Do I have to pay my parent rent money to live at home if I’m 19 years old?

UPDATED: Jul 28, 2011

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Do I have to pay my parent rent money to live at home if I’m 19 years old?

I am a full-time student at a community college and hold a part-time job. My parents are divorced and I moved out at 18 to live with my stepsister. She picked up and moved to a different state and left me with no place to stay. I recently moved back in with my mother and she enforces a $300/month rent on me. We have no contract or lease agreement. Am I required to pay her to live at home because I’m over 18?

Asked on July 28, 2011 Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you want to live there, then yes--you have to pay whatever rent your mother wants to charge. There is no right to live in another's home once you are an adult--perhaps many or most parents would let an adult child stay with them, but they do not have to. At age 18, you are now legally an adult and your parents no longer have to support or care for you.

If the rent is too high for you, or you think it's wrong to pay your mother, your recourse is to either move out (to find somewhere else to live) or try to negotiate a different arrangement. But she has an absolute, unequivocal right to charge rent if she wants--or indeed, to simply refuse to let you live there under any circumstances.

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