Beautiful House, No Privacy, Disastrous Owners
I’ll begin this review with this: I’m an author. I’ve rented many vacation properties as writing retreats. I know the drill. I’m a boring, quiet tenant. I’ve never had even the smallest issue with an owner.
Spoiler alert: I had a huge issue with this owner.
The house is beautiful, as the photos suggest. However, the listing repeatedly calls it private: it’s not. The neighbors have a clear view of the pool and balconies, and they drunkenly hooted at my group for 3 nights. While playing Eminem. Moreover, the listing talks about “private beach” access. It’s not what you think. It’s referring to nearby (not walkable) Broad Beach—a public beach.
There were no check-out or appliance instructions provided, and the kitchen was not as well appointed as you’d expect for the cost. It was a challenge to cook a complicated meal for a large group. Also, the AC wasn’t working when we arrived; we had to follow phone instructions to fix the system. Nothing tragic, but not the DAZZLE-ME-LUXURY the listing and cost promised.
The deal-breaker was the management. It began during the stay, when they contacted us to tell us to not leave the pool lights on. They said they could see them from the road. But — you can’t. You can, however, see them from the cameras pointed at the hot tub area. We felt spied on. Moreover, we were in the pool 95% of the time the lights were on . . . and surely for $22k, that was allowed? DAZZLE-ME-LUXURY?
Now we are engaged in a battle to get our deposit back. After we returned home, they told us we were being charged for hot tub usage (not listed anywhere in contract or e-mails) & appliance damage — to the tune of over $1,000.
Imagine our shock. We were the sort of tenants who stripped the beds & cleaned the kitchen even without check-out instructions to tell us if we had to. Moreover, they admitted there was no hot tub fee mentioned anywhere in the contract & that we had rental insurance to cover the broken appliance (which, remember, no instructions). But still the bullying continues and a month later, they still have our entire deposit.
I like to think I look at these situations pretty fairly. And in this case, I can say both ethically and legally: it's not us, it's them.
Hands down, the worst rental experience I’ve ever had. I’ll let you know if there’s a twist ending.
Owner's Response: I am writing this response to remarks made by above guest. I was surprised as to why she never contacted about any of these issues during her stay (Only after we had disagreement about how the trash compactor motor burned). At check-in we provided her our normal ”Contact information sheet. It contains 5 different contact people. It is also a telling sign when 47 previous guests (who took time to write a review) all gave us a FIVE STAR review except for above reviewer which is the one and ONLY 2 STAR we have ever received.
1. The only REAL issue we had with above guest (who was a guest contracted by an outside agency) was that she burned the motor for the Trash Compactor costing us near $680+ and she was not owning up to it. We eventually gave her back the $680+ that was originally deducted from her deposit through the Agency, whom was holding her deposit. Despite this friendly gesture on our behalf, her anger remains to this day.
2. Her claims about neighboring property were false. I talked to our neighbors who are very respectful family and there were no drunk neighbors hooting them and it is all a made-up story to make us look bad. This since very tall 15-20 ft. mature Cypress trees planted 12 inches apart from each other will prevent any neighbor from looking in. These mature trees were planted solely for privacy reason 9 years ago.
3. We have private, gated beach access and is recorded on our Deed. Her going to a public beach nearby does not take away from the FACT that we own a Private Gated Beach. Please look at all other 47 Reviewers to see how they all enjoyed this private beach.
4. We mentioned once to her to please shut off all extra lights including pool & spa (rotating colors) lights at night when they go to bed and when not in use to save energy. I do not think this was an unreasonable request. The pool privacy issues were never brought up to us during their stay and it is another example of her exaggerations.
5. All the numbers she had quoted in her review are false. Total rental fee for a week’s stay was exaggerated by almost $10,000.00. The fee we initially charged her for burning the compactor motor was only $680.00 and not $1,000.00. We asked the agency to refund back all her deposit to keep her happy to no avail. She did receive ALL her Security Deposit back from the Agency who was holding it.
6. All said and done one might want to look and read all our other 47 FIVE STARS reviews and decide
Helpful votes: 17/18
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