Is it a possibility that this has happened before in hotels, with consequential additional cleaning/damage charges?
My friend and her family don't usually stay in hotels as they only have one income as she's not working. When they go away it is almost always to visit either their parents or siblings, or renting a holiday house with family, so perhaps it a bit different in that they really can act like it's their house. plus, as I said, we used to be roommates and I think maybe they are used to doing whatever they want when they stay with people. I don't think it excuses it though. What really suprised me is that she always used to be so house proud and her room when we lived together was spotless and her house before kids was always the same. I thought she would have a little more respect for mine.
Interestingly, for those that said they used me instead of paying for a hotel, I should have seen the signs:
Snow was forecast to be bad throughout their visit and I emailed to warn them 2 days before and say that while I still very much wanted to see them, had they seen the forecast and maybe they should look for a B&B or a travelodge or something nearer to the wedding venue, just in case they were to get stuck with two small kids if the weather was as bad as predicted as it was still 23 miles from me, and the main road between my town and wedding town had a very steep hill where I know people had got stuck on the past. I wasn't trying to put them off, just trying to be helpful. Anyway, her DH replied that there wouldn't be anything closer than me (what?!, there was I'd already checked)) and certainly not at a reasonable price and 23 miles wasn't that far so they'd stick to staying with me, thanks for letting them know.
Then, because of snow on Friday (day of their arrival) and me having a ton of work to do, I decided to work from home that day rather than waste time travelling into work and then being sent home again when the office closed by about mid morning. I put something on facebook about working from home and keeping warm and her DH messaged me and said 'so you're working from home? Can we arrive anytime then, is after lunch ok?'. I was working on an urgent project for Monday and needed to finish by the end of the day, but I wasn't expecting them to arrive till about 7pm, andexpected to be working right up til then. Working from home doesn't mean I'm sitting around doing nothing! I replied to her DH that I still had a full working day and if I worked through lunch I could be done by 5pm at the absolute earliest, but please not to arrive before then. He came back with 'ok, we'll set off early and find a coffee shop near you or something then, I don't want to drive in the dark in bad weather'. I then felt guilty for not allowing them to arrive earlier in safer conditions, but I really did have to get this done and my open plan downstairs and no office space in my house meant I wouldn't be able to once they arrived. They ended up arriving at 5.30pm because the weather had indeed been bad and it had taken them 2 hours longer than they expected and I was still finishing up work and on the phone to my boss at the time. Luckily it only took another 5-10 mins or so.
I feel like I should also say they didn't wreck the house or cause any lasting damage etc. It was more carelessness but I just think, knowing I live on my own and don't have kids, that it might have occured to them I didn't want to be woken before 6am on a weekend and didn't want to have to clean up after 4 extra people. The usual making up of rooms, providing food etc if one thing, but having to put things away, clean the house 2 days running while they were out, wash up and throw out dirty smelly nappies as well was a bit much.
I like having houseguests and I always make up rooms, clean the house from top to bottom, buy extra groceries, plan meals or go out to eat, show them where everything is and tell them to make themselves at home. Usually guests come for a proper visit but the one time a couple asked to stay because they were also attending a wedding close by, they said 'don't worry, you won't know we're there, we just need a place to sleep etc'. I cooked dinner the night before and they brought wine. The day of the wedding they were out from 11am til 1am and cleaned all traces of themselves up before they went out, then we had a leisurely breakfast on the sunday and they sent flowers a few days later. I didn't expect it and it wasn't necessray but it was a nice gesture. I didn't expect to spend much time with them and they were true to their word on being no trouble!