The Good, The Bad, and The Truly Awful
1. The house is clean, modern and well-maintained.
2. The kitchen is well-equipped.
3. The property is private and attractive.
1. The property is infested with mosquitoes. They die in large numbers in the pool. My son and I couldn’t play catch on the lawn without getting bitten up. Be prepared to slather yourself in bug spray.
2. Despite the private setting, you can still hear the neighbors. A party down the hill blared music from their speakers late into Saturday night.
3. The décor is suffocatingly urban hipster chic. If you’re into that, you’re in luck. I found it precious, cold and antiseptic.
The Truly Awful:
Shortly after we arrived for our week-long stay, we discovered a pair of iZon monitors - designed to connect remotely with an iPhone or iPad- inside the house. They were strategically positioned to take in the kitchen/living room and the stairwell leading up to the 2nd floor bedrooms. Never disclosed by the owners and not mentioned in our lease. They are noticeably absent from the listing photos.
We should have left immediately, but my wife got spooked and didn't want to make waves. Plus, I was afraid of losing our pre-paid rent and security deposit if we left. I blocked the monitors' view of the living space and we did our best to ignore them. But we remained very uneasy for the remainder of the week.
After we got home, I emailed the owners that we were deeply troubled by the presence of video monitors and wanted to understand their purpose. The owners sent a curt, unapologetic, and dismissive email reply. Monitors were present inside the house, they wrote, because the house was frequently unoccupied. And if I was so “deeply troubled” (they condescendingly put my phrase in quotations), I should have said something earlier.
Aside from their rudeness, it’s impossible to know whether the owners are only using the monitors when the house is unoccupied. The owners could easily be using the monitors to observe and record their renters. It's acceptable to put surveillance cameras outside a rental property to catch break-ins; it's outrageous to place them inside a rental property, where renters have a reasonable expectation of privacy. In fact, it’s illegal in many states.
Unless you are willing to blindly trust that the owners are not spying on and recording you, I would strongly advise you and any prospective renter to stay far away from this listing.
Owner's Response: It's disappointing to hear someone hasn't enjoyed their stay at our house. Unfortunately Mosquitos have good and bad years and months. This August seems to have been particularly bad but we had pre warned all of our guests about this summer in my welcome email. Over the years we've never experienced many around in the garden or pool, other than at dusk - we also have screens on every door and window and several bug catchers around the garden for people to turn on if needed.
In the six years we have owned the house, we have only heard the camp site (which is over a mile away) a couple of times. Even then, it's only been a distant sound, only audible from the garden. A random camp site party is unfortunate and unavoidable, and it's certainly not every night or weekend.
You can see clearly from our photos the decor and style of the house. You either like it or not.
The 2 security cameras at the property are only on during periods of time when the house is unattended. We have no interest in looking at our renters. If the guests had mentioned the cameras during their stay we could have set their minds at peace, but unfortunately they didn't mention it till after their stay when we had to contact them about the damage they had done to the property. We're sad that it ruined their stay especially as we could've easily put it right when they were there.
We have decided to completely remove the cameras during the times when people are renting the house to avoid this kind of confusion or upset in the future.
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