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WC left in atrocious state by departing guests
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AngloDutch



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 616
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:04 am    Post subject: WC left in atrocious state by departing guests Reply with quote

We had two families stay for a midweek last week. 5 adults, 4 children plus two large dogs. They left on Friday morning, 90 minutes earlier than their 10 a.m. checkout time, even though they only had a short journey of less than an hour to get home.

I had no idea if the guests tried to ring the doorbell or just left, as I was upstairs at the time (and O/H was at work). They just were gone in the few moments.

On checking the farmhouse, I was confronted with an absolutely filthy WC upstairs. Without switching the light on, I could see a huge band of discolouration across its white wall. The smell was overpowering and there was excrement encrusted against the outer wall of the handbasin and outside bowl of the loo.

They had obviously tried to clean the mess off the wall, but had made it worse as there was now a large mark left (about 30 inches). That same afternoon we had 10 guests from Germany arriving, so I was in a real panic. After cleaning up, I used chlorine on the mark on the wall which masked the odour but the stain remains. Obviously the wall will have to be repainted entirely, but there is no time to do this at the moment until next week when we should be guestfree.

These people came through an agency and there was already a misunderstanding when they arrived, as it had not been clear that they were bringing pets with them.
We have to email agency guests before arrival in order to ask them to transfer the additional costs of end cleaning, energy costs, tourist tax and linen charge. As we were unaware of the dogs (not shown together with the extra costs on the agency booking confirmation), we had already said that we would subtract 40 pet fee from their 200 security deposit which we are holding.

The fact that they didn't email/call even after they had left to report what had happened makes us very angry. We have no idea how it is possible to leave a WC in such a state and as there is a supermarket just up the street (which was open when they left) there was no excuse not to have cleaned the WC (in the same way that I had to finally clean it!) It seemed that the guests just used a scouring pad on the wall which of course just made matters worse.

If they had informed us in time we wouldn't have had to deal with this situation during a direct changeover. This, plus the fact that they didn't attempt to clean the loo or the basin either and just scarpered, makes it even worse. Sometimes you just don't know what you are getting in your holiday home, do you? Shocked Evil or Very Mad

We were wondering how much extra you would withhold from the security deposit for the extra cleaning and repainting of the wc if this happened in your accommdation(s)? We begin to see now why it is definitely a good idea to tile a WC in a holiday home....

Crying or Very sad
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jafa



Joined: 06 Jul 2017
Posts: 23
Location: Kirchberg in tirol

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The lot
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 757
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What an awful situation.
If you have a security deposit, I would agree with Jafa and withhold it all.
(I presume your T&Cs say something about the guests responsibilities to care for the property and leave it in a presentable state?)
I would take photos just in case of any argument. Even now, photograph the remaining stain.
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5902
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Id itemise the costs as justification for the amount you withhold. Given what youd have to pay somebody above their normal hourly rate to clean excrement off the wall etc, the cost of redecorating and the cost of any goodwill gesture you make to your incoming guests, the itemised total should comfortably exceed the amount of the deposit.
So you withhold it all.
And invoice them for the excess, which they probably wont pay.
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AngloDutch



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 616
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did take photos of what I found last Friday, but that's a good idea, zebedee to retake the wall to show that the stain is still visible and showing that it needs to be repainted.

In the last 13 years, we have had this happen once before and that was when a care institute booked under an individual's own name, and of course again via an agency so we did not have any prior contact before the booking was confirmed. It was not until he and another helper arrived that we saw that it was a group of mentally disabled men who they were bringing for a weekend stay in our farmhouse. The loos were left in a similar state but there was much more damage around the farmhouse.

It amazes us that guests do not clear up when something like this happens. OK, these last guests had small children but if one of their children is being toilet-trained, then obviously an adult should be there supervising?

Just don't understand some people. If they were worried that we might have been angry if they told us, and withhold (some of) their deposit, why not just clear up as much as possible, and apologize (by email if necessary)?!
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Giraffe



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 324
Location: Cornwall, England

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

greenbarn wrote:

So you withhold it all.
And invoice them for the excess, which they probably wont pay.


+1. The lot plus more to cover all costs.

AngloDutch, sorry you have had this problem. There is no excuse for your grossly messy guests not informing you. It's not just the costs and the inconvenience for you, it's the impact on your business - your current guests have not arrived to a pristine holiday home. I hope this does not affect any reviews they may make.

I've never had damage as you have described, only broken items which are not disclosed. The minor problems I have experienced have usually been with "2 family" groups with small children where it seems that no individual wants to take responsibility. I am resistant now to taking this type of booking unless I know them - but obviously not practical if you have a large holiday let where multi families may be the norm.
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AngloDutch



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 616
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Giraffe wrote:
greenbarn wrote:

So you withhold it all.
And invoice them for the excess, which they probably wont pay.


+1. The lot plus more to cover all costs.

AngloDutch, sorry you have had this problem. There is no excuse for your grossly messy guests not informing you. It's not just the costs and the inconvenience for you, it's the impact on your business - your current guests have not arrived to a pristine holiday home. I hope this does not affect any reviews they may make.

I've never had damage as you have described, only broken items which are not disclosed. The minor problems I have experienced have usually been with "2 family" groups with small children where it seems that no individual wants to take responsibility. I am resistant now to taking this type of booking unless I know them - but obviously not practical if you have a large holiday let where multi families may be the norm.



Thanks, Giraffe. We haven't had any remarks from the current guests about the marks on the wall. I haven't been upstairs there since Friday afternoon so have no idea how it looks like now it is completely dry. We did use an awful lot of chlorine. Maybe that was seen as positive by our current guests as they no doubt took the WC to be very clean after noticing that chlorine had been used and just overlooked the wall.

Our current German guests are leaving on Wednesday morning, so will have time to assess the state of the wall then.

Apart from the state of the WC and the fact that they didn't own up to not already paying for their dogs, the washing machine in the accommodation was making a terrible clanking noise after they had just left last Friday when we were using it to wash the sheets. I couldn't see anything in the drum or under the rubber seal, but noticed that the whole drum is now wobbling very loose which it didn't do before they arrived (I know for a fact that they did use the washine machine). The machine is 6 years old, so maybe it's just a coincidence that it is now showing a defect but of course very difficult to prove if the same guests were responsible. Actually, we have learned our lesson with expensive electronic items, and try to put as few new electronic items as possible into the accommodation because of how some guests treat the place. If something breaks down and is not worth repairing then we move our own electronic equipment to the guests and buy new for ourselves.

Further to this, when these same guests arrived a week ago last Monday, they complained that there was no internet. I couldn't get the WIFI working either (not even when on the phone with our provider's support centre), so I arranged for an engineer to come the next day. When I told them that the engineer could come anytime between 0800 and 1200, they replied that they would prefer after 1000. I was actually still standing infront of them on the phone with the support line, so they heard me asking whether it was possible for the engineer to come between 1000 and 1200. When they heard that it was not possible they did not seem too happy to have to get up so early. I even said that they could just stay in bed and I would let the engineer into the accommodation and stay there as well until the work was done, as we only needed access from the hall straight into the sitting room where the modem is. They turned my suggestion down.

Thinking about it, I abandoned my dinner to go with them immediately to try and sort out the WIFI problem and then called our provider straightaway to arrange an engineer call out for first thing the next morning because they said that their children needed to do their homework online. For the evening when they were without WIFI, I gave them the login codes to access our own private network so that their kids could still do their homework that evening.

It seems that some guests do not accept a breakdown of anything and blame the owner when it occurs, even though you are trying your utmost to rectify the problem.

Once the WIFI was up and running the next morning (engineer turned up at 0900!) we never saw the guests again after that.

Actually, we will be glad for a few months' rest before bookings commence again in April (only have another 2 bookings in November and then guests for the 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year). Shocked
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Giraffe



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 324
Location: Cornwall, England

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AngloDutch, you have certainly been through the "wringer" with these guests. Why not find a pillow and give it a few good thumps to vent the tension you must feel! Let's hope that your remaining guests this year are lovely, as most are, and that you have a well earned rest over the winter.
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akwe-xavante



Joined: 01 Jul 2015
Posts: 222
Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had one week where guests obviously had had a food fight and didn't clean up. There were food stains on the walls that I couldn't get off and food items all over the place.

I did my best but at the same time, on the arrival of the next guests that same day I let them know what had happened and said that I'd done my best with the time I had. I said that although I'd found a lot of food here and there they could be more to be found for which I apologised for in advance. I asked that they understood this and that they should let me know if they find any more food anywhere.

They did find other food items and they let me know and in the end left me an excellent online review too.

So in such situations I think it is well worth just saying to new guests "We've had a problem, we've done the best we can with the limited amount of time we have" etc etc.
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gardenboy



Joined: 02 Jul 2011
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats disgusting, never had similar in 15 years.

Keep the deposit and bill the extra.

Treat yourself to something nice.
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AngloDutch



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 616
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

akwe-xavante wrote:
I had one week where guests obviously had had a food fight and didn't clean up. There were food stains on the walls that I couldn't get off and food items all over the place.

I did my best but at the same time, on the arrival of the next guests that same day I let them know what had happened and said that I'd done my best with the time I had. I said that although I'd found a lot of food here and there they could be more to be found for which I apologised for in advance. I asked that they understood this and that they should let me know if they find any more food anywhere.

They did find other food items and they let me know and in the end left me an excellent online review too.

So in such situations I think it is well worth just saying to new guests "We've had a problem, we've done the best we can with the limited amount of time we have" etc etc.


I've had quite alot of contact with the current guests since they arrived on Friday (when the nightmare guests left). They are all very happy, so looks like they haven't even noticed the wall. I did mention to them when I took them around the farmhouse that we were winding down at this time of the year and soon it would be time to do some painting where guests have left marks on the wall, etc. So, I think that they are fine with it (if they have noticed it, they most probably would not realised what has happened. Most people would not think that others could be so filthy). The only thing they have asked for concerning the WCs were a further supply of loo rolls. But alot of our German guests ask for extra loo rolls during their stay, so maybe that is normal in Germany when you stay in a holiday home.
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AngloDutch



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 616
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gardenboy wrote:
Thats disgusting, never had similar in 15 years.

Keep the deposit and bill the extra.

Treat yourself to something nice.



Yes, gardenboy, and especially since we are trying to achieve 4* classification and have spent alot of money this year upgrading many aspects of the accommodation. We just don't need this.
We used to have small rugs in the bedrooms but we removed those after noticing that guests were walking in the nearby forest, picking up dog dirt and wiping it off their shoes onto the rugs. We expect to occasionally find something nasty on the floor (brought in from outside) and have experienced this on several occasions in the bedding, but just don't expect that your walls are going to be covered as well. It's of course up to the adults to clear up after their kids (and their dogs). Actually, after a repaint, all should be well - I'm more concerned that they have damaged the washing machine as that will be around 500 to replace if it is beyond repair. Tomorrow our current guests leave, so I will be able to check the state of the wall and see how the washing machine is operating (it's a Panasonic - the only make sold here with a front plate in English which keeps our American guests from panicking! Wink )
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PW in Polemi



Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 1741
Location: A village in Paphos, Cyprus

PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is absolutely shameful behaviour on the part of your guests. I agree with the others, keep ALL the damages deposit. That sort of behaviour must be penalised, these guests cannot be allowed to get away with this sort of thing. You could have lost a cleaner (if she'd been too disgusted to continue working for you) or your current guests (if you'd not been able to clean sufficiently). The possible impact on your business doesn't bear thinking about.

This doesn't sound like an accident, more a very deliberate act of vandalism. So, yes, make them pay for what they've done.
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AngloDutch



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 616
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PW in Polemi wrote:
That is absolutely shameful behaviour on the part of your guests. I agree with the others, keep ALL the damages deposit. That sort of behaviour must be penalised, these guests cannot be allowed to get away with this sort of thing. You could have lost a cleaner (if she'd been too disgusted to continue working for you) or your current guests (if you'd not been able to clean sufficiently). The possible impact on your business doesn't bear thinking about.

This doesn't sound like an accident, more a very deliberate act of vandalism. So, yes, make them pay for what they've done.


Thanks, PW. The group consisted of a couple with young teenage children, a couple with two small children (I believe aged around 4-5). There was also their grandmother present.

The family with the two younger children left the day before, so I believe that this occurred earlier and they therefore failed to report it. Trying to clear it up themselves and hoping that we wouldn't notice it (you'd have to lack several senses not to be aware of it).

As I said, I had a lot of contact with the couple with the teenagers and the grandmother on the first evening and again early the next day, due to the internet problems. I chattered for quite a long time with the husband and they all seemed 'normal'. I think the other family's young kids were the cause.

Ironically, and for the first time since we started back in 2005, I actually said to the guests when they arrived that we would appreciate it if the young children soon to arrive would just take out one toy each from the toy cupboard and replace it before taking something else (due to getting fed up having to spend half an hour sometimes to sort everything out and to make sure that it does not all fall out on top of the next toddler that opens the door). They said they would do this and the toy cupboard looked quite tidy for once when they left. But we had no idea that the kids would leave a mess somewhere else....
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Giraffe



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 324
Location: Cornwall, England

PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PW is right. The impact on your business could have been awful. Glad to hear that your current guests are happy with your holiday let. I am an off site owner and I don't know how my cleaners would have reacted to such a disgusting mess. Give yourself a big pat on the back for having rescued the situation.

Make sure your are properly recompensed for all your work, worry and aggravation.
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