Whether or not it’s okay for a parent to ask their adult daughter to pay rent depends on the situation. Parents should consider their household finances and their daughter’s financial situation before deciding.
A mother asked this question in a subreddit, “Am I wrong in telling my daughter she needs to pay rent?
Here’s what happened.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The OP is a 50-year-old mother who has a 24-year-old daughter. The daughter got out of college and started hunting for a job. The parents supported her during the job hunt. She lived in her parents’ home rent-free during this time. In October, she finally found a job.
WHAT DID THE OP SAY
According to the OP, “I was excited for her for finally finding the job, especially when it is surprisingly well paying. She said she won’t get paid until late this month. I said it was fine, but she still needs to pay rent.”
THE DAUGHTER TRIES TO GET OUT OF PAYING RENT
Says the OP, “The other day, she told me she planned a trip with her friends and was saving for a plane ticket. I reminded her again she still needed to pay rent, as it felt like she was trying to avoid rent so she could save money for the trip.”
THE DAUGHTER WANTS THE RENT AMOUNT TO INCLUDE HER CREDIT CARD BILLS
“She told me she’d pay the rent after deducting her credit card bill. Apparently, she wanted me to pay her credit card bill first, then keep the rest as rent.”
THIS LED TO SOME UNKIND WORDS
The mother told her daughter that deducting her credit card bill was unacceptable. The daughter rolled her eyes and tried to walk away. In the heat of the moment, the mother said some unfortunate things. At the end of the fight, she finally agreed to pay the rent and her own credit card bill.
This altercation has strained the relationship between the mother and her daughter.
Says the OP, “My daughter has become extremely distant since. She started working overtime almost all week. I tried to talk to her and even told her she could keep her original plan, but she just kept fixating on what I said. Either ignoring my message or telling me how I’ve misunderstood her and made her feel bad.”
WHAT DOES THE HUSBAND THINK
The husband thinks his wife is wrong. “He thinks our daughter was already stressed, and I kept reminding her of rent money she didn’t have. Demanding rent in a fight made me the villain.”
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
“Today, she handed me a stack of cash, rent, and a credit card bill included. I tried to tell her the money will be in a family savings account. She rolled her eyes and said she didn’t care. She then cut up the credit card I was managing the bills for. My husband gave me an I told you so look. ”
The mother asked the people on the forum – “I honestly don’t think I deserve any of this treatment. I love my daughter very much, but I can’t help but wonder if my husband was right. Am I wrong?
Here’s what the people said.
YOU ACTED LIKE A MEAN LANDLORD
“We have no idea what you said here, but since you’re trying to hide it, I bet it made you sound terrible. So yes, you’re mistaken. Now you’re mad that your daughter doesn’t want to treat you like family when you treat her like a tenant. You want to act like a mean landlord; you’ll get treated like a mean landlord.”
OP HAS A WEIRD RELATIONSHIP WITH HER DAUGHTER’S MONEY
“It looks like the OP called her daughter a mean person because she wouldn’t give her 100% of her first paycheck after giving 100% of her paychecks from her college jobs. OP has a really weird relationship with her daughter’s money.”
WOULD IT HURT TO WAIT TWO MONTHS
You are wrong for knowingly demanding rent from your daughter, starting before she actually gets paid. She’s your kid! Would it hurt to wait two months and have a plan for reasonable rent starting then? Getting a new job involves expenses – professional clothes, figuring out transportation, etc.
You’re not a landlord; you’re a parent. If you want her to treat you like a landlord, you’ll need to give her the autonomy of a tenant – her room and designated spaces are her own, you can’t touch food she buys or prepares, you can’t ask about her finances at all beyond expecting a rent check on time. You’re in your right to act this way, but coming from a supposedly loving parent, it’s wrong.
YOU CLEARLY SAID SOME REGRETTABLE THINGS
“You clearly said some regrettable things but won’t tell us what. It made your daughter angry enough to work overtime, hand you the money and bills, and cut up the credit card.
Usually, when you get a job, you save up a bit to be able to move out/pay rent. Where was that grace? This is your child, and you kept pestering her. She gets it.
YOUR DAUGHTER IS TRYING TO GET ON HER FEET
This post and the replies are so wildly American. I can’t imagine my parents asking me to pay rent if I still lived with them. None of my friends who do (due to the pandemic) have been asked to, either.
Your daughter is trying to get on her feet and out in the real world, and asking her for rent money over and over while she JUST started her job adds so much pressure. She also deserves to take a trip (which probably won’t happen for a bit) after all her hard work.”
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