46 Replies Latest reply: May 20, 2013 12:42 PM by bobbie32 RSS

    When NOT to rent?

    Contributor

      I am curious what situations might cause other owners to reject a potential renter. I recently had a renter, who was ready to confim, return my contract with changes he had made in red. My husband thought I should negotiate with him, but I refused. My contract is NOT negotiable!!  What has caused you to turn down a potential renter?

        • Re: When NOT to rent?
          carol Premier Contributor

          Let's see:

          - prom or graduation parties (funny how they all describe themselves as very mature and responsible!)

          - any group with more people than my max occupancy (I suggest they might want to rent two houses or

              refer them to another house in town with more beds)

          - people who want to rent less than my 1-week minimum during peak season ( I tell them to wait until later)

          - people who want to send me more money than my rent (big red flag)

          - people I've rented to before who mistreated the house

          • Re: When NOT to rent?
            Contributor

            Good topic!

             

            -Anyone who has mistreated the house, my self, my partner or my cleaner.  I have no tollerance for disrespect.

             

            -Anyone who comes off as rude or arrogant on the phone or is not really sure if they are going to make it and they want to know my cancelation policy two days before they arrive.

             

            -Anyone who ask for unreasonable discounts, especially if I am already running a special or have extended an offer to them and they want more or it's not good enough.

             

            -You bet if some one tried to change my contract, I would not rent to them.  What the heck?

             

            Otherwise, if folks are polite and understanding, I have no issues and I am pretty flexible about who I rent to.  I will bend the rules left and right if I feel like the potential renter is a good person.

             

            Lara

            www.alluringbend.com

              • Re: When NOT to rent?
                anja Senior Contributor

                First, I will not re-rent to anyone who left my place excessively dirty! And, I have turned down a few couples who wanted to come back. Second, anyone who is not polite to me during the inquiry.  My most extreme example:   A guy with a question about "price per night" called...he offered no other info when I asked...he only wanted to know "Just what I asked - price per night"....but he warned me that he'd spoken to several other owners already  ...and before I could even utter a syllable to give him my help he cut in and barked:  "Don't tell me there are different prices for different times...just give me the price!"   I knew this guy was already "dead in the water" ...but I gave him my advertised price per night... to which he replied: "I think you want to do better than that!"...implying if I wanted his business.    To which I calmly and politely replied: "I've answered your question...but you are not courteous to me when you want my help.... so I do not want you in my home....and I'm ending this conversation, aloha and goodbye."   {He called me the "c_ _ t" word and hung up first.}  Whew...lucky me...saved from a low life. Third, anyone who wants me to waive any point in my rental terms & conditions like my maximum occupancy limit  -or-  my payment terms  -or-  my no pet policy.

                  • Re: When NOT to rent?
                    lrbaldwin Active Contributor

                    Everything said above plus:

                     

                    I do family units only, but if they're vacationing with any other group that is renting another house (weddings, reunions, family friends etc), I turn them down.  Our kitchen is super equipped with high end equipment, perfect for preparing meals for BIG crowds, and we have a huge dining room table.  We learned the hard way a couple years ago....everybody from the other houses went to our cottage for meals. 

                     

                    Last year I got a call from a new owner about 2 blocks away from our cottage.  She was having a family reunion.  She wanted to house the 6 elders (over 60) in our house.  Sounds fine, right?  However, to avoid making the elders go up and down the steps too much, she planned to cook and serve every meal to the whole crowd at our house. I very politely turned her down, told her that our cottage just wasn't equipped to handle a crowd for meals. Have you ever attended a family reunion?  Ever notice any kids who were out of control?  No?  Then you haven't attended a reunion that included kids.

                     

                    Oh, and there was the inquiry a week ago.  In the Comments section, she said "Give me your best price."  I probably should have just ignored her, but I was fed up with scattergun inquiries.  Our posted rent was $2095.  I responded via email and told her that we do not negotioate on price because we are fully booked each year at full price. Then I told her my best price was $2195.  I wouldn't have rented to her even if she'd responded that she wanted the cottage at that price.  I'm not worried about filling that week.  It's the only week not yet booked for the summer.

                     

                    I think my main criteria are:

                    1.  I want guests who have total control over themselves and their children.  There's no guarantee, but if there's a chance there will be uncontrolled children (as in the parents went to the beach or dinner and left their kids with friends or an aunt or cousin or some such), I'm not going to take the chance.

                     

                    2.  People who want an ultra cheap vacation.  Our house sleeps 8.  I will not rent to 4 couples without children, and I screen carefully on the phone if, say, there are 2 couples with 2 children each.  I've turned down that configuration when the children were teenagers.  The house just isn't big enough for them all to be comfortable, and that's just what I tell them.  I do give them the names of some other houses in the same price range that are bigger.

                     

                    Linda

                    http://vrbo.com/315522

                • Re: When NOT to rent?
                  stjvilla Active Contributor

                  Oh wow.  Those are some crazy stories.  Gmajay - totally agree with you not renting or negotiating.  Your contract is yours and if it doesn't work for them, they don't belong in your home.

                   

                  We don't usually have these problems, but won't rent if the house layout won't work for their group.  For example, 2 parents and 3 or 4 kids - our house can sleep 7 but the 2 master bedrooms are in different buildings with one in the main house and one in a separate pod.  Where are you going to put the kids?  In the separate bedroom pod, unsupervised, or the main house bedroom, unsupervised?  Neither works.  We actually built the house to be perfect for 1 couple, 2 couples, or 2 couples and a couple of younger kids.

                   

                  Larry and Margot

                    • Re: When NOT to rent?
                      sophie Senior Contributor

                      I concur that if any one tries to change the contract, it's over.  Rudeness.  If someone says to me "Well house x will give it to me for $5 per night, but we really like YOUR property, can you match it??" as anja said, "He's dead in the water" I inform them that they better hurry and book that property because it won't last much longer!

                    • Re: When NOT to rent?
                      iopbeachhouse Community All-Star

                      It's hard for me to believe, but I have turned down two renters this year who wanted to rent only one bedroom and promised to confine themselves to only the kitchen, living room and master bedroom. This is a 4000 square foot home with 6 bedrooms and 5 1/5 bathrooms! Whether they use one bedroom or all six, the cost is the same! I was surprised to get this request once, but then I got another one a few weeks ago. What are they thinking? Four people don't need a 6 bedroom house and I'm not going to discount it to make it affordable for them.

                        • Re: When NOT to rent?
                          lrbaldwin Active Contributor

                          iopbeachhouse,

                           

                          That hilarious!  It reminds me of something that happened to us 30 years ago that we still laugh about.  We're way out in the country and had an old truck out front with a for sale sign on it.  The price was reasonable, but the guy looking at it wanted to know if we'd drop the price because all he was going to use it for was to take garbage to the dump.  We told him we didn't care if he drove it off a cliff.

                           

                          Linda

                          http://www.chatterboxtoo.com

                          • Re: When NOT to rent?
                            stjvilla Active Contributor

                            And what are the chances they won't still use all the bedrooms and all the towels, etc.?  When we rent to just one couple in our 2 bedroom place, we can offer them a slightly lower rate and lock the separate bedroom pod.

                            • Re: When NOT to rent?
                              Contributor

                              I've had at least one like this, too, iopbeachhouse.  We have a 3 bedroom, ideal size for the family of 6 (2 adults + 4 kids) that inquired. The caller asked if I would take half off the rent if they all just slept in one bedroom!!

                            • Re: When NOT to rent?
                              jan.stevens Community All-Star

                              Great topic!!

                               

                              This year I had a guy that was offended with the length of my rental agreement. He spent more time writing about how "too long" the agreement was.  I suspected he didn't want to sign the Pet Policy terms.  He had a 1 year old Huskie.  I sent him his money back and suggested that he stay at another Vacation Rental that didn't have a rental agreement.

                              • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                Contributor

                                Thanks all for the great responses--some of which are very entertaining! I laughed as I read many of your comments!

                                 

                                So let me expand this a bit. While the red-lined and rewritten contract I received was an obvious cause for rejection, I have had a couple of more subtle situations in which I didn't reject and then later wished I had. 

                                 

                                Although they weren't blatantly rude or disrespectul, what I DID detect from the initial interactions was an attitude of entitlement.  I had problems with both later--complaints after they left or evidence that the contract had been violated (like finding cigarette butts around the firepit even though one of the rules is no smoking anywhere on the property).  Clearly they won't be coming back, but I wish I had weeded them out during the screening.

                                 

                                So I have also promised myself that if anyone acts entitled during the screening process, what I call "renter" attitude, rather than "guest" attitude, they will be turned down.  Thoughts?

                                  • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                    lrbaldwin Active Contributor

                                    gmajay,

                                     

                                    Yes, you're exactly right about the renter attitude.  What a great description!  This is just our second year renting without an agency.  Last year we were fully booked by Mar 1, and this year we're booked up as of today.  Now we are confident enough to allow ourselves to have an owner attitude.

                                     

                                    Linda

                                    • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                      anja Senior Contributor

                                      I think I understand your distinction. First, I do not think of - or refer to -  the people who stay in my place as "renters" {for me, a renter is a tenant = longer lease}.  I consider everyone my "guests" {guests visit...and go away}.  And, I treat everyone, regardless, equally.  I think there is a difference in demeanor...some people seem to consider themselves as "renters"...and their demeanor seems different, to me, than those who consider themselves as "the guests" in my home.   The "renter" pays me money for something and the "renter" demeanor translates into "it's mine and I'll use it as I will"...because I paid for it.  The "guest attitude" is more gracious...the guest seems open to being "guided"...and they ease into conversation more easily....they want to "connect". The "guest" is  interested....the "renter" just wants to get inside...make the obligatory chit chat - keep it short -...stay and leave. During the stay, the "renter" is more aloof...they are not rude...they just don't feel the need to connect, again, after they paid...the deal is done.   My "screening" formula, which is not fool proof is this:  I think I have met more of the "renter attitude" when someone tells me, in the inquiry process, that they have rented "many" homes:....and....they know what  "you Owners" want, etc. {I have been told this}....and for them  I do not need to "explain much" because they  have experience...they know. When I get that kind  of response, I feel  I'm dealing with a "renter attitude"...someone who lived in a lot of other people's homes....they take more liberty using the home...because it's "theirs...they paid".   They are not necessarily disrespectful to my place...often they are good house guests...they just did the minimim obligation on their part -- pay & stay.  The "guest attitude" just seems more gracious...interested in a "walk through" orientation on arrival, they like a chat ....and willing to take a minute to either write in my guestbook...or do an online review.  I always enjoy more dealing with "the guest demeanour"...but I do not "screen out" the "renter attitude" from staying at my place......unless I sense they are not well mannered ..in the inquiry.  My benchmark is: etiquette.  Basic manners, just being polite is a gateway to my place.

                                        • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                          Contributor

                                          Hi Anja,  Your in depth discussion of these terms is helpful. Granted! I always think of those who stay at our VR as "guests", too. And I don't always expect to connect in a warm, fuzzy way with everyone who rents from us.  If they are respectful of our contract terms and leave our home the way they find it, they are "guests" to me, even if they remain aloof.

                                           

                                          What I am referring to by "entitlement" is the attitude that "Hey--I've paid the rent, so that makes the place mine to do with what I want!"

                                           

                                          In one case, I should have known when the reservation check wasn't put in the mail by the due date that I was dealing with "renter" attitude. I should have rejected them at that point which our contract states we have the right to do.The attitude from that party during the whole rental process was that we "owed" them something more than they got, even though we go out of our way to accommodate our "guests" and provide for their needs.

                                           

                                          Never again will I struggle to please someone who doesn't pay on time! It will be one of my red flags!

                                            • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                              anja Senior Contributor

                                              Oh yes, gmajay...that was my defination, as well..."I pay...I stay...the place is mine to use as I want".  I don't blame you for feeling as you do. Not paying on time is definitely  a red flag for me, as well....because not  paying  on time weakens  my "trust" in them from the get-go to be the good "guest" -vs-  just the "renter" who thinks it's okay to keep me  waiting --- because they've done it before, elsewhere.  I've had similar experiences with a few people lagging behind on returning a contract and they turned out to also be very late with the deposit when they'd ask for a week or two more extension. The extension passes...and no money...and they still think the place is "theirs"...just because they told us they wanted it....even if they hadn't paid for it, yet.  I'm more sensitive to those situations now ...I'll only send one reminder...that the place is not secured and we have it still open "on the market".  During the stay, they get what we agreed...and I step back from those types....I keep out of sight.  But, the "renter attitude" expresses itself in other ways....and it can sometimes influence me to "be quite attentive" that I have a "renter", on  board.  Last month, I had someone tell me, quite bluntly, that I did not give them directions from the airport. He called me from the airport, on arrival here, and told me that I never sent them driving directions and they didn't know how to find us or even where we are!  His tone was curt...no aloha!  I knew that I sent them everything ....I'm very careful with tracking....I sent our address, driving directions, including maps, Google Earth image....even how to reach Costco from the airport in case they wanted to shop before checking in...because he asked about that...and then the directions to us from Costco, too.  He insisted that he never got it  {he got all my other mails...so guess what I was thinking - he didn't want to admit he left it home - it's easier to blame the Owner}. That guy was always very "short" in all his communications...as if he didn't have the time to give me - while I was helping him with all his questions.  They reached my place much later than I expected...so I presumed they went to Costco first.  When I asked, they told me they decided, instead,  to stop for dinner  ...and they knew I was waiting for them...but they didn't bother to tell me they'd be much later...it was almost 3 hours later {and I rushed through my own quick dinner so I'd be at the cottage to greet them}.  Our meeting was brief because they said they too were tired to "meet".  I let them in and we agreed that I should come in the morning so we could "orient" together.  I arrive and what do I see on the dining table....the driving directions!   I said something like:  "Oh I'm so glad you found them."  And, they said - absolutely nothing. ...and they had charged me of not giving it to them - causing them "anxiety" in the airport looking for my telephone number {that was the underlying message because my tel # was on the drive directions}.  Good thing they had  my business card...so they said. These  people traveled with their gadgets - iphone, ipad...they could have emailed or called from California where they had 4 hour lay over, or from Honolulu where they stayed 2 days prior to my island  ....but no...they were too self absorbed...they waited to land here...get all "nervous"...and then attempt to make me feel as if I neglected them.  No apology. Their stay was punctuated with a couple of "requests", a.k.a the "renter attitude"...not the gracious "guests". There was never a shred of grace projected....no thank you for any of our time we jumped in to help when they "snapped" their fingers  twice...never  excusing themselves for the time of day they came over to our door...usually dinner time...step away from our table to help them.....{we were annoyed at that point}. Except....they did leave me {whew}  with a very nice guestbook entry about their stay.  Now, admittedly, I was nervous during the entire week they were here..{Was it good enough for them? Would they nit pick? Would they do a negative"review" ?}. So, it came as a great {sigh} of relief when I read their very nice remarks - completely out of character for them - in our guestbook that they left "opened" on the coffee table so I'd find it.  At least, that one ended well for me...the "renter" arrived - stayed-  and checked out "like a gracious guest".

                                                • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                  Contributor

                                                  Wow, anja! Those guests were beyond "high maintenance"! But perhaps, by keeping your professional cool, you transformed their attitude!

                                                   

                                                  I did not have such a positive turn-around. I experienced ongoing whining from the party that didn't get the check in the mail. Their final complaint  and parting shot by email a few hours after they left was that the Wi-Fi service wasn't fast enough for them. I, too, was worried about a bad review, but they left no comments. I think the parting complaint was to justify their failure to follow the rules--they left the cottage really dirty and failed to even take out the garbage!

                                                   

                                                  You mentioned being more sensitive to potential renters like this. Gratefully going into my third rental year, I am, too.

                                            • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                              lrbaldwin Active Contributor

                                              gmajay,

                                               

                                              I'm with you on entitlement.  Here's one that just started last week.  I emailed our 2012 guests with a little survey asking what 1 or 2 things made you choose our cottage, how did you find VRBO (somebody suggested it, you always "shop" there, etc).  I told them to answer all, some, or ignore the email altogether.  I got some helpful information, expecially from a woman from Long Island who was coming just with her doctor husband, both around 60 yrs old.  Perfect guests, right?  Daisy, who had already paid for half the rent for her June 24 week that she reserved back in October of 2011, answered that the two reasons she chose us were 1. price (ugh, I want them to want the cottage for the cottage.  Oh well, whatever) and, get this...2. the pool.  Yep, she was absolutely right that there is no better price in the entire Outer Banks for a 4 BR house with a pool. OK, that's fine, but WE DON'T HAVE A POOL, never have had one, never will.  So I immediately called her cell phone number...no answer.  Then I called her home phone.  Husband answers, I ask if I may speak to Daisy, he says very gruffly, "I beg your pardon."  I gave him the number I thought I had dialed and he, again very gruffly, said "Yes that is correct.  What is this in reference to?"  I told him I was the owner of the cottage they were renting and he finally settled down, got downright friendly, and called Daisy to the phone.  She informed me that she doesn't answer her cell phone if she doesn't recognize the number.  So I informed her that we do not have a pool.  At first she didn't believe me, said she was sure there was a pool, and asked for the listing number so she could look at it.  Red flags are flying all over the place at this point.  She finally admitted that she had made a mistake and that not having a pool was a deal breaker.  According to our lease, she can cancel and get her money back if and when we re-rent the cottage.  There's no way I was going to rent to her or have anything to do with her entitled self from that moment on, so I told her right away that we would send her money back immediately, no strings attached.

                                               

                                              What if I hadn't sent out that survey?  She would have arrived in June and been livid that there was no pool.  At that point there'd be nothing we could do.  She'd probably be pi**ed off for the whole week and all I could do was hope she didn't submit a review......and also hope that she didn't abuse the house.  Occasionally something happens to me that comes close to getting me some religion.  This was one of them.

                                               

                                              Linda

                                              Let me know if you can find any evidence of a pool at http://vrbo.com/315522

                                            • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                              sandybeach Contributor

                                              As a former guest (or renter?) and now owner, I can understand how people can be perceived. 

                                               

                                              However, as most of us who get into this sort of work are extraverts, I'll note that there are intraverts who won't enjoy making small talk and who are respectful but very uncomfortable being on the phone and looking to minimize their interactions with the owner.  I am close to several people who would fall into this category and they might get (unfairly, IMO) filtered out.

                                                • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                  Contributor

                                                  Granted, sandybeach. It truly is important not to judge people who are just shy or reserved or introverted. I think I am generally sensitive to someone who demonstrates such characteristics and certainly wouldn't disqualify them for that.

                                                   

                                                  Your distinction is important and I wanted to explain that I've probably only used the "entitled" label on three or four occasions myself during our first, two years of renting to about 50+ parties and in responding to hundreds of inquiries.

                                                   

                                                  I will cite another example to explain what I mean. I always email our renters a few days before they arrive to address any last minute questions and make sure they understand that they can contact me or any staff if they encounter any problem, no matter how small, after they arrive.

                                                   

                                                  In one case, a renter (an online search revealed her to be a successful business woman) emailed me back to tell me that she was bringing an additional person, even though the contract strictly states the limit on the number of renters allowed. Most people will respectfully contact me well ahead of time and ask if they can bring one more person. I appreciate it when they ask as it gives me the opportunity to discuss whether our cottage is adequate fo accommodate one extra person. If we agree to go ahead, I will revise the contract to reflect the change and email it to them.

                                                   

                                                  However, this time the attitude was an issue for me, as well as the fact that the maximum number of adults that I think can comfortably be accommodated had already been reached. I let her know my concerns about the space and explained that I didn't want her to be disappointed, but I didn't hold her to the terms of the contract limiting the number in the party. I was still new at VR renting and still bending over backwards to please.

                                                   

                                                  In retrospect, I remember that this renter seemed hurried and impatient and cut me off a couple of times during the initial, screening , phone conversation, giving me the impression that she didn't have time to discuss the rental details. In fact I recall that all she seemed to care about was if we REALLY had all the amenities that we claimed to in our listing!

                                                   

                                                  Even though I always email a nice message of gratitude to our guests after they leave, I never got any word back or a written comment in our guest book (although practically all our guests write something helpful or positive) or an acknowledgement of any kind from this person!

                                                   

                                                  If I encounter someone like this again, I will recognize the signs that I consider "entitled" and let them know that I have concerns that our VR will be a good fit for them. I will back out and not rent to them!

                                                    • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                      New Member

                                                      Wow....it is nice to hear that I have not been alone dealing with rude people. I'm only a year into renting and our first rental was via referral from a friend. Innocent I was. It has been the worse guests we have had. Since then we have learned: prefer not to rent than to rent to the wrong person; not to exceed the maximum occupancy; speak directly with them (you get lots of feedback of who you are talking to), purpose of the trip. We usually don't want children given that our condo is high end with some nice pieces but by speaking with the parents we get a fairly good idea if the kids are brats; we stay away from toddlers to 10-13 y/o thereafter is touch and good depending on the parent actitud while on the phone. We have strict rules about parties and penalties along with it. Last year received a request for rental for 6 adults (max occupancy). Got them on the phone and starting chating about their reason going down there and out of the blue it came out that other friends have rented two other unit in the complex for the same time period.....RED FLAG. Party time. Refused rental.

                                                      Any guest changing my contract before we agreed upon it is not welcome. When the contract goes out we already have address all the issues. Oh, I have a clause in my contract that any default on the contract they will be evicted by my property manager.

                                                      I decided to have an electronic lock which I can blocked their entrance to the unit. Best thing I get thus I have control in those kind of situations.

                                                  • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                    marilyn Active Contributor

                                                    under 21 (legal drinking age in New York), spring break, parties, wedding or any events on my property. No fund raising, no birthday parties. We offer only sleeping accommodations with bbq, pool and a nice relaxing vacation.

                                                      • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                        Contributor

                                                        Okay . . . I just got another one to share.

                                                         

                                                        Had prospective renter call to discuss accommodations, etc. Mentioned in the first sentence that he had a dog, just he and his wife, retired. We engaged in a warm, chatty conversation for about 10 minutes before he disclosed he also had two cats he was planning on bringing--no problem, he said, because the cats and his dog don't fight--they get along fine!

                                                         

                                                        Now, we happen to love cats and have two in our primary residence. But because of the higher rate of allegic sensitivity to cats including a family member who reacts, (aside from the fact that cats introduced to new territory tend to mark--even the neutered ones might do that, I'm told) we don't allow them in our VR. After immediately letting him know in a kind but firm way that we don't accept cats, the mood changed and the caller began to argue with me. He finally accepted my explanation and I didn't have to hang up mid-conversation on him. But again--the ATTITUDE showed up!

                                                         

                                                        One reason I market our rental as "pet" rather than "dog" friendly is that I have anticipated a situation just like this--someone trying to sneak in their cat, or ferret, or pet rodent!

                                                      • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                        sliver2907 Contributor

                                                        Had a potential renter email that he was interested in a week in Spring.  After a couple emails "full confession".  The rental was for his "angel" spring break daughter and her 4 friends.  I said no problem.  They would each need to put down 1 week as a deposit and then pay the one week rental fee.  The $7000 deposit would be fully refunded as long as 1)the police were not called 2) the neighbors did not report any parites.  3)  the house was returned in the condition that it was given to them in.  "Dad" said that the deposit was a deal breaker for him.  I wrote back and said that the deposit would be refunded as long as the provisions of the contract were met.  Souldn't be a problem for the "angels" that were coming to stay.  After all, it was each girls responsiblity to put down a depsoit share, not dad.  "I have decided we will try a different route" said "dad".  Don't be afraid of deposits or discussing them.  Anyone who is going to treat your place right will not have a problem with the deposit amount because they are going to be responsible.

                                                          • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                            jan.stevens Community All-Star

                                                            Silver, I agree with the high security deposit. It really does stop the possible offenders from booking. 

                                                             

                                                            Last summer I had a group of 9 rent my property and unbeknown to me

                                                             

                                                            they invited 6 friends for the day that arrived via sailboat. They broke all kinds of rules. They overwhelmed the community dock so my neighbors couldn't use the dock. My property turned into their party house for the day. Needless to say I heard many complaints from the neighbors.

                                                             

                                                            This experience taught me a big lesson about who to rent to.

                                                             

                                                            This was a great opportunity for me to revise my rental agreement:

                                                            •    I added a LARGE security deposit to groups. and make it clear that if any part of the rental agreement is violated I will keep the security deposit INCLUDING but not limited to "unnapproved guests."
                                                            • I pay close attention to groups of people where none of the last names match.........in most cases it is a group of friends having a FUN weekend. 
                                                            •      I added a clause about "only approved guests are allowed to use our community dock."

                                                             

                                                             

                                                            Sure enough this group had such a great party weekend they asked if they could book again this summer.  I said, "sure" and then hit them with the new and improved rental agreement. I haven't heard back from them. 

                                                             

                                                            Jan  

                                                            • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                              marilyn Active Contributor

                                                              Although we market our homes as pet friendly, I really mean dog friend. Sorry cat lovers out there, I am very allergic.

                                                               

                                                              When checking out a tenant last summer, boy was I surprised to meet Frank the dragon (not sure type) reptile three feet long. Our guests had not finished packing and he was the last to go into the car, SO, to my surprise I saw him. They never asked if it was o.k. to bring. Not sure I would have found out about him (assume male, but not sure) if I had not arrived early.

                                                               

                                                              Goes to show you guests will sneak in all sorts of animals.

                                                               

                                                              Marilyn

                                                              www.hamptonhouseproperties.info

                                                              • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                                marilyn Active Contributor

                                                                I love your idea!

                                                                 

                                                                Because my homes are rather large, 7 bedrooms or more, I get approximately 125 -150 prom requests per prom season. The daughter or son is always a straight "A" student, as if that would make them more respectful of your home. When asking the parents if they will be there the answer is almost always "oh no, we wouldn't want to cramp their style or impose of them". Tempted to say why don't you rent them your home.

                                                                 

                                                                Marilyn

                                                                www.hamptonhouseproperties.com

                                                              • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                                New Member

                                                                Great stories! So does anyone tell them why you're not renting to them, or do you make up an excuse about being booked during that time?

                                                                 

                                                                Matt

                                                                  • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                                    Contributor

                                                                    Good question! It depends on the situation. 

                                                                     

                                                                    Those who want to rent off-season as a nightly for long week-ends I find often display "renter attitude". Even though they say they intend to bring just the maximum number of guests allowed in our listing, I sometimes sense that they are plannning to bring additional people beyond what is allowed under the contract. They could care less about the limitations of our home, especially since they only intend to "camp out" there for a few days. Since our nightly rates are not as clearly defined  as our high season weekly rates are, I will quote them the highest rate along with an equally high security deposit which usually scares them away.

                                                                     

                                                                    However, I also try to be direct when possible. With the guy who red-lined revisions to my contract, I simply emailed him that if he didn't like my contract, he wouldn't like our accommodations either. I wished him well in finding other lodging. End of story! When I let him know it wasn't going to work out, he tried to call me in a panic, but I refused to pick up the phone. A few weeks later he emailed to let me know he had found other lodging and that our contract was DEFINITELY off. Like there had been any question about that? I didn't respond.

                                                                  • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                                    Contributor

                                                                    Great question.  I currently have an inquiry for several weeks that I would love to book.  However, after a quick google search, I see that he is an attorney that has a reputation for seeking out companies to sue for a reason I won't disclose in case he's reading this!  I had a previous issue with an attorney when I failed to return the security deposit due to evidence of them having a dog in our no-pet property.  After many of his threats, I finally just returned the deposit to avoid the stress involved.  Do you think I am justified in my concerns of potential security deposit and/or issues that might arise should I rent to him and his 5 children?  They are also over the maximum occupancy by 1 (could be an infant which wouldn't be an issue in an of itself).

                                                                      • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                                        marilyn Active Contributor

                                                                        I am thinking about setting up a form questionaire with regards to pets, breed, how many, with # of guests, adults age range, children ages, etc. etc. etc. AND, on the questionaire note that security deposit is withheld in the event guest has lied about any of the questions. Have them sign it. Then, should they do something which is not agreed upon, you will have their signature on a document which shows they have lied. This might be a better solution than worrying if the tenant will sue you or not. Besides attorneys, guests can sue as well.

                                                                         

                                                                        Marilyn

                                                                        www.hamptonhouseproperties.info

                                                                          • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                                            msdebj Senior Contributor

                                                                            Marilyn,  all of my ads say under Pets "Ask". I have a seperate Pet Policy that asks the questions you're referring to (size, breed, etc.). Our Rental agreement asks for full discloser re: ages, etc. AND about pets..

                                                                             

                                                                            Damage deposit agreement also states they can be immediately evicted and lose all moneis ( including the DD) if they bring unauthorized, or unapproved pets AND guests.

                                                                             

                                                                            Many insurance polices do not cover (and even become null and void) if you allow certain breeds on site.

                                                                             

                                                                            So you're on to something.. DOCUMENT, document & document!!

                                                                              • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                                                marilyn Active Contributor

                                                                                To dbmeyer:  Did the first attorney fill out your questionaire and did he lie about the dog? What evidence did you provide regarding the pet?

                                                                                 

                                                                                Ms debj: How many people ask with regards to how many bring a pet without telling? Have you ever had to keep the DD because a renter brought a pet?

                                                                                 

                                                                                Marilyn

                                                                                www.hamptonhouseproperties.info

                                                                                  • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                                                    msdebj Senior Contributor

                                                                                    Marilyn,

                                                                                    I've actually had no problems with unapproved pets, since I spell things out in plain lanuage in my responses and agreements.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    I HAVE declined some rentals with dogs over 40 pounds , but have also made a few exceptions ( after talking with the renter,regarding the breed, etc).  The beauty of managing my own rentals!!

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Many people with certain breeds are VERY aware of insurnce policies.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    I've had 3 rentals in the past 3 years contact me a month before ( final payment is due)  asking to bring a small dog ( under 25 lbs),  and they have all been fine. BUT, they had to sign our Pet Policy-- and all was well. They may have been some of my best renters, to date.

                                                                                    debj

                                                                                    • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                                                      Contributor

                                                                                      We have a NO pet policy, which the attorney/renter agreed to in writing.  When I presented evidence of dog food, hair everywhere, paw prints on sliders, and dog poo outside, they denied that was theirs, and went so far as to leave me screaming, cursing voice messages, and in his emails threatened to sue me and to turn me in for building code violations, etc.  I couldn't deal with the stress of all of this over $500, and just returned the $500 letting him know how I felt about him and his family and their lack of integrity, etc.  I thought about contacting his employer (he's also a law professor) to let them know what type of person was teaching at their well-known school, but just had to let it go.  This is why I am reluctant to rent to certain people who give me reason for concern.

                                                                                        • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                                                          momskico Contributor

                                                                                          Have one right now that I won't rent to.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Sent an email requesting 3 nights over the 4th of July.  I responded politely thanking him for his interest, stating we only accept week long rentals over the holiday week and wishing him well on his vacation.  I received an email back from him stating that our rate chart states there is a 4 night minimum or a cleaning fee and that he is excepting said offer for 3 nights plus the cleaning fee and that I need to honor our advertized rate or explain to him why he is not eligible to rent our home for those dates. 

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Our property is located in an area where prices vary dramaticly throughout the year and given the limitations in space for posting the rates, it is listed like this:

                                                                                           

                                                                                          May 21- Sept 30 225/265 per night (4 night minimum or $150 clean) 7th night free except July 4th. 

                                                                                           

                                                                                          There isn't room to list:

                                                                                          May 21-Sept 30 225/265 per night 4 night minimum or $150 clean except July 4th week, 7th night free except July 4th week.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          It also says:  Until confirmed, rates are subject to change without notice.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Red flags - I smell a rat.  I don't like the tone this gentleman took with me and wouldn't rent to him if he were the last guest on earth. 

                                                                                           

                                                                                          I showed the email to my husband who looked the gentleman up and turns out he is an attorney.  This made me remember a horror story in the forums I saw a year or two ago where someone had no agreement and was an attorney, yet sued the homeowner for not allowing him to stay in the property (said property was somewhere in CA).  I cannot remember the exact details, but I seem to recall he had no agreement, no deposit and showed up in California then sued the homeowner for the cost of his families trip as he was unable to stay in the home when he got there.  Sounds nuts, but there was some goofy law that he was going after them under. Plus, it was costing the home owner a bunch of money to defend themselves against this gentleman.   I don't want to be his next victim if he or another attorney is running the same scam. 

                                                                                           

                                                                                          This is our vacation home. If we don't get a rental the length of our choosing we would elect to go with our friends and children rather than do a super short holiday booking.   My husband said I should just tell the gentleman that this is the case.  It doesn't matter because I have another group in place taking the week.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Here's the question.  Do I respond and let him know someone else is taking the home for the week thereby engaging in dialogue with an attorney that might be trying to come up with ammunition to use against me?  Do I ignore him  and run the risk of him showing up at the booked rental and claim I have caused him damages to fly his family to vacation here as he told me he was "accepting my offer"  as happened to the CA  couple I mentioned earlier?  I think that guy even filed in the state of TX so the owners had to go there to defend themselves.  If it weren't already spoken for is there some odd law that would require me to rent to this **** merely because I have a listing on vrbo/homeaway?  I recall someone else on the east coast also having someone threatening to sue them and report them to the BBB because she wasn't renting to them also here on this forum. Seems like that would be utter BS but I know I have seen crazy stories like this.  Sheesh.

                                                                                            • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                                                              lazym Active Contributor

                                                                                              I just read your requirements and to me it seems like, because of the way it is written (and I know this isn’t your fault but a fault of the website set-up), that you can do a 3 or 4 night rental over the 4th of July week you just would not get a free 7th night.  And after reading a 2nd, 3rd and 4th time I still feel it says that and not that you have to do a 7 night rental over the 4th of July. If you already have someone set up to rent it for a week I would tell him that.  If not I would honor his request, unless you truly think you will not be able to rent the other 4 nights, I mean he is willing to pay the extra cleaning fee for 3 nights. It is very possible that someone might want the other 4 days (or 3) because the 4th is in the middle of the week and some people can’t take a whole week off. 

                                                                                               

                                                                                              One thing I have learned both from this business and my other one is that tone over email can be taken very differently than the person meant to sound (and with lawyers this is even more likely to happen because they normally have to be so “strict” in the way the communicate). 

                                                                                               

                                                                                              If he is willing to pay the whole rate and sign your Rental Agreement according to your regular terms I would not think it is a scam. 

                                                                                              • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                                                                marilyn Active Contributor

                                                                                                Sometimes less is more.

                                                                                                A simple statement, "we are sorry to inform you that the home has been rented".

                                                                                                If you don't answer, not good business practice. Who knows how many people this person knows and can send lots of bad press out to others.  If push comes to shove, point out that  "rates are subject to change"
                                                                                                . Keep it simple. Don't get caught up in a debate that may cause you to say something that can be used against you. Good luck.

                                                                                                • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                                                                  larkobx Contributor

                                                                                                  You never offered to rent to this particular person, so there's nothing for him to "accept." I agree with marilyn to keep your reply simple and tell him it's no longer available.

                                                                                                   

                                                                                                  Moving forward you might consider changing your ad copy. Maybe something like, "May 21- Sept 30 225/265 per night (4 night minimum or $150 clean) 7th night free. July 4th requires 7 night min."

                                                                                                   

                                                                                                  We went through this recently with Memorial Day and this was part of my standard reply, "Thank you for your interest in our vacation loft. We are currently holding Memorial Day as a potential week-long rental, but are happy to keep you on the list and can contact you closer to the date if you're still interested in a weekend stay."

                                                                                                  • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                                                                    sage Community All-Star

                                                                                                    You have already told the man no, and gave him a reason.  There is absolutely no need to respond to any more of his communications.  His demand that you honor your advertised rate or "explain why he is not eligible" to rent demonstrate a bad attitude that, for me, would be disqualifying.

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    While you may not illegally discriminate in your rentals, you may legally discriminate against people on bases that are not protected.  You may discriminate on the basis that the person is a ****.  Attorneys are not a protected class of individuals, and you may discriminate against attorneys (even though not all are jerks).

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    To give a response that is a lie could be a mistake because it tends to suggest that you do not have a legitimate basis for rejecting his request.

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    You probably know the Miranda warning from watching police shows -- "You have the right to remain silent.  Anything you say can and will be used against you . . . ."  The essence of this holds true in civil cases as well as in criminal prosecutions.  If you respond to this man, and if he is as litigious as your description suggests, he may sue you and whatever you say to him may be used against you.  Words may be twisted to trick and confuse (any good trial attorney or detective can tell you about that).  The less said, the better in situations such as this.

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    I recently declined an inquiry and explained to the man that there was not enough time to complete the paperwork and get keys to him in the 2 days before he wanted to check in.  He responded to demand that I rent to him because my calendar showed the dates as available.  Having responded once with my explanation, I felt no need to respond further.  He sent me emails daily for several days that grew increasingly confrontational and erratic.  In situations like this, unless one wants to participate in an email argument no good can come from further communication.  To be polite and professional does not require a response to every communication.

                                                                                        • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                                                          New Member

                                                                                          In my 9 plus years privately renting a condo on the beach, I have learned some hard fast rules.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          1.If they happen call and sound shadey or by email go with your gut!

                                                                                           

                                                                                          2.Never rent/book without a Credit Card, always take a deposit.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          3.If they immediately ask about your cancellation policy that is probably a red flag proceed with caution and stick to your policy especially if they try to use a "death in the family" excuse...sound cruel but there are some people who are professionals at  getting "free rooms".

                                                                                           

                                                                                          4.Dont let them scare you with a Bad review on your website, I recently encountered a threat of a bad review but stuck to the facts of the Rental Agreement and informed the person I didn't care, the so called bad review was never written.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          5. Have your cleaning team or yourself enter the premisses the day of departure to check for damages and take good pictures.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          6. We all like to be 100% booked and sometime I have 2 or 3 people for the similar time frame naturally chosing the logest rental time which =more income. I have a friend who i give my overflow rentals to and she is even cheaper so the people are happy I provided them with an alternative.

                                                                                          • Re: When NOT to rent?
                                                                                            bobbie32 Community All-Star

                                                                                            I simply tell them that we cannot meet their expectations and suggest other places that might be more appropriate.