have been paying a LOT more for a share of a private rented place I would expect.
  • Sambella
    Sambella Posts: 417 Forumite
    I've helped Parliament
    £300 is a lot. Your utility bills shouldn't go up all that much nor would your food shop.

    I only charge my son £160. Used to be £150 but it went up £10 this month. Inflation ya know ... ;)
  • rev229
    rev229 Posts: 1,045 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary PPI Party Pooper Mortgage-free Glee!
    We added the bills and then divided by 4 as 4 of us live here. My son pays his 1/4 which is not a lot a we don't have a mortgage. He is 20 and earns about 14,000. But he does pay for his own car etc. I do everything for him, only because he will move out one day (I live in hope) and realise just how easy life was at home:rotfl:! In fairness to him he doesn't complain, as he knows my answer..... move out!! Not too sure I'd want him back after he leaves though. I'm looking forward to 'empty nest syndrome'!!
  • bargainbetty
    bargainbetty Posts: 3,455 Forumite
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    Personally, I'd say that on that salary, £300 per month 'all in' is cheap and would still enable him to save. He should also pay a contribution for the additional food bills (judged after a month of grocery shopping).

    Save a bit towards a deposit for him if you wish, but he is a grown man and needs to stand on his own feet when it comes to paying for a roof over his head, and you will find that the bills will go up more than you anticipate!
    Some days, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps....
    LB moment - March 2006. DFD - 1 June 2012!!! DEBT FREE!

    May grocery challenge £45.61/£120
  • McKneff
    McKneff Posts: 38,833 Forumite
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    I would just add his washing to yours or your electric bill will soar. He will have it on washing one or two shirts. The ironing is his job though x
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • SmlSave
    SmlSave Posts: 4,911 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    £200-£300 sounds a good start point to me. My MIL charges extra for ironing and washing clothes as BIL is capable of doing it himself.
    Perhaps review after a few months and record how your bills and shopping gets affected.
    If you can save some of the money that's lovely but keep it a surprise for when he moves out
    Currently studying for a Diploma - wish me luck :)

    Phase 1 - Emergency Fund - Complete :j
    Phase 2 - £20,000 Mortgage Fund - Underway
  • Jackieboy
    Jackieboy Posts: 1,010 Forumite
    Sambella wrote: »
    £300 is a lot. Your utility bills shouldn't go up all that much nor would your food shop.

    I only charge my son £160. Used to be £150 but it went up £10 this month. Inflation ya know ... ;)

    Forty quid is a pittance if it includes all food.
  • mickey54
    mickey54 Posts: 383 Forumite
    what he was paying staying on his own, and work out from there.

    Everyone has a different idea as to whats fair.

    What does your son think he should pay?
  • spangieuk
    Thank you for all your comments everyone. Varied views from all over.

    He is definitely one that would stick 2 shirts in the wash and then the tumble drier just because he wanted them quick! I will do the washing!! ;)

    My household bills come to £1100. each month (that is obviously minus my own stuff like mobile phone, critical illness cover, car tax/insurance etc) and then there is grocery shopping on top of that.

    I have to confess, I wasn't expecting my almost empty nest to start filling up again!

    I spoke to him tonight actually and we broached the subject, and decided he will come round one night and we will go through all his money, see what his own objectives are, see how that fits into my own financial situation (I have 27k on credit cards that I am trying to pay off) and see how we can make it work for us both.

    He doesn't want me to support him, and I can't afford to, so I am sure that we will come to a mutual agreement, especially when we have everything laid out in front of us in black and white.

    Thank you all very much for all your ideas, they have given me lots of different ways to think about things, and different ways to approach getting the final amount sorted.

    For me, I will want to be clear about how long it will take to save the deposit - so I can also enjoy the empty nest - especially when the daughter goes to university in 18 months! Although I think that could be wishful thinking now!! :)
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,765 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Savvy Shopper!
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