Dad Tells Teen Son To Start Paying Rent, Utilities & WiFi To Stay At His Home — And Abide By A Set Of ‘Home Contributions & Responsibilities’

“It doesn't sit right with me that I'm being required to contribute while having to tiptoe around.”

Teenage boy upset by dad charging him rent Brian A Jackson / Shutterstock

Let’s be honest: Raising kids—let alone teenagers—is not a small feat, and sometimes controversial methods like paying rent are justified. However, other times, it just doesn’t make much sense.

A dad is forcing his 17-year-old son to pay rent and utilities and abide by a set of household rules in order to live at home.

The teenager wrote to Reddit, sharing some background information — his job, home life, current goals, and responsibilities. It quickly became clear that his dad’s request was misguided. 


“I'm 17 years old until mid-December and have earned my high school diploma," the boy wrote. "My dad has been able to live comfortably recently because he went back to school later in life and is now working at a hospital as a medical professional.”

@grace_lemire Replying to @Danielle curious how people feel about charging kids rent #livingathomeinyour20s #livingathome #rent ♬ original sound - grace

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The teenager mentioned that he’d been working hard while in school, earning around $1000 a month to save for a used car. Ready to unwind after graduation and take a break from work, he was excitedly prepping for a vacation with his mom — who lives in a different city — when his dad stopped him for a conversation.

“We hadn't been arguing but he told me that starting next month he'll charge me $300 a month for rent as well as requiring me to be home by 9 every night," he revealed. "I didn't argue, but it has been stressing me out throughout my trip.”

On the day he was due to arrive home, his dad sent him an updated set of rules and fees. Rather than the aforementioned rent, the teenager would be required to pay $150 for internet and utilities. He was also presented with a list of “home contributions, responsibilities, and consequences.”

Despite the teenager's efforts to save money and his father's ‘comfortable’ job, he's forced to pay his dad $150+ a month and fulfill a long list of daily responsibilities.

“He wanted $100/month, an internet contribution, and $50/month utilities," he wrote, along with a “$10 fee for each infraction” of house rules. 


The regulations included doing dishes, asking before having guests over, cleaning up trash, and being home by 8:30 p.m. every night or “spending the night elsewhere.” In addition, he needed to walk their dog each day in the morning and at night — essentially ensuring he’d never be anywhere but at home.

Teen boy looking frustrated. Africa Images / CanvaPro

Despite initially presenting the rent payment in an in-person conversation, this boy admitted his dad sent all of the above in a text message, followed by, “I love you bud. Can't wait to hear about your trip. Glad you're coming home. See you tomorrow.”


“I have no problems with the majority of the rules, it's mostly basic responsibilities," the teenager clarified. "However, it doesn't sit right with me that I'm being required to contribute while having to tiptoe around this system that is now in place.”

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Commenters urged the boy to consider leaving — arguing it’s not fair for him to be responsible for all chores while paying rent as a teenager.

Of course, there’s a plethora of reasons why making adult children pay rent when they’re living at home makes sense, but many people online argue it’s “manipulative” to expect any children younger than that to do so. 

“Making your kids pay rent money in your own home is the wildest form of exploitation,” budgeting and finance creator Jess admitted on TikTok.


It is a choice that you make, as parents, to rent or own a home — you shouldn’t expect or rely on payment from your teenage children to pay those bills. “For parents arguing you’re using it to teach responsibility … I don’t buy it,” she added. “If you were … you’d collect that rent money, and when it came time for them to move out, you’d give it back to them.”

@shesintimidating Making your kids pay rent money in your house is the wildest form of exploitation #unpopularopinion #rentmoney #livingathome ♬ original sound - Jess🫶🏽 | Budgeting & Finance

Many other commenters relayed a similar sentiment to this TikTok woman, arguing that in combination with the insane list of house rules and responsibilities, a rent payment was absurd. 

“It's [crappy] to charge the kid rent in general,” another wrote under the post. “He's a minor; it's the dad's job to support him. Give him a house to live in. Provide food. All the dad's job.”


Clearly, with the savings, job, and mindset this teenage boy has already demonstrated, he doesn’t need to prove to anyone, including his dad, that he’s financially responsible. In an update to the post, he admitted a discussion with his dad about his “rules” ended badly — “He went with a ‘my way or the highway’ approach … so I’m moving to my moms.”

Every situation is inherently different, but parents should remember to just treat their children with grace — try to hold them accountable while also supporting them. It’s easier said than done, but prioritize open communication and leading with your heart. It will all work out as it should.

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.