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Splitting the cost of a holiday cottage with family and friends - AIBU?

(86 Posts)
ThursdayAlready2 Mon 16-May-16 11:21:11

DH and I are hoping to go away with friends/relatives this Christmas, and rent a cottage somewhere nice. The cottage will need five bedrooms, and we’ve found quite a few places that have potential. But we’ve hit a stumbling block with costs ……..

Let’s say the total cost is £1000 for five nights, and there are five couples, each couple occupying one bedroom. These aren’t the actual figures, but they do illustrate my point. I’d assumed we’d split £1000 equally between us, so £200 per couple. Simple? No …….

One couple said they may only stay four nights, so could they pro-rata their £200 payment to reflect less nights. Then another couple asked if they could do the same, and then my brother announced he may not be bringing his girlfriend, so could he only pay £100 rather than £200 as there’s now one person in his room and not two!!!

My question to all of them, was: “if you pay a reduced contribution, are you expecting everyone else to pay extra to cover this”? Silence all round.

When I eventually got hold of my brother, he seemed to think that as DH and I would be making the booking, that we would somehow be acting as hoteliers and stumping up the whole cost, and then sort of selling each room to the wider group on an “only pay for what you use” basis. Which isn’t how I’d envisaged it at all. I thought it was an “we’re all in this together” arrangement, where all the costs were split equally five ways, and if you only want to use your room for 4 nights, then that’s your prerogative but don’t expect the rest of the group to subsidise you.

DH and I quickly realised this has got disaster written all over it, and are now seriously considering making other plans, but as the initial invitation had been “shall we rent a cottage and split the costs between us” – AIBU to think everyone else is being unreasonable ??????

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 16-May-16 11:26:37

YANBU to think everyone is being unreasonable, but people will pull out if you don't agree.

I guess it should have gone

Op: "Cottage, 5 nights, £200 per room. Are you up for it?"
Friend: "Can only do 4 nights so we'll pay less."
OP: "That's a No then."

So easy with hindsight!

MatildaTheCat Mon 16-May-16 11:26:44

Hamburg but suspect you know this already. The rental reflects the number of bedrooms and space required for the people renting. Up to them if they stay for the whole period.

Unless you asked them to join you for 3 days only and expected them to pay as if staying a week, but you didn't? I would send another email outlining the issues and cheerfully say that not to worry there are lots of smaller places available for you to rent if they decide not to come.

MatildaTheCat Mon 16-May-16 11:27:35

Hanburg? confused YANBU

Bravada Mon 16-May-16 11:30:20

YANBU. maybe suggest all just going for 4 nights?

ImperialBlether Mon 16-May-16 11:30:21

This sounds like it's got 'disaster' written all over it!

Why don't you all go to a hotel, where it's a lot more clear-cut?

WanHeda Mon 16-May-16 11:31:14

Get out now! This will be a complete nightmare. If this is before you even book the place, how will cleaning/food supplies etc be dealt with? This has disaster written all over it.

wannabestressfree Mon 16-May-16 11:33:16

Do not do anything until you have the cash upfront ....speaks from bitter experience!

BeYourselfUnlessUCanBeAUnicorn Mon 16-May-16 11:34:07


Your way of splitting was how I imagined it. The cost should be per room, not per person so your brother IBVU. If people want to stay less time, tough, they should suck up the cost. Why should you pay to cover their room because they don't want the full 5 nights. No way would I pay for it then sell the rooms. You won't see that money.

Either tell them it's being split how you said, go for a hotel with own rooms or tell them you have reconsidered and think it's too much trouble to organise this when everyone seems to want differing ways to pay for it. I'd go for the last one tbh. They all sound like a right pain!

LagunaBubbles Mon 16-May-16 11:34:16

Do not under any circumstances book and pay for this, you will likely never see any money.

MTPurse Mon 16-May-16 11:36:28

YANBU, however, as half of the group only want to go for 4 nights why not just book for 4 nights instead of 5?

soapboxqueen Mon 16-May-16 11:38:27

YANBU but I would back out now. I would have assumed costs like you did but if people are being stupid now, it'll only get worse.

ThursdayAlready2 Mon 16-May-16 11:38:58

MTPurse good point, but then I can envisage people wanting to stay 3 nights instead of four .......

RNBrie Mon 16-May-16 11:40:37

Had a similar thing with a hen do recently... Some people wanted to come for two nights, some for one night, another person wanted to come first thing in the morning and leave last thing at night and not pay for any of it...

I worked out a nightly cost per person - so in your example you have:
two couples (4 people) doing 5 nights = 20 nights
two couples (4 people) doing 4 nights = 16 nights
one person doing 5 nights = 5 nights

So a total of 41 nights then divide the £1000 by 41 = £24.50 a night per person

So the couples doing 5 nights would pay £245 each
The couples doing 4 nights would pay £196 each
And your brother would pay £122.50

In the end it got so complicated and bitter that we booked hotel rooms somewhere totally different!!

Good luck grin

momb Mon 16-May-16 11:43:51

I agree with those who said that it's looking too complicated as some of these people appear to have no idea of how a cottage rental works.
1) Tell your brother that if he only wants to pay £100 for his room he needs to find someone else to share with to cover the £200 that the landlord requires. If he doesn't want to share he can pay £100 plus a single occupancy supplement of £100.
2) The cottage rental can be divided by the number of room/nights if some people are not there the whole time. Thus if 5 rooms/5 nights the room rate is 1000/25 so £40 per room per night for everyone, but if two groups miss a night the room rate becomes 1000/23 so £43.50 per room per night, and so on.......

The fact that it has got so complicated so quickly suggests you should quit while you are ahead. Imagine the food:
'I'm not paying for a full portion of Christmas dinner because I only like the white meat and I don't like stuffing.'
Sorry OP.

IDontBelieveAnything Mon 16-May-16 11:50:26

At least they have told you before you booked!

Even if it's a bit cringey it's so much better to hash these things out beforehand. Id see about staying somewhere for four nights. I think one person in a room should pay the same for the rent but should obviously pay less for food.

CoolCarrie Mon 16-May-16 11:53:14

Forget them and book somewhere lovely for yourselves! As others have said don't book and pay for it, cos you won't see the money ! People can sometimes be so bloody annoying & you shouldn't have to sub them!

ThursdayAlready2 Mon 16-May-16 11:54:00

Thank you to the posters who've done maths for this thread! And everyone is right, if its so complicated at this stage (and there doesn't seem to be much goodwill going round .... ) the food and extra bits would be impossible. So we're going to bow out gracefully, truthfully pointing out that it's already getting very complicated. And I'll be interested to see if any one else offers to step up as 'organiser.' Very unlikely.

Christmas is ALWAYS difficult sad

CoolCarrie Mon 16-May-16 11:55:00

YANBU they are! And I speak from a similar experience with MIL & SIL!

CoolCarrie Mon 16-May-16 11:56:04

I am glad to read the above. Have a brilliant stress free Christmas!

cozietoesie Mon 16-May-16 11:56:53

We've rented several holiday cottages with friends and it's always been a straight split - on everything.

Close down the plans now before you have to contemplate the Food Wars. wink

TiverMeShimbers Mon 16-May-16 11:56:57

YANBU. Your way of splitting is the only fair way. Renting a self catering house is completely different to staying in a hotel. They should either be in or out.

I was recently away for a girls weekend in a cottage. 6 of us booked up for 3 nights. 2 of us could only stay for 2 nights, but we both paid the full whack. Why should the others subsidise us if we couldn't stay for the 3rd night?

At least you've discussed it before booking. If the others can't understand this basic concept then there's no way you should go ahead....imagine the discussions about the costs of all the food & drink!

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 16-May-16 11:57:17

Usually there's a minimum booking over Christmas for any sort of decent sized holiday cottage so even if you all only wanted it for two nights it would be the same cost.

Accommodation is basic cost = £200 per couple. Don't forget to add extra for heating. Tough luck if you aren't taking full advantage and if you feel that's unfair, fine, but you need to offer the room to someone else.
Catering - pro rata'd. Find a way to not have to do the full admin though.

Honestly - run a mile and book your own smile Or a hotel !

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 16-May-16 11:57:42


It's £200 per room for the week. Whether it's used for the whole week, or by one person.

I'd send eveyone an email detailing that. And it's not for you to subsidise everyone else. Spell it out, and cancel it if people come back saying "but........"

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 16-May-16 11:58:24

Ah I see you're pulling out. Sounds wise.

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