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Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
January 14, 2024 ·  5 min read

People Slam Mom Who Charges Her Daughter Rent But Not Her Son

When you were younger, did your parents charge you rent as long as you were working? How about when you were in school? This mom posted on the popular parenting forum Mumsnet asking if it was fair that she was charging her daughter rent and not her son. One was in a paid apprenticeship, the other starting full-time university. This is what the Mumsnet users had to say.

Is It Fair That I Charge My Daughter Rent And Not My Son?

Before her 17-year-old daughter began her apprenticeship, her parents sat down with her and discussed how, when she began making money, she would start contributing. They wanted their daughter to be used to not being able to keep her entire paycheck to herself. The parents are charging her 25% of her total income to cover rent, keep, and gas. Their 18-year-old son, however, is not paying rent. 

“up until now [he] was planning to leave college and get a job. He announced yesterday that he is now accepting the three University offers he got a while back.”

Because of this, the parents have decided not to charge their son rent. Instead, they will be supporting him through the next three years of university. She is concerned that this might cause resentment and jealousy among her two children.

“So we will be in a position of taking money from DD and sending money to DS. Which has totally changed the dynamic. I’m really conscious of causing resentment from DD who already suffers a bit with middle child syndrome and jealousy.”

She wanted to get other parents’ opinions on how to handle this situation.

Some Were Against It

Some people did not support this decision to charge one rent and not the other. They said that an apprenticeship was still education as well, and that apprenticeship salaries are not very high. A few commenters also asked whether or not the parents needed to charge her, or if they were doing okay financially without it.

“An apprenticeship wage at that age is very very low and I’d consider her still in a form of education. I think funding one at uni whilst taking money off a low wage apprentice is pretty shit frankly.” wrote one person.

The mom then cleared up that her apprenticeship salary was 12k (GBP) a year (about $16,660). She says that this is actually quite high for an apprenticeship salary. 

Save It For A Nest Egg

Others suggested that she save the money her daughter pays in rent to give back to her when she moves out. This can help put a dent in a down payment or first and last month’s rent.

“I’d save the money she gives you and give it to her when she is ready to move out as a nest egg she has built up, and add in an equal amount of the same value that you are sending to DS to ensure it is fair.” suggested a commenter.

“Can you put aside the money you charge your child for rent and give it back to them when they buy a house/car etc? That way you are teaching them that their net income does not equal disposable income but you have effectively not charged them because you have given it back?” wrote another.

Others Agreed With Her

There were just as many commenters, however, who seemed to think that this was a perfectly fair decision. She was making money, whereas he would not be. They said it is only right to charge the one who is earning an income rent while supporting the one who is instead in school.

“Mine know that whilst in full time education, they do not contribute towards the house, once working (part time or full) the pay their keep. Its not up for discussion, dont go there with your DD – if it gets mentioned, tell her as a matter of fact and that if she chose to carry on with her education you would support.” wrote one person.

“I would look at it no different to one working at the other not. If a child is earning money and has disposable income, it is only fair they pay rent. If the other is still in education, then they don’t. If they both had the same opportunities to go to university, I don’t think you are being unfair.” wrote another.

Others pointed out, too, that because her son was choosing University, this meant that he is going to have a large amount of debt that she isn’t. Each child has different needs. When he has completed his education and is working, he will have to pay rent, too – either at home or elsewhere.

“Remember – and maybe remind DD if she does show any resentment! – that in the long run your DS is going to have a lot of debt that she doesn’t. You’re also still very much subsidising her – if you’re charging her 25% of £12k then that’s less than £250 a month for rent, bills and food, so it’s hardly like you’re charging her commercial rates to make a profit off her.”

Other Options

A few others mentioned that there is also the option of her son getting a part-time job while he studied. Many of them pointed out that they had them, too. These jobs allowed them not only to afford living costs but also gave them a bit of “fun” money to do with what they wanted.

“One child is in education and one is working. Tbf though depending on the degree and hours spent studying, I quite easily managed a part time job at uni which meant my parent’s contribution went purely on bills and rent and the money I earnt was for going out, holidays and fun stuff.” wrote one person.

“Perhaps your DS should get a job and pay some of the shortfall himself, or go to a cheaper university.” commented another.

What do you think? What would you do in this situation?