Hi Everyone!

How’s it going? Things for me are back to the usual—another situation has arisen which gives me yet more fodder for my blog posts.

Since my cabins are on wells, the drought has affected my rentals. Currently my wells are down around 16-18 feet! While I have not run out of water, thankfully, many people in the area have! Basically it has affected the quality of my water—it stinks like rotten eggs! And my renters are not too happy about that!

If you are in an area where you’ve been plagued by the drought (here’s a national drought monitor website http://drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html), there are some things that you could/should do to avoid complaints or worse yet, have people leave and demand their money back—yep that’s happened to me!

So the best way I can advise you is give you examples of what I have done to divert the complaints.

1. Sometimes when the water levels get low, bacteria could be introduced in your well. Have your water tested by your local health department--mine cost $50 and took about 2 weeks from application to test results.

2. Convert to charcoal water filters and change them frequently! I’m changing mine every two weeks as opposed to my regular monthly schedule.

3. Inform all renters (upon booking) that there is a drought—(and if your water stinks, like mine, tell them! It’s better to lose a reservation at the booking stage, rather than once they are already in your home. Keeping to my motto: I never want anyone in my house who doesn’t not want to be there; how will they treat my home? ) Here’s how a typical conversation with a renter goes, “I have to tell you that we’re experiencing a drought and it’s caused our well to be significantly lower. We’ve had the water tested by the health department, and it’s fine but there is a sulfur smell. Sulfur is a mineral which you find in hot springs that emits that smell…”

4. On your rental contract, attach wording about the water. I have chosen the short and sweet version just so it’s in writing. Here’s the wording I have used: WATER AND SEPTIC: These cabins are on wells and septic systems. The mineral content in the water is high. During a drought, the well water may have an odor.
5. On your directions, attach a reminder about the water situation. Here’s what I have added: I also wanted to let you know that there is a severe drought in the area. If you smoke please do so outside (this is a non-smoking cabin.) Please make sure that you extinguish your cigarettes completely and do not throw your cigarette buts outside in the woods as they may cause a forest fire. We are under extreme high burn warnings in the area. The drought has also caused the well water to have a sulfur smell. Our well has been thus far ok though we always ask that you please conserve water, and is safe to drink (we have a recent health department test report, which we can send you if you’d like to see it.) The sulfur smell is sometimes tough to get passed your nose, for this reason, we recommend bringing bottled drinking water.
So there you have it, yet another way you can learn from my personal vacation rental problems. So glad I can be of service. LOL !

Happy Renting by Owner!

Christine Karpinski