Stay away! Run down, filled with bugs and owner will keep your wrongfully keep your deposit
I've stayed at several rental properties before and always had terrific luck but this time was very different. I reached out to the owner, and she demanded full payment immediately. Typically, I've paid a deposit and then full payment just prior to my arrival so I thought her payment schedule was a bit demanding but figured it was just different in Newport. The owner would only liaise with me via email but was planning my wedding so didn't have time to think much about it and sent in payment.
I told the owner that the rental was for my grandparents, who were attending my wedding over Labor Day weekend in Newport and that it was very important it be clean. When I arrived to check out the rental before my grandparents arrived, I was shocked at the condition of the house.
I understand the house is older but this rental is not clean (ie: a used baby diaper under the bed, a spider nest above the bed, bugs in the headboard, a bloodstain on the sheets - I have pictures as evidence). I emailed the owner immediately and she called me from a blocked number. She said someone would come by but no one came and she didnt call me back. Given my grandparents had flown here from Asia, I wasn't going to have them stay at the rental given it's condition so I volunteered to give them my hotel suite and my bridesmaids and I moved into the rental (not ideal for a bride the day before her wedding).
I didn't bother emailing the owner again as we were rushing to get things ready for my wedding but I was appalled at the condition of her house. The next day (my wedding day), a man came in to look at the house. He apologized for the condition (there were also several light bulbs that had blown out) and said he would be back in a few minutes to clean the house. He never came back.
After my departure, I emailed for my deposit. I didn't ask for a refund of any sort but expressed concern and sent her photos. I sent images of the spider nest, the paper scattered across the floor, the dead bugs in the headboard and the bed stain. The owner responded by telling me I was not going to be refunded my security deposit as I had burned the rug with a cigarette. If someone in my party smoked, I could perhaps understand this accusation. But, no one smokes in my party! Given the condition the house was in when I arrived, it also seems that no one had even been in the house for weeks. I asked for proof but the owner never responded to my emails. But, the owner kept my deposit!!
Owner's Response: The short response: We hired a new cleaning service and the reason you did not receive your security deposit is because you violated our agreement by bringing your dog to the property (twice). The lenghty and detailed response: My payment schedule has always been consistent: the security deposit is due within 7 days of signing the lease agreement and the balance is due 60 days prior to arrival. You signed the agreement 45 days prior to arrival; hence full payment was due at the time of signing. The cleanliness of the condo has always been excellent. I stay at the property at throughout the year in order to ensure this. With Hurricane Irene hitting just days before your arrival, the island was without power for 2 days, and most businesses shut down and/or had many challenges. As a result my regular cleaning lady was unavailable. Unfortunately, the substitute cleaning person was not very good. I apologize. My property manager did stop by to help (after I received your email) and the owner of the cleaning service did a second very thorough cleaning again right away. The cleaning service told me that you admitted to having a "bug-phobia"...so it is unlikely that this was ever a real issue. The pictures you sent show one dead bug...nature happens. Overall, I felt terrible about the circumstances and I planned to refund your cleaning fee. However, because you violated our contract dated July 12, 2011 which states very clearly that "no pets are allowed", you forfeited your security deposit. I received 2 complaints from neighbors:one from my property manager and one from my neighbor telling me that you had your dog at the property. Not only is this blatant disregard of our agreement (which alone is a surprise as I have always had very respectful tenants),I was also fined by the building in excess of your security deposit.(The association rules do not allow tenants to have pets at the property) In addition, the manager found the living room rug burned (by a cigarette,candle...the source is unkown) during your stay and the cost to replace the custom made rug far exceeds your security deposit.
Helpful votes: 4/4
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