Internet Backs Mother Charging Sister-in-Law $800 a Month for Spare Bedroom

Relationships with the in-laws aren't always as smooth as you'd like. One woman who knows that only too well has shared her frustration on Reddit, describing how a situation led her to demand her sister-in-law to pay $800 a month to live in her spare bedroom.

The OP (original poster) shared the viral post on the r/AmIThe*sshole subreddit on Saturday, captioning it "AITA for making my SIL pay above average rent for one bedroom?" Since then, the post has amassed a total of 27,400 upvotes and 1,800 comments.

In the post, the OP recalled how two years prior, the same sister-in-law agreed to take the OP's family of five in after their house burned to the ground. Although their insurance covered the damages, it took 11 months to pay out, forcing the OP and her family to move in.

"She [told] us we can have her spare room and her office space, since she used neither of the rooms and her stipulations was we needed to purchase all of our own food and pay her $100 a week," the OP explained.

According to OP, her sister-in-law later demanded $250 per week while also claiming food stamps on OP's three children and reducing the offer to only one room that was "the size of a glorified closet space" and couldn't even "fit a twin bed and a small dresser."

"It was the worst 8 months of my life," OP wrote.

Since then, the poster's fortunes turned after she and her family were transferred the deed to her grandmother's five-bedroom farmhouse after the latter decided to go into assisted living. According to the woman, last month her sister-in-law also lost her house "due to not paying her land tax for several years", prompting her to ask if she and her step-daughter could move in the with OP's family.

"I said sure, 1 bedroom [for] $800 a month and you have to buy and cook all your food separately because my daughter is vegan," the poster said after reminding her sister-in-law that her own family of five had to sleep in a single bedroom in exchange for $1000 a month. According to OP, her sister-in-law refused the offer and left.

In the comment section, other Reddit users shared their overwhelming support for the OP after a poll concluded that OP was indeed "Not the *sshole" (NTA).

"NTA. It's $250/month for the room and $750/month for you having to see her stupid face every day," wrote one user. "You're giving her an 80% discount on the rent because she's family."

"You simply treated you SIL how she treated you. Not worse and not better," shared another commenter. "If she thinks it's unfair then it shows she knew what she did was wrong first."

"Love the sweet sweet smell of karma in the morning," wrote one Redditer.

However, some commenters appeared to take the opportunity to poke holes in the OP's story, specifically asking why her family couldn't stay at her grandmother's farmhouse to begin with, instead of being exploited by her sister-in-law.

"Why did your grandmother, who had 4 whole spare rooms, not let you stay at her place?," wrote one sceptic user.

Others drew attention to the OP's claim that her sister-in-law claiming food stamps on her three children while temporarily housing their family.

"I mean, that can't be true, can it? You can't just claim other random people as dependents?," one user wrote. "You would need to fill out a form, list all their names, social security numbers, birthdays, etc. Otherwise it would be so easy to commit fraud. This story is really fishy."

Woman sitting while couple is arguing
An image showing a woman that is sitting down while a couple is having an argument in the background. A Reddit post has recently gone viral after one woman shared how she wanted to charge her sister-in-law $800 a month for a spare bedroom. Getty Images/JackF

This wouldn't be the first time that an online discussion related to a user's complicated relationship with their in-laws has made the rounds on the internet. Newsweek previously wrote about how one Mumsnet user shared that her family's one-month-long holiday was being gate-crashed by her in-laws, who had decided to rent an apartment "around the corner" from their getaway. On another occasion, Newsweek reported on how one Redditer forced her mother-in-law to book a hotel room after receiving "bizarre" requests about her sleeping arrangements.

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.