ndrowsky Asked December 2010

What is a fair price to charge your elderly parent for rent if they live with you?

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Hugemom Jan 15, 2018
It’s very noble to say you would never charge your parents rent, but the truth of the matter is that adding a person or two to your household does raise your cost of living. My mom always wanted to come live with us. She had it all figured out. What she chose to ignore was my three dogs and two young grandsons who would have driven her insane. Anyway, mom never wavered that she’d pay rent. It would have given her a measure of independence; that she was paying her own way. Sure. They never charged me rent when I lived at home and we never charged our kids either. But, we chose to have children and accept the financial responsibilities. I would absolutely check your area to see what a small apartment rents for and charge them accordingly.
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meallen Jan 15, 2018
We rent an apartment. My mother pays half the rent and I cover the rest. It seems fair to us as my children also live here.
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SomersetSteph Jan 8, 2018
I think every situation is different. If you are comfortably off and have no mortgage then fine don't take rent but if you have a mortgage and your parent wants to and is able to contribute what is the issue in charging a fair rent. I think people are too quick to judge there is no one answer fits all. In my case we have had costly adaptions to make to the property besides mum wants to contribute. I work and give up a lot of my time to ensuring she is safe, warm, fed and well looked after, she is grateful for that. I am also at an age where I might have retired had the government not altered the pensionable age!!
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Denny1954 Jun 2017
I rent a room from my son , I am 62 I pay 700$ a month is that to much
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freqflyer Jan 2016
Jane67, any time Mom uses the "I gave you the land", tell her you and hubby are thinking of selling the house and moving into a smaller home that isn't so expensive to maintain with such a high mortgage and the high property taxes. If she wants to stay in the house, she can buy you out. That might be a wake-up call for her. Or not.
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Jane67 Jan 2016
Here is my situation. My mother in law has lived along since her husband passed away 9 years ago. Her home needed lots of work, was very old, cost a fortune for her to heat etc....Her plan was when she passed she would leave the home and land it was on to my husband. But 2 years ago she wanted to give it to him then. She suggested building a new home (my husband and I were renting at the time) and we would all live together and split bills down the middle. It was a win win for everyone. She didn't have the high cost of her old home (45 year old double wide trailer) and all that went with that and we could have a new home but still be able to breathe financially. We had never questioned whether we could all get along or not. We all thought we would be fine. We took out a mortgage, made our house plans to accommodate her, meaning extra bedroom, larger house for privacy for all of us, all first floor living for her etc.... so with all this our mortgage is bigger therefore our property taxes are higher etc..... We get all moved in and get her "set up" she says "Oh I decided since I gave you the land I am not going to pay rent. I feel you will make out better if you don't charge me rent" Well we didn't say anything we decided to wait it out. So far she pays for the oil (average $400 a year) and buys groceries. Now the buying grocery part sounds good right? Well it is the stuff she likes and stuff she uses to bake pies, cakes and dinners for her bingo nights. She fills the fridge and freezer so full that we cannot buy what we like anyway. She cooks dinner most night for all of us. Again sounds great right? But it isn't always. We have tried to tell her not to cook on her bingo nights (4 nights) and we will handle it. But no she does it anyway and if you say anything she is offended and gets upset. So again we ride it out. Now the problem is she acts like this is her house, she tells us what to do and how to do it. She spends lots of money on bingo (I am talking at least $300 a week. Not exaggerating at all). My husband and I are paying all the bills. We are getting them paid but we have no money for anything else. After paying all the bills and she says things like "You left a light on" constantly, "Are you doing laundry again? constantly How much did you pay for that? constantly...the list goes on and on. Now if she is not paying the lights, the water bill etc... don't ask what we are doing in our own house. I am very frustrated at this point. So income on her part is not an issue. She has plenty and then comes home from bingo and tells us 'I won $300, or $500, or at times 1,000" and there we are not able to have any extras (out to eat, a movie etc) because she hasn't held up her end of the bargain. Now it would be easy to sit down and say "Hey Mom we need some help paying some things" Well not only would that allow her to think she has more control over our household because she "pays rent" but it would open up a can of "I gave you this property and this is how you treat me" and my husband's family may feel the same way. Help!
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My mother chose to live with me instead of my brother or sister. I charged her $400 in rent that covered her utilities, food, phone and some supplies. She bought some of her own items but not everything. My mother did not want my siblings to know anything about her finances but I told my sister what we were doing. I would recommend anyone to have everything in writing or at least a video of the elderly person agreeing to everything. My siblings turned against us and convinced my mother that we were stealing from her when she started to forget things. She now lives with my brother and we no longer communicate at all. If only we had a video to prove to them what she said and agreed to. It's not something you want to do but when an elderly person waste food becasue they change their mind or take long showers or even keep the heat running so much you have to feel that it's not fair that so much of your income is used to help and the other children don't offer anything or even do anything for her. Protect yourself!!!
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I had never dreamed of "charging" my mom for anything. She had told me to use whatever money she has when we need to and I said "Mom, we don't need your money" but she insisted that we use it if we need to. All she has is 480 a month from SS. But after 4 surgeries in 2 years, we had to use up all her money. We started leaving it untouched again for a few months and it was up to about 2,000.00 when we applied for medicaid. We needed more help than we could afford (in home and impending nursing home care). Medicaid said she couldn't have more than 2,000.00 in her account to get approved. At that point I decided to start charging mom 300.00 a month for "rent" and keeping it in my savings in case I needed it for her later. I know she could not live anywhere else for cheaper and if I brought in an outside renter, I would charge at least that. It feels wrong to charge your mom to live with you but it's the only way we could get help for her. She does truly cost me at least that much in food, electric, laundry, meds, depends and lets not dis-clued the fact that I'm not able to work because she is my full time (non paid) job.
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critter55 Dec 2015
my mother in law moved in with us, August, 2015, she has dementia, and I do all her medications, make sure she eats, she requires a lot of help, she can dress herself, my question is should we be charging her for rent and cargiving services, I take her to all her Dr. appointments also. She gets only S.S., she cannot get Medicaid as she has to much money in her account. What would be a reasonable amount and do I have to report this for taxes. Karen
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Dee2 Mar 2011
If my mother wasn't living with us I would still be in my house with a paid mortgage and could retire easily. We had to have a house with no steps once she was in a wheelchair. She had always insisted on paying her way when she moved in and I actually was able to use her checks for rent to prove residency in our state. I agree we use more gas and electric an additional phone and TV hook up. Our taxes are higher on the house too. She was happy to pay her part.
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