Life Advice



Ask Amy: Rent-less son could become house sitter

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My husband and I are retired. We own two homes – one in the north, one in the south. Our 40-year-old son still lives with us up north.

We spend about six months of the year in each place. We are covering all expenses for our son (except for his food, car, and telephone). We pay heat, electric, water, cable, insurance, landscaping, etc.

He does not contribute financially in any way. He has worked full-time since graduating college and is doing fine financially.

It is comforting to have someone in the house while we are gone. He does take care of things if a need arises. When we return, however, I have to deep-clean the place and my husband becomes 24-hour gardener to restore the home to how it was when we left.

I strongly feel that my son should be contributing financially and doing some chores, but my husband keeps saying, “Oh, leave him alone.”

I think he should be paying rent. And we definitely want to relax and not be interrupted by his comings and goings (and those of his acquaintances).


We love our son dearly and do not want to hurt or alienate him.

Can you help resolve this dilemma?

Frustrated Mom

Dear Frustrated: Your son should be paying rent during the six months when you are all in the house together. His rent should be reduced or eliminated during the time he is basically house-sitting for you during the winter.


swipe to next page


Social Connections


Walt Handelsman Agnes Bob Gorrell Joey Weatherford Cathy Mallard Fillmore