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7156 Views 20 Replies Latest reply: Jun 21, 2012 10:53 PM by anja RSS
codcape Contributor 70 posts since
Apr 3, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 6, 2012 10:35 PM

Late with deposits..

So, I have someone renting my cape cod condo and they were late with the initial deposit and now they're late with the balance of the rent and security.  They're due to come in, in about 2 weeks and I have a 4 week policy on sending in the balance, meaning, balance is due (rent+security) 4 weeks prior to their stay.  I emailed them over a week ago and she used the excuse she couldn't send a check because she's Jewish and needed to honor the sabath.  She stated that the balance would get sent on a Tues, after the long weekend.  It's now a week and a day later and still no check.  Anyone have this issue? 

 

Thanks.

  • susaninrehoboth Active Contributor 891 posts since
    Sep 3, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 7, 2012 5:25 AM (in response to codcape)
    Re: Late with deposits..

    As long as the wording in your contract/lease is clear that the deposit is forfeited if payments are not received as per dates in the lease, you should immediately open the week for rental on your listing. You've been more than accommodating in waiting. If it was my listing, I would change the headline to reflect the open week and perhaps offer a discount. Under no circumstances would I refund any money paid by the guest who broke the contract unless the contract states otherwise.

    As an aside, someone Jewish who is so religious that she won't conduct business on the Sabbath keeps kosher. If  she mentioned looking forward to enjoying lobster during her vacation in your condo, she was not truthful about no writing or mailing a check on Saturday.

      • carol Senior Contributor 2,155 posts since
        Dec 10, 2010
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jun 8, 2012 10:06 PM (in response to codcape)
        Re: Late with deposits..

        If they are coming in about June 20, getting a check on Jun 12 will not give it time to clear.   They may have a lovely vacation at your home and after they leave and you have returned their deposit, you may find the rent check bounced.  I would tell them they must bring cash when they come or they are not getting a key. 

         

        At this point, unless you think you can find a last minute renter, you have to balance your lost revenue against your worry that they will mess up your house.   Were they pleasant and respectful, but just not very organized? I'd be inclined to let them come if they bring cash.   Or were they rude and sloppy and the late payment just confirmed your gut feeling about them?  In that case, I would inform them that they have broken the contract and are no longer welcome in your home, and you will keep their deposit as partial compensation for your loss of revenue.  

  • anja Senior Contributor 1,560 posts since
    Aug 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 9, 2012 3:04 AM (in response to codcape)
    Re: Late with deposits..

    Hi codscape,

     

    I'm with Carol.....tell your guests that it is now required that the balance be paid in cash...on arrival...because you only accept checks with a 30 day minimum "to clear".  Make it understood that a check will not be accepted!

    • carol Senior Contributor 2,155 posts since
      Dec 10, 2010
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jun 9, 2012 10:14 AM (in response to codcape)
      Re: Late with deposits..

      If the check does arrive and is written on a bank with a branch near you, you can go to the bank and cash it directly.  (While you are waiting, can you retrieve a copy of her deposit check through online banking to see what bank she uses?)  Be sure to keep  the envelope with the cancellation stamp, if it is legible; this is proof she lied to you about it being in the mail.   

       

      If the check is not drawn on a local bank, and if you decide to let them stay, notify them the check arrived too late, you will require cash upon check in,  and you will return their check to them upon cash payment.

       

      If you decide to cut your losses and run from this renter, no one would blame you.   Remember that once she stays in the house, she can write a nasty review on HA or VRBO and you will have no control over its publication.  Given your gut feeling, this is the safer route.   And if it makes you feel better to return the deposit, thereby eliminating any need for communicating with her in the future, by all means do so.    (I would be inclined to keep it and make her threaten and beg for it, but then I love a good fight, especially when I know I'm in the right.  She has no legal claim to that deposit! )  

    • anja Senior Contributor 1,560 posts since
      Aug 9, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jun 9, 2012 9:46 PM (in response to codcape)
      Re: Late with deposits..

      Hi codcape....

      I want to lend support to my fellow Ambassador owners, Gabriel and Carol.  I would listen to their advice....I would tell these people that their reservation is null and void....due to non payment {refer to their contractural payment terms that they signed}.

       

      Carol is correct:  if you let them rent....they can leave you a nasty review...I wouldn't give them that power. They have broken the  "trust" already by not paying.  I would cancel them, today.  I would refund them in full ...their deposit...security....whatever they paid ....just so I can divorce from them entirely.

       

      I do not put up with anyone disrespecting me, my property, my contractural terms....especially if it begins before they even arrive.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 9, 2012 12:46 PM (in response to codcape)
    Re: Late with deposits..

    Hi Codcape:

     

    I suggest you let them know the reservation has been cancelled for lack of payment according to your contract. And send them their money back since you have no provision in your contract.

     

    One little white lie "check is in the mail" and it arrives 2 days after promised is nothing to be alarmed, but one lie after another means that you are not dealing with honest clients and you are asking for trouble.

     

    If they still decide to go through the rental, CANCEL THEM and request FULL PAYMENT and DEPOSIT prior to reconfirming. Do not hold the dates for them, you do not owe them that courtesy. Open your home for other potential renters. Demand wire transfer or ACH payment, and ensure you get the Homeaway insurance because you won't collect a dime from these people.

     

    Change your contract, mine states that 25% fee for cancelling 45 days prior to arrival and 100% fee if less than 45 days. I am then flexible if that happens to offer alternate dates or partial refund if I am able to re rent, but that is not in the contract, I do it as courtesy if the guest had a bonefide problem.

     

    Best of luck in solving this.

    • anja Senior Contributor 1,560 posts since
      Aug 9, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jun 11, 2012 4:24 AM (in response to codcape)
      Re: Late with deposits..

      That will get their attention.

       

      Now brace yourself.  They will either apologize profusely ...or they will protest and even threaten you with some action. Be ready with a response to either....and stay calm, professional.  Even if they threaten to sue you...which would be a huge waste of time and money for them.  Just respond with "facts of the matter" and always refer to the contract terms.  They breached their contract.  They can not to do that in any other course of business ...so they can not do it to you either!   You are within  your contractural right to cancel them.  You might feel "conflicted" now...but....

       

      ....you can decide to let them come...even now...but they have to respect ALL YOUR terms. Sometimes, these situations can be worked around....if you have the will to do so.  I would be phoning them first...to make certain that they received and read my canceling email....and I'd speak frankly with them...politely but frankly.

       

      So, you do have the prerogrative to still permit them to arrive....let's face it....you would lose the booking ...they would lose the house so close to their arrival...no one happy.  So, it's up to you.  It's not too late for either of you to turn this around ...smooth it out.   I would be on the phone with them to discuss this situation.  And...if you decide to have them come....

       

      I would hold their check  {if it arrives} and I'd assure them that I will give them their check back on arrival in exchange for the balance in cash.

        • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,362 posts since
          May 25, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jun 11, 2012 12:44 PM (in response to codcape)
          Re: Late with deposits..

          Oh my! I think you handled this just right. I'd also refund her money and move on. I'd have no trouble (nicely) letting her know that you think she'd be better off looking at other properties.

           

          These types of people can really make Owner's lives miserable. We all try to work with our guests, but if they have treated you so disrepectfully I'd suggest you cut your losses and move on. I bet you'll feel better, and you'll have dodged a few MORE sleepless nights.

           

          Hope all works out for you!

          DebJ     

        • anja Senior Contributor 1,560 posts since
          Aug 9, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jun 11, 2012 2:26 PM (in response to codcape)
          Re: Late with deposits..

          Hi codcape,

           

          This person -in my opinion-  is not a good vacation rental candidate.   That's the impression she's made upon  me.

           

          She might not be outright dishonest... {no evidence  of that....except she breached the contract already} ...but an owner needs to feel comfortable dealing with the strangers we give our keys to.  If she were "in residence" at your home, what else would she be "light-headed" or careless about?

           

          Simply...she does not seem to "get" how her already "poor performance" influences the impression she's given you as someone who is unreliable and not trustworthy. Maybe she's just a bit of an "airhead"....but I would not go forward with her....if it were I in your situation....I'm looking for the "level headed" person to hand my keys to.  You could chalk this up to "screening" and decide that this one is a risk.

           

          There is no way that I would continue discussing with her.....especially now, after her response.  She does not *regard* at all that this is business.  She does not *respect* the contract that she signed  {probably didn't read it}.  Travelers who, either do not perceive our business as *serious*, or are cynical about our "trade" which can be reflected in their "sarcasm" some of us have gotten in inquiries {I, for one}, or travelers whose expections are *unbalanced*....vis-a-vis a  private home rental -vs-  a 5-star resort..... these people are just not good "candidates" for renting  private property.

           

          The first indicator, for me, is when they demonstrate their failure to follow a few simple contractural details...the first one being to send payment!

            • anja Senior Contributor 1,560 posts since
              Aug 9, 2011
              Currently Being Moderated
              Jun 13, 2012 7:25 PM (in response to codcape)
              Re: Late with deposits..

              We have all learned from our experiences ...especially from difficult circumstances with individuals. We  know we're right often...contracturally = legally, and we learn our thresholds of how much we want to put up with. No one likes to lose income, but sometimes it's better not to have a P.I.T.A.  {pain in the a_ _}  ...when the red flags go up. This didn't work out for either of you....but it's not because you did not try to give her time to "make good with you".

               

              Too bad  that she chose to react in defence of her negligence.... with no apology....she never showed you respect....and she never regarded that this is your business....and she breached her contract with you.  She lied, too.  So, she's showing you her character.  She's nasty and judgemental {of you}.  A sincere apology can go a long way...but she's not of that moral character.  She wasn't rude to you earlier only because she was wanted something {from you}.  Now, you see her moral character.  She  is lacking  in remorse, in responsibility and regard for you.   {That's a big red flag for me.}

               

              It's my opinion  that she's not a candidate for "private owner rentals".  There are plenty of people who are judgemental, threatening, and nasty when it is they who are in breach of contract.

               

              I'd be so happy that she's not coming!  I'd be relieved.  I think you dodged a "bad renter" experience with this woman...and her "group of five people".  It started out bad...and she gave you no assurance that she's reliable and trust worthy enough to continue with.

               

              Yes...you could have risked having her come...paying  cash on arrival. That was always an option. But, you had a bad feeling about this group, from the start.  I think you did what your gut ultimately said it should.

               

              I've only had a few nasty people {and all were women} on the attack of my policies....and even one who became verbally abusive after I wouldn't make an exception for her "situation"....but they all wanted something that they could not get ...to "use me and  my property their way".

               

              In this situation, unless her tone with me was different, I would not be offering her to come now, even if she came with cash on arrival.  I'd be sending her money back, today, by express...so she gets it in time for her to find another place to stay.  I do hope that she's learned to "respect a contract"....for the next owner she tries to book with.....but I'm not going to hold my breathe with these types of people.

               

              I'm sorry it didn't work out differently, in the end.  This is clearly a disappointment for you....and your remorse reflects your good character and sincerely as the owner!  She lost a nice house owned by a good person. That's how I see it.

               

              There are some threads on this forum on "contracts"...and some examples that owners have shared...check out the cancellation policies. You can use the above "Search For Answers" field for "contracts" and "cancellations"  to get some ideas of what owners do. And...ask here.

                • stjvilla Active Contributor 626 posts since
                  May 27, 2011
                  Currently Being Moderated
                  Jun 14, 2012 9:21 AM (in response to codcape)
                  Re: Late with deposits..

                  Your brother was right!  You should not beat yourself up over what YOU could have done differently as your behavior was fine.  We would suggest you now carefully review your contract for the wording you want about refunds, cancellations, etc., and then move on.  Stick to your guns if something like this ever happens again.  Best of luck!

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