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Aimless

How much to charge for rent/board?

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Aimless

My little sister’s circumstances have changed (she’s lost her job) and she, her husband and four year old have been forced back to move back in with my parents. They are currently occupying two of the four bedrooms there, but pay for all the utilities (including my parents’) on top of their own living expenses. My parents have paid off their mortgage on the house, and keen to assist my sister while she looks for a job and she and her husband can save up enough to move out.

They’re all currently negotiating how much board my sister and husband should pay, and wondering how much would be a reasonable price per week. Any thoughts?
 

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Dianalynch

If they’re paying for their own expenses, such as groceries, toilet paper, shampoo etc and are paying for  everyone‘s utilities on top of this, then I’d say nothing extra would be needed by your parents? Just  checking your parents aren’t out of pocket, in fact they’re a bit better off by having their bills covered? They didn’t normally let out the additional bedrooms? 
 

 If so, then nothing more would seem reasonable to me, no commercial arrangement needed, they’re family and it’s great your parents can help them get back on their feet. 

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Silverstreak

Yep,paying utilities should save your parents quite a bit each month, so would leave the arrangement as is.

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seayork2002

if I needed the money I would charge but no offence to any of ds's future, hypothetical, partners and child/ren but if it meant they moved out sooner I would not charge anything.

 

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Ellie bean

I think what they’re doing now sounds very fair.

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iwanttosleepin

We lived with my parents for 5 months a couple of years ago.  it was more a result of circumstance than finance.  We paid no board.  We bought all the groceries but paid none of the utilities.  We did 80% of the cooking and cleaning.

My parents actually liked it.  It was the first time they'd had grandchildren nearby.  my youngest and grandad became best friends.  eventually we found our way and got a rental and then a new house.  Now we live down the road and grandad and my youngest are still best friends. 

for us, it wasn't about money.  if my parents had needed money we would have paid up but they didn't.  

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Behind Hazel Eyes
16 minutes ago, Ellie bean said:

I think what they’re doing now sounds very fair.

Me too.  

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born.a.girl

They are negotiating?  Are they all happy with the current arrangements?  If not, who is feeling that they are getting off lightly?

I think I'd want to know those things first. 

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got my tinsel on

We moved into my mum's house (me, DH and 7yo DD) when our house was being built (KDRB).

We paid for utilities and groceries for us all.  Mum paid for council rates and insurance.

Mum didn't want us to pay for anything, but as I was 40 years younger I got to the letterbox first and it was far easier for us to get out to buy groceries.  She would offer us money but it was most certainly refused.

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Aimless

Thanks for the replies, everyone.
 

So, currently my mum is asking that they should pay $250 per week. This is on top of the utilities, etc. My dad is actually ok with not being paid but at my mum’s insistence that my sister should pay, thinks that $150 is ok. 

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born.a.girl

Then all I can say is your parents don't sound 'too keen' to assist them get back on their feet, and help them move out.

I should imagine it's pretty humiliating having to resort to going back to living with your parents.  If they have a four bedroom house, paid off, and they've had it for any period of time, then like us, they've gained a significant amount of unearned income.

Your parents are in front with having utilities paid, the rest is standing on ceremony.

That said, in your parent shoes, I would like to think that income earned is being socked away in order to become a little independent. Any benefits they're getting are designed to live on. If they don't have to pay for the roof over their head, they're hopefully making headway on the bond/deposit front, which your parents would presumably be happy with, since they're keen to help.

 

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amdirel
13 minutes ago, Aimless said:

Thanks for the replies, everyone.
 

So, currently my mum is asking that they should pay $250 per week. This is on top of the utilities, etc. My dad is actually ok with not being paid but at my mum’s insistence that my sister should pay, thinks that $150 is ok. 

Eeek, yeah no, that's a bit rich. Wouldn't that then mean your parents are making a profit off them?

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Ellie bean

Yeah that’s pretty bad form on your mum’s part. 

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Silverstreak

Yeah, $250 a week plus all utilities for exclusive use of only two rooms and sharing a kitchen and I presume living room? No way. I’d be looking at cheaper rentals. 

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MerryMadrigalMadge

If that was my sibling, I'd be requesting my parents to not charge rent at all - or at least agree to 6 months rent free, to be reviewed at 6 months. 

 

 

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CallMeFeral
Posted (edited)

Is $250+utilities the market price for 2 bedrooms in a share house in that area?

Depending on what the utilities are, that actually seems kind of high, especially if their intention is to assist your sister rather than approximate a commercial agreement. 

What is your mum's thinking on it? Is it that she doesn't really enjoy sharing her house, so it's kind of a charge for the imposition? Is it that she feels like they are earning so much that she would feel taken for granted if they didn't pay rent?  Does she think their level of discretionary spending is too high and this is her way of feeling its fair? It can be annoying to do someone a financial favour but then see them spending money on other things.

Everyone has different philosophies on these things, and mine would be that if you are helping your child in their time of need, the most you would 'charge' is whatever means that you would not be disadvantaged. But she might have a different angle on it, it might be worth finding out what that is. It may be that there is something she is feeling resentful about. Or it may be that she has just gotten things muddled - sometimes trying to quantify things can lead people to think of what a 'fair' (e.g. market) price is to pay for something, rather than thinking about the intention was behind the original arrangement - i.e. that they are going through tough times and the parents are helping them out. Clarifying her philosophy on it might help her untangle that stuff in her head. 

Edited by CallMeFeral
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Murderino

My sister moved home from the NT a few years ago and she and her partner lived with dad while looking for a house to buy - dad and my other sister had been searching for a while for them and she’d had a couple of trips home to see places.

Mum and dad paid off the house years ago and so dad didn’t charge them (I don’t think he would have anyway) but my sister cooked all meals (despite being the only one of the three going out to work) and bought all groceries I think. They also paid toward the utilities.

If he’d wanted to make money from them living there my other sister and I would have suggested that wasn’t right and if he insisted we’d suggest they live with us instead although not as comfortable!

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Freddie'sMum

If sister and her husband are paying for all the utilities in the house - I think that would soon add up. To charge rent on top of that seems mean-spirited.  I guess if one of my adult children had lost their job and had to come back and live with DH and I, we wouldn't be charging rent (esp if we didn't have a mortgage to pay).  Maybe ask why your Mum thinks she needs the rent on a house that doesn't have a mortgage?  I would be doing my best to get this young family back on their feet again - and into their own home - rather than charging rent, esp in the current recession we are in.

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Silvers

I would maybe charge $100 per week but then give it back to them when they moved out as a nice surprise.

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-Emissary-
Posted (edited)

When my brother lost his job, he lived rent free. I couldn’t charge him anything as he didn’t get any Centrelink at that point. Having said that, I could afford supporting my brother that way. 

How much is their utilities? I pay roughly $300 a month for water and electricity for my mums place. With more adults, I expect the bills to be $400 a month? If so, that means your sister is actually only paying $100 a week for the use of the two rooms. While I think your mum charging them an extra $250 a week is a bit rich, I would probably consider charging them $300 a week for both rooms and that is to cover the utilities as well..

Is her husband working? Is she eligible for any Centrelink? 

Edited by -Emissary-

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Aimless

Just to answer some of the questions:

The costs of utilities aren’t apparently that much as my parents get a discount as they are on a pension? My sister was saying about $600 per quarter (water and electricity). 

My sister’s husband works and he gets about $60k a  year. She would be eligible for Centrelink as a jobseeker. 
 

I suspect mum isn’t too keen on having them move in (she doesn’t like my brother in law). 

Thanks for the replies. I’ll talk to both mum and sis about what’s fair. 
 

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Prancer is coming

Personally, I would think it is between them and stay out of it.  Sounds like your parents have a difference of opinion and I would let them sort it out themselves.

 

I don’t necessarily think your mum is being a bit rich.  It is one thing to help a child out, but another to live with them, their child and partner 24/7.  She is facing lots of changes, and it may be more palatable for her if there is a sweetener for her.  With all the talk about jobkeeper extra corona supplements, your mum might be aware roughly what their income is and they can afford it.  Your mum might see them as being wasteful with money or not motivated to move out once they move in, and want to try and have a commercial arrangement.  In my area, you could not rent barely anything for $250 a week.  And $600 utilities a quarter sounds cheap.  
 

way too much unknown but really if your parents want to charge that much, that is how much they pay.

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PuddingPlease

On the basis of the extra information I feel like your Mum's thinking may be reasonable. 

That's a pretty hefty income to be moving back home with, many people support families on less and they are occupying two bedrooms of a four bedroom house which would be a substantial imposition for most people. 

If there are debts that are being repaid or other financial matters that are being resolved then that adds some complexity but I think $600 per quarter is pretty inadequate in the circumstances.

I think in their place it would also depend on the proposed timeframe involved. If they are moving in for 6-12 weeks to save the first months rent and bond on a rental then I wouldn't bother but if they are hoping to live there until she finds another job or to save a deposit on a house then a more reasonable contribution should probably be discussed at the beginning.

Just so long as she isn't changing their dirty sheets...🤣

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Dianalynch

Op, my response was based on you saying they were keen to assist her - when in actual fact it sounds like your Mum may not be keen at all. I think your Mum needs to work through why she’s seeking recompense, and to take a more objective view of what is reasonable. I’m not saying rent money isn’t reasonable, just that she might find the relationships work better in the long run if she understands what’s motivating her. 

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Franny and Zooey

I agree, getting involved sounds like a recipe for trouble.  I would steer clear.

Your mum needs to just say she doesn’t want them staying there, if that’s how she feels, rather than pussy footing around the issue by wanting them to pay a high board.  

Really her best plan would be to charge them nothing so they could be gone sooner.

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