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How to approach this.
15

Patchworkpatty · 30/08/2022 11:38

During DS3 20. Year off - when he couldn't travel, he got a job as a gardener /grounds man for a local family. He got on really well with the family and was soon being asked to do other odd jobs and babysitting. (
They have a couple of kids under 10) .. The family have always paid the original agreed hourly rate from when he started the gardening £15.. (Sorry for long intro but I hope it's relevant)

Three weeks ago family decided to go on short notice holiday and asked Son to house sit for ten days. He agreed. Stupidly absolutely no discussion was had by them or him about paying him. He 'assumed' they would because it wasn't ' just' house sitting.. it was care of three dogs (2 of which are elderly and need medication. Plus tropical fish and 2 cats. Also a list of daily chores such as watering garden and greenhouse. Letting various trades working in the house and grounds in... He was pretty tied to the place. ...

However... it's a really lovely place. A pool a tennis court and all mod cons. Owners told him to invite friends over who could stay if they liked. He did this and had a really fun 10 days but a lot of responsibility also.

Three weeks since they came home. Bought him a present and thanked him for caring for their animals and home . That's it... no money has been mentioned . At the very least he would normally have been gardening for them part time at £90 per week but wasn't asked to do this. Only 'house sit' .

How does he approach this. One healthy dog alone being 'visited' for walks is £20 per day around here.. let alone medication etc. A professional house sitter would have charged over £500.

What would the MN massive advise ?
Say nothing keep this relationship going as they/we are v rural and a well paid uni holiday job (they want him every holiday) is worth more in long term. ?

Mention that you haven't been paid for house sitting yet. ? and if asked how much suggest what ? £200 ?reflecting the fact that it was also fun for a 20 year old to play lord or the manor for 10 days or ask for a realistic price for the work done.

3 dogs walked 3 x a day
Medication
Fed twice.
Petted and played with.

Cats fed twice a day.
Fish fed

Builders let in at 8. 4 days. Asked to remain in the house while they were there.
Washed and hung out all bed linen. (5 bedrooms)
Garden/greenhouse watered every evening. This is a LOT of work and takes nearly 2 hours due to hosepipe ban.

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Sunflowers765 · 30/08/2022 23:10

The owners have basically given him and his friends the run of a very nice place that would have cost thousands to rent. He had looked after dogs cats plants and builders. I'd say it was a fair swap and your DS had done ok out of it! I don't think I'd say anything. If they ask again and he doesn't like the deal he can say no.

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JanePrentiss · 30/08/2022 23:17

Agree with sunflowers.... When he has Bern paid it has been for specific groundsman / gardening duties..... Although he had been watering pants he hasn't been avti g in his gardening duties, he's looked after a house and pets and had free run of the house along with its features and utilities.

Had the neighbours been asked to water the plants and let the builders, in only they wouldn't have been given the green light to have full use of the house or invite friends round, and likely just had a gift brought, so your son has benefitted in a way, albeit not paid as hoped! His trust with the family gas meant they've asked him to house sit and gifted him the use of a party pad for the week!

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thecatsmum12346 · 01/09/2022 08:30

I think it depends on what he wants from theses people in the future. ? If he wants to nurture a relationship from them for future work or a reference he may have to suck it up, which is frustrating. You have my sympathy.

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DisplayPurposesOnly · 01/09/2022 08:41

Ow, tricky. It doesn't seem fair that he's been asked to do so much without any payment. It's saved them a small fortune. (Why was he washing five lots of their bed linen? Was that because he had friends staying over?) By the same token, a professional house- and pet-sitter wouldn't have been able to invite their mates to stay.

I think he may have to chalk this one up to experience. They've clearly seen it as an opportunity for him to have his own space + fun in return for some chores. I did similar at his age, but still had time for my day job.

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SoupDragon · 01/09/2022 08:47

I think I would take it as a lesson learned let it go as, like you say, it's a good holiday job and he had a good time in the house as well as the chores.

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Anothernamechangeplease · 01/09/2022 08:51

They might have thought that use of the house was payment enough. I think it should be a good lesson to him to sort these things out in advance in future.

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RudsyFarmer · 01/09/2022 08:54

I’d let it go as it’s only going to cause bad feeling. Next time they ask though he either says no or he sets a rate.

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MyNameIsAngelicaSchuyler · 01/09/2022 08:56

He should have agreed payment in advance. As he didn’t I would not ask for it now! He’s had lots of benefits to staying there and is a life lesson - agree terms first.

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NewerCurtains · 01/09/2022 09:02

I do honestly think your son has been given a great deal. There's websites where people look for free house/pet sitters in return for staying in a gorgeous home rent-free for a couple of weeks. I think if if I'd seen an advert offering free run of a house with tennis courts etc in return for a couple of hours of graft each day, think I'd be up for it!

If he wants to continue a good working relationship, I'd leave it and then chalk it up to experience.

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Dadaya · 01/09/2022 09:03

If he didn’t ask for money beforehand I don’t think he can really ask for it now! You don’t take a job without negotiating the rate of pay and then whinge afterwards that people thought you were volunteering for free.

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Willdoitlater · 01/09/2022 09:14

He could invoice them for any gardening done and tell them the rest of the house sitting is 'on the house this time'. They might even be waiting for an invoice.

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pimlicoanna · 01/09/2022 09:35

I think this is just a valuable lesson learned.

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FayeGovan · 01/09/2022 09:40

They left a 20 yr old lad in the house and told him to invite pals?

Are they mad 😂

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Holly60 · 01/09/2022 09:54

MyNameIsAngelicaSchuyler · 01/09/2022 08:56

He should have agreed payment in advance. As he didn’t I would not ask for it now! He’s had lots of benefits to staying there and is a life lesson - agree terms first.

Yep. He can't ask now as he didn't ask before accepting.

Had they offered and he'd said he wanted paying, they might have offered it to someone else who would have done it for free.

It's a life lesson in negotiating fee up front so it's clear for both parties.

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AnneLovesGilbert · 01/09/2022 10:14

He can’t ask for money now. The time for that was when they asked him. Lesson learned and it sounds like they both got a good deal.

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