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Parents-in-law having key to our house

(61 Posts)
happygonicky Wed 07-Sep-11 13:11:50

First post, so please be gentle!

Partner and I have just moved into our new flat and, in the first few weeks he gave a key to his parents for safe-keeping (they live an hour away). I didn't like this idea - have never given a spare key to anyone before (don't tend to lock ourselves out and it would be difficult to get out to parents-in-law to collect key if we needed it, anyway -would have locked wallet/travel pass/car keys in house too, presumably). But, it was a busy few weeks, so didn't think too much of it. But now I have - and have asked partner to ask for key back (opportunity has arisen for this to be done nicely and diplomatically) - and he's refusing.

AIBU to expect that I should have a say over who has keys to our flat? Parents-in-law v. nice, btw, and unlikely to drop in unexpectedly, but still...

MadamDeathstare Wed 07-Sep-11 13:16:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 07-Sep-11 13:19:13

If they live an hour away they are not really going to be popping round all the time - which is the big danger of having key-holders. Are your in-laws very untrustworthy?

LineRunner Wed 07-Sep-11 13:19:29

Personally I do tend to think it's a good idea to leave a spare key with someone you trust, on the proviso that (a) they would never use it unless asked, or in an emergency i.e. you and your partner had somehow gone off-radar and everyone was worried sick; and (b) they take good care of it, i.e. don't have your key hanging up in plain view with your address attached, in case they get burgled; and (c) they agree to get the spare key to you if you ever locked yourself out and you had no easy transport.

Could you ask ask your DP to confirm that such rules apply?

Itsjustafleshwound Wed 07-Sep-11 13:21:04

I really don't see the issue if they respect your privacy and won't be intrusive.

It is good to know that someone reliable/trustworthy could get access and help should a crisis arise without always having to go through the bother of ensuring they have a key/dropping one off.

DuelingFanjo Wed 07-Sep-11 13:21:26

What reason has he given for them having it?

I wouldn't worry too much unless they start getting into the habit of just dropping by and letting themselves in.

Could you ask them for it back if this does start to happen?

EssW2 Wed 07-Sep-11 13:22:18

It seems pointless them being keyholders for a locked-out type emergency, but it also seems reasonably sensible for someone to have a spare key, and that your ILs will not be interfering types who abuse the holding of a key, so I'm not sure why you are so unhappy about it?

Ther's no beneift, but no harm in the arrangement?

We always leave a key with someone when we are away - in case someone reports water pouring out of a window or something.

Kayano Wed 07-Sep-11 13:22:29

My parents have a key to my house,

As do my PIL

As does my BIL....

Really can't see an issue at all here

stoatie Wed 07-Sep-11 13:23:16

My parents (about 40 minutes away) have spare key. They are not the popping in unexpectedly type, so never been a problem. Useful when they house sit and also recently my youngest went to stay, I was on nights, they didn't have to wake me when she came back (partner was still doing weekly shop) as could let themselves in and wait until husband got back

PissesGlitter Wed 07-Sep-11 13:23:35

what was his reason for refusing to get it back?
if you dont want anyone to have a key then they should have it

happygonicky Wed 07-Sep-11 13:24:03

Fair enough - IABU! Thanks, all.

Deesus Wed 07-Sep-11 13:24:35

Nope. Get it back. As MadamDeathstare noted they're not going to be able to help in an emergency so what's the point.

My PIL had a key to one of their sons houses. Son was on holiday and FIL had leant something to him that he wanted back (was not urgent btw). He casually mentioned to us that he was going to go round and try and find it! He had no idea where it was in the house either (or any idea how inappropriate it was). I suggested to him that it was probably in their bedroom underneath all the drugs and sextoys wink

To be fair to FIL he burst out laughing and then we spent some considerable time explaining how it's not ok to let yourself into someone else's house when the key has been given for emergencies.

Not saying that would happen in this instance....just wanted to share! smile

Beamur Wed 07-Sep-11 13:25:25

My PIL have a key - they live nearly 3 hours away, so no danger of them popping in unannounced!
We let them have it in case, when they do visit, they come while we are at work so they can let themself in.
Whilst you might not be happy about your PIL having the key, if they are trustworthy and not likely to abuse it, I can't see how asking for it back is going to be perceived as anything other than very rude now.
Your DP should have spoken to you first, but the 'damage' is done now.

Kayano Wed 07-Sep-11 13:27:18

Why should DP get it back? He wants them to have a key, she doesn't...

Why should her wants overrule his?

It's her decision to not give a key to anyone on her side, his decision to give a key to inlaws.

DuelingFanjo Wed 07-Sep-11 13:28:53

Kayano, it does depend on the inlaws though. What if this were a thread about someone with in-laws who let themselves in and ate all the food? Surely it's all dependant on the situation.

Lizcat Wed 07-Sep-11 13:29:09

PIL have a key to our house, I don't like it, but DH wants them to have one. In the end I felt this was a battle I didn't need to fight.

Kayano Wed 07-Sep-11 13:31:59

But it's not is it? You can 'what if' me til you're blue in the face but it's still a pretty pointless exercise....

She said PIL are trystworthy and fine, and an hour away
It's THEIR joint home, therefore DP can give the key to his parents if he likes.

She has the same option

happygonicky Wed 07-Sep-11 13:34:22

They are very trustworthy and unlikely to let themselves in. Having said that, an opportunity has arisen where we could ask for the key back without it being in any way rude. I just don't like it and think it's pointless, given the distance.

Kayano Wed 07-Sep-11 13:36:27

That's your prerogative to not like it,

Your DP does not have to agree and act on it though...

ESP if it is a joint house?

nannyl Wed 07-Sep-11 13:36:38

My PIL have a key to our house too.

i have no issue or problem with this... they live a 5 min drive (or 25 walk away) though, so entirely possible to get to theirs without a car or wallet etc.

they have it for emergancys, or if we are away and have a "did we turn the X off" moment.

My parents (who live a 5+ hour drive away) do NOT have the key to my house as no point!, although i have keys to their homes.

When i lived in my old house my best friend had a key. At one point her mum had a key to my house as well!

sausagesandmarmelade Wed 07-Sep-11 13:38:19

I don't really see what the big deal is....well actually I do. Your other half doesn't mind them having the keys but you don't like it (but haven't really given a good reason why).

My In Laws have our house keys and I have absolutely no problem with that whatsoever. In fact it's been handy on odd occasions...and when we are away they always come over and leave milk, bread etc for our return.

If it really is a big deal then ask for them back...but you really should be considering your other half's point of view....

mumeeee Wed 07-Sep-11 13:41:00

YABU. We have left spare keys with some friends. Although they only live 10 minutes walk away. Yes maybe your PILs do live a bit far away but it's better to leave keys with someone you trust. Do you trust them?

mumeeee Wed 07-Sep-11 13:43:09

Just seen that you say they're trustworthy. So I would just put up with them having the keys you might find it comes in handy sometime.

naturalbaby Wed 07-Sep-11 13:43:30

you could say - just because you never have, doesn't mean you never will lock yourself out, one of you may loose a set of keys. obviously it's not expensive to have spare keys cut but it would save you the bother of going and getting it done if something happened to a set of your keys. therefore the best place for a spare set would be in your home or with a close friend nearby.

Iggly Wed 07-Sep-11 13:43:56

I don't understand why it's an issue? Is it because you don't like your ILs?

Mine have a spare key. As do my neighbours. The in laws would never turn up unannounced anyway.

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