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Man asks stepson to start paying rent the day after he turns 18, sparks fierce debate

'My stepdad says I'm hurting my mother and taking resources from my aunt because I'm 'too entitled' to pay rent,' they wrote.

Man asks stepson to start paying rent the day after he turns 18, sparks fierce debate
Father and son argument - stock photo - Getty Images | SolStock

Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 16, 2023. It has since been updated.

It is a common debate on the internet if children should be asked to pay rent living in their parent's house after they turn 18. Some people are in favor of it, while others are not. And that's what happened when u/cheekypanda625 posted on Reddit about his stepfather asking him to pay rent a day after he turned 18. "On the day after my birthday, my stepdad told me he wants me to start paying rent to 'live in his house.' My stepdad is quite Christian and conservative," he wrote. 

Getty Images | Photo by Peter Dazeley
Getty Images | Photo by Peter Dazeley


He said he had no plan to live rent-free for long, but he thinks his stepdad has other reasons for making this decision. He wrote, "He and my mum have 2 kids in 9 years of marriage, I’m not his own and it’s clear I’m a reminder that his wife was a non-virgin divorced woman before him so of course I’m being treated like a guest and my mum is allowing it because she thinks the sun shines out of his a$$. He doesn’t need my money to pay rent, plus I don’t have much and he wants £100 per month. We still have lots of time for this but I bet his own kids won’t be paying rent while they’re in school."

He gives his reasons for not being able to take up a job. He wrote, "My A-level exams (UK school system) start mid-April and last up to July. I’m doing STEM subjects and I’m hoping to fulfill my offer for a medicine course at a good university. I’m aiming for an A* A* A* A, which will take a lot of studying, and if I have to get a job it will be difficult to maintain that level of studying that I need to do."

However, his aunt (mum's sister) offered him to come to live with her. "She said she has a guest room free so I can save my money for uni. This benefits me most so I took her up on the offer," he wrote. His mother doesn't seem to be happy about his moving out. He posted, "My mother keeps crying that I’m leaving already, so my stepdad is annoyed. We got into an argument where he said he was just treating me like a tenant to prepare me for the real world, so I said, 'do tenants not have the right to leave?' Which annoyed him further. My stepdad says I'm hurting my mother and taking resources from my aunt because I'm 'too entitled' to pay rent. This is just what’s best for me. I said I’d visit."

Many Reddit users were supportive of his decision and gave him some good advice. @seajay26 commented, "Dude if you're in the UK and still in full-time education then they’re still getting child benefit for you. I’d see if you can get that transferred over to your aunt or yourself." Another Reddit user @Training-Ad-4841 commented, "You're legally an adult now if you want to move into your aunt's house to save up for uni that's your choice, your mum and stepdad don't really have the right to stop you. Also, it sounds like the right situation for you." 

Many on the platform were also upset with his mother. @Knittingfairy09113 commented, "Tell your mom to stop the tears as she is part of the reason you're moving out since she didn't shut down her husband. Ask both of them if they will charge his biological kids or if this is just another way to punish you for existing. (You and I both know the answer, but your mom needs to hear you ask the question phrased exactly like that)."

Some even thought that it was fine for his stepdad to ask for the rent and he could also do what he wants. @295Pheonix commented, "NTA Do parents have the right to charge their adult children rent? Sure. Do say adult children have the right to then move in with family/friends that offer rent-free accommodations? Also yes. Hell, as an adult you'd have the right to move for any reason or none at all."

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