We own various properties. Some luxury properties other budget properties. All fully remodeled with materials and new furniture according to the rental cost of the property. All the properties have updated pictures. In the 10 years we have in the rental business we have encountered problems very rarely, but we do, of guests that arrive to the property and call the same day the arrive or the following date claiming they are not happy with the property, and pointing out negative things of the property that I know they are not true and requesting a full refund of their money. In all the occasions I have refunded the full amount not even charging the cleaning fee, as I am worried they would leave negative feedback which will affect our future rentals.We have over 50 positive feedbacks but I know a single negative feedback is detrimental, especially from exaggerated trouble makers. Since we put so much effort and money in our properties our rental rates are higher than most of our neighbors. I know that these guests that have left have rented from next door neighbors or on-site property managers, properties that are not in the same nice condition as ours, but are a fraction of the cost as ours. This is certainly not fair, but a negative review is more costly to us than 2 weeks rent, which is the last amount we refunded.How do you handle these things?
Do you have a contract on your property? If not, you need one immediately with a clear and defined cancellation policy. Myself and most other owners on this forum would never refund in full to includes taxes and cleaning on the day of check in. I think that this gives renters a sense of entitlement to think that they can book a property, the owner holds the property for that person and then refunds the renters on the first day because they are unhappy. This has appeared to happen more than once so you might want to check to see what is making these guests unhappy. What kind of negative comments are they saying that you say are untrue?
As to them renting from your neighbors, they only did this because they were relieved of their obligations at your property. Maybe your prices are not in line with the expectations of the renters and when they get there they are disappointed.
At some point, us owners need to have a backbone and stand up for what is correct and not let renters walk all over us or bully us.
Never had this happen. They arrive, for some reason they hate the place, they ask for a refund and they immediately rent a nearby less expensive place? Sounds like your onsite property managers are working against you. I don't know how you can correct this problem.
I wonder if you have a competitor who is somehow intercepting your guests when the arrive and telling them you will refund their rent if they complain and then they can rent their place for much less. I would never allow them a refund unless the property can be re-rented and that isn't going to happen if they pull out the day they arrive. One negative review out of 50 would certainly not cause me to reject a rental. Most people realize there are people who just cannot every be pleased.