logo AyiConnect Staff, Jan 19, 2024
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Do Live-In Nannies Pay Rent? Hire A Live-In Nanny Easily

Hiring a live-in nanny can be a convenient childcare solution for many families. Having round-the-clock care and assistance with household duties is a major benefit.

However, the question of whether live-in nannies should pay rent is a common point of discussion and occasional disagreement between families and nannies. There are good arguments on why nannies should not pay rent.

Reasons Why Nannies Shouldn’t Be Paying Rent

There are good arguments on both sides of whether or not live-in nannies should be required to pay rent to the families they work for. While some families do charge rent, many others provide housing at no cost. There are several compelling reasons why requiring rent from nannies may not always be appropriate or necessary.

Exchange For Rent

Some families offset rent costs by having the nanny complete additional household work or errands instead of rent payments. This allows the nanny to essentially work in exchange for free housing. The extra work hours can serve as an alternative to paying formal rent to the family.

Long Working Hours

Live-in nannies tend to work very long hours, often upwards of 50-60 hours per week or even more, especially when overtime babysitting hours are factored in. When you take into account the total number of hours they spend actively working and caring for the children, their effective hourly pay is quite low. Requiring any kind of rent payments on top of their compensation would cut significantly into their earnings and overall pay.

Free Housing Standard

Within the childcare and nanny field, it is standard practice for families to provide room and board fully free of charge to live-in nannies. The vast majority of nannies expect to live rent-free as part of the common job perks and benefits. Charging any amount of rent goes against typical industry norms and practices. Most nannies apply for live-in positions with the assumption they will not owe rent.

Beneficial For Family

Having a live-in nanny benefits not only the nanny by providing free housing but also the employing family. Parents greatly benefit from the convenience, flexibility, and peace of mind that comes with having 24/7 in-home childcare. Adding rent payments to the existing arrangement takes away some of the incentives for nannies to live in and provides that constant availability.

Decreased Wages Risk

If requiring rent cuts too heavily into a nanny's existing pay, it may prompt them to request a wage increase to offset the new housing costs. Families may then feel compelled to raise wages to compensate for the rent deduction to maintain the original overall compensation.

For example, a family pays a nanny $500/week with free housing. If they then start charging $200/week rent, the nanny is now making just $300/week in actual cash income. This major pay cut would likely spur requests for a wage increase just to maintain previous pay levels.

Demanding Work Requirements

Being a live-in nanny can be quite demanding, both physically and emotionally. The work involves constant care and supervision of children all day and night. Providing free housing helps make up for the challenges and difficulties of the job. Requiring additional out-of-pocket rent payments on top of the already demanding workload could make these positions much less appealing to qualified nanny candidates.

No Separate Living Space

In some cases, live-in nannies are not provided their own separate private living quarters and must share common spaces with the family. Without a dedicated bedroom and living area, paying rent for their portion of the home does not make as much sense. Requiring rent without providing private quarters would not seem fair or appropriate for most live-in nannies.

Coming to an Agreement

In the end, whether or not to require rent payments is a decision that should be discussed by families and nannies together. There are reasonable arguments on both sides. Some key considerations when agreeing include:

  • The nanny's weekly or monthly salary - Higher-paid nannies may be more amenable to contributing to housing costs.
  • The workload and demands - Does the nanny work long hours with a heavy workload? Free housing may help compensate for demanding schedules.
  • Taxes - Determine if free housing will create an excessive tax burden. Some rent payments may simplify taxes.
  • Separate living quarters - Paying rent is more reasonable if the nanny has private living space.
  • Overall compensation package - Look at the pay, benefits, and perks the nanny receives in total to determine if rent is warranted.

Many families and nannies compromise by agreeing to a small, nominal rent payment that is comfortable for both parties. For example, a fee of $100-200 per month. This contributes to the family's costs while still leaving the nanny with free housing overall.

How to Find a Live-in Nanny?

Finding the right nanny to live in your home is an important process that takes some effort. Here are some tips:

  • Ask for referrals from friends, family members, or neighbors who have used live-in nannies before. Word-of-mouth referrals can help you find candidates who come recommended.
  • Check online sources like AyiConnect that allow you to post positions and screen candidates. You can search for nannies with live-in experience.
  • Contact local nanny agencies and placement services. Reputable agencies will thoroughly vet candidates, check references, and match your family with qualified nannies.
  • Be very thorough during the interview process. Have candidates provide references and expect to conduct multiple in-depth interviews. Discuss roles, responsibilities, and expectations.
  • Do background checks and contact references. Don't skimp on vetting. The nanny will live with you, so safety is paramount.
  • Communicate room and board details. Will the nanny have private quarters? Discuss meal arrangements and other housing considerations.
  • Check that candidates have legal status to work as a live-in domestic employee. Verify their visa or work permit status if they are not a US citizen.

Taking the time to carefully screen candidates will help you find the perfect nanny to live with your family long-term.


Deciding if live-in nannies should pay rent is a complex issue with reasonable arguments on both sides. Families need to think about factors like fair compensation, workload demands, and tax implications.

Nannies entering a live-in arrangement need to consider industry norms and how rent may impact their earnings. With open communication and compromise, families and nannies can come to a shared agreement. Small, nominal rent payments are a common middle ground.

AyiConnect is a platform to connect families with helpers who have a language specialty in addition to care. You can post a free job to engage with them through self-service or use concierge service. For self-service, you can even join in the discussion. The concierge service can provide another option to ensure successful matches for busy families who don't have time to search or need language assistance. Schedule a free consultation here for our concierge service, or check us out at ayiconnection.com