Should I charge my son keep?

Looking for opinions on my current situation. My son and his girlfriend - 19 years old and their 2 year old baby live with me. Me and my husband both work full time and have two other children aged 10 and 11. 
My son and his little family moved back in with me a few months ago after struggling to afford their rented home and bills. I took them back in as I rent a large house with room for them. They were on universal credit and I didn’t ask them to contribute to any bills. I provide all food and most weeks buy nappies wipes etc.
My son has just got a new job, not fab paid but I suggested that he starts to pay me £50 a week as a token towards rising costs and basically living bill free isn’t giving him much responsibility. He agreed, however his girlfriend has said she’s not paying and she will buy food separately she’d rather move out. My son is now torn and I’m hurt after supporting them they wouldn’t consider contributing. She commented that she would never charge her child to live with her. Me and my husband are on average wages and really just about make ends meet. 
Am I in the wrong?


  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
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    No, you are not in the wrong.  As elsien, above, says, they'll never get anywhere to live for £50 a week. What a shame. Is there any way you and your husband can sit down and talk with the two of them? Your son's girlfriend is acting like a child and she has a child herself. Can your son talk any sense into her? (I had to laugh when she said she'd never charge her child to live with her. She's living rent free with you!)

    I know it's not easy living with in-laws but it won't be forever and when you have your own family you really shouldn't expect to live anywhere rent-free. It's going to cost them a lot more to live on their own. 

    But maybe it's time for them to move out now and see how they manage, before any major arguments or disruptions happen. You could always offer them a place to stay (with rent though) if things don't turn out as they hope.
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  • tooldle
    tooldle Posts: 1,536 Forumite
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    I don't think you are wrong to charge although i do wonder if both your son and his girlfriend have understood your assistance to date in the same way. Perhaps she is thinking the time with you was to be as short as possible whilst they saved a buffer to get them back on their feet, with a plan to move as soon as they had saved enough. Contributing to the household bills might negate the savings and hence be the same as moving out straight away. Or maybe she is simply being greedy, who knows. An honest chat would be the way to find out what all parties are thinking/feeling.
  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 47,082 Ambassador
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    Really difficult one as anything you take from them lengthens the time it takes to build up a deposit to move out. I hope you reach a solution.
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  • gwynlas
    gwynlas Posts: 1,730 Forumite
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    edited 20 May 2022 at 10:10AM
    It sounds as though there will be problems further down the line with this relationship. It is quite easy to use contraception and not have a second child in these circumstances but it is very easy to play house when somebody else is footing the bill and of course she is happy being a stay at home mum in a comfortable warm house. Of course with rising prices and inflation you cannot afford to keep an extra family on your income and why should you? Not only should there be a financial contribution but help with household chores.Your son seems to be reasonably sensible, though he helped create both children but I would say that she needs a reality check. your house your rules your eleven year old should be comfortable in his home, thre might be a sense of being pushed off his spot with elder brother and family moving in. Separate cooking would meam twice as much fuel and I presume they will still make use of your store cupboard toiletries etc
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