My husband and I live with my parents and pay them rent. My mother came to me this morning and told me their utility bills have been very high and could u help. I know for my mother to ask me it must be they really need. I gave from my own money but I could give more from maaser. Am I allowed to use maaser for this?
If they are asking you as a favor to chip in a little but don’t mean to obligate you to pay for your share, and they are short on money and having trouble paying bills, you could use Maaser money.
However, if they are asking you to pay because they feel you should pay for what you use, you would not be allowed to use Maaser money. In truth the fact that they are asking for payment of utilities sounds like they are charging you for what you are spending, Even if they are doing this as a result of being tight on money, if this is the case you could not use Maaser money.
See Shulchan Aruch Y:D 251:3, 240:5, Shach 251:5. See also Shu”t Chasam Sofer Y:D 229
see here: dinonline.org/2010/12/27/suitable-use-of-ma’aser-kesafim/