Sample Rental Contract for Boomerang Kids

Mother and adult daughter sitting on sofa and talking
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For a variety of reasons, your young adult child may choose or need to move back home. A "boomerang kid" is a young adult that has decided to move back in with their parent(s) after experiencing independence from the home. When your grown-up child moves back home, it’s best to draw up a contract to outline expectations and financial agreements. Some families draw up formal paperwork and others use a rental contract simply as a guideline for discussion.

Here’s a sample of information to include in a rental contract to get you started. For more help, read this guide for when grown kids move home.

Set a Time Frame and a Goal

Make sure you and your young adult understand the timeline for their stay. In contractual terms, this might read as:​

This agreement runs from [start date] when [name] moves home, until [end date], when he will have saved enough money to get an apartment of his own, i.e., first and last month’s rent and a security deposit.

The date is a critical element. It provides urgency and incentive.

Cost of Rent

You may want to request that rent is paid for the duration of your young adult's stay, depending on the financial circumstances.

Beginning with his second monthly paycheck, [name] will pay $200 a month (or whatever rental amount) to cover rent and food.

Paying for Utilities

The terms of the utilities should be reasonable to the rent agreement.

Many homes do not have separate utility meters, so most people choose to use a percentage system. For example:

Beginning with his second monthly paycheck, [name] will pay 25% (or whatever percentage you agree on) of the utilities, including water, gas, electrical, and cable.

Cooking, Laundry, and Chores

Roommates contribute to a household with more than mere cash; they share in the labor necessary for a smoothly running home.

Outlining the expectations for household contributions will help avoid future frustrations that can occur.

[Name] will mow the lawn on Saturday, grocery shop on Sunday using the family shopping list, and cook dinner on Mondays and Wednesdays. He is responsible for the purchase, laundering, and maintenance of his own clothing and any personal items.

House Guests and Quiet Hours

Make sure to outline any household rules that pertain to the comfort of others living at home. This should reflect what is reasonable for your own home.

Household quiet hours run from midnight to 6 a.m., unless otherwise arranged. No overnight guests are allowed without prior arrangement.

This sample of rental contract terms is a good starting point for the transition of your young adult moving back home. In addition to the outline above, consider adding any particulars that are unique to your home.