Dear Snarky – Vacay Toilet Drama

Dear Snarky,

My sister has sent me a bill for $250 to cover half of the home insurance deductible she has on her lake house. I can’t believe that she expects me to pay for water damage that I’m not responsible for.

Last month my family went to stay at the lake house. My sister just recently bought it and I asked her if we could vacation there for a week. She said yes and then told me that the plumbing was a little weird and to follow the directions regarding one toilet in the house.

When we got to the lake house there were printed instructions by one toilet about holding the handle down for 5 seconds after every flush. I can’t say I’m positive we did that every time we went to the bathroom. We’re a family of 5 and it’s not like I watched everybody flush the toilet.

I was also told to turn off the water at that one toilet before I left and I forgot to do that. So, it turns out that the toilet did overflow and there was some water damage throughout the downstairs. Luckily a caretaker arrived that night and turned off the water. But now my sister is insisting I pay half her insurance deductible.

I think it’s crazy because it’s her plumbing that was messed up way before we got there. Maybe she shouldn’t have let family stay there until she got the plumbing fixed? I feel like she’s using me to pay her plumbing bill. Also, if I wanted to spend $250 I would have stayed at a hotel. The reason we went to the lake house was because it was free.

Do you think I’m right to stand my ground?

Signed, Get a Better Toilet

Dear Toilet,

Hmm, so you flooded your sister’s new lake house that she graciously allowed you to vacation in for a week and you feel no compunction to pay any part of the insurance deductible? Yeah, I don’t have your back on this one.

There were written instructions about the toilet and from reading your letter I get the feeling that there was more than one bathroom. At the very least you could have not used the troublesome toilet. You also openly admitted that you didn’t turn off the water source to the toilet before you left so basically you’re flushed.

As for your comment that if you “wanted to spend $250 you would have stayed at a hotel” well  good luck finding a lakeside hotel for a family of 5 to stay in for a week that costs $250.

The way I see it your sister is being very kind by only asking you to split the deductible and I imagine that if you had been super apologetic about the flooding and offered to help she might have let you off the hook. The fact that you’ve been a GIANORMOUS ingrate probably induced her to ask for $250.

No matter what you do one thing I’m certain about is that any future lake house invites for your family have  permanently gone down the drain.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at 😉







13 thoughts on “Dear Snarky – Vacay Toilet Drama

  1. Pam says:

    Yup…she’s getting off lightly with $250. Even at that price it’s still a bargain vacation stay.
    If I were her, I’d offer to pay the whole $500 and preserve the relationship and any future potential “borrowing ask” of the property.

  2. Scott B says:

    Do people not read what they write or think about what they say? Wow. She’s lucky the sister is willing to split it. Unbelievable.

  3. PJ says:

    At the very least, sis deserves a gorgeous flower delivery, the entire $500 and a gift card to a favorite place for a new home accessory! IMHO you’re a thoughtless idiot.

  4. Rebel says:

    I’m going to be charitable and say that sometimes sibling relationships blind us to how awful we’re being, because I’ve been guilty of that a time or two. I don’t know why, but it just works that way. So consider instead of your sister this is a friend that you like very much whom you have taken advantage of.

    If you want to get back in her good graces, you apologize profusely, say you were being inconsiderate and offer to pay the entire $500 insurance deductible. And you do all of this with no expectation of ever being able to use the lake house ever again.

    And in future issues, always consider how differently you would behave if this were a friend instead of a family member.

  5. Eddie Kalinec says:

    I was brought up to never borrow what you cannot afford to replace or repair and always return it better than when you receive it. I believe she owes her sister the full deductible and should have been a better sibling.

  6. Tina says:

    The writer sounds like she did not ensure the instructions were followed to a tee. If someone went to the trouble of leaving written instructions, that meant they were important to follow. Sounds like she did a half assed job at that. $250 is not that much considering how she was responsible for leaving the water on that ultimately caused the damage.

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