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When they lie about the age of the baby?
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Morristhedog



Joined: 03 Jun 2015
Posts: 114
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:00 pm    Post subject: When they lie about the age of the baby? Reply with quote

One of my bookings through Holidays Direct had said their child was at least two at the time of booking. Although I have sent my own booking form three times, the people have not returned the information about their party.
However in a conversation when they wanted me to find extra local accommodation for them, because the rest of their family have decided to join them, it turns out this baby is under 12 months old. There is no equipment here for this eventuality.
I feel annoyed that they said the child was older when they made the booking. I would have refused the booking had I known. My place is not suited to babies.
I am also going to have the rest of the family staying all day at my place, because they have only booked B&B at the local auberge.
Someone meeting up on holiday is one thing, someone moving in on the original booking is another.
How do we ensure this does not happen?
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Ecosse



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 802
Location: Saint Gervais les Bains, France

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could I ask you why you don't wish to have a young baby in your property? Are you worried about noise issues (baby waking in the night) or more about stairs or sticky hands?

While it's disappointing that they didn't tell you how old the baby is, in my experience a very young baby is easier on your property than an over 1 year old. The majority of under 1 year olds don't walk (some don't even crawl yet) and even if they do, they need to be supervised at all times. Lazy parenting just doesn't work with under 1 year olds... if you want your kid to survive. Conversely, over 1 year olds can be far more difficult/mobile and are also less supervised... meaning more chances of falls down stairs, smears of vaseline over the walls, etc.

Parents of small children almost invariably turn up with everything they need as well, so if you don't have cots and high chairs, it is unlikely to cause an issue. We have a lot of under 3s stay with us, yet the highchair and cot are rarely used, and the bouncy chair and play mat (left over from our own kids' babyhood) has never been asked for. To cover your back, it'd be worth reminding the guests that you're not specifically set up to cater for very young children, but other than that, I wouldn't worry too much.

The rest of the family residing in the auberge, staying all day at yours, using your facilities, etc. though... nope... definitely not on!
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Morristhedog



Joined: 03 Jun 2015
Posts: 114
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your response Ecosse.

My reason for not wanting babies if the fact that with no high chair or cot, I envisage food all over the place. I have seen people allowing babies to daub everywhere. This is what I mean by not being geared to having babies. I have now been offered a high chair by my friend at the auberge, if it looks necessary.

The beds in my gite do not have water proof coverings, and I have no idea what the sleeping arrangements might be for the child. I have not yet asked any more. Already the people have been lax in providing information, and I thought maybe I will see what their provisions might be.

I just don't want daubed furniture and stained mattresses. I don't care about noise issues. There are no neighbours to upset.

I don't know how I can restrict people from spending the day at my place. I just see it as using lots more hot water and electricity.

I won't be staying on site this year, because I am staying next to another gite that I am looking after for a friend. I do visit my gite daily to check the pool and water the plants and mow. Monitoring the situation would not be easy however.
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7249
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have lots of families stay and I agree with ecosse....a child under 12 mths is no problem at all. I doubt they wouod use the bed but ask them. Explain that you would prefer to not take young babies and so have no facilities for sleeping, so what are they bringing.
As for feeding.....yes the solid food they seem to feed babies these days does seem radioactive Very Happy but in the main they'll be eating outside and in my experience it's mainly the tablecloth that gets it.
It cleans up....but if not have you got a damage deposit?

We have also had the second issue you raise. I had to explain that I didn't expect to have to host their friends every day. If they wanted to do that I would charge a day rate payable up front. That stopped that.
However I did have one occasion where I didn't know.....but being on site, after the 2nd instance, I twigged what was happening.
As I have in my t&cs that no day visitors are allowed without my approval (we have neighbours) I had to go round and have a word with them.

I don't mind the odd day visitor but every day is taking the mick. They've booked a cheap place with no facilities, no doubt thinking they can use yours. Not acceptable. You need to nip that in the bud.

Mouse
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Last edited by Mouse on Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:44 am; edited 2 times in total
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GillianF



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 802
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We used to accept babies and provided a cot and highchair, changing mat, baby bath etc. just because we had them from our own children. Now, we don't advertise the baby equipment as I feel it is too old for modern young mums to think it acceptable. If guests are bringing a baby who requires cot etc. then they have to bring their own.

We had a couple of years when we didn't take under 10s because we found parents let their children run riot in the garden, on the neighbour's property and around the pool with little or no supervision or toddlers being left with young teenagers 'babysitting'. We got fed up with worrying about other people's children!

We ask that guests ask our permission for visitors to spend the day in the gite, at the pool etc. and although it rarely happens we have allowed it but made sure they appreciate we are doing them a favour. I would only allow it on an occasional/one day visit and not have them treating us as part of their daily routine.

I always fall back on the insurance, consideration for neighbours, other guests etc.
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Morristhedog



Joined: 03 Jun 2015
Posts: 114
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mouse.

Yes I take £300 damage deposit, but how much would I charge for a day rate? The three bedroomed gite is let out for £995 per week. It is actually my own home, with quality furnishings and fittings.
These things are delicate. I don't want to appear to be being awkward with the guests, but on the other hand, there are costs involved.
I presume these particular guests to simply be ignorant of the situation they are causing innocently. I don't think they see their actions as anything other than having a bigger jolly family break. I don't want to dampen their enthusiam.
I do visit my property daily,so I will monitor their car activty.
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GillianF



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 802
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate you don't want to dampen your guests' enthusiasm for a lovely big family holiday.

But, if that is what they wanted and planned then they would have booked accommodation to accommodate them all.

It seems to me they are using you and if you aren't happy you must make it clear. You need to consider that they will be using your facilities for hot water, toileting, extra cooking, wear and tear on everything etc. etc. Decide what you want to charge and tell them.
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 6084
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don’t feel that charging for the extra hangers-on is your prime aim; more that you just don’t want them there (and I see you mentioned a pool...). I’d feel very much the same. On that basis I’d play the insurance card and/or any other regulations that might possibly apply in your area (pool safety?)
State that your insurance will be invalidated if they have visitors; this may or may not be true, but if one of the guests’ visitors had an accident, how would your insurers react?
Now suppose you make a daily charge and therefore allow the visitors - then what happens if one of them has an accident?
The guests may not realise that saying to their family and/or friends “we’ve booked a place with a pool etc etc, stay cheap locally and come and join us" is unacceptable, but as owners we know otherwise.
Good luck.
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GillianF



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 802
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greenbarn is right, of course.

If the issue is that you don't want the visitors then you have to tell them so. Any excuse such as insurance, public liability, neighbours, other guests, local visitor tax, local authority rules etc. will suffice. Or, just say that it is too many people on your property and unacceptable. If they don't like it they have the choice to leave!

I lean towards the view that these guests are providing your facilities for their guests at your expense because they were too mean to book and pay for somewhere together with all the facilities they wanted.

For the future, get your T&Cs to state your policy very clearly so you have that to fall back on.
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7249
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

+1 with greenbarns point, which is an excellent one. The insurance issue is quite serious. We are lucky in that we're a registered tourist villa so I can easily say we are only registered for 8 people. The insurance suggestion GB makes should suffice for your needs.

Good luck....and stand your ground.....they really are being quite cheeky with you!

Mousie
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Ecosse



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 802
Location: Saint Gervais les Bains, France

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mouse wrote:
+1 with greenbarns point, which is an excellent one. The insurance issue is quite serious. We are lucky in that we're a registered tourist villa so I can easily say we are only registered for 8 people. The insurance suggestion GB makes should suffice for your needs.

Good luck....and stand your ground.....they really are being quite cheeky with you!

Mousie
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and another +1... they're taking the proverbial!
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Morristhedog



Joined: 03 Jun 2015
Posts: 114
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your suggestions.

Yes my T&C's say pool only for named guests, house only for named guests etc. Insurance reasons are also mentioned there, along with the local authority regulations. A term of phrase I coined myself.

I am planning on the insurance route. I am registered for six people with the Marie also. I am concerned to appear officious. I am good at that, and it is not the atmosphere I want. On the other hand, how far can I let them go. Can they invite their mates for a meal? etc. etc.

At the place I am managing for my friend, a friend of the guest arrived yesterday, and although he was eventually allowed to stay the night, as a courtesy, it was late, and they had been drinking, he is now in the pool having fun getting his last cent's worth. He is to be charged 40 euros for staying the night.

I have been letting at a couple of places for many years and have never met with this blatant cheek before. Guests have generally been respectful. The people currently at my place are into watering the plants even!

I don't like this role of the evil party pooper, but I am going to grasp the nettle, if I find the future guests are going to play these games.
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7249
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do know what you mean. It is a fine line to walk, however I always go on how the relationship has gone; have they been open and honest with you, politely asked, taken your position in to consideration.
I don't get the impression they've done any of that.

You have perfectly legit reasons. Wear and tear, noise levels etc do change according to the number of people. That I can confirm. Plus, visitors don't have the same respect for a property they haven't booked.

Why not raise the issue with them beforehand. Suggest that you assume they will want to gather together at some point but you do need to remind them that the property .......and then insert your preferred scenario.
That way you've sent a warning shot.
It isn't unreasonable for them to expect them to visit on the odd day or evening, but it is taking the 'p' if they're there regularly enjoying your pool.

Mousie
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COYS



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 794
Location: Greek Islands

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morristhedog wrote:
I don't like this role of the evil party pooper, but I am going to grasp the nettle, if I find the future guests are going to play these games.


I don't think any of us like it but sometimes, & increasingly more as guests attitudes change, it is becoming necessary. Only this morning I nervously fired off a round-robin 'update' of the finer points of our arrival info & T&C's to our remaining visitor list. Reading it back - it was short, to the point & unambiguous & to be honest I see no harm in that as it leaves little room for misunderstanding.
As far as I'm concerned only those that have paid to stay & are registered to do so are welcome - anyone else is just an insurance & licensing breach risk as well as being a drain on your resources. Being 'on site' to see out our last season has only convinced me further that we have made the right decision in quitting.
*BTW I am writing this to the increasingly noisy backdrop of a 'family gathering' at our near neighbours that has been ongoing since lunchtime - not particularly raucous just yet but the night is young & with 20+ people in a house licensed for 6 who knows?? For me it is way more trouble than it's worth trying to appease everybody & were it mine I would gladly play the party pooper.*
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newtimber



Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 1700
Location: Brighton

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GillianF wrote:


I lean towards the view that these guests are providing your facilities for their guests at your expense because they were too mean to book and pay for somewhere together with all the facilities they wanted.
.


There are many people who like to go on holiday with friends but not stay under the same roof, where they feel obliged to eat together and do everything together and go to bed at the same time etc etc. They may not want to stay on a holiday complex either which tend to have a very different character.

It is not mean - it's almost certainly more expensive to book two small places than one large place.

As for the extra usage, no doubt some guests you have go out all day and use very little of your facilities. It's swings and roundabouts and the visiting guests may decide to book your place when they come by themselves next time because they now know it's better.
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