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Redditor Called Out For Charging Their Troubled 16-Year-Old Nephew Rent To Live With Them

A young man holds out money in his hand.
Serghei Turcanu / Getty Images

Family can be complicated.

As distant family members with children and teens, it’s hard to know whether to parent or be more of a friend.

For Redditor Competitive_Can3822 they’re stuck in a bit of a bind.

The Original Poster’s (OP’s) 16-year-old nephew has moved in with them, and OP feels obliged to charge him a bit of rent.

However, the OP isn’t sure if charging their nephew rent is the right move or not, so they turned to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) for feedback.

They asked,

“AITA for charging my 16 year old nephew rent to live with me?”

They went on to explain.

“In February, my 16-year-old nephew moved out of my younger sister’s home and came to live with me.”

“My sister has four other kids with my nephew’s stepdad. The oldest is 8, and the youngest is just a few months. My nephew and his stepdad both hate each other.”

“My nephew had been couch surfing with friends on and off for a few months before he moved in with me.”

“My roommate moved out at the end of last year, and I can afford the rent without him now, so wasn’t planning on having someone else move in.”

“My nephew has a job and works around 20 hours a week. When I offered him a place to stay, it was on the condition that he pays me 10% of his weekly paycheck.”

“His mom knows I am taking part of his earnings as rent and has no problem with it.”

“However, my older sister (not his mom) found out I was charging him rent to live with me and thinks I’m an a**hole.”

“She says because he is still 16, nobody should be charging him rent. I disagree as he has a bedroom he can sleep in free of charge and where he can get all his food free of charge.”

“He is choosing not to live there. He is choosing to live with me even though he knew upfront he would have to pay rent.”

“I don’t have any kind of custody and am not his legal guardian. His mom still is.”

“My sister argues because I can afford to house him/feed him etc, that means I’m charging him for no reason (I can afford it but not comfortably as my grocery bill has doubled and electric has gone up), and he should be saving or spending that money on himself.”

“She also thinks he’s not really choosing to live with me but rather choosing to live somewhere he feels safe (which is not with his stepdad) and that I’m making him pay for something he has a right to.”

“This point makes me question myself as I somewhat agree. I know he would rather be living with his mom because they are very close, but living with his stepdad has become too hard for him.”

“He would probably live anywhere else right now.”

“I am also the only relative that lives in the same town as his mom, so even if my older sister would happily let him live with her, she lives too far away.”

“I’m his only alternative option that isn’t his friends’ houses.”


Redditors weighed in by declaring:

    • NTA – Not The A**hole
    • YTA – You’re The A**hole
    • NAH – No A**holes Here
    • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided:

“YTA – Poor kid is scared to be at home, and you want to charge him rent? Not ok.” – No_Scientist7086

“YTA, but his mom is the biggest one.”

“Solution: either stop charging rent or charge the rent to your sister (your nephew’s mom), who is financially responsible for him. if she refuses, don’t kick him out, though.”

“Your nephew is the victim here. He is a minor, and I assume he already works 20h because he knows he has to fend for himself.”

“He has sh*tty parents, and it is very sad that your sister is not defending him better at home.”

“Please be a decent adult in his life. let him keep the little money he earns to save for whatever he needs. Do charge your sister if you want to.” – notthepapa

“YTA for charging a minor rent. His parents should be paying for him (whether you need it or not – his parents should be paying [child support])”

“a 16-year-old should be encouraged to finish HS, think about college/trade school, and work part-time to start saving.” – Princess-She-ra

“Your older sister is right…YTA. Pay him back every dime you have taken from him. He has lost his home, his mom, his siblings, and you are charging him rent. He’s 16 and a minor. This is gross.” – Me-323


“WHY, for the love of God, if you don’t need the money, are you charging your minor nephew rent?!”

“That’s not the kind of thing a decent person does in the first place – much less does to a teenage boy who’s been displaced from his home, from his family, because his parents have failed him!”

“If you do need money to offset the added cost of him living there, you get money from his parents.”

“He’s not an adult – it’s still their job to support him. They sound like deadbeats, on top of being sh*tty parents.”

“Are there no responsible, compassionate adults in this poor boy’s life?”

“Is it worth making your abandoned nephew feel like even more of an outsider, even more of a burden, even more like he can depend on no one but himself, for an extra $100-200 a month?”

“Ultimately, this is way more his parents’ fault than yours – your nephew shouldn’t be your responsibility.”

“But now that he is, the kind, compassionate, responsible thing to do would be to insist that his parents cover his costs.”

“Does he even want to be working 20 hours a week? That sounds like a lot for a high school kid.” – AhabMustDie


“Sounds like your older sister likes to complain when she doesn’t have skin in the game.”

“A simple response is that the expense for nephew is X dollars per month, so is she willing to send that much? Split it with you?”

“10% of his paycheck really isn’t all that much, and it probably helps him feel better about his decision because, as you said, he has a room at home that he can use for free.”

“He’s old enough to understand that while he has a right to food and shelter, you are not the person obligated to provide it.”

“If you really feel bad about taking his money, just keep it in a savings account and give it to him as a gift when he leaves for college or whatever.”

“Enjoy this time with your nephew!” – ComputerCrafty4781

“YTA. This kid wanted to live with you because you make him feel safe when home doesn’t. He’s a teenager who’s still in school, working part-time. Don’t make his life harder by charging rent.”

“If you want to teach him budgeting, have him set up a percentage of his paycheck auto-route to a savings account instead.” – cubsgirl101

“ESH, except nephew. Mom and stepdad should be paying you all his expenses if they are not willing to create a home where he feels safe.”

“You should be supporting him emotionally and getting financial assistance from the adults legally responsible for providing for the minor in your care.”

“The stepfather should treat him better and not make his mom choose. And mom should not allow her husband to run her child out of his own home.”

“Nephew has enough barriers in place right now; he doesn’t need to feel like a financial burden or a payday on top of everything else.” – AdInteresting8032

“YTA you are taking advantage of a child who was seeking a safe place to live.”

“If you need money to cover the increased expenses, talk to his mom. Maybe you can help him set up a savings account so he can work towards getting his own place someday.”

“But charging a child rent isn’t ok.” – fabulousautie

“NTA 10% is less than $15.00 a week, and this is going by the federal minimum wage 7.25 an hour. The kid has no other bills and can spend the rest of his money as he sees fit.” – fullmoon223

“I’m a mom. 10% is fair. He’ll feel more independent and less of a burden and will have less of an incentive to spend frivolously.”

“Those are all good life experiences for a guy with a paycheck that, in reality, wouldn’t cover the rent on his own. And he’ll be getting that, food, utilities. And peace.” – SnooFoxes4362


“This not a normal situation, and you charging rent to a child that’s clearly fleeing a toxic environment just isn’t it.” – Angry-trans

“YTA. Stop charging minors a fee to get out of a bad situation.” – Marzipan_Impossible

“NTA. If your sister is so upset, then she could be sending you some money to cover for the extra expenses.”

“It’s easy to have an opinion, but at the end of the day, no one else is stepping up to help your nephew.” – Sus_no_cap

Hopefully, this young man gets all the support he needs… and that money can be used toward his future.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)