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Do your ILs have keys to your house?

(188 Posts)
snowballsandsunshine Tue 24-Apr-18 14:06:27

Long standing disagreement with the ILs which keeps getting brought up every so often.

I will not give keys to our house to my ILs (or my parents for that matter, but they don't care I don't have keys to their houses either!). I actually wouldn't give anyone a key out of choice at all, but I have given one to my cousin (who lives round the corner and is like my sister) just in case we ever get locked out or have an emergency. I gave it to her because I know she'd never, ever use it unless I asked her to. The ILs don't know my cousin has a key, they'd get really offended and cause a huge fuss.

My ILs always had a key to DHs house before I lived with him, which he took off them to give to me when I moved in (years ago now). I think he meant to get another cut for them but I said I didn't want people having keys to my home and he never did. We then bought a house together and they asked for one, and I (nicely) said no and explained we weren't giving keys to anyone.

My ILs are not bad people, they wouldn't be in my house stealing or anything like that. I'm just extremely private and I absolutely hate the thought that they could let themselves in. They wouldn't to do anything bad, but I wouldn't put it past them to do it if for example FIL wanted to borrow something out of DHs shed/toolbox and I wasn't here. Or - MIL being nice would let herself in when she knows I'm not here and do my housework because I'm pregnant and can't manage it with a toddler (not true, I am pregnant but I'm absolutely fine,
I'm in good health!). I can't bear the thought of someone folding my huge pregnancy pants or actually seeing my messy kitchen when I'm having a lazy day ha ha ha!

Anyway, it keeps getting mentioned. I stand firm and say no, DH does say 'Snow says no' but does try to get round me in private because he doesn't see an issue.


Jaylabelle Tue 24-Apr-18 14:08:03

Yes - they live in the same town as us, look after our children and cook for them at our house one day a week, and we have an amazing relationship.

My parents don't have a key to my house, but that's because they live 200 miles away so there's little point.

Coldilox Tue 24-Apr-18 14:08:37

Your house, it's fair enough to want to keep it private.

My MIL has a spare key, because she looks after our son one day a week so needs to able to come and go. But if she's coming to visit us on a different day she knocks, she wouldn't let herself in.

Jaylabelle Tue 24-Apr-18 14:08:53

So yes, I think YABU. It's your dh's house too - and if he wants his parents to be able to drop stuff round when you're not in, then I see no problem with that.

Flisspaps Tue 24-Apr-18 14:09:21


Bambamber Tue 24-Apr-18 14:09:59

You say you wouldn't put it past them to do those things, but do you know for sure?

My PILs have a key to our house. They have never used it and always knock when they come round

patstar Tue 24-Apr-18 14:10:19

My mil has a key to our house, she only uses it when she is looking after gc when we go away. If she pops round during the week she will always knock at the door - lovely lady

BonsaiBear Tue 24-Apr-18 14:10:44

Nope. The one time I entrusted a family member with a key to my house they abused that trust. It was a family member I would never have thought would do such a thing. Didn't even cross my mind.

Would never leave a key with anyone now, I'd rather break in if I lock myself out!

lindyhopy Tue 24-Apr-18 14:11:03

YANBU, my in-laws have a key and I hate it. FIL let himself in twice while I was there alone- didn't hear knocking as I was upstairs in shower. When we move they aren't getting a key to the next house.

Thingsthatgo Tue 24-Apr-18 14:12:31

Why do they want a key?

Pengggwn Tue 24-Apr-18 14:12:33

Hell, no. The idea of people letting themselves into my house to tidy up makes my blood freeze.

MyKingdomForBrie Tue 24-Apr-18 14:14:37

I guess it’s your choice, everyone feels differently about things. My MIL would never just let herself in so she could have a key if she wanted but she hasn’t ever asked!

It’s a bit odd to ask I think. My SIL has one as she lives near by and it’s convenient when she wants to drop her dog off or feed our cats.

I think your only real catch is that you’re going against DH wishes - if my DH said my DM couldn’t have a key to our house i’d be really unhappy and it wouldn’t feel right. Not that his wishes should trump yours either - it’s just a tricky one I think. Maybe they could have one on the understanding that there cannot be any unannounced visits?

SilverySurfer Tue 24-Apr-18 14:14:41

You're not BU at all, I would hate someone having access to my house when I wasn't home. Keep firm.

Wannabecitygirl Tue 24-Apr-18 14:14:52

No chance! My neighbor has a key as a just in case but she is way too busy to come round snooping 😂

Aria2015 Tue 24-Apr-18 14:15:01

Yes mine do. They don't abuse it - it's just there if they need it and if they look after lo then we don't have to give up our keys and risk forgetting them.

soapboxqueen Tue 24-Apr-18 14:15:11

Yes. My mother and father have a keys, my inlaws have a key, my sister and sister in law all have keys. I have keys for everyone else. I really don't see the problem unless there is a specific issue eg theft or people turning up at odd times.

I suspect your dh doesn't really get it either but is just keeping you happy. I'd probably be a bit hmm if I used to have a key but was relieved of my key holding privileges.

If you don't like it that's fine but understand that others will view it differently.

FairfaxAikman Tue 24-Apr-18 14:16:25

Yes. They live just round the corner so it's handy if we get locked out but I trust them not to let themselves in. My MIL knows I would go nuclear if they did.

PositivelyPERF Tue 24-Apr-18 14:19:49

My Bil’s ex wife told me that was one of the reasons her marriage feel apart. Her mil had a spare key and lived a few streets away, but any of the family that wanted to visit, would simply take the key and let themselves in. The lack of privacy made her feel that she could never relax. Not that I’m saying that would happen to you OP.

As for the poster saying it’s your DH’s house too, yes it is, but the OP has more of a right NOT to have her privacy compromised, that he does to let his parents free entry to the home.

PinkCalluna Tue 24-Apr-18 14:20:23

They currently do but we’re moving house later this year and we won’t be giving them a key to the new house. (They don’t know this yet)

They let themselves into the house without permission when we were last on holiday hence the change.

DH gave them a terrible telling off at the time but they really don’t see that they did anything wrong.

It’s easier to not give a key in the first place than to actively take a key away hence not doing anything yet.

My DPs and my friend have a key for emergencies and for watering plants/lifting mail during holidays etc. but I trust both of them.

The question I would ask is why are your PILs so desperate for a key? What legitimate circumstances do they need one for?

FizzyGreenWater Tue 24-Apr-18 14:22:27

'We don't need you to have a key. You know we don't want you to have a key. So can you explain why you are so desperate to get one, because it rather sounds as if you really want to be able to let yourselves in to our house when we're not there? I can't think of another reason tbh. You can't think it's to be helpful to us, because we've already said that there's no need. Can you explain?'

Aprilmightbemynewname Tue 24-Apr-18 14:22:44

Mil has never even been to our house!!
Fil has been twice but not for 2 years!!

Buxbaum Tue 24-Apr-18 14:23:04

My ILs, and my parents, both have a key to our house. They would never, ever let themselves in without prior arrangement except in the direst of emergencies. They also don't live locally to us, which probably makes a difference.

WhiteCoyote Tue 24-Apr-18 14:28:10

WE gave my FIL a key as he agreed to feed the cat while we were on holiday. We’d just moved into a new rented property that had many many issues, and I was constantly battling the letting agent to get them fixed. Gave FIL strict instructions not to interfere with anything that seemed broken or needed work as I wanted a) professionals to do it and b) for the letting agent to rightfully pay for it.
He completely ignored me, fixed everything that needed fixing very badly, spent a lot of money on fixing things badly, opened up dp’s post and got himself a spare key cut.

The lock has since been changed and the cat goes into a cattery when we’re on holiday.


snowballsandsunshine Tue 24-Apr-18 14:30:54

I think I'm so uncomfortable with it because their boundaries are a bit fudged. What they feel is helpful, I feel is invasive. For example, when we bought this house before we moved in FIL was doing some paid work here (it's his job he's a tradesman). Some parcels arrived which contained house stuff - lamps/kitchen stuff etc by around the same time I'd actually ordered some nice undies and ahem, fun toys, for DHs birthday treat. FIL opened all the parcels and went through them to check that none of the stuff inside was broken. He thought this helpful and I can see his point but I felt like it was a massive invasion of privacy to open our parcels without being asked and was so relieved so find that our fun parcel hadn't been delivered that day. I'd have been so embarrassed.

They want a key 'because that's what families do'. What if they NEED to come in one day? I'm a SAHM, so I'm here most of the time anyway, it's unlikely that in the event that they need anything they'd have to wait more than a morning or afternoon for it anyway.

I am aware that I'm a bit less relaxed than most about this sort of thing than some people but I just feel like my home is my sanctuary, my safe space and I hate the thought of anyone being in it when I'm not there or I don't know about it.

DH doesn't really care. We don't fall out over it or anything. He just thinks I'm weird.

Sweetpea55 Tue 24-Apr-18 14:31:19

Have you asked them why they want a key?
I can only see the reason being to let themselves in when your not there,,
Id be asking just why they wanted be in your house when your not there.

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