Gransnet forums


Am I unreasonable?

(64 Posts)
mrsmopp Tue 26-Jul-16 08:13:49

We bought a little static caravan for our retirement and absolutely love our little bolt hole. We use it a lot. How do we handle requests from people we know, ex colleagues etc who ask if they can 'borrow' it? They say, 'ooh, can we be awfully cheeky and ask if we can have it next weekend?' If we said yes to everyone who asks we would never get to use it ourselves. One couple gave us a box of chocolates! But I feel really mean about refusing. There are relatives we haven't heard from in years suddenly getting in touch and asking for use of it. I don't want to get into the business of charging people as that's not why we bought it, but I do want to say please don't ask. If you want a week in a caravan then please hire one. Am I being unreasonable and how can I say no without upsetting anyone?

chelseababy Tue 26-Jul-16 08:21:50

Not unreasonable. I would only allow close family. Could you say it's only insured for you and visitors when you are also there?

Anya Tue 26-Jul-16 08:22:42

Is it kept at your house and used as a touring caravan or is it a static?

If the former then simply tell friends and family sorry but it's not insured for them, and no you can't add them to your insurance nor can they take out their own as the terms of your insurancers don't stretch to that.

If it's a static then tell them sorry the site doesn't allow the caravan to be sub-let. If they say something like 'well we wouldn't be paying anyway' or 'we'll just say we're family' then sound shocked and reply that you couldn't do anything illegal like that or you might lose your tenancy agreement.

Yes, the are being cheeky and if it takes a little white lie to get rid of them, then do be it.

Otherwise just take a deep breath and say 'NO' sunshine

Anya Tue 26-Jul-16 08:26:23

Or you could ask what week they are thinking of going, check if it's available and tell them the cost will be £xxx pounds not including gas and electric.

harrigran Tue 26-Jul-16 08:26:49

Not unreasonable. I have a second home but do not allow all and sundry to stay there. You have to consider wear and tear and let's face it, not everyone treats your property the way you do yourself.

mumofmadboys Tue 26-Jul-16 08:27:13

I think it is better to tell the truth and say I'm sorry as we use it a lot ourselves we have decided to only lend it to close family.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 26-Jul-16 08:30:54

You've got some very odd friends. We had a caravan for years and no one asked to borrow it. Have you always been a walkover?

Just say no.

fiorentina51 Tue 26-Jul-16 08:42:41

I'm amazed that people can be so rude as to ask you in the first place! Say no.

FarNorth Tue 26-Jul-16 08:57:35

Tell them the truth : "So many people are asking and we've decided to say no to everyone as we want to use it a lot ourselves."

mrsmopp Tue 26-Jul-16 08:59:09

We have no grandchildren; we have two sons who are not interested in using it. Then there are two nephews, one whose wife is appalling and their children are noisy, hyperactive and destructive. I told him we weren't covered for letting. Now his brother wants it and I can't say yes to one and no to the other. I just wish they would stop asking! It's not as if they want to see US, they just want use of our caravan.
Jing, I probably am what you call a walkover, I do find it hard saying no to people. I did say no to the ex colleague though.
I am considering saying to the next one who asks, "yes, you can have our caravan for a week, can we stay in your house while you are away?

mrsmopp Tue 26-Jul-16 09:00:02

Anya it is a static.

ninathenana Tue 26-Jul-16 09:22:34

Exactly what Farnorth said
You are not being unreasonable.

Auntieflo Tue 26-Jul-16 09:22:41

You must bite the bullet and just say no. A neighbour of ours had a large static caravan and her children used it many times, but it seemed that she always had the job of cleaning up after them. You bought it for your bolthole, and if you allowed it to be used by others, then it might not be available when you really need to get away. Be a bit selfish for once

M0nica Tue 26-Jul-16 09:35:28

mrsmopp, There are two solutions, one is as suggested just tell everybody without exception that for some reason or another you cannot let other people stay in your caravan unless you are there also. The other, I am afraid, is to charge, not in a business or profit making way but to cover the costs of peoples stay. They will be using gas, electricity, water etc. Why should you pay for their free break? A charge of £10 or £20 a night for use of the caravan would be a bargain and see off the free-riders.

We have a holiday home in France and we have done that since we bought it 25 years ago. The only exceptions are our children, they stay without cost. We also have limits as to who we let use it. Limiting it to friends and family only and also limiting how many weeks a year we happy for other people to be there. In our case six weeks a year that have to fit around our use of the house.

We are completely upfront about charging and our time limitations and everybody who has used the house has been happy to go along with them. The plus side is we have cousins and friends who have stayed their regularly and share all our happy experiences of our house and contribute recommendations for restaurants and attractions to visit.

Nonnie Tue 26-Jul-16 10:00:55

I think it might be easier to just say "sorry, no" rather than give a reason why. If you give a reason some may think you are being unreasonable, others may try to talk you round. It is much harder to challenge a simple "No" as I have found when sales people try to talk me into something. Don't give them anything to discuss.

Don't feel bad about it. These people haven't asked to come to your home, they just want to use you because you have something they don't.

oldgoose Tue 26-Jul-16 10:08:07

Just be polite and refuse. It's your second home ! It's like asking someone if they can live in your house for a week.

millymouge Tue 26-Jul-16 10:12:07

I think you are just going to have to be a bit hard and say very firmly "sorry but I'm afraid not" and stick to that, and change the subject. Once you say yes you will be continually asked. People may think you are a bit mean but that is up to them. I personally would not want people using what is basically an extension of my home just when they felt like it. If you stick to refusing the message should get around and they will stop asking.

Grannyknot Tue 26-Jul-16 10:24:17

I disagree with the suggestions to tell porkies about insurance. People can tell when you're lying. Just say "Sorry, we don't lend it out". Or tell the truth "Sorry, it doesn't work for us to lend it out". If you don't usually have much to do with these people, it's no skin off your nose.

Humbertbear Tue 26-Jul-16 10:24:21

Stand in front of a mirror and practice saying 'no'.

Maggieanne Tue 26-Jul-16 10:31:51

NO, NO, NO! Would you let people move into your house because it's nicer than theirs, absolutely not. It's funny how many "friends" you have when you have something they want, but they don't realise that you probably worked bloomin' hard to pay for it. We suddenly found we had lots of friends when my fil bought a van, we helped move friends with it, oh thanks they said, we'll buy you a meal! Funny how he'd forgotten he'd said that when we mentioned it to them.

Jalima Tue 26-Jul-16 10:32:43

If it's on a site and other caravans are let out on the site you could direct them to their website and then say kindly that you would give them a 10% discount on the normal charge.

At about £500+ per week (or whatever it is) that may put them off.
Otherwise just say 'No, sorry'.

Neversaydie Tue 26-Jul-16 10:38:00

We stayed one year with friends in their (inherited)property abroad. Huge place. Large house party (over New Year). We contributed to food etc and took turns with cooking ,cleaned up .
The following year they offered it to us and two other couples for the same period .No mention was made of paying rent .We would of course have contributed to utilities .We were a bit nonplussed to be asked for a sizeable 'rent'This couple was loaded then (and 35 years later are even more so),though I suppose it's not strictly relevant
I would have minded less if I hadn't found a dirty nappy under our bed (it was some months since they'd used the place themselves )and it wasnt especially clean either
Very awkward We are still friends though

sunseeker Tue 26-Jul-16 10:44:55

You bought this as a bolt hole for yourselves, if people ask just say no you may be using it yourself. We used to have an apartment in Spain and although we often invited people to stay with us we never allowed anyone to use it if we weren't there. We liked being able to decide to go on the spur of the moment - you can't do that if someone else is using it.

sluttygran Tue 26-Jul-16 10:46:12

Just say 'NO'.
As Maggieanne remarked, it's amazing how many friends you have when they want something from you. A friend if mine has a large transit van which he uses for his antiques business. Everyone he knows assumes that he will move house for them (including all the heavy lifting and shifting) and all he gets for it is "Thanks, mate - I owe you a pint!" Bliddy pint? Do they realise how much a professional removal company would cost?
Personally, if I had a nice little caravan I wouldn't lend it to anyone, unless I really wanted to. People have a way of messing up other folks' property without giving it a thought!

Lillie Tue 26-Jul-16 10:47:10

We have an apartment in France. We say "yes" to people we like and "no sorry, it's booked out" to those we don't like - and that includes a selfish family member!
We ask for a small rent 50 euros to be left for the cleaning lady.