A Nice House -- But A Risky Rental. Beware.
My family rented this house with a couple of other families over New Year's Eve weekend. This is a nice house. The pictures do not demonstrate the size of the house or the view that it offers. The view includes islands, shipping lanes and water on 2 sides.
However, there are several things that we wished we had known before renting this property, and I'd like to share them in this review for future renters' awareness:
1. While most vacation rental properties expect that renters will leave the property "broom clean" and ready for a professional cleaning service, this owner expects that you will do a much more thorough cleaning of the house before leaving, including thoroughly cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen. The standard stated in the contract is to leave the house "ready for the next renter", rather than ready for a professional cleaning service.
2. The landlord expects that all furniture be left where it is and is very strict about any furniture that was moved even a few feet to facilitate the kids or to create group seating areas. Part of our security deposit was withheld for forgetting to take the fireplace poker and tools off of the table where we placed them to be out of reach of the children. Be sure to replace any furniture or furnishings that are moved to their exact original location before leaving this property.
3. Be aware that most of the 6 parking spots for this property are on the grass/lawn, which can prevent a problem in off-season or inclement weather rentals.
4. The property is not well-suited for families with young kids. In addition to strict rules regarding moved furniture/furnishings, the rules of the property are very strict regarding where food may / may not be consumed.
We did not read the rental agreement carefully enough--particularly regarding the cleaning expectations which exceeded any we have previously encountered. Following our rental, the owner thoroughly pointed out where he believed breaches of the agreement to have occurred. We acknowledged some of these and contested others. Based on his conclusions, the owner withheld a substantial amount of money from our security deposit which we believe was unsupported and largely unjustified and arbitrary.
While we do believe that this is a very nice house in a nice location, we believe that because of the above reasons, this is a risky property to rent. Caveat renter.
Owner's Response: It's unfortunate that this renter has not and will not take responsibility for his or his friends actions and general disregard for other peoples property. We have been renting this house for 10 years without incident, and no one has ever left it in the disgusting condition that they did.
If this renter had left the house "broom clean" there probably would not have been any issues. However, it is unlikely that a broom was ever touched as there was food all over the floor and table in the kitchen, dining room and living room, the refrigerator was not emptied and full of left-overs and half used items, the dishes were not cleaned and put away, and most disgusting were the dirty diapers that were left in just about every garbage can in the house, as well as piled up outside the back door.
We don't expect our renters to do a professional cleaning, just to clean up after themselves and leave the house as they found it.
We also understand that chairs & tables are going to get moved around, and our previous renters have all had the courtesy to move them back when cleaning up. Again, it was apparent that no cleaning up was done, as the chairs and tables in the living room were in total disarray and had to be put back.
As stated before, we have been renting this house for over 10 years, mostly to families with young children and all have loved it. Yes, we ask that children are not allowed to eat outside the kitchen (i.e. the living room) as we know that accidents happen and we are just trying to protect our investment and limit the possibility of spilling/staining on the carpets or furniture (which this renter failed to mention happened).
As a service to our renters we typically do not charge a cleaning fee as long as the house is left clean and orderly. This allows the cleaning people we do hire to come in and complete their tasks within the small window of time between rentals and not have to contend with a major mess. Unfortunately this was not the case for this renter, so cleaning fees were assessed as well as fees to repair damages to furnishings & furniture in the house.
This renter admits that he did not read the agreement carefully enough, yet wants to blame me for his and his friends total lack of responsibility.
Please read the other reviews and judge for yourself if they thought it was a risky rental. Any questions about renting this property are always welcomed and I am happy to answer.
Helpful votes: 8/8
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