Media Release

Kids at home: The free rent ride stops at 19

  • 22% of those aged 25-29 still live at home with their parents, new research finds
  • One in five Australians don’t believe in charging their child board
  • Other respondents think young Aussies living at home should start paying board at 19 years of age

26 April, 2018, Sydney, Australia – Parents should start charging board once their kids turn 19 years of age, according to new research from, the site that compares virtually everything.

A survey of 2,085 Australians revealed 19 is the right age for young people, who are still living in the family home, to contribute financially.

But not all parents are in agreement. In fact, one in five Australians (20%) wouldn’t charge their child board, regardless of their child’s age or financial circumstances.

Young Australians (those aged 18-23) argue they shouldn’t be charged board until they are in their twenties.’s research shows 40% of those aged 20-24 are still living in the family home, compared to 22 per cent of those aged 25-29.

Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at, says soaring house prices have forced many young professionals to live at home with their parents for longer.

“Once they start earning a steady income, charging your children board could help them prepare for the real world and make that step towards independent adulthood.

“Some parents might charge board for financial reasons if they need to subsidise the cost of living, while others might be more interested in teaching their offspring good financial habits,” she says.

Of the respondents surveyed, around 18% said they would start charging board when their child got a job.

“If mum and dad are giving free accommodation indefinitely, their kids may miss out on some important life lessons,” says Ms Hassan.

“You should teach them to contribute to the home and to ensure they pay on time,” she said.

She said some parents may choose to allow their adult children to live rent free so they can build up savings for their future.

“If parents don’t feel comfortable charging board they could find other ways for their kids to contribute financially - like buying the weekly groceries or filling up the car with petrol.

“If you were to put a price on what it actually costs to afford the lifestyle they have at home, most young people would not be complaining about the cost of board.

“The board many parents choose to charge their children in many cases would not even cover one day’s worth of meals, washing, and wifi,” she says.


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