We rented this place for three nights on Labor Day weekend for $X*. Our party of three adults and a four month old baby arrived at Music Hill Cottage late Friday night, around 10 pm, on August 31. Entering the house we felt a strong odor. The place smells like one of those houses which was home for an elderly person for a decade or two and hasn't been maintained property for that long. My guess is that the odor comes from the very old carpeting. Although the advertisement says that the sofa in the living room is new, it smells like dirty socks.
The ad says that the house was updated recently, but this cottage still needs a lot of work.
Faucet in the bathroom sink is covered with mold-like something. It looks like it was growing there for months if not longer. Rusty laundry bin is covered with yellowish spots. Baseboard is rusty as well.
Kitchen cabinets are very old and rusty. There is no dishwasher. Water heater is very old as well and is not tuned to ensure that the water doesn't get too hot. I burned a finger.
Second bedroom is more like a crawl space. It is suitable for sleeping in a way similar to a tent on a camp site.
The house is decorated with family photos which doesn't seem appropriate for rental property.
There is no cell phone reception in the house.
All that said, the location of the property is very convenient. Close to the park and Bar Harbor.
When we arrived the house was full of mosquito. I believe that was due to a missing screen on a window which was wide open. Bathroom wasn't cleaned. I called emergency number and left a message. No one called back. Next morning I sent an e-mail requesting to clean the bathroom and issue a refund. Still no response. Later that morning we called again and was told that the issue is being worked on and a cleaning crew should arrive soon. We left for a hike and when we came back the bathroom was much cleaner. However, no one responded to my email regarding the refund request. I waited till next morning to send a follow up email. The response came saying that cleaning crew was sent to the house yesterday. Still no mention of a refund. I wrote back. This time someone responded saying that they are working on the refund issue. Later in the afternoon I received an email with an offer to leave same afternoon and get a full refund or leave next day and receive $Y* refund. Since it was too late for us to leave (we wouldn't arrive home until after midnight) we stayed.
* HomeAway doesn
Owner's Response: We and our agent worked hard to turn this around. Two cleanings, apologies, an immediate refund, and the offer of a total refund if they left were not enough.
It’s our first year renting and we take every comment seriously. Our first six families were happy with Music Hill, no one else complained about Maria’s issues, we have two families returning.
In spite of the difficult dealings, we agree Maria had some points. The laundry basket has been removed, the baseboard will be repainted.
We were home Friday night, leaving Sat. around 8am, returning at noon. No attempt was made to call us at home Friday evening. We live ½ mile away and would have gone over at once. We will work harder at being in contact range, but our agent is capable, professional, and responded to Maria within the hour.
We returned at 12, saw the emails and that the agent had given a discount. They handle the financial arrangements, so I did not negotiate this with Maria. At 12:30 I went over to address her concerns. While the bathroom had been cleaned, a cleaning cloth had been left behind, which is indeed inexcusable.
The scent was from flameless candle left as a gift. I removed that at 12:30 on Saturday, the fragrance was gone at 2:30. From scented house to neutral is very different, but emotions were so high at this point I do not think she noticed. I thoroughly cleaned the bathroom and washed the dishes. The baseboard has indeed rusted under the paint, but that could not be done without causing fumes.
The window in question has always had a screen, it was in place, and still is. Mosquitoes may have arrived through the opening of the door.
We may turn the water temperature to 110ª but are not sure this is wise. The kitchen cabinets are old, the paint worn in places, but are clean.
The crawl space bedroom’s ceiling is 8’ in center, the sides slant down, and this is in the photos.
Later the first day cleaners the agent contacted came and cleaned again.
Our apologies and efforts were answered with, “no help without a refund.” although she had already been given a discount. HomeAway offered the option to resolve things with Maria before her review goes live, but the only resolution she said would satisfy her would be staying at our property the full time, at no cost.
I wish we could have made Maria happy, but because of her dissatisfaction Music Hill will be an even better place. We hope future renters enjoy it is a family home.
Helpful votes: 8/11
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