to not want my in-laws letting themselves in?

(49 Posts)
Newmummytobe79 Mon 07-Mar-11 16:08:00

Hi ladies,

Here's one for debate ... AIBU to be annoyed that sometimes my in-laws let themselves in with their 'emergency' key?

They have no rights on the house (in fact my parents have more rights than anyone due to a very kind deposit 3 years ago but they'd never dream of letting themselves in!)but my in laws 'pop up' when we're at work every now and again and it makes me see red! (they blame their visits on dropping off husbands redirected post/family invites/birthday cards etc so could easily post them! or just come and see us once in a while when we're in the house!)

I told my husband this annoys me but he just said he'd drop a hint. For as much as I can tell it stopped happening for around a year ... but it happened again a week ago.

I'm very house proud when I KNOW guests are coming - but when I dont I often leave a bra on the back of the bathroom door, dont clear up toast crumbs before rushing out of the door in the morning ... and I really don't want my in-laws rumaging through any post I may leave out.

We're getting a new door in a few weeks ... hence new keys but as my father in law is fitting it I just know he'll get himself a key cut 'to save us the trouble'.

I'm due in August and if it happens after our baby is born I will go mental! How do I put a stop to this now without sounding like a b*tch? By the way - husband's mum is very touchy and will take it the wrong way however we say it - so tact please ladies!

I know some people will have no problem with this (they let themselves in at their daughters all the time and it doesnt bother her) but it drives me mad!

Help please! x

BooyFuckingHoo Mon 07-Mar-11 16:11:25

what makes you think they rummage through your post?

if it is just them dropping stuff up i see no problem, if you think they are actually nosing around then yes i would not want them having a key.

why will it be more of an issue after the baby is born?

saffy85 Mon 07-Mar-11 16:13:21


Change the locks after FIL has been and gone with new door. You can't drop a bigger hint than that! They've overstepped the mark big time imo and you should have had the "emergency" key off them the minute they started dropping in to your house uninvited!

omletta Mon 07-Mar-11 16:14:22

Nip this in the bud now! I used to have this situation and if you let it fester it will get worse.

When my DS was tiny I ran down stairs naked one sunday morning to get the changing bag and found my PILs sat on the sofa whatching TV, 'waiting for us to get up'! Needless my screaming 'what the fuck do you think your doing?' prevented them ever using the key without permission again (well I like to think it was my screaming but prehaps it was my naked body blush)

reelingintheyears Mon 07-Mar-11 16:16:04

DPs Dad was in Sils (his dd) house putting up shelves while they were at work and told DP that she'd 'done alright for herself'.

DP asked what he meant and he said without blush that he'd had a look at her DH's bank statements and other stuff shock

Rhinestone Mon 07-Mar-11 16:16:15

Tell them (politely if you can manage it grin ) that you gave them the key for emergencies, not to pop round without asking your permission.

Ask them to give you the key back because they have shown that they will not do as requested.

They can't really argue with facts.

BooyFuckingHoo Mon 07-Mar-11 16:16:31

ok, i take back what i said!!!

omletta shock that is awful!!

YANBU Nobody should be letting themselves into your home without your permission.

They are viewing it as their child's house, not as the home of two autonomous adults.

Tell them you have lost your key and have had to get the locks changed - then keep forgetting to give them a key. Tell your DH that he is NOT giving them a key either. This is your home and it's more important that he keeps you happy (who live with him full time) than his mother - who he doesn't live with.

ceebs05 Mon 07-Mar-11 16:18:22

YANBU - i hate people turning up unannounced, let alone someone letting themselves in when I'm not there. They need to respect your privacy, it's your home.

Mumwithadragontattoo Mon 07-Mar-11 16:18:43

YANBU - omletta demonstrates why! After the baby arrives and you are at home more you will want to feel completely relaxed and in complete privacy (for bf, sleeping, load of things). You won't have that if they have a spare key which they use when there is no emergency.

Newmummytobe79 Mon 07-Mar-11 16:19:39


I just find it odd that they visit when they know we're not there without pre-warning us!

It's an issue now, but I really don't want them just letting themselves in when I'm breast feeding/showering/sleeping

I would just prefer a phone call to let me know they're on their way

Booy I imagine after the baby is born the OP will be breastfeeding and not want to sit in a breastfeeding burkha all day in case FIL leaps into the living room.

Ephiny Mon 07-Mar-11 16:20:54

YANBU, I would not be happy about this at all. Can you give the emergency key to a trusted neighbour or friend instead?

ajandjjmum Mon 07-Mar-11 16:22:08

I get the post thing totally. I find it really rude when various people get our post (normally quite a lot) and openly go thru it before handing it over to me 'incase there's any for anyone else'!!!

Having said that, the world and his wife let themselves into my house - it grates sometimes, but on the whole I've got used to it. And the help I've had over the years with the dc makes me keep quiet. grin

AboardtheAxiom Mon 07-Mar-11 16:22:17

omletta shock

YANBU OP, maybe you should lock yourself out one day and go round there to use the emergency key. Then just keep forgetting to give it back to them, or say you've misplaced it and never get round to gettin a new one cut.

If they are just bringing mail round why are they not just posting it through the door? Do they have noting better to do?

unfitmother Mon 07-Mar-11 16:22:21

YANBU, I wouldn't like it.

Newmummytobe79 Mon 07-Mar-11 16:22:34

Wow - I wrote my last post and then saw all these responses! Thanks ladies - I'm not being a b*tch after all!

Wow - there are some seriously rude in laws out there!

Eglu Mon 07-Mar-11 16:23:19

YANBU. You need to make sure that when the new door is fitted they don't have a key. If FIL gets one made, find an excuse to borrow it and not give it back.

I can'r believe anyone would do that. It is rude beoynd belief.

ENormaSnob Mon 07-Mar-11 16:26:23


gross invasion of privacy IMO

diddl Mon 07-Mar-11 16:29:56

If there are already 2 adults with a key, surely an emergency key isn´t really necessary?

My ILs had a key to my husband´s house when he lived alone, but when I moved in I had it as my key.

Newmummytobe79 Mon 07-Mar-11 16:30:24

Do you think putting the chain on constantly is a big enough hint? I'm not very good at confrontation!

Alternatively - pull the 'hormone' card and tell husband to tell them to ring me before they turn up as I may be sleeping etc

I have the best relationship with my parents and I know they wouldnt mind me letting myself in their house but I just wouldnt! I left home and with that they got their house back as a couple - I always knock on the door and hardly ever turn up without warning them.

I think they just think it's normal as their daughter doesnt mind ... I bet her husband does though!

Take the key back, DP's mum gave the 'emergency key' he had given her to the plumber who was fitting our bathroom. He was doing some work at her house the week before and she gave him our key 'just in case i wasnt in and he'd decided to do some work' id arranged to let him in on a morning and didnt want him just turning up as i was at home recovering from a m/c and was pretending to go to work when really i was going to cry sleep on my mums sofa all day. MIL didnt know any of this but .....

Oh and the plumber then lost the key for weeks on end, i got it back and its now in MY possesion.

diddl Mon 07-Mar-11 16:33:19

"Do you think putting the chain on constantly is a big enough hint? "

Do you have a back door that you could start to use that they don´t have a key to?

omletta Mon 07-Mar-11 16:34:31

Get a bolt put on the back of the door and use that. A bolt will send out a clear signal that you have locked the door on purpose, rather than accidently left the chain on.

melikalikimaka Mon 07-Mar-11 16:34:35

No siree, no way would I let them keep the key!

carocaro Mon 07-Mar-11 16:34:38

YANBU this would drive me nuts, it's rude and disrespecting you and your home

fedupofnamechanging Mon 07-Mar-11 16:38:22

If they just have a front door key, you can fit a safety chain and leave that on. When you go out, use the back door. This only works though if they don't have a back door key.

When the baby is born, keep your front door locked and leave the key in. Your ILs will be unable to just let themselves in.

Also like the idea of borrowing back the emergency key and then not giving it back.

I do think that you shouldn't have to do any of this though. Your DH should ask them not to do it

Snowdropfairy Mon 07-Mar-11 16:39:27

My inlaws did this and i just asked for the key back.

They give me the wrong key and when i found out two months later and asked them for the right key back.

I just want the house to feel like my home and not an extention of theirs.

They still give us all their old or second hand crap. This week it was cups and both me and my DH told them we did not want any.

If they turn up with some i'm going to tell them i'm putting them in our gardge with all the other crap they have given us.

I think the worst is crap toys and keyrings from the 2p machines from their anual seaside holiday.

It drives me nuts so now i set out the boundaries very clear.

I would just tell them how you feel.

or do it to them and then make a deal that no one goes in to the other's home with out the owner there?

Lizzywishes Mon 07-Mar-11 16:39:31

That would drive me round the twist! Do you have a burglar alarm? If so, change the code and don't tell them it. If they ask, make some excuse about changing it frequently for security, and that they should just remember to tell you if they have some reason they really need to be in your house without you. When you're home alone with baby ALWAYS put the chain on.

GloriousGoosebumps Mon 07-Mar-11 17:27:48

This scenario would also drive me absolutely crazy. Surely the answer is to have someone other than your father in law install the new door, that way he never has the opportunity to cut himself a key? You'll obviously have to pay to have the door fitted but better the cost than having absolutely no privacy in your own home; and never again make the mistake of giving them a key! In the alternative your going to have to install a burglar alarm.

sparkleshine Mon 07-Mar-11 17:31:50

How rude of them. Get the key back asap. It's worked once before, it will work again, but it will get worse once baby is here.

You do not want them walking in when they feel like it...what about when baby comes and you are (possibly) BF, nice and relaxed not caring that your boobs are out because nobody is there to care.......suddenly in walks your FIL, eyes right where they really shouldn't be. (shivvers)

My mum has a spare key but uses it only when I'm in and expecting her and have forgot to unlock the door beforehand. Or for genuine reasons when we are on holiday.
The in-laws have a key but have never used it. Don't come that often...we go there.

Agree on the safety catch and using back door.


My Dad does this; he turns up unannounced and just walks in - it drives me up the wall especially if I'm on nights and am woken by him shouting hello in the middle of the afternoon.

He originally had a key when I first moved in 10 years ago, so he could be here for carpet fitters etc while we were at work, looking back I should have taken the key from him then hmm. I haven't got the heart to ask for the key back now.

Beamur Mon 07-Mar-11 17:37:24

It is unreasonable if they just come round for no reason..
My inlaws have a key, but live hours away, so we know when they are coming and they can let themselves in if we're not home. I could leave our bank statements on the side and know they would not dream of being so rude as to look at them.

BattyNora Mon 07-Mar-11 17:40:55

Bolt the door they have a key for and start using another door for everyone else to come and go. They still have a key - but when they try to use it wont be able to.

Wont be much use in an emergency though. Anyone else you can give an emergency key to?

bluebump Mon 07-Mar-11 17:45:16

YANBU, my DP used to leave the door on the latch so my in laws could let themselves in, I just used to flick it shut. Mine have often hinted about having a key to our house but having heard all of these type of stories from my SIL who actually let them have a key i'm not that daft!

MrsH75 Mon 07-Mar-11 17:48:53

Both our sets of parents have keys but they don't just come and go as they please into out house and neither do we in theirs! Inlaws only live round the corner but they usually ring before coming round.

Christ, talk about lack of privacy. What if you wanted to walk round the house naked, or have sex on a kitchen worktop! grin

Perhaps that's the answer? You need to embarrass them!

TechnoKitten Mon 07-Mar-11 17:53:13

Am I really the only one who wouldn't mind my MiL having a key, letting herself in as and when whether I'm in or not? I'm not the tidiest in the world but what's the worst she can do, some cleaning? (for which I would thank her!). I also have no problem with her reading my bank statements or the company accounts with or without asking though as it's online she'd find it tricky.

She didn't stop becoming my husband's mother when we married. She is grandmother to our sons. Our home is her home.

sparkle12mar08 Mon 07-Mar-11 17:54:47

No technokitten, your home is YOUR home, not hers. It's really not.

bibbitybobbityhat Mon 07-Mar-11 17:57:16

Yanbu. I find it astonishing that people don't like to set boundaries between themselves and their parents. Its almost like never growing up. I have a key to my mum's house for emergencies only - there is absolutely no need for me to go and let myself in when she is not there. I wouldn't dream of it.

alemci Mon 07-Mar-11 17:58:04

both my mum and in laws have keys and we have the keys to their houses. never been a problem with mum.

my in laws were annoying though and used to turn up uninvited but did ring and not let themselves in. we were having a bit of peace and they would appear. they don't seem to do it as much now. if they did let themselves in the house i wouldnt mind.

chocadoodle Mon 07-Mar-11 17:59:40


I used to have the exact same problem with PIL and their "emergency key". When I was pregnant with DS I had the same fear as you, that when the baby arrived they would be turning up unannounced or letting themselves in if I chose not to answer the door for whatever reason.

Although DH didn't have a problem with this he knew I did so he asked them to call before visiting as that's what "we" prefer. Yes they were put out (it's not what they, the rest of their family/friends do etc) but they have had to accept that's what we do. They might be touchy about it, but will be ok by the time DGC arrives (sounds like they're nice people generally?) If they ask to know why they just need to be told that you would prefer to see them at a mutually convenient time, no further explanation required.

Don't let it stress you out, your DH needs to deal with it

treas Mon 07-Mar-11 18:15:31

YANBU - I had the same issue with my own MIL but she learned pretty quickly not to do it after she kept finding the snib / snub down on the front door.

Mind you, you would have thought she would have learnt her lesson after opening my BIL front door to find him and his wife Shagging on the lounge floor!

oohlalabonbons Mon 07-Mar-11 18:43:33

Is it bad that I wouldn't mind my mum and dad doing this but if my PIL did it...angry
But maybe that's another thread grin!!

northerngirl41 Mon 07-Mar-11 18:43:35

I'm totally with you - no in laws unannounced is the rule in this house. Because even if I'm not running round half naked, or hanging dripping knickers over the bannisters, or in flagrente with their son, it's just bloody annoying.

Rather than extracting the keys from them, could you add an extra lock "for security" and just not give them the second key? Either that or borrow their set back for some visitors and just never refurbish them with it.

sourdoughface Mon 07-Mar-11 18:57:20

my mum does this to my sister and it would annoy the hell out of me, not sure if sister minds or not

she doesnt do it to me due to the very large dogs who would knock her over if she did wink

dawntigga Mon 07-Mar-11 19:02:49

DP does this at his mum's it makes me do this face hmm. I wouldn't dream of it myself! I'd have that key back by pretending to lose mine one day.


PorkChopSter Mon 07-Mar-11 19:24:10

Change the new lock immediately, or get an extra lock put on. It's a slippery slope!

We have a Yale lock and a key hole on both sides type lock. My parents had a set and at one time my dad would pop over & now the lawn. Then it turned into them both coming over to rifle through my things help out. So we changed the Yale lock. Now they can let themselves in only if I've put the Yale lock on the latch I.e. on my terms. I think they have been caught out too grin

PorkChopSter Mon 07-Mar-11 19:24:44

Change the new lock immediately, or get an extra lock put on. It's a slippery slope!

We have a Yale lock and a key hole on both sides type lock. My parents had a set and at one time my dad would pop over & now the lawn. Then it turned into them both coming over to rifle through my things help out. So we changed the Yale lock. Now they can let themselves in only if I've put the Yale lock on the latch I.e. on my terms. I think they have been caught out too grin

OTheHugeDaffodils Mon 07-Mar-11 19:32:31

I think you should embarrass them into good behaviour. Announce cheerfully that since you got pregnant you've become incredibly horny, and you wouldn't want them being embarrassed by interrupting you at it so could they please ring before coming over?

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