Poll results: Should grown children pay rent when they move home?

Dallas Dirt, a real-estate publication in Dallas, Texas, recently published a poll asking readers whether adult children should pay rent when they move back home with their parents. The possible answers to the poll are:

  • Yes, after college, absolutely.
  • Not if they are in graduate school. After grad school, yes.
  • Only after they have been working for awhile, to help them “get on their feet”.
  • No but they should still contribute to the household financially and physically (chores).
  • Grown kids should never return home to live with mom and dad.
  • It’s up to the family to decide this case by case.
  • Daddy should always pay for everything!
  • The minute they turn 18 they should contribute to the family.

I’m not loving any of these possible answers. This is a complicated topic with no simple answer. I think the best answer is “It’s up to the family to decide this case by case,” except that in all cases the adult child should contribute *something* every month — if not cash, then they should still be paying a set amount of “rent” by working on extra projects around the house, like cleaning the gutters or painting the garage. (You can see my thoughts on adult children paying rent when they move home in the video here.) So, I guess if I were to write a possible response, it would be: “Yes, but the family should decide what amount makes sense based on their particular situation, and if no money is available, the adult child should work off the rent by doing extra jobs around the house (not regular chores).”

If you want to vote in the poll, you can do so here. If you’d like to see the results (in which a shocking 9% say Daddy should always pay for everything — I suspect those votes didn’t come from parents!), you can find them here.