My original review on April 7 was more detailed, but I have revised it based on the owner’s subsequent behavior. On the day I left the property after a 4-week stay, I sent him a letter outlining the concerns listed below, but received no helpful reply. A month later he refunded two thirds of my original deposit; it was short due to an admitted error on his part and I was promised a check for the balance. However, upon seeing my review, he 1) added his own positive “reviews”; 2) posted lies about my stay; 3) berated me on the phone and hung up on me; and 4) refused to refund the balance. I have email threads and a photo proving my claim. I had 6 guests who can attest to the issues, but they can’t post reviews here (only one per contract). I have filed a complaint with the Fla. Div. of Consumer Svcs. The worst problems were the inadequate plumbing and the property manager’s slow response and lack of follow-up. The half-bath toilet stopped working the first weekend and feces, including toilet paper, were coming out an open pipe just outside the screened porch and 10 ft. from the kitchen and barbecue grill. The kitchen sink clogged and we had no use of the sink or dishwasher for 3 days. In both plumbing cases, the PM (owner’s sister) was, IMO, slow to respond in order to save money on weekend plumbers. Other problems included, but were not limited to: the property was dirty (my feet turned black if I went barefoot in the house); the pool, including the bottom of it, was choked with leaves and there was no pool service during the 4 weeks; the pool vacuum was unusable due to missing pieces; the original ad claimed “2.5 baths,” but one is in the shed outside and has no hot water; the window in one of the back bedrooms is bolted shut (the owner later claimed for safety reasons, but the bedroom next to it has a working window); a raccoon was nesting in the attic and the owner falsely tried to blame the resulting fleas on my dog (only one, contrary to his reply). He claimed that I had a $250 electricity overage, but I used NO a/c or heat and only used the pool for 5 of the 28 days. I broke nothing, and left the house in better shape than when I arrived. The PM did no inspection on my arrival but the guest before me was not charged for items I allegedly damaged, if their “review” is to be believed. This place has potential, but I feel that the owner has behaved unscrupulously by withholding my deposit and lying about the true reason: he didn’t like my review.
Owner's Response: Hi there, this is Craig, the owner of Halfmoon South. I really feel the
need to respond to this review. The renter's cash deposit was withheld because
of a number of issues with damage & breach of contract, plain & simple & that is why she is upset. In the last 7years we have NEVER had to charge ANY renter, even one cent for damages, or breach of contract except this one. The renter that left this review left the home in a totally unacceptable state. The screen door was broken. The screen itself was pushed out. Barbecue equipment was broken. Trash and bottles were left everywhere. We allowed her dogs to stay and then had to pay an exterminator to get rid of the fleas. She allowed her dogs on the furniture & we even had to remove dog nose prints from the window glass above the couch. She left the house filthy, & even admits in her review to exceeding the number of guests allowed! Yes the pool does get leaves, it is a private outdoor pool. This is the first renter to complain that they have to skim the leaves off the pool. To have a daily pool service do this would cost almost as much as the rental, & we never claimed to provide such service. Pool vacuum & equipment work fine. THEY ARE NEW! The cabana, (not a shed) has a shower for rinse off & does not have hot water. I am not sure why she expected otherwise. We did have a raccoon enter the attic. It was immediately & professionally trapped & humanely removed. The "kid's room" window that faces the pool is indeed bolted shut. This is so kids do not have any opportunity to leave via window to the backyard pool area unsupervised. It is a safety issue. Normal people open the lanai doors & use the air conditioning.There was a plumbing issue while this guest stayed there. It was unfortunate, and unforseeable but we took care if it asap and had plumbers address the situation AS SOON AS WE COULD GET THEM TO! The problem was caused by a blockage of NON-FLUSHABLE MATERIAL. We could not prove it was her fault but we have our suspicions. The plumbing is more than adequate. Because of the inconvenience of the plumbing issue, we did refund part of her deposit. I wish now we had not, yet still wanted to try to be fair and put myself in the renter's shoes, and it was an inconvenience. We have been very lucky with the people we have rented to. They have been courteous & responsible. (I feel for the owner of HER next rental.) l know you can't please everyone ( we do try to) but this guest was just something else.
Helpful votes: 3/4
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