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Would love some thoughts on this. We have a rental that has a garage that is locked and our private things (including a golf cart) are kept in the garage. Our last guests broke into the garage - they must have picked the lock, took out our golf cart which was evident by the sandy footprints left all over it, used all of our beach accessories - which our housekeeper witnessed when they arrived.
They didn't actually damage anything but I feel quite violated that they broke into our private space. I'm not quite sure if I can withhold money from their security deposit for this since there wasn't any acutal damage. However, our housekeepers did charge an extra $100 due to the extreme mess they left in the house and grounds which I will be with-holding.
THIS IS UNEXCUSEABLE! This is breaking and entering, trespassing and illegal. Withhold their ENTIRE DEPOSIT! If they complain inform them if they prefer you can file a police report and they can discuss it with the local police department. If I were to break into the managers office, pool area or bar of a hotel while a guest, I am pretty sure the cops would be involved.
I hate to hear stories like this, it’s different than guests causing damage either by accident or simply being irresponsible. These guests knowingly and purposely violated a home owners privacy and trust and feel absolutely no remorse about it as if they were entitled. Do we as homeowners have to explain what an owners closet is?
If HomeAway and the "indusrty" continue to spend millions of dollars to lure travelers from hotels to vacation rentals, we have not heard the last story like this. How about spending a few bucks informing these travelers they are renting PRIVATE HOMES and they are expected to treat them and their owners with a little respect. ANY effort from HomeAway in the way of helping to establish education, code of conduct, guest etiquette etc. in the booking and use of vacation rentals I assure you would be appreciated by the owners. The sheer amount of stories in this community about “guest behaving badly” I think indicates there is a need for it.
Sorry you have had this awful experience. There are just some renters who feel they are somehow overly entitled and not subject to normal standards of behavior and these folks are some of those. I would keep their $100 for cleaning as planned and in future have a special clause in your contract saying that the garage is private and off limits and if anyone disturbs that space will forfeit their entire damage deposit. And maybe a sign on the communicating door to the house, if any.
I really don't think HA or VRBO can do anything. Be they condos or single homes, all rentals here are private residences. It's up to the owner to set the rules of the rental of their particular home. These people were bad but I don't know that you want to go to the police although that might be an option. I wouldn't.
Truly amazing what lengths people will go to. This post has prompted me to add a paragraph into our contract about owners' private areas. Quite frankly, I'd make sure that they know YOU know, and that you'll be placing their names on the Bad Renter List and Guestchecker.com .
I would assume you should be entitled to withhold some of their security deposit if the door was indeed locked and they did break into it.
The *damage* would be the use of your property and having to pay the housekeeper extra to clean the mess up.
If nothing else I believe my wife would have my head if I did not at the very least withhold the money they costs us. *the $100 extra you had to pay the housekeeper*
How did it turn out? What measures did you take? looks like it has been almost a week from your posting.
That is one of the worst disrespectful actions a renter can take. I have had many a problem with people disrespecting me, my rental agreement and my property. Consequently I've got a full page rental agreement of "friendly threats & penalties" throughout. Because of this I have lost a minimal few renters. Some think it's to authoritative and they don't book but it does seem to work fairly well. I have more on the do's and don'ts in my "opening instructions" I send that a couple days prior to their occupancy. I still get abuses on occasion but thankfully, not often, maybe 10% of my renters.
I am glad to learn about the guestchecker.com website. I have a few names to add to it.
I am shocked by the behaviour of the guests and it raises questions over security gennerally. I am sure most have read the story about the client of AirBnB who let out her home only for it to be destroyed by her guest. I was thinking that a register of rogue guests should be created where an owner can cross reference the name etc to see if the prospective client appears on this list. I then see the guestchecker.com website and the Bad Renter list getting mentioned here and am please to see someone is doing something about this.
Before you jump on the guests, how do you know the cleaner did not leave the garage door unlocked? Did the guests have specific instructions NOT to use the items in the garage or was the locked door their only indication that the area and items inside were off limits?
Sunny San Diego
That's a good point, Brenda. Unless you are absolutely certain that these guests forcibly broke into the garage and were made aware that this area is off limits to guests, you could be getting yourself into a dogfight. Is it possible the housekeeper accidentally forgot to secure the garage door after the previous cleaning? Do you have a sign on the garage that says reminds the guests this is private storage for you and it's off limits to them? I've learned it's not enough to mention this in your rental agreement/guest information...most people skim over it and don't read the details.
While I'm in complete agreement with others here that this behavior is rude and inexcusable, just make absolutely certain there's no chance they could be just guests who found an unsecured garage door and helped themselves to the golf cart and beach items, never giving a thought that this stuff might not be for their use. I accidentally left our owners closet unlocked after a stay at our cabin, and it wasn't discovered by the housekeeper. Instead, a guest called to let us know the door was unlocked and wondered what they should do about it. Nice to find honest, caring folks once in awhile!
Agreed, the behavior is inexcusbale if you are 100% sure a "break in" has occurred. If a housekeeper or other service personnel have access to to a closet or secured area there is a risk that they will fail to lock it after use. If there is no posted warning of "private property" and the door is open, its likely the guest will feel entitled to use the contents. Good Points.
Not to mention the liability if they were "driving" your golf cart all over the place. Yikes!