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FIL let himself into our house

(103 Posts)
LetHimselfIn Sat 06-Aug-16 11:40:55

Background so as not to drip feed: FIL loaned us some money to buy our house, which meant we avoided a mortgage. I'm freelance so this was hugely helpful. He also has been great at helping us renovate, put in a new kitchen etc.

However he's constantly referring to it as 'his' house, saying he owns it etc. I put six figures into it so this doesn't really thrill me tbh. I know he's saying it in jest but it rankles.

He wanted to do some work on the kitchen whilst we were away, so we gave him some keys. He didn't return them, but more as an oversight.

He was due to come over today, and has just let himself in. I'm fuming but being polite. I wouldn't ever let myself into someone else's house without so much as a knock. I was getting dressed and it felt like a complete invasion of privacy.

Sigh. I'm probably overreacting but grrr.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Sat 06-Aug-16 11:42:59

Change the locks. That would piss me right off. I hate my space being invaded.

gamerchick Sat 06-Aug-16 11:43:46

You are not overreacting, if you feel unable to get the keys back then change the locks. I would also look into paying back your fil asap.

Or hand the whole thing over to your partner to deal with.

SpringerS Sat 06-Aug-16 11:44:09

Can you put a bolt or a chain on the door? Tell it's for additional security if he queries it.

Nocabbageinmyeye Sat 06-Aug-16 11:45:25

I don't think you are being unreasonable. The "my house" thing would annoy me too. But the letting himself in you have got to say now or he will keep the keys and that will be it forever, not saying anything is telling him you are ok with it. Just say it nicely "fil I'll take those keys back off you, I was getting dressed today and we could both do without the embarrassment of you walking in on me naked" make a semi joke out of it

LetHimselfIn Sat 06-Aug-16 11:47:49

He doesn't live particularly close by, and it was arranged he would visit today (though we didn't know the exact time, just 'morning') so I'm not worried about it being regular. I'm just pissed off that it happened at all.

I wish I could pay him back entirely but not an option at the moment, sadly.

Nocabbageinmyeye Sat 06-Aug-16 11:50:22

That doesn't matter at all, ask for them back or they will be "his keys" to "his house", start being assertive, you will regret it if you don't

MoonStar07 Sat 06-Aug-16 11:50:42

I wonder what the legalities are if you kick off too much? He's been very kind in lending you the money. He wasn't seeking to do anything malicious in your house. Not saying it's his but do you want to cause too many problems? I don't know

StillStayingClassySanDiego Sat 06-Aug-16 11:50:54

Out of interest , whose names are on the deeds?

LetHimselfIn Sat 06-Aug-16 11:52:51

Ours. He's very relaxed about the money lending. I don't think he really expects it back, but of course we will repay and are doing so monthly.

Yes it's not a malicious act or even one he would have done to annoy us or assert himself. But it's our house, we are adults and it's inappropriate.

MatildaTheCat Sat 06-Aug-16 11:53:08

Just casually ask for the keys back saying you need them for some other reason. If he refuses or says he needs them just look puzzled and ask again more firmly.

I was in a very similar situation back in the day with my in laws and it got worse TBH, letting themselves in and doing jobs when we were on holiday and then expecting massive gratitude. Mil did things like rearrange all my kitchen cupboards and 'sort out' my airing cupboard. Arghh, my blood pressure is rising as I remember all this. Get those keys back! angry

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Sat 06-Aug-16 11:57:51

Change the locks.

I had a similar thing with my parents turning up when I was sleeping between shifts. Nightmare.

Was about £9 from B&Q and there's a YouTube thingy which will talk you through it.

blitheringbuzzards1234 Sat 06-Aug-16 12:05:03

I wouldn't like this either, could you ask him pointedly to knock first, just in case you're in the bath? Make a joke of it. If that doesn't work then a bolt or chain is a less confrontational way of dealing with it. BUT remember the emergency services would have difficulty getting in as well in case anything awful happened.

wheresthel1ght Sat 06-Aug-16 12:06:28

I think you are being a but over sensitive if I am honest. You say he lives far away so won't be a regular thing. Is t possible he knocked and wasn't heard so let himself in?

My fil has no money invested in our house and will still walk in if the door is unlocked - it is very much a cultural thing in the area we live though. I am from London originally so I find it really hard but I appreciate that is my issue and that no one else sees it as wrong. Although I lose my shit when dp's exw waltzes I. Like she owns the place

If it bothers you leave a key turned in the door so his wont work or simply explain to him that whilst you know he doesn't mean the 'my house' comments to be hurtful you find them as such. Be a grown up and if you can't then get a mortgage and pay him back.

VioletBam Sat 06-Aug-16 12:07:51

Your DH will need to have a word.

We once rented a house from my FIL and he took to letting himself into the garden to mow the lawn...while I was at home with the baby.

I would look out of the window and jump in fright at seeing an unexpected man there!

DH told him not to so he stopped.

blueskyinmarch Sat 06-Aug-16 12:10:02

My PIL don't visit our house but my parents do and they always just walk in. I would be horrified if they rang the bell and waited and so would my DH. I just walk into their house too. At my brothers I would knock and open the door and walk in. I wouldn't wait for the door to be answered. I find it odd on MN when people say they find this a strange thing to do.

toadgirl Sat 06-Aug-16 12:10:33

I may be wrong in this, but I don't think even a landlord can just walk straight into a tenant's house without an appointment. Or at least knocking first!

SabineUndine Sat 06-Aug-16 12:17:32

I'd be fuming. My mother lent me 3k to help buy my place and when I phoned to thank her for the cheque she said she hoped I'd have somewhere for her to 'lay her head'. Needless to say I paid the money back asap. You need to set very clear boundaries for some people.

Mummyoflittledragon Sat 06-Aug-16 12:18:29

toadgirl. A landlord legally needs to give a minimum or 24 hours written notification and even then can be refused access. This is waived of course more often than not.

Mummyoflittledragon Sat 06-Aug-16 12:18:56

Posted too soon. I agree, assertively ask for them back.

toadgirl Sat 06-Aug-16 12:24:08

Thanks, Mummy

WeAllHaveWings Sat 06-Aug-16 12:31:53

But it's our house, we are adults and it's inappropriate.

Yes you are adults, so have an adult conversation with him. You don't necessarily need the keys back, just say would do mind not using them unless agreed/emergency. Tell him you feel uncomfortable with anyone just walking into your home (not house as he does own part of your house, if you don't like that you shouldn't have taken his money).

Arfarfanarf Sat 06-Aug-16 12:32:40

It's not a joke. I bet you anything.

People do this - 'joke' to make a point / put you in your place.

He is reminding you that he has you. He bought the house. You owe him. He doesn't have the usual boundaries because in his mind he has a certain sense of ownership.

Now, whether he is doing it on purpose or it is subconscious, I can't say but I am telling you with as near to absolute certainty as it is possible to get, that his 'jokes' are anything but.

Iloveowls2 Sat 06-Aug-16 12:54:11

Not really strange tbh. I'd just walk into my parents house and would knock and enter my brothers house. Your FIL prob just has this mentality in his family what does your DH say? If it's a problem is just change the locks and mention to your FIL that you lost your keys and had to have locks changed.if he offers to keep a spare set. Say no worries you have a key safe.

LetHimselfIn Sat 06-Aug-16 13:57:55

I don't want to change the locks after a one-time thing. It's too passive-aggressive and we have a good relationship otherwise. I will get the keys back though. It made me uncomfortable at the time tbh - DP was basically like 'oh, just keep them' and I was mouthing 'no!' frantically behind FIL's head. It was my bloody set as well <misses point>

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