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To think it's not on to charge your own family??

61 replies

ethelfleda · 24/07/2017 21:00

I posted a free weeks back about helping my grandmother take someone to court for ripping her off to the tune of nearly £5k to fit a boiler. I picked her up today to go through the process online and discuss how we will proceed etc.

I told her that if she needs to attend court that I will take time off work and take her. She is nearly 90 and doesn't find these things easy anymore!! She was very grateful and said she would pay me for my time. I said I absolutely didn't expect her to pay me for helping her as she is family and you help family because you can and should.

I was then horrified to learn that more than one member of my family (a cousin, an uncle and my own father) have, in the past, charged her to do handy work around the house. Jobs ranging from putting up some shelving to tiling a kitchen/bathroom amongst others. And this isn't just her paying for the materials... She has paid them for their actual labour!!

AIBU to think that it is not on to charge your own family to do jobs around the house for them?? Especially when they are elderly and are no longer able to do things for themselves? She has asked me not to say anything to them and said she will pay professionals in future. But I am really disappointed for her!!

OP posts:

19lottie82 · 24/07/2017 21:02

That depends on their circumstances really.
I wouldn't expect them to charge her full whack but as long as it's a discounted rate then I don't see the problem.
Tradespeople still have to make a living and feed their kids. Tiling a kitchen / bathroom isn't a small job!


Gingernaut · 24/07/2017 21:04


Materials, yes. Labour, no.

That's disgusting.


Snap8TheCat · 24/07/2017 21:04

I childmind my niece, I still charge my brother in law for it! I have kids to feed and bills to pay too.


YouWereRight · 24/07/2017 21:04

I suppose it depends if you can afford to not be paid for that time.


placemark123 · 24/07/2017 21:04

Charging her for putting up shelves is pretty tight!


Groupie123 · 24/07/2017 21:05

You have to be a special kind of dispicable to charge your own mum. Some people have no morals.


ItchyFoot · 24/07/2017 21:05

You absolutely don't charge family! Especially the elderly. My dp has done loads of different things for my family and we always help decorate each others houses. They should be ashamed.


HeartburnCentral · 24/07/2017 21:05

It is everything that is wrong with the world to charge their own elderly mother for helping her do small odd jobs. It's disgraceful and yanbu.


Groupie123 · 24/07/2017 21:05

You have to be a special kind of dispicable to charge your own mum. Some people have no morals.


DeadDoorpost · 24/07/2017 21:06

That totally crazy. My nan always asks me and my DH for help with the odd thing when we visit every 6 months or so and are always happy to do it. Usually she'll buy us a sweet treat or cook us something as a thank you but never have we even thought to charge her Shock
And even her neighbours don't charge her when they do something for her. They often do her if she wants help and refuse payment (unless in rare circumstances like having her fence up but even them it was a minimal payment)


BrieAndChilli · 24/07/2017 21:08

Shelves - no
Court - no
Tiling - it's a pretty big time consuming job so I would expect to pay even although at a discounted rate.
When we were younger DHs aunt paid us to paint her holiday chalet, not loads but it was a few days work.


BarbarianMum · 24/07/2017 21:11

Tiling a kitchen/bathroom is potentially a big job. I think its a bit off to ask/expect your family to do it for free if there is any way you could afford to pay for a tradesman to do it. Same with the wealthy elderly who expect their children to do their gardening for them in between work/looking after their children/doing their own gardens. A one off favour is one thing but not a regular, on- going commitment.


Majora · 24/07/2017 21:17

YABU, sorry. I probably wouldn't charge for labour myself and in the case of my own mother/the elderly, I would only ask for materials costs for anything, but family in general get charged. Maybe a discounted price, but they would get charged for any services I did for them.

I'm very good with tech and so often get random relatives who I've not spoken to in ages suddenly being my best mate expecting me to fix their computer for free Hmm


pringlecat · 24/07/2017 21:21

Not against charging if it's your actual trade (i.e. something other people pay you for) and you'd have to turn down paid work to help. But I'd expect a discount.

If not turning down paid work, materials only.


SaucyJack · 24/07/2017 21:22

It's impossible to say really from the information here.

Is she well off? Can your father afford to be doing unpaid work? Was she charged full, professional rates, or was it case of giving them a tenner to buy a couple of pints in the pub afterwards?

If you're happy for her to pay a professional to do something, I can't get that upset that she figured she may as well give the work to a relative unless there's a massive backstory.


ethelfleda · 24/07/2017 21:25

It was my father who did the tiling - it took him a couple of days. He isn't hard up and did not charge her a discounted rated (£300 not including materials) so I guess maybe it's not so bad she paid him for 2 days work but £300 is very steep!!

But the the other bits and pieces were 'odd' jobs.

OP posts:

luckylucky24 · 24/07/2017 21:27

If it their actual trade I would expect them to charge - maybe reduced rates at best but still. Odd jobs no I would expect them to be a favour. After all, it probably cost her the modern equivalent of thousands of pounds to raise your father. To charge her for putting up a shelf is self centred.


MyPepper · 24/07/2017 21:27

If the person is a professional and this was not a one of off but a regular thing , I could Understand it.
So ifyour are childminder and you look after a child in the family. It's everyday and they will take a space that you can't use.

But coming over at the weekend to do a job that you aren't 'qualified' in? Nope sorry that would be a very crap thing to do


JuicyNectarine · 24/07/2017 21:27



WhamBarsArentAsFizzyAsTheyWere · 24/07/2017 21:28

Isn't it more likely that they have done things and she has just given them money afterwards.

I've had a few elderly relatives and neighbours try and force money on me for various favours.

I can't imagine someone's mum asking them to put up a shelf and them saying "OK but it will be £20 for my time".


Glumglowworm · 24/07/2017 21:29

Little jobs like the shelves shouldn't be charged for your mum. It's the sort of thing most reasonably fit and healthy adults could do, so if you're doing it for someone, they're probably vulnerable, elderly or disabled or all three.

Big jobs like filing a room, i don't know. I guess if they're losing out on other jobs by doing it then fair enough to charge something but horrible to charge their elderly mum full whack.

Charging siblings, cousins, aunts/uncles etc is different, especially if they're independent healthy adults who could either do it themselves or choose to hire a professional. I expect some people do get taken advantage of doing freebies for friends and family.


ethelfleda · 24/07/2017 21:29

Saucy I wouldn't say well off but not poor either. My dad was retired and wasn't a tradesman so he wouldn't have turned down paid work in order to help her.
I've told her to let us know when she needs odd jobs doing as my DH will (have run this past him!) help her. He has already done small things such as fix her toilet etc.
And the money we are talking about for the other jobs is £100+ not just a token tenner for pints down the pub... Sorry should have made that clearer!

OP posts:

MyPepper · 24/07/2017 21:30

Giving a tenner to buy a pint is pretty normal TBH.
If someone is coming to help you, most people will thank you in one way or another (so £10 or a meal prepared for them etc...)

Odd job? Nope sorry.
And whthere the elderly person has some money or not, shouldn't be taken into consideration. As in, it's not because they are well off that it's OK for family members to sponger her off iyswim


OlennasWimple · 24/07/2017 21:30

Has she maybe paid them as a way of giving them money when they were hard up without it being seen as charity?


MyPepper · 24/07/2017 21:31

As your dad wasn't in the trade before, nope, he shouldn't have charged her so much money for some amateur work.

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