Life Advice



Ask Amy: Sharing in-law unit causes problems

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: We are having an issue with our daughter and son-in-law regarding the use of a guesthouse. They live a day’s drive from us, so when we visit we like to stay for several days. We try to visit at least monthly.

We decided to find a home that had a mother-in-law unit separate from the main house.

We helped (substantially) in the purchase of their home in order to have this unit be our separate space.

We felt this was a better option than buying a small studio or condo (about the same amount regarding the investment) to be close to them and the grandchildren.

They were excited to do this with us.

Now they are using it as a guesthouse for friends when we are not there.


Often it isn’t as clean as we leave it, and there has been conflict at times with friends visiting when we planned to be there.

We don’t feel comfortable sharing our private space. We have talked with them several times about our feelings, but the issue keeps recurring.

Are we wrong to ask them not to have guests stay in our place?

– Disappointed


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