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So I get an inquiry followed by a phone call from a prospective renter. He is very upfront and honest and discloses immediately his age (age 18) and the ages of the rest of his party (all 18 except for 1 19 yr old) and the number of his party (8 kids in total). After I basically grilled the kid like his mother would asking him every question from why he is coming to the area to if there would be both girls and boys staying, he still wants to rent. He is willing to provide me with anything I ask for and in writing yet I am still hesitant. My home is in a very quiet neighborhood and I have a police officer living across the street ad an elderly man next door.It has always been my policy to have renters who would be quiet enough for the quiet neighborhood. I am so new to this I dont know what to do. I read every article on the homeaway forum site but I think I really need to hear from other owners who have had good and bad experiences with this age group. PLEASE HELP!!!!!
I personally would never ever ever ever rent to an 18 year old let alone 8 of them. There is a reason why you can't rent a car until you are 25. They are teenagers. In fact some are probably still in high school.
Eight 18 year olds? Not a snow flakes chance! I even go so far as to state in my rental contract that I will not rent to singles under 25 years of age. In my opinion there are just too many things that can go sideways with a group of young people. As well intentioned as they may be, they simply do not have enough life experience for this type of thing.
This is really a recipe for disaster. You may as well invite 8 unsupervised German Shepard puppies to stay at your place. As the saying goes,"Kids will be kids, not kids might be kids. This is the way I see the scenario playing out: The kids show up and immediately start being kids. They'll turn up the music, they'll down the beers while wearing funny drinking hats and then the boys will start to wrestle. The noise will start to breed hostility among your neighbors which will culminate in a visit to your rental by the cop across the street. Depending on the severity of the "talking to" the cop gives the kids, they will be forced to curtail their activities. This will make them sad. In the end, you will be faced with hostile neighbors and dissatisfied guests. A lose, lose and lose situation.
Just my humble opinion.
lol, love it:
"You may as well invite 8 unsupervised German Shepard puppies to stay at your place."
OR 8 Saint Bernards or 8 Bull Mastiffs.
Never!!!!!! I have a 25 and over, and no group rule. Around prom time I get at least 10 inquiries a week from kids and their parents looking for a place to stay. Many times parents will tell me that they will pay extra security, extra rent, that they will supervise etc. JUST SAY NO!!!!!!!!
I have a 24 and over rule unless its for a honeymoon couple over the age of 20.
Dont believe it when a parent says they will come and stay and supervise the group. If a group of 18 year olds brings in alcohol, someone gets sick, dies, car accident etc - guess what. You will end up being sued, whether its your fault or not, its you house and thats where the booze is going to be.
I have a 25 to sign stipulation. And believe me, if I thought I could make it 30, I would. I also require a copy (front and back) of valid drivers license or ID.
That said, no prom groups. Oh, my no, never, ever, ever. Don't do it. Back when we had a rental management firm (and I'm never going that route again) they weren't properly vetting groups. Ended up with quite the melee on our hands when a bunch of 20-somethings checked in, and the ladies got drunk and went topless in the pool.
Heard about it after the fact from some rather unhappy neighbors. Caused quite the ruckus.
Social networking sites are your best friend. Use names, phone numbers, any thing you can to track down any information on potential renters.
And phone calls are good too. :-) If they don't supply a last name and phone number in the initial inquiry, they're either not serious, or hiding something.
What did you do finally?
Thanks to all the input from the community I decided not to rent. The boys were very gracious and respectful and admitted I was not the only one who turned them down. I told them a hotel would be a better fit for them. Thanks to all who responded!!!
Owner, Seaside Retreat
Owner,Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa
Is it illegal not to rent to 18 year olds in Mass. ? I know they cannot rent a car but all I have heard is there is a discrimination issue , which includes age. Please let me know as I too, have been bombarded by young people wanting to rent.
No discrimination issues if you are a vacation home owner (unless you have many multiple homes, and I think that's not an issue unless your rentals are long term). You may rent to whomever you please and turn down anyone you please for whatever reason you please. I'll turn down a prospective renter if I don't like his/her attitude.
Maybe you could put in your rental contract that "if you have any loud parties, my neighbors including one police officer will complain to me and you would LOSE ALL DEPOSITS AND MAY END UP IN JAIL." Just a thought.
I have even reconsidered my 25 and over rule to read 25 and over, and only if it is a family. I had a group of 3 couples, 25 years old this summer. I happen to be using the house right after them, so I happened to see for my self what pigs they were. They left 7 contractor sized black garbage bags full of garbage in the middle of the driveway when they left on Saturday when garbage day was on Friday. I actually helped the cleaning people clean so they wouldn't charge me extra. They didn't clean out the refrigerator, so I can't imagine what was in the bags. They were so heavy we started joking that maybe there was a body in them. Lots of clanging in a few, so I am sure they had lots of parties and beer pong and my house smelled like the bar after happy hour, and the floor was very sticky. Like lrbaldwin stated, its your house and you can turn away anyone you want with out a reason, with out explanation, unless it is a long term rental. All you have to say is you got a better offer, or you may use it yourself.
It doesn't matter what assurances these teenagers give you about respecting your home, you KNOW deep down that this doesn't sit right with you............ you have to go with your instinct here. Of course they are clubbing together to 'have a good time', otherwise they would not be planning on all taking a vacation together. Just what that 'good time' entails is anybody's guess, but as property owners (and former 'kids' ourselves!) we know that it will include partying, alcohol, loud music and disruption to your neighbors and, very possibly, your home.
If I was in your situation, I would thank them kindly for their interest by saying that your home is geared more towards family vacations, and recommend that they check out the nearest motel - give them the information -with 'its pool, bar, meal options and other services that would probably be more in keeping with the vacation experience that they are seeking'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You may well find that this will be the last time you hear from them.............
Don't feel pressured into complying with their wishes; you do NOT have to rent to anyone you feel uncomfortable with. Additionally, if your reasoning for turning them away has been helpful, explanatory and non-confrontational, then there should be no animosity from either party.
Deborah HomeAway 365199 www.thevenetianterrace.com
I don't rent to anyone under 25. However, I recently made the mistake of renting to a mom and 9 girls (all over 25) for a wedding shower. Big mistake! I won't do it again. Of course they drank and one or more got sick and vommited on the carpet and bed spread, etc. In the end it cost me $360 extra in cleaning plus $32 to have the bed spread professionally cleaned to get the stains out. Familys just seem to take better care even when they have small kids.
There are 25 year old and 25 year old. Depends on the person.
When I was 19 I was married, going to college and supporting a husband. Certainly didn't have the money to rent a house and party.
Today's generation feels entitled. They think that if they have the money they can do what they wish and destroy someone's property. I learned the hard way 10 years ago when I rented to a mom and dad who were going to host their sons graduation party during their rental. Kids invited kids who invited kids and all he'll broke loose and the parents were no where to be seen. Police arrived arrested kids and to make a long story short I received a huge fine. Not knowing any better was no excuse according to the court. So $20,000 later, I certainly shy away from anything tha smells like a grad, prom or after prom party.
Marilyn, I agree about the maturity at 25. Unfortunately it is sometimes hard to tell until it is too late. I found this out this summer when I rented to 3 couples that were 25 and 26 years old. They were supposed to move in when Hurrricane Irene hit on Saturday night, they had a Sunday check in. We had an emergency evacuation and the Garden State Parkway and bridges leading into the area were closed. I call them on Thursday night before the storn when the Govenor announced the plans, and told them to wait to hear from me regarding check in. They called me on Sunday morning, while the storm was still raging and I was standing in my flooded basement, to see when they could go. I told them I would try to go on Monday morning, and would call them when I got there to let them know if everything was alright. As I was on my way down, at 7:30 am they called AGAIN. I almost told them not to come because I started feeling they were a little too anxious. I should have followed my instincts. When they checked out, my house smelled like the bar after happy hour and they left 7 black garbage bags full of garbage and cans and bottles in the middle of the driveway when garbage day was the day before.I am lucky that they didnt get so out of hand that someone got hurt or arrested. I have ammended my policy to families only. I may loose a few weeks here and there, but it is just not worth it.
I had a totally different experience. I had rented one of my homes with the start date the day of the storm. As the storm was due to hit in the afternoon on the east end of Long Island, my tenants said they were anxious to move in and could they do so earlier. I agree. I did not hear from them after the storm so I drove by the house and saw their cars. Walked around the property and did not hear anything so I left. I returned that evening as I had heard from a neighbor that the area had lost power. I still didn't hear anything and so I knocked on the door hoping they were not dead. When they opened the door, I noticed 4 people playing monopoly and 2 people playing cards all by candlelight. My home had lost power, did not have power for 5 days and my tenants just made the best of it. They were all in their mid twenties. They had lots of good days after the power went on and we were able to clean up the pool for them. They had such a great time that when they left, they stated they would rent again for 2012. They had never experienced being without tv or lights for such a long time. Needless all the food in the fridge was spoiled and they still had an upbeat attitude when they left. Loved these young people I have since received their deposit.
Guess it's the luck of the draw. I can't put it all on the young people. I have had older renters, too, that my neighbors had to ask to quiet down at 3am. But I still think that you are taking more of a chance with groups in general. I prefer to stick with families. The area I am in is very family oriented. Although I am only about 2 miles from where they film Jersey Shore. That may be part of the problem, that they don't realize, although it is such a short distance, the atmosphere is worlds apart. If they want that kind of atmosphere, they can go 2 miles down the road to Seaside Hights.
No one needs the money that badly,....just say no. Or, if you really feel you have to, have a parent of each of the kids staying sign for them and give you their credit card. Put a hold on each for $1000. Believe me, that will keep their parents from allowing them to destroy anything. and take before and after shots. I know someone who did that. The house was 100% in order when the kids left, and there were 8 college freshman. But me, I'd never do it.
Funny-I just had a phone call from a girl today asking if I could do a 2 night rental. I could tell she was young and asked what the rental was for. When she told me that it was for her 21 birthday, I told her I have a 25 and older, no group rule. She said it was not in the listing and said they were all responsible adults. I just told her that I have a 21 year old son that has only used the house once alone, and my kitchen table wound up broken during a game of beer pong. End of conversation. I will stick by my rules.
I just got this inquiry last week: "Hi, me and my friends are keen on surfing and I would like to ask you if there are sharks near the beach...." Something about the inquiry just made an alarm go off....! Because the time was not available on my calendar it immediately told me they didn't look at my house or my calendar and it was just one of those spam inquiries....So, in addition to the inquiry looking "immature", and because it wasn't a serious inquiry, as is now my custom, I didn't even bother to respond.
I would always answer ever inquiry. Although gut feelings are usually right, sometimes we are too cautious. Pay to answer the inquiry and if we don't llike what we hear then, just say no.
All these replies really upset me because I am an 18 year old who is looking to rent a house with 5 of my friends, and all the owners are turning me down because of the reputation of people my age. I'm completely responsible and I would never trash a home like some of the people on this seem to think. I'm an adult and I wish people treated me as such. Just like any other adult, I want to get away for a while, and I'm so upset that I can't even do that. Please don't assume all 18 year olds are such awful human beings I'm a person too!!
Perhaps you need to look at it the way we owners look at it to understand. These homes being in vacation hot spots are generally expensive. If you had $500,000 of your money in a house and had to risk damage as well as possible lawsuits that could cause you to either lose your home or incur serious loss of income and repairs you might not be so anxious to rent it out either. The solution is very simple. Rent a hotel or motel room or rooms. They are in the business with managers and security people on the premise so they can handle things should they get out of hand. Most of the home owners here are not always close enough to be constantly checking that everything is ok and further, they don't want to be spending their time doing so. It is enough to deal with checkins and checkouts and cleaning crews. Very few homeowners make a real profit of any significance but are ususally looking to defer some of the cost of ownership. There is a limit to how much risk one is willing to take when the rewards are so low.
Additionally, owners are often forced to eat the damage done to their homes to avoid a negative review that can cost them even more business. The bottom line is that it just isn't worth it. You do have an alternative using commercial establishments. If you tell me that those cost more, I'll agree, that is how they get compensated for their risk. If you can't afford the more, then how will you afford to pay the damage you and your friends might casue? Most of us have seen good intentions that go bad, we just don't want to pay for them.
Many states (or perhaps it might be federal) have a host law. If you allow adults under the age of 21 to drink alcohol in your home, whether it be a rental or not, the home owner is liable for adding to the delinquency of a minor. The government considers a person under the age of 21 "a minor". Although you might be a responsible adult, other guests in your party may not be, no matter what they say. The home owner is at risk for paying fines or worse, going to jail.
I am sure this law comes into home owners minds when they turn down rentals to 18 year olds.
And you are right, I have seen very respectful 18 year olds and many disrespectful 35 year olds.
Unfortunately, we as home owners do not really know our guests and need to take the side of causation.
I do not doubt that you're a responsible and respectful person. Age is not the only problem I would have with your scenario. Over the years, we have learned that we have much better success with family groups. The bottom line here is CONTROL. Have you ever spent a week with these particular 5 friends? Assuming you would personally never do any damage to a home, would you bet $500,000 that not a single one of them might get out of control? Would you bet that same amount that if he did, that you could immediately set him straight before he did anything of which you disapproved? Has each of you had the experience of being the sole caretaker of a house? Odds are that you'd have to answer no to each of those questions.
Back before we used VRBO, we had a rental agency manage our house. We went to the property often to assess the condition of the house after renters left. We found that small families (we're just a 4 BR cottage) simply took much better care of the house than groups of unrelated people. Age wasn't a factor. Our first experience was a couple in their 20s who were going to be married in the area. Her mother and his aunt and cousin were to be the additional occupants. As it turned out, the house had been packed with people, one even had to sleep on the screened porch. The bride and groom left the property permanently for their honeymoon on Thursday. The contract the groom signed stated that the principal person (who signed the contract) MUST be resident every day of the contract period. The others had not even read the lease agreement. On Sunday when we got there 2 hrs after checkout time, there were still people in the house. That left only 1 hour to ready it for the next guests. We had to call in a carpet cleaning service, and the carpets were still wet when the next guests arrived. My husband and I spent 2 hours working alongside our cleaners to clean up after what seemed like a herd of pigs had stayed there. The next week when I emailed the groom to let him know the condition of the house, he apologized profusely and said that he had no idea all this would happen after he left. CONTROL, there was NONE.
We had several more similar experiences during our rental agency days. We recorded the makeup of each group and how they cared for the house. We found that almost all problem renters were groups of unrelated people. We also found that young families with children, and most especially with a grandparent or two, almost always respected the property and left it as they found it. For the past 2 years since we started renting privately (VRBO), we have been fully rented with folks I had screened very carefully. No weddings, reuninons, school events, singles. This has been successful for us.
Renting our house to strangers is not a business like a hotel operation. We certainly don't and won't ever make any kind of profit, just a little help with the mortgage interest and maintanance. Our cottage is a very special place to us, and we do enjoy sharing it with families who appreciate it as we do. We have had 6 weeks of repeat guests every year since we bought the house in '07 and they're all now like family though they're scattered around several states.
We do the best we can to protect our interests and make our guests comfortable and happy.
A note on age: I do know that property managers in North Carolina have a lower age limit of 25 for anybody who signs a lease agreement, and that person is to be in residence for the full rental period.
Good luck, and I hope you and your friends find a wonderful place for your vacation. However it will likely have to be a hotel. Just try to think how you'd feel as an owner of a vacation home.
Well, all I can say is that you are learning at 18 that this world isn't fair and that some things, just don't go your way. That is a hard thing to realize, but with that you must be able to understand that we have a huge investment in our properties and most 18 year olds are NOT responsible and therefore many of us have decided that we don't want the risk.
I am sure that there will be other disappointments in your life, with jobs, with friends, with many many things. Good luck and please know that we have all been through disappointments in life that seem unfair...it just the world we live in today.