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What would you expect from a long tem house guest

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#1 Grant Me Wings

Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:47 PM

I have edited to remove some identifying info, but hopefully left enough info for the thread to make sense. Thanks for everyones advice.

I am feeling a bit peeved with a relative who is staying with us at the moment. His options for accomodation were limited so he doesn't really have anywhere else to go.

I have asked him to chip in some money when he gets sorted to help cover his expenses.

I have also asked him to help DH with a few jobs around the place that he needs a second pair of able hands for, and if he could maybe babysit for a few hours here and there.

Do you think that is too much?

Now the problem is with communication. I told him just to make himself at home and to come and go as he pleases but let me know when he will be home so I can plan.

He is really private and therefore it is impossible to really have a conversation with him a lot of the time.

I was actually looking forward to having him here, and saw it as an opportunity to reconnect, but now think it is going to be a really long couple of months.

Edited by WinterDancesHere, 07 December 2012 - 11:33 PM.

#2 Fluster

Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:55 PM

Honestly?  I'd want $100 (minimum) per week to cover expenses plus them to contribute equally to cleaning and chores.  No one in our family comes and goes without giving notice, so I'd expect that, too.

Gosh, I'm mean  mellow.gif

#3 qak

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:02 PM

I am not sure about the baby sitting either - if he wasn't staying with you would you pick him to be a baby sitter? He doesn't really sound like a responsible person.but I certainly think he should contribute $ and help around the house

#4 Tigerdog

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:05 PM

I would have him investigate again why he can't get rent assistance.  I was on it when living with my sister, you don't need a copy of a lease, all you need is for the person you are staying with to sign the form or put a letter in writing stating how much the person is paying.  If I could get it when boarding with a relative then I don't see why he wouldn't be able to, unless they've tightened things up since I was receiving it (which is a possibility).

I'm with PPs, I'd be letting him come and go as he pleases, if he doesn't want to get in touch so you can plan meals then he'd probably be quite happy to just organise his own food.

Edited by Tigerdog, 06 December 2012 - 03:06 PM.

#5 Grant Me Wings

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:06 PM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 06/12/2012, 03:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How much are you asking him to chip in?  If it's enough to cover his expenses, then I think asking for babysitting is too much.  He should pull his weight with housework and it would be nice if he helped out with baby sitting and other odd jobs, but I don't think it should be expected.  Would also depend on the nature of his stay - holiday or otherwise?

I think it's unreasonable to ask him to contact you when he won't be home.  Do your own thing and let him do his.

$50 a week, but at the moment nothing until his centrelink payments are sorted so I am covering expenses at the moment.

It isn't a holiday.

Edited by WinterDancesHere, 07 December 2012 - 11:34 PM.

#6 SeaPrincess

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:07 PM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 06/12/2012, 12:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it's unreasonable to ask him to contact you when he won't be home.  Do your own thing and let him do his.

See, I think this is the polite thing to do when you're living/staying with someone, regardless of the relationship.

You need to have a discussion and be very clear about what you and he think is reasonable.  Have you set an amount and does his contribution include meals? If so, then if he doesn't let you know if he'll be there, stop making extra for him.  Is he also contributing to bills as they come in - own phone bills, etc?  If you want him to be available to babysit, set firm times or arrange the time in advance.  Get DH to tell him when he plans to do the jobs you want him to help out with.

#7 Ice Queen

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:15 PM

I dont think you are being unreasonable.  At the end of day, your home, your rules.

#8 Grant Me Wings

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:15 PM

QUOTE (qak @ 06/12/2012, 04:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am not sure about the baby sitting either - if he wasn't staying with you would you pick him to be a baby sitter? He doesn't really sound like a responsible person.but I certainly think he should contribute $ and help around the house

Removed for privacy

Edited by WinterDancesHere, 07 December 2012 - 11:34 PM.

#9 hollysmama

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:15 PM

I would expect him to at least cover his own expenses, clean up after himself and assist in household chores. But I wouldn't expect him to be reporting back to me when he's going to be home and what he's up to nor would I expect him to babysit. If he can't be bothered telling you if he's going to be home for dinner then don't cook

#10 strawberrycakes

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:17 PM

TBH I would expect a long term house guest to contribute 1/4 of all expenses during their stay from rates (paid as rent), electricity, water & the grocery bill.  I would also expect that they pick up after themselves and do any job they see that needs doing; just like DH & I do.

I would also expect notice that they are not going to be home for dinner; same as DH & I expect from each other so meals can be planned.

Luckily for us or rather any potential house guest it would ever happen because we don't have a spare room LOL

#11 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:18 PM

If he doesn't tell you he's going to be home for lunch/dinner, then assume he won't be and proceed as usual. He can sort himself out when he comes home.  If he wants to be included, then he needs to be aware that you are happy to prepare meals IF you know he's going to be there to eat them.  It works both ways.

I assume he is responsible for his own washing etc.  Maybe suggest that he has responsibility for 2 household chores each week - eg. vacuuming and putting out the rubbish. Negotiate this with him so he is comfortable with expectations and knows what he is expected to contribute.

I probably wouldn't ask him to babysit.  As another PP, would you ask him to help out with babysitting normally?

And one-off maintenance jobs, just bring them up if/when needed.  Otherwise it may feel like these jobs are ONLY coming up because he's there - slave labour and all that.

How old is he?

#12 threeinnyc

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:32 PM

QUOTE (Fluster @ 06/12/2012, 02:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Gosh, I'm mean  mellow.gif

No you are not. We are. We don't let people stay more than 2 nights original.gif

Sorry to hear OP, good luck though!

#13 WithSprinkles

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:37 PM

I'd be expecting them to contribute enough to cover expenses maybe $100-150 a week? I guess it depends if he is also eating with you or doing his own thing.

I'd also expect him to help out with a couple of the household chores.

I wouldn't worry about him letting me know when he's going to be coming and going (unless he was joining in meals etc) - but agree it is probably the polite thing to do.

Babysitting would depend on whether he has babysat in the past & the relationship between him and child/ren.

#14 lynneyours

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:39 PM

$50/wk is cheap for a Uni student. If he wasn't at yours, he'd need to rent privately and get a job. Is there a reason he can't get a job now?

At ours, a house guest would:
1. be expected to keep their own room clean/tidy and do their own washing.
2. inform me if they are not going to be home for dinner.
3. use their mobile, not the landline.
4. clean their own bathroom.

I show them where breakfast stuff, plates, bowls, toaster, milk, tea&coffee, washing machine, line etc are, how to use the washing machine and tell them to help themselves.  
I vacuum their room minimum once a week.
I tell them to chuck their sheets/towels in the wash every now and then, and show them where clean ones are, but I don't remake their bed for them. I do wash the sheets/towels though.

There is a separate guest bathroom here, with cleaners etc in it.  I don't clean it while a guest is here - I do before/after they come though.

If they are round when I am making a meal, I'll make for them too, if not, I wouldn't. I would not want a guest to cook themselves a meal, beyond a microwave meal or 2 minute noodles.  I'd assume they'd eaten out.  At the moment, we have no kitchen, and live above a pub, so they generally eat with us or downstairs in the pub anyhow.  

I don't charge guests to stay, even when they've been here weeks.  Some contribute food, some don't.  Some buy us a gift, or the girls one, some don't.  It doesn't worry me - we've got space, I like people staying (except over exams) and it doesn't really cost much to have an extra person there usually.
We only have people to stay that we know well however.  

#15 MummyHILI

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:40 PM

I am going to go against the grain here and say I would not expect him to contribute a set amount as such (if he is close family and staying for less than 3 or so months).  I would however expect him to clean up after himself, contribute towards groceries (and if you run out of toilet paper, milk etc. then he could get that sort of thing).  If he makes expensive phone calls/use the internet excessively then I would also ask that he contributes to that.  I see no problem with him helping your DH do a few chores around the house either.  As for meals if he is not communicating whether he will be home then I wouldn't cook for him.

#16 Grant Me Wings

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:42 PM

QUOTE (YodaTheWrinkledOne @ 06/12/2012, 04:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I probably wouldn't ask him to babysit.  As another PP, would you ask him to help out with babysitting normally?

And one-off maintenance jobs, just bring them up if/when needed.  Otherwise it may feel like these jobs are ONLY coming up because he's there - slave labour and all that.

How old is he?

Under normal circumstances I wouldn't get him to babysit, but this is circumstances more than anything.

The one off jobs are kind of coming up because he is here wink.gif .

He is 19.

Edited by WinterDancesHere, 07 December 2012 - 11:35 PM.

#17 spear_maiden

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:50 PM

We had my niece live with us for a few months whilst settling into uni.  It was meant to be longer but it didn't work out for a few reasons I won't go into. Her expenses were covered by her mum and included rent, food, elect, internet/phone.  At the time, the amt we received weekly felt like too much but in the end the elect bill from having a teenager in the house (up all night on net with tv on and lights on) and an overlimit internet bill plus groc bill incease meant that what we received for these things didn't cover her share fully.

Our expectations were for her to care for her dog (who also came to live with us), cook dinner once a week, clean up after herself and contribute to chores like cleaning up kitchen after shared dinner and cleaning communal areas eg. sweeping the lounge room floor if it needed it.  There was the offer of her babysitting which we did gratefully accept twice.  Also, one of us would pick her up from the train station before/after uni tho this evenetually slowed down as she became more comfortable getting around on her own.  I was happy to do her laundry but she preferred to do it herself so DS' clothes wouldn't contaminate hers (true - she's a lil quirky my niece wink.gif ).

I didn't expect details on where she was going tho one of us would often text to say "are you home for dinner?/need any groceries picked up?" etc.  And as we talked alot, we'd generally find out info thru conversation.

My advice - set clear ground rules/expectations from both sides and both parties must try to stick to them.  The more you let things slide whilst being quietly annoyed, the harder it is to get it back to suitable living arrangements for everyone.


eta:  our arrangement was intended to be for at least 12 mths, possibly all of her uni degree hence the thoroughness of the arrangement with finances and expectations.  a shorter term arrangement and it would've been more relaxed I think.

Edited by Studybug, 06 December 2012 - 03:55 PM.

#18 Jane Jetson

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:54 PM


Edited by Jane F. Jetson, 15 June 2014 - 06:07 PM.

#19 Maple Leaf

Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:41 PM

Is this a brother? Second cousin twice removed?? I would have different rules for different family members I think so would need more info before answering!

At the bare minimum though there would be an expectation to help around the house, chip in for food and generally be pleasant and polite, not an annoying pain in the bum. original.gif

#20 The Old Feral

Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:19 PM

I'd expect them to pay enough to cover their food and utilities, so the amount would depend on their habits and how much they spend at home.... $50 as a starting point?  Double that if it included dinner every night.

I'd expect them to be cleaning up after themselves, doing their own washing etc, pitching in where needed e.g. emptying a dishwasher or bringing in clothes off the line.

so basically, a cost neutral, work neutral situation for me.  Babysitting would be a huge favour and they would either have to offer, or we'd pay or reciprocate some other way.

No way would I expect an adult to report their comings and goings to me!

#21 Sif

Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:24 PM

I don't have 'guests' stay at my home. When people stay here, they are considered part of the family and as such they are not waited on, they fall in with family routines and they participate in family housework.

If I would running a bed and breakfast things might be differently, but I'm not, so they aren't.

#22 Gudrun

Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:05 PM

The rules around here are:

1. You pay board ($100 per week and agree how and when this will be paid).  Day it is due is written on the communal diary.

2. Your contribution to household chores etc is negotiated and agreed upon and again is written down in the diary (what and when).

3. If you are going to be out that is also written on the diary (where you are and when).  Any sudden changes are texted.

4. You do your own  washing.

5. You are civil.

If these are not adhered to the deal is off.   It is simply unfair to burden or sponge off people.

Edited by Gudrun, 06 December 2012 - 09:08 PM.

#23 epl0822

Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:51 PM

If he's uncommunicative to you about his plans, then you shouldn't factor him in your meal planning. He clearly wants to do his own thing. If he wants to be included in family meals he needs to take the responsibility of letting you know when he is/isn't going to be there. Just as you'd expect your DH to let you know if he's eating out or going to leave work late etc.

I don't think it's unreasonable to request some money and/or assistance around the house. Something like this should be clearly communicated before he moves in. Same with the amount of time he intends to say. I am really strict about this because I've had bad experiences. If a friend causes unnecessary stress I would be pretty quick to ask them to move out because based on experience, there are few things in life that destroy a friendship more quickly than when they overstay their welcome.

As for him being private, I'd have to say that's just something you have to respect. I'm a quiet person when I get home and I don't think I'd like having live-in friends grumble about me not talking or socialising enough.

#24 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:08 AM

Interesting thread and very timely for me!

Starting from January I'll be staying with friends during the week while working and go home on Friday after work. I'll be there for meals from Mon to Thurs. I'm thinking I'll offer them $100 a week? I'll be at work probably long hours, but I still want to compenstate them for the inconvienience. I know my friend is happy about me staying (when I was offered the job she danced around the house singing "Pussydids is moving in! Pussydids is moving in!" I'll take my washing back home with me and will contribute with cooking etc.

#25 Grant Me Wings

Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:37 PM

I think we have somewhat sorted things out.

I am just going to go about my business now with him here, rather than be so inclusive.

As for the privacy thing, there is being private and there is being weird. He is the extreme. Cant really discuss uni because while I know what course he is studying I can't get anything more than that out of him (like units, how it is going etc). Mum was pushing for info about girlfriends when she saw him which I think is pushing it, my sister thinks he may be gay which would perhaps explain it.

It would just be nice to be able have a random convo based on what is going on more broadly than what is currently on TV. Something like he says "I am going to xxxx to spend a few days at the beach" upon his return one could ask about that. At the moment I got nada.

Edited by WinterDancesHere, 07 December 2012 - 11:37 PM.

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