To think this isn't unreasonable(43 Posts)
A member of our extended family, who owns a holiday cottage, has invited my family and my sisters family to stay over Christmas in her holiday cottage. Of course we were delighted to accept as all three families will be able to spend Christmas together.
The friend has just mentioned that she will expect us to pay £100 per week for cleaning and laundry services and to pay something towards heat and lighting. I am very happy to do this but my sister is appalled. She thinks you do not charge family to be ones guests. Is she being unreasonable?
I'd happily pay, but that is a lot of cleaning. Is that each?
£200 seems steep for cleaning and laundry to be fair. But I'm not against paying for my stay in principle. It ceases being a 'family' thing when you're charged bed and board though imo, so maybe your sister is justified. It depends how the offer was originally made I guess.
What's the story with food etc?
Sister is BU to mind paying. It's not even close family and she doesn't know the owner's financial circumstances. It's a lot cheaper than if she rented from anyone else.
But the owner is possibly being a bit unreasonable if it played out like you've written here, where they offered for you to stay and THEN set a price? If they wanted paying they should have made it clear with the original offer as it's a bit unfair if they acted like it's a free gift and then turned round and asked for money, you might not have accepted the offer if you'd known you were paying and some people would be stuck then not wanting to back out and look tight but not really being able to afford it.
Maybe the owner offered and expected you to offer money in return, and when you didn't they spoke up about expecting some contribution? Even so, this stuff is always sticky especially with family ties involved so they should have been upfront re the fee at the time of the initial offer, and you and sister should have clarified the terms at that time too by asking what money they wanted in return. You've learned the lesson for next time!
She is letting you stay there rent free but she would be out of pocket if she had to pay cleaners and utilities.
She is being more than generous imo.
That seems a bit much; I wouldn’t mind paying towards the actual costs similar to what it would cost at home or the extra compared to if it was just her family. She also should have said this when she made the invitation as I’d panic if someone suddenly mentioned a cost like that so close to Christmas.
It's not that she's letting you stay there rent free though, it's the fact that she invited you and then expects you to pay - that's really rude! It would be different if it was just your family and your sisters family staying, but if I read correctly the owner and their family will be there too? So they have invited you to them but expect you to pay for the upkeep.
Depends how the 'invite' was worded maybe?
For a cottage the size for three individual families with a cleaner coming in and laundry £100 a week is just covering costs. Over Christmas she could likely rent it at a Premium price.
But weird not to mention money at the time of invite? Unless it was said in a way where she was letting you know it was vacant duh as “oh we haven’t booked the cottage out yet so if you guy would like to use it let me know” rather than just a here use my cottage for free for two weeks kind of thing.
Hmm rude to invite then ask for money imo. Should be clear from the off what is/isnt being charged for with an invite
I’d presume these are the costs she will have to pay out, why should she subsidise your holiday any more. She would have got much more for it renting it out.
Your sister is bu. I'd never dream of free loading, invited as a guest or not. I'd still offer to pay towards everything I was using once there. She can't expect your family member to pay for her surely?
She normally rents it out at Christmas for £1500 a week. But she hasn't this year as she has had work done on the property and it will only be partially finished at Christmas. (It's only scaffolding up around the outside, but she feels she can't let it out like that).
She is a member of my dh's family and so no relation to my sister but they have become friendly over the years. She will just visit daily with her family as they live close by. She is only covering her costs as she uses a cleaning and laundry service.
I'm sorry if I didn't give enough information the first time.
I think she just assumed that we would realise that there would be a cost to her and would expect to pay for our cleaning and laundry, when she made the invitation.
I think I will just pay my sisters share too, but it does rankle a bit.
If she and her family are staying anyway then she wouldn’t have been able to rent it out, so not losing money.
I would expect to turn up with gifts, wine and food but I don’t see the difference between her hosting at her holiday home and hosting at her permanent home.
Your sister is a bit presumptuous to be offended
It's not even her family or in-laws!
I suspect others have taken the piss with your relative before so she is setting boundaries from the start.
Sorry, thought she and her family were staying at the property with you.
You don't charge your family to be guests however, as a guest in that situation the polite thing to do would be to buy groceries/pay for meals out. Given that the services you are paying towards aren't normal housekeeping costs (I'm assuming as you are going to a holiday cottage) this is a bit of a grey area as to whether your family members are really hosts per se. Your sisters rather strong response would suggest to me that she is more appalled by the idea of spending money than a breach in etiquette (which is in doubt here). It is possible that your family members chose to err on the side of caution and act as if you are all guests together to avoid spending more than they could afford in the event that your sister didn't do the usual guest things.
The property owner is probably embarrassed that she had to ask. Surely when someone makes an offer like that the first thing you do is say "lovely, let me make a contribution to fuel etc"
My in laws own a holiday apartment in a v popular Devon tourist resort. We always pay £100 for cleaning/laundry and think nothing of it.
It's not unreasonable to charge.
It is unreasonable not to mention the charge at the very beginning. You need that information when deciding whether to accept.
I hope you'e got some good agreements in place about how food and drink is to be paid for, if this is causing aggravation
Is it £100 per family or between all of you?
Sounds like the latter and if so your DSis is being ridiculous.
Is your sister then going to bring clean linen and clean? If so - fair enough although would have to be to the standard needed for next guest. I suspect she is not proposing this.
Of course it is reasonable to ask to pay for this which the owner is going to pay themselves out of their pocket.
She probably didn't mention it at the start because didn't occur to her. Its really not a lot of money for free accommodation in what must be quite a nice place.
Your sister sounds annoying.
Is the £100 between you all. If so I suppose that is quite reasonable to cover laundry and cleaning if an agency does it. Still I think it should have been made more clear in the invitation that you would be required to pay.
Agree with Trills.
Your extended family member should have made it clear when she made the offer that there was a cleaning and laundry fee and taking the property meant paying that fee.
If she did not do that, she is not a very wise business person. In your words she "... invited my family and my sisters family to stay over Christmas in her holiday cottage."
When I invite people to stay I do not charge them a cleaning fee.
So what she did was offer them her home rent free, for a period of time, and she should have made it clear that there was a fee.
Having said that, realizing that there was a fee, your sister should pay it. The other option is to back out and not meet with you for Christmas. Or you both meet at her place or at your place.
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