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High season weeks requested by family/friends?
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cleanforum



Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:50 am    Post subject: High season weeks requested by family/friends? Reply with quote

Not sure quite where to post this, but here goes..

How do you charge/manage the delicate subject of requests for peak weeks from friends and (non direct) family members.

I am just curious thats all. The income from our rentals may be more or less important to us but family and friends can be just as good/bad as our paying guests.

General guidelines, norms ?? What do you all do?
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 4859
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Dear soon-to-be-ex friend,

We'd be very happy to welcome you for those [peak] weeks. Our price is £fullprice.

We cover all our running costs from the rentals we receive in peak weeks. so we'd be thrilled if you wanted to use the property outside the main season at [preferential rates or zero or whatever is appropriate] "
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cleanforum



Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Dear soon-to-be-ex friend"

Yep thats the bit that worries me.. Confused
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Moliere



Joined: 08 Mar 2007
Posts: 4592
Location: Magalas, Languedoc

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If friends wanted to come in peak weeks, I offered a standard 10% discount; off peak I could be much more generous. The only family visitors were our son and grandkids, who naturally stayed for free.

Mols
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GillianF



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 642
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If friends/family know that you earn a living, feed youselves, pay your bills etc. with your rental income then I would not think very much of them expecting to stay for free in a peak week.

I don't have many (none, actually) friends who have taken me away on a peak week holiday and paid for all the accommodation. That is, effectively, what your family/friends are asking you to do if they want to stay for free.

We have dealt with it in the past by explaining that we cannot offer them the rental accommodation but they are, of course, welcome to stay in our own home. We did once feel we'd been 'mugged' by the friends who took up the offer, sat around all week by the pool eating our food, drinking our drink and then left their room and our utility room (which they had use of for pushchair, baby paraphernalia etc.) in a state with empty, dirty baby food jars, spills in the fridge we gave them the use of and a bin bag full of dirty nappies. And, that was after I'd tactfully/hopefully said "Make sure you haven't forgotten anything in the utility room." They went in there, had a glance around at the carnage and said cheerfully "No, I think we've got everything of ours."

They are talking about coming back "for a few days" next year with their TWO children .................. can't wait!
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cleanforum



Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I am not the only one that feels caught between an rock and a hard place when friends/family express the desire to holiday in our place.

This year we have suddenly quite a few.

I offer them the weeks at the GBP rate but ask them to pay me in Euros when they arrive instead of pounds. Thats about a 25% discount. I guess I am a bit of a pushover Rolling Eyes

Actually my main worry (as always) is the follow-on rentals and without the damage deposit incentive then I am taking a risk, as well as losing money...

I read somewhere that getting them to sign the T&Cs (for insurance) is a good way of jogging them into a more formal mindset...
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Rosie



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 763
Location: France

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We said right from the start - No Mates Rates and have stuck to it. If friends don't like it then they are not being good friends.
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French Cricket



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3052
Location: French Pyrénées

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amen to that!

Many years ago, in my first ever place when I was still as green as a cabbage, we had friends to stay a few times. It was a total disaster: the rooms were invariably left a tip and the changeovers afterwards took several times as long. Our friends thought we were on holiday too and expected us to go out with them all the time. We said never again. Now, anyone who stays pays full whack and stays on the same terms as any other guests.

And don't get me started on the time when my parents stayed ... Rolling Eyes Twisted Evil
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Rosie



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 763
Location: France

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In our second summer here we had loads of friends ask to come and stay with us (in the house as this was pre gite) - we said yes, by all means come but please can you also pay a bit towards house keeping and accept we do have to do a bit of work when you are here. Most were quite happy with that but one couple on particular were not. 2 adults and a child stayed here for a week, did nothing to help, expected us to wait on them hand and foot, run them here there and everywhere and reluctantly slapped 20€ on the table at the end of the week and only after we had to remind them that we had asked for a bit of housekeeping. We are no longer friends Sad
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GillianF



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 642
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We know many Brits who live here and have gites and have to cope with visitors who fail to realise we are earning a living here, work etc.

There are also a vast number of retired Brits who move here and suddenly find they are more popular with friends and family who never bothered much with them in England.

They, sadly, suffer the same fate of providing bed, board, booze and a taxi service ................ They all start very keen to show off their new French home but it soon wears off!
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cysgod y coed



Joined: 07 Sep 2012
Posts: 463
Location: Tenby,Wales

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funnily enough my son has just asked for all the dates he wants from Sept 2016 to August 2017.
All in school holidays totalling over 5 weeks.
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Essar



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 3244
Location: Bournemouth

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Dearest friends and rellies - sadly due to foreseen circumstances our properties will never be available to your during the high season, which is when we tend to make a lot of dosh. This is used to pay our bills and fuel our lifestyle. However, if you want a 3-night stay at the same rate as a returning guest (who paid the full wack first time around) you are welcome. Anytime in January, February (not half-term) and November is available. Your true friend and relly, Steve" Cool
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Ecosse



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 666
Location: Saint Gervais les Bains, France

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh no, you have my sympathies... I find this one of the hardest things to balance with running a holiday let! The best advice we got when we started out (from a friend who'd been in the business for 30+ years) was that no matter what policy you have, you'll end up hacking someone off... so it's best to stick to your chosen policy an not worry too much. It's proved to be sound advice... and the ones who do get hacked off tend to be the ones who aren't true friends.

We now say, no discounts at all during peak season (though you might get a free breakfast or two) and only our immediate family and true friends are allowed to stay for free outwith the main season. We've had a fair number of 'friends' try it on (including a babysitter I briefly used in Scotland who wanted a mates rates discount in August when she'd overcharged me for her own services!) but everyone else has been very understanding.

But, as FC points out... and there seems no way round this... even our good friends are under the impression that were on a permanent holiday!
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Rosie



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 763
Location: France

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gitemontjoly wrote:
Oh no, you have my sympathies... I find this one of the hardest things to balance with running a holiday let! The best advice we got when we started out (from a friend who'd been in the business for 30+ years) was that no matter what policy you have, you'll end up hacking someone off... so it's best to stick to your chosen policy an not worry too much. It's proved to be sound advice... and the ones who do get hacked off tend to be the ones who aren't true friends.


Exactly the same advice we were given and have stuck to. In nearly 9 years here we have had plenty of friends stay in the gite and pay their way. Only the one couple I mentioned earlier disliked our "pay towards housekeeping" policy and TBH they were possibly one of our friends who earn the most money Rolling Eyes
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 319
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GillianF wrote:
and then left their room and our utility room in a state


I hate to say it, but in our experience 'friends' are by far the worst offenders for leaving the place in a mess. Even though their preferential rate would be processed just like any other booking, and they would receive all the usual paperwork about their responsibilities, they did tend to take advantage.

One infamously left the place in such a state (btw, she reportedly had an absolutely fantastic time, and wants to visit again Shocked ), it provoked one of the very few complaints we've ever had from our cleaners. It has now changed our perspective on this person when we occasionally meet her socially.

We now avoid mentioning the property to our wider circle of friends. 'Mates rates' confuses a relationship(don't mix business with pleasure) and is not worth the hassle or distress. You can't help but infer from a 'friend's' poor treatment of your property what respect they have for you.
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