11 Replies Latest reply: Apr 18, 2012 10:55 PM by bend2011 RSS

    What to do with an unhappy renter threatening you?

    New Member

      Hi there:


      I've only had my home on VRBO for over a year, and had one guest that demanded a free night.  Now I just had guests that were checking in today and called and said they didn't like my home and wanted a full refund.  They actually had come 2 hours early so my cleaning lady was there and told me they were just unbearable. 


      They said there were stains on the sheets (which I'm guessing was a mark my ProActive lotion made) - but I had personally washed them all myself this past weekend and were clean.  My cleaning was so nice, and still said she'd change all the linens for them, even though they were clean.


      They also had issues that they couldn't use a 2nd shower (it's a small bathroom and makes a huge mess) but I had advertised it as a 1 1/2 bath, so it didn't include that shower.  They just said it was not up to VRBO standards and they want a full refund.  The issue is, it's a 4 night renter, and it's last minute, so I can't get anyone else in there that fast. 


      They are threatening to sue me and take photos and post them as a negative review if I don't refund them.  What should I do?  It's not worth comproising other future rentals, but I do believe they had unrealistic expectations.  I said my house was a no frills 1950's rambler. 


      I also asked where they were going to stay (as I know there is no where else in town) and  she said at her sister's - which is an hour away.  So basically, I think it wasn't what they expected, and wanted to stay for free.


      Any advice would be appreciated!  Thanks!

        • What to do with an unhappy renter threatening you?
          Active Contributor

          My advice is return the money, although I'd charge a cancellation fee if it's set forth in your contract.  This simply isn't worth the aggravation and the anxiety it causes you.  Look on the bright side - they're not staying there for free - let them move on and chalk it up to experience. 

            • What to do with an unhappy renter threatening you?

              It is so upsetting when this happens as these problems are normally caused by a renter making a snap decision and not paying close enough attention to the rental listing information. When problems like this happen it is best to try and reach a settlement. Explain to them how costly this is going to be to you as it will be impossible to rebook with this short of notice. Renters tend to forget that we have mortgages payments to make and that our insurance premiums are so much higher than an average homeowner. Explain that this refund is going to be a real hardship but you are willing to give them a refund less the cancellation fee because your guests are extremely important to you.


              If you can reach a settlement with them than require that they sign a Non-Disparagement Agreement. Explain that this is a mutual agreement whereby you are agreeing not to register them as a bad vacation renter and they are agreeing not to write a bad review on any listing site about you. Handwrite on the back of the refund check Cashing this check is agreement to a settlement of any and all disputes related to (name of your rental property).


              If they will not agree to your proposed settlement then tell them that your offer will still be open tomorrow if you change your minds.

            • Re: What to do with an unhappy renter threatening you?
              New Member

              Is there a place only owners have access to that we can post the bad renters who try

              To scam us.  If not, we should have one. We need to protect ourselves!


              I'm sure they try it a lot because it is such a hassle and aggravation for us, we rather just refund them and be done with it. It'd be nice to know who they are so we don't rent to them.


              This is why I hate reviews, 1 lousy renter can run in your reputation that we work so hard to upkeep by doing our best th keep our property pristine.  Unfortunately, there are crooks in the world.


              We might run into them, once every 1-2 years, but it is always very aggravating and stressfull. They always, threaten to turn us into vrbo, write a bad review and sue us.  For what?  Once the whole electricity in the neighborhood was out.  How is that our fault?


              Once there were some ants in the bed after the 3rd of 7 days., the exterminator said they must have been eating in the bed, they flew off the handle and demanded a full refund.


              This time, they renters left after 2 nt. of a 7 nts stay in peak Xmas season, because of roof maintenance. We refunded 5 nts. But they are demanding all their money back, altho we have a no refund clause. Even hotels have ongoing maintenance.


              I pray God treats them as they treat others.

              • Re: What to do with an unhappy renter threatening you?
                New Member

                I just had someone who was allergic to animals rent my animal friendly house.  They were initially complaining about cleaning and dust ; but then it came out they were allergic.  I clearly state it is an animal friendly house.  And of course they were a haggler as well.  They left after two hours because it was " too dusty" and they claim there was a stain on the mattress cover.  It was checked the day before by the property manager.  I told them I would give them back 1/3 of their $$.  any other suggestions.  I don;t get why people who are allergic rent pet friendly propertiens - this is the 3rd time it has happened to me.



                • Re: What to do with an unhappy renter threatening you?

                  Gotta love it - pet allergies, renting in a pet friendly house.


                  Our cabins are located at the top of a mountain. I had a guest book a cabin 2 months in advance and then the day before her check-in she called to ask to cancel her booking. Her reason? Get this...she's afraid of heights Haha!


                  She asked for a refund and when I explained I had turned away other renters while she had the cabin booked, she was unimpressed and insisted on a full refund. She claimed that because she wouldn't be using it, I was able to let others use it - therefore she should be refunded.


                  I explained that I would re-list the cabin and would refund only if I were able to re-book it in full (in the 24 hrs notice she had given me). She became very unhappy, stating (and I quote) "You'll NEVER be able to re-book it with such short notice!"


                  I replied "Yes, I rest my case. I'm happy we agree. Have a nice day".