Mum wants to know if charging rent for ‘disrespectful’ teen daughter is unreasonable

A helpless mother sparked a debate after going to Mumsnet to ask users if it would be unreasonable to charge her daughter for rent when she’s only 16

mother and daughter
The woman went to Mumsnet to ask for advice on how to bill her 16-year rent (stock image)

Sometimes teenagers can be a real pain in the ass – and you just don’t know what to do with them.

Does tough love work? Need to take a gentler approach? No one really knows and we’re just muddying the waters.

A frustrated mother accepted mom net to discuss the situation she is in with her daughter.

She complained that her 16-year-old daughter was currently treating her home like a focal point instead of treating it with respect.

She considered charging her daughter rent, but wasn’t sure if that was unreasonable.

She wrote: “My daughter will be 16, 17 in September and will finish school this month. Well, I say high school, but she only got through the entire 11th grade twice.

“She’s suffering quite badly with her mental health but for the last 12 to 18 months she’s been giving me hell.

“She wouldn’t come home anymore, I never knew where she was, she was on drugs and respected me and home in every way she could. I had strong social services and police involvement. She is sometimes extremely rude to me. We don’t really have a relationship anymore.

The mother was really upset that her relationship with her daughter had broken down (stock image)

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“She’s settled in a bit now, has a weekend job, ‘just’ smokes weed now. Hardly ever comes home, but I know where she is. But she treats her home like a focal point and I find it so disrespectful.

“She’s not going to college, she has no plans. She’ll be working her weekend job full-time and making more money than me as a single mom with another small child.

“Is it fair that I might charge her £30 a week for rent? The way I see it, if she doesn’t want to stay in school and wants to grow up, then she needs to adjust to the real world. She has no expenses, all her money goes to takeaways and weed.

“Her answer is that she is hardly here. But she sometimes comes here at midnight to sleep, or during the day to bathe and do some washing. It’s basically a base or place to go when she can’t stay with her boyfriend.”

People took to the thread to express their sympathy for the mother, with many supporting her decision but saying to make sure the teen knows why she’s being charged the small amount.

One wrote: “Definitely bill her rent if she can afford weed and uses your house like a hotel then I would definitely do that.

“She may recognize her priorities (one way or another) but it’s not fair of her to treat you or your home that way. It sounds difficult for you, I hope you are well.”

However, some disagreed as someone wrote: “Personally I think 16/17 is very young to charge for rent/board.

“Especially when she’s ‘barely’ there. It sounds like all you want from her is money. It would be different if she spent every waking hour at home and used electricity and gas every day.

“Have you spoken to her about how she disrespects the house? And I don’t mean nagging, just a relaxed, seated conversation where you can agree and compromise.”

Others supported the mother because she wanted to charge her daughter rent and found a reasonable solution as to what to do with the money.

Someone wrote: “Full-time education or real rent, not token rent. It’s not about the money, it’s about helping teenagers understand the life choices they’re making.

“If she has a full-time income and no commitments, she’s going to have no idea what budgeting is really like. She must also start covering her own expenses.

“You don’t have to spend all of her rent, and you really shouldn’t. Since she obviously needs help, I could use some of this to help her get into privately funded therapy and if there’s any left put it in savings.”

“My first reaction was that 16 is too young … but reading all this I think it would be very sensible to charge her rent.

“She works full time and earns money. And when she pleads it’s just sooooooo unfair, I’d say as long as there’s grass money, there’s rent money,” fumed one.

“If you’re asking for rent, make sure she understands why,” one mother suggested.

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