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We have two homes that sleep about 16-18 each and share amenities. We had a group last week rent both homes for a family reunion. They left everything in good condition, except for one of the king-size mattresses. My cleaners sent me a photo showing a large stain that seeped through the mattress pad and onto the end of the mattress. It is hard to tell what it is - blood, food - but the cleaners were unable to get it out. The guests never mentioned it in an email after check-out; they did mention a couple of minor complaints about the cleaning (dirty dishes left in dishwasher, used wash rag left in tub area), and I'm not sure if they're complaining about the cleaning as a way to hedge the issue about the stain they caused (I have so far not mentioned it either). At any rate, do I charge them the cost of a new mattress or a couple hundred dollars, or what? The mattress cannot be turned over to hide the stain. It can be hid with a new mattress cover, until a guest decides to strip a bed and discovers it.
Also, I have just received my first negative review (3 of 5 stars), which surprised us because we bent over backwards to make sure it was a good experience for the guests, and they indicated everything was great. So I am a little concerned about possible "retaliation" over charging for damage for a group that overall left things fine. Thoughts?
I think the way I would start it is that I would write a very nice email and ask them very if they know what could have happened to the mattress. ie: "Dear Renter, we are so glad you enjoyed your stay in our home. We did have a question though about the mattress in the master bedroom. Do you know what was spilled on it or stained it? Thanks for any insight you could give us on this" I would then take my cues from them and how they respond. They may be very apologetic or they may become beligerant. At that point, I would see what they say and then determine what your course of action should be.
I'm so sorry to hear about your mattress, and while I don't have a specific answer to your dilemma, I thought this article on Security Deposit Policies might be of some use.
All the best,
HomeAway Community Manager
My cleaners were able to get most of the stain out. The guests denied
making the stain, although my cleaners say it happened during the time
these guests were there. We decided not to charge anything additional
instead of risking a bad review. Not worth it. Seems we have to choose
our battles these days.
yep - that is the conclusion we have come to... make a fuss and they do a bad review... we don't even take a damage deposit now - since then our damage & breakages are virtually nil...
It is a simple thing. All you need to do is to send an email to the client telling him about the issue and to do something to remove the stains from the mattress. If he is not ready to do that, you can charge the amount you think is suitable against the mattress. This is the only legal and right method. next time, use a mattress protector for all of your mattresses to avoid such issues.
Lillyfan, I hope that you will consider updating to a waterproof mattress pad. We use the bedbug ones that encase the entire mattress and zip shut. No guest is ever going to see what is beneath the cover because you have to take the mattress off the bed...though ours still look like new. If you are using a mattress cover for a little padding you could still add that over these covers because they are strictly for protection. They are not the plastic kind but a very nice fabric that happens to be everything proof!
We purchased ours at Bed, Bath and Beyond several years ago prices were about $100 for a King...but that is a small investment to protect the cost of a mattress.
Always interested in what a 3 out 5 star review would say when they told you everything was great. Did they just not give you the highest stars and then leave a nice review? I hope you can top that one off quickly with another 5 star, hopefully potential guests will read them all and realize only one person didn't rate you high and figure they were people that just didn't give out high ratings.
I don't believe in hiding from a possible negative review and so I would have asked them what they thought a reasonable charge would be and then decide if that was acceptable or not. I have charged a few of my folks for things that have been damaged or left really messy. However, I have a very specific contract and welcome letter that outlines everything that is expected of them during their stay. While one couple complained about the fact that they were not getting their deposit back for the extra time for the cleaning lady to clean up their excessive mess, it became clear that they even had extra guests that were not supposed to be there. I gently explained that even if the house were spotless that based on this new information they would have actually have had to pay more than the deposit for the additional guests that they did not tell me about.
So, I guess I want to be very fair with folks, but I won't just roll over.