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to think this is a bit cheeky and they should let us off the charge?

(51 Posts)
freddiefrog Mon 08-Jul-13 10:48:11

Our school hires out their hall to the community for events, we've hired it for our daughter's birthday party in a couple of weeks time.

They charge an hourly rate to hire, then an additional hourly rate for 'care taker's time for locking up - so if you hire it for 3 hours you pay 3 x the hourly rate, plus 3 x the care takers rate, which more than doubles the basic hall charge

If you're a regular hirer, you can have your own set of keys, and not pay the care taker's rate

There are several key holders who all take it in turns if the care taker isn't available to lock/unlock. My DH is one of the key holders.

So, last week I drop off the hire forms and the cash which covered the hire charge and I rounded up as an extra donation. Thinking that as DH had a key and will be locking up behind us, we'd be treated as the other regular key holding hall hirers

But no, I get an additional invoice today for the 3 x hourly care takers rate, ignoring the £8 extra I rounded up on the hire charge

Trivial I know, but I'm annoyed - the amount of times DH has gone out to lock/unlock (we live closest to school so seem to be the first port of call), I would have thought they'd let us off the care-takers charge

Janek Mon 08-Jul-13 10:53:50

I would ring up and query it. Say you presumed that as there was no need for the caretaker you didn't pay the caretaker's charge. You are either capable of locking up, in which case you can do so, or you're not capable, in which case why do they ever trust you?!?

fluckered Mon 08-Jul-13 10:54:42

if it was an invoice i would phone. perhaps its a mistake. explain you are a regular key holder and wont be calling on a care taker. phone before you really get annoyed and possibly jump the gun. it may be a mistake or perhaps if not can sort it easily over the phone.

freddiefrog Mon 08-Jul-13 10:57:51

I reminded them when they gave me the invoice that DH is a key holder so we didn't need the caretaker

One-off hall hire is subject to the care takers charge apparently

CloudsAndTrees Mon 08-Jul-13 11:03:27


I would be really pissed off at that and would be tempted to cancel the booking and get DH to give his keys back. That could be cutting off your nose though if there isn't another easily usable hall near by, so maybe not. If you keep the booking, I'd still want DH to stop being a key holder.

These types of community voluntary jobs should come with small perks where they are available, and it's not like they will actually be losing any money.

freddiefrog Mon 08-Jul-13 11:07:54

We were a bit lax organising her party so struggled to find an available hall - the school hall is more expensive than anywhere else, even without the caretakers charge, so they were a last resort.

But yes, if they insist on the charge, it'll be the last time DH ever goes out to lock up for them

would it be really awkward of me to insist that if we're paying for the caretaker, they need to send the caretaker out to lock up?

ShaggingZumbaStylee Mon 08-Jul-13 11:08:26

Tell them dh can't do key job anymore! Honestly they want people to do these things they need to play nice

ShaggingZumbaStylee Mon 08-Jul-13 11:09:17

Of course not Freddie!

CloudsAndTrees Mon 08-Jul-13 11:32:26

If you are paying for the care taker, then it's fair enough that you get a care taker. One that doesn't have things to do to sort out his own child's party.

sparechange Mon 08-Jul-13 11:58:49

I would give them one more chance to rectify this before cancelling the booking and handing back the keys

I presume the 'caretakers charge' just goes to them, rather than to the caretaker who is required to lock up?
Seems grossly unfair to not recognise the unpaid job that your DH has been doing to allow them to rake in the extra cash by waiving it on this occasion!

freddiefrog Mon 08-Jul-13 12:26:09

If the caretaker does it, he does get paid overtime, however, his hourly rate is a fair bit less than the charged hourly rate so they still profit from it

He is off every other weekend, so when the other voluntary key holders do it, the school gets all the cash.

The weekend we've hired it, is his weekend off.

There is a dance class in the hall in the morning, followed by martial arts (who are both key holders) followed straight after by us, so the hall will be open when we get there anyway, and DH will lock it on the way out when we're done - they want £45!

Even if we didn't have a key, he'd only need to come for 10 minutes at the end, he doesn't have to let us in so the 3 hours is a cheek to start with.

ENormaSnob Mon 08-Jul-13 13:09:42


45 quid for you to lock up after yourselves?

They are taking the piss big time.

FeckOffCup Mon 08-Jul-13 13:23:44

YANBU I would tell them that if they are charging you for a caretaker that isn't even available that day your DH will be resigning as a key holder and they can fine someone else to put up with the hassle of having to lock up the hall on caretakers' weekends off.

NatashaBee Mon 08-Jul-13 13:24:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FeckOffCup Mon 08-Jul-13 13:24:30

*find not fine

MaxPepsi Mon 08-Jul-13 13:29:57

I'd submit an invoice for your DH's charge as a key holder.

And suggest all the other key holders do the same too. When they find they no longer have any volunteers they will have to change their money grabbing ways!

freddiefrog Mon 08-Jul-13 13:59:10


DH has volunteered to do school pick up this afternoon and is going to have words. We're not paying £45 for a service that DH is providing on a voluntary basis.

Common sense says that even if it was the caretaker's weekend on, DH being a key holder would just lock up on our way out.

They keep moaning that the hall isn't hired out enough, is there any bloody wonder?

I don't think I can cancel completely, I rang round every local hall when we first booked it, being the last weekend in July, they're all booked out for fetes and stuff, so the school was our last resort anyway, but DH will be handing his keys back if they do insist on the charge.

Half an hour I'd be willing to pay, an hour at a push, as we don't need anyone to open up, as it's already open from the previous hirers

freddiefrog Mon 08-Jul-13 14:13:02


The actual hire charge came to £31.50, I gave them £40

They've invoiced me for the full 3 hours without taking off the £8.50 I over paid, or made any effort to give me back the change

NoComet Mon 08-Jul-13 14:24:25

"They wonder why the hall isn't hired out enough?" grin

Our local village hall, who charge for setting up time, extra rooms for using as a crèche while we set things up etc, etc, etc and are very grumpy, wonder why the PTA use the school hall for free or do all our setting up during toddlers, when various school mum's are there anyway.

They also moan we don't support their fundraising events.

We accept the hall is expensive to run and we are happy to pay a reasonable charge, but it's a small school in a small village, we need to make a profit.

NoComet Mon 08-Jul-13 14:28:00

Some of the PTA parents are really good at refreshments and running bars and others have various contacts for freebies.

If the hall committee were pleasant, we could work together, but they are not.

ZenGardener Mon 08-Jul-13 14:28:29

Well definitely get them to take the 8 pounds off.

zipzap Mon 08-Jul-13 14:34:35

I'd start to invoice the school for £45 every time your dh goes to lock or unlock the school!

laeiou Mon 08-Jul-13 14:37:44

If they insist on the caretaker fee if give it minus the overpayment since you need the hall, but return DH's keys at the same time. And if course ask who'll be locking up after your party. Also, tell the other keyholders what happened.

StealthPolarBear Mon 08-Jul-13 14:48:35

Bloody hell. Our school hall is ten per hour and you pay for what you use for the party but have as long to open up and clean up as needed, as long as its not otherwise in use. Bargain!

freddiefrog Mon 08-Jul-13 14:55:34

The basic per hour charge isn't too bad, £10.50 per hour. Although its the top end round here, most little church halls are £6-8 an hour.

It's a huge hall, we don't really need anything anywhere near as big, but it's our last resort.

We've hired it for 3 hours - 2 hour party, half hour each side to set up/clear up. We've only hiring the hall though, no kitchen facilities or anything - the kitchen is an additional charge

It's the £15 per hour caretakers charge that's killing it

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