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A Weighty Problem.

 
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Drax



Joined: 21 Jul 2016
Posts: 28
Location: Yorkshire Dales

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:10 pm    Post subject: A Weighty Problem. Reply with quote

This is my first post on this forum so I hope I have entered this in the correct place.
I wonder whether this subject/problem has cropped up before by other holiday-home owners.
We live 3 doors away from a lovely holiday home that has a lot of quality features, (not ours I hasten to add) therefore we invariably see their guests arrive and often chat to them during the week.
Recently I witnessed the arrival of their guests and was shocked by the sight of one of them them because he was so overweight. In fact he was huge, he must have weighed in excess of 25 stone and looked grotesque.
My thoughts then turned to wonder whether the house furniture, beds, chairs, settees, toilet seats, bath etc. could stand the weight of this man and whether he might break these items by sitting or lying on them.
Of course this was not my problem but at some point in the future it is possible a similar sized person could turn up at our holiday home and I would be faced with the dilemma.  
It would be difficult to place restrictions with regard to peoples weight in your advertising, it would seem offensive and would probably be deemed an ‘ism’.
Has anyone any thoughts or suggestions with regard to this issue when/if seriously overweight guests arrive? (Apart from strengthening your furniture)
There probably is not an answer but it would be interesting to know if any other holiday home owner has faced something similar.
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GillianF



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 648
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oooh, this is a tricky one! I think it may have come up in the past but I don't think there was any definitive reply as to what to do.

What can you do? You can't 'vet' your guests as to their weight, likely behaviour, level of clumsiness, are they prone to incontinence or any other aspect which may cause a problem.

We have, on occasions, welcomed guests and OH has commented (quietly and out of earshot) about their weight and whether the bed(s) etc. would take the strain of them. In our early days we had a sofa bed and we found a lot of the struts supporting the seat and bed were broken after a particular set of guests. We didn't think they were very overweight but suspected they had bad knees and rather than sitting down just sort of 'collapsed' on to it from a standing position - either that or the children used it as a trampoline. We had to strengthen/replace the struts.

Plastic/garden chairs also suffer, of course.

My father-in-law was a very large and overweight man and my mother-in-law was no lightweight so I watched, for many years, the strain they put on furniture: beds, chairs, leaning on tables to sit or rise and just general extra wear and tear on everything.

But, what can you do?

As with any guest, if you have taken a damages deposit and you find something broken then you make the decision as to whether to charge them or not. Was the damage/breakage a result of fair wear and tear, clumsiness, abuse, carelessness, deliberate action etc. etc.

Some overweight people are very aware of their size and are 'considerate' whilst others are proud of it and/or in denial.
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 4874
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit contentious:

If we're in the hospitality business, then I'm afraid we just have to accept this and furnish our holiday properties not for our own enjoyment, but for all eventualities.

Thus heavy duty furniture is called for. You'll appreciate this for the overweight people and also for those who go on holiday to enjoy themselves and get a bit excited (a.k.a. boisterous).

Of course you can take security/breakage deposits, but you can only realistically claim on that if the breakage results from "abuse" or deliberate misuse but try proving any of that !
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Martha



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 2168
Location: Chamonix

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It makes me sad to see someone thought of as 'grotesque' on because of their weight Sad Try not to judge. Who knows what medical or personal issues they may have?

On a practical level I agree it is tricky. I have found most overweight people to be conscious and considerate about their weight but not all.

It isn't a huge issue here as people who holiday in the mountains tend to be quite fit and active, but lots of aspects of travelling (e.g. airline seats) are having to be altered to accommodate larger people, and even entire resorts now
http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/the-resort-eleuthera-bahamas-obese-plus-size-guests-privacy-a8017231.html

I think you have to just treat any damage from overweight guests in the same way as any other kind and charge for it if if necessary. If you had a lot of very overweight guests, there would definitely be general extra wear and tear that might have to be accounted for, but the occasional one won't make that much difference I think.

Some people are fat, some people are clumsy, some have destructive children, some are careless, and they can all cause damage - best to furnish the house with sturdy furniture for all these eventualities!

Edit - ha, e-richard - jinx!
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COYS



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 658
Location: Greek Islands

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As above.
I don’t think you should worry about weight any more than you worry about unruly guests or sticky kids. Anybody could end up giving you a headache regardless of where they tip the scales.
Having suffered among other things an irreparable sofa, several sunloungers wrecked & dining chairs fit for the skip, I speak through gritted teeth, but realistically what can you do? Damage is damage whether by the weighty or the weightless (I’m not exactly Tinkerbell myself!) & should be charged for accordingly. Which as we all know is a whole other ball game Rolling Eyes
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casasantoestevo



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 3815
Location: O Saviñao, Galicia

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
he must have weighed in excess of 25 stone and looked grotesque.

What are you saying? he was grotesque because of his weight? Or he was large and looked ugly?
I have seen skinny persons who are ugly. But I have never confused their weight with unattractiveness.
As for wight problems, my experience that they usually know what limits their body has on furniture. Leave it it down to the person.
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Drax



Joined: 21 Jul 2016
Posts: 28
Location: Yorkshire Dales

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

casasantoestevo wrote:
Quote:
he must have weighed in excess of 25 stone and looked grotesque.

What are you saying? he was grotesque because of his weight? Or he was large and looked ugly?
I have seen skinny persons who are ugly. But I have never confused their weight with unattractiveness.
As for wight problems, my experience that they usually know what limits their body has on furniture. Leave it it down to the person.


I may have 'touched an unintended nerve' but my description of this unfortunate man was that he was so unusually obese that he indeed looked grotesque. (I must add I am 'no oil painting')
We have only been in the holiday home rental business for just 2 years having just one holiday cottage.
Of all the guests we have had we have never encountered anyone so overweight as this man. His size was such that he would not be able to fit into our shower and I guess our furniture would be at risk from his weight.
As all of you have stated none of us know how our guests will treat our holiday homes and we will have to deal with issues as they arise.
Thank you for your comments.
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AngloDutch



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 616
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We renewed all our boxspring beds this year, as two of the older beds had blocks of wood underneath them, having lost their legs to being overstressed by guests several years ago. Instead of an approx. 20 cm straight wooden leg, the new beds have much smaller legs (actually low blocks of wood covering a wider area). Many beds are not designed for weight on them to exceed 80-100kg, so it is important to really make sure that you do your research before you buy, or go for 'hotel quality' beds.

If we could have got all this right when we first started out, it would have saved us thousands of €, especially as we also made the mistake of having carpets in the living room, bedrooms, hall and landings. They were worn out and filthy dirty within 2 years, with the final ones being taken out of the bedrooms a few years later. Shocked
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casasantoestevo



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 3815
Location: O Saviñao, Galicia

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I may have 'touched an unintended nerve' but my description of this unfortunate man was that he was so unusually obese that he indeed looked grotesque. (I must add I am 'no oil painting')



I would suggest that begin hugely overweight is not a reason to mix someone up as ugly.
Never judge a book by its cover, it is what is inside that really counts.
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GillianF



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 648
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When we've bought beds here in France the slats are available separately as a board. We've never bought them and OH has always fitted sturdy 'scaffold' type boards cut and fitted to measure himself. These are a lot stronger than the commercial 'plastic' ones sold for the beds which would probably not stand up to much.

But, don't forget it isn't just overweight people it is people with bad knees who don't sit in a chair but start to sit and then, when their knees give out, they fall the rest of the way. (My parents-in-law were 'guilty' of this.) There are also the children who use chairs, settees and beds as trampolines.

Most modern furniture made for a throw away culture is not built to stand this type of treatment.
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NeatandPicky



Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 353
Location: Pissouri Bay, Cyprus

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knowing from the outset that we would be renting our property, we tried to select robust furniture. Saying that we have had some issues, for example:

Split rubber tyres on TV unit
Broken bed slats
Sheared bolts on garden dining chairs

Heavy guests? Abuse? Who knows. Not deliberate I'm sure.

Necessitating a quick remedy, each incident has proved costly and stressful. The valuable lesson has been to choose more wisely next time. Always much easier in hindsight!
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COYS



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 658
Location: Greek Islands

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeatandPicky wrote:
Split rubber tyres on TV unit


Tyres? That must be a hell of a TV unit N&P Smile
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