In February my 16-year-old nephew moved out of my younger sister's home and came to live with me. My sister has 4 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 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 to far away. I'm his only alternative option that isn't his friends’ houses. AITA?
Info- is his mother trying to fix things at home for him to come back (counseling etc), or did she just flat choose her husband over her kid?
Competitive_Can3822 OP responded:
I meant to write in the post that she is planning on leaving her husband but she is waiting for the kids summer break so she can go and live with our dad at least for the summer.
YTA - Poor kid is scared to be at home and you want to charge him rent? Not ok.
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**ty 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.
NTA. He will appreciate the experience of budgeting. However. I might be putting some of it away for him if you can afford to, that is if you don’t NEED the extra loot to pay the rent. If you can put enough away for him that he’ll have the dough to bankroll his own spot in a couple years that would be clutch.