As a parent is it your responsibility to provide room and board for your kids until they are 18, or can you charge them rent? This kid wants to know if what her parents are doing is legal.


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Mike & Kate-Is it illegal for parents to charge their child rent to live at their home? Don’t they have to provide me with shelter and food until I am 18 or graduate high school?

Let me explain my situation. I am a junior in high school. I am the oldest of 4 kids. I live at home with my parents. We are definitely not rich but we aren’t poor. We are just average if that makes sense. I never really thought about the family financial situation until this all happened.

6 months ago my grandmother, my mom’s mom died. My mom did not get along with her but my grandmother always made an effort with us kids. She lived here in Boise when I got old enough I was able to go see her without my mom knowing. When my grandmother died she left her entire estate to me and my mom’s sister. My mom was completely left out. My part was set up in a trust. I get $500 a month until I am 21 and then I get $1000 a month and so on. My grandmother left me a lot of money! If I am smart I won’t have to worry about money. Since this was revieled, my parents are now charging me rent. I owe $400 a month and am now responsible for paying for anything extra like shampoo and soap, school sports, cellphone, clothes, going out with friends…etc. My parents claim it has nothing to do with being left out of the will but more to do with the fact that they have 4 kids to support. It was never a problem before. They even took my younger siblings on a vacation over spring break to the Oregon Coast. I was told if I wanted to go I would have to pay my way.

I am a good kid. I get As and Bs. I play volleyball. I don’t get in trouble. My teachers all like me. I want to go to college and become a nurse. I usually have enough money left after rent to cover all the stuff I need each month. And I understand being a responsible teenager and having to pay for my phone or going out with friends. It’s the rent charge that really hurts. Volleyball in the fall might be out because I will need to buy a yearbook and other fees for senior year. I am struggling with this. Is it right? Is it legal? I know I shouldn’t complain because I do have rent money thanks to my grandmother but it makes me sad because I know my parents are doing it out of spite over their anger for being left out of my grandmother’s will. I am wondering if any other parents charge their kid’s rent?

NOTE: The person writing this email is a 17 year old girl. You can post your comments below with the option of having them show up on Facebook. You can post directly to Facebook at Mix 106 Radio. Email or call 376-5106.