4 Replies Latest reply: Jul 11, 2012 4:18 PM by anja RSS

    Giving deposit back do i mention damage?

    New Member

      We had some guests stay a week, when they left they had left gum on the bedspread, rug and a throw blanket.  The gum came out of the carpet (mostly) I can replace the bedspread for around 40 dollars and get a new throw blanket for 20. I'm reading that most people here view anything around 50 as the cost of doing business.  My question is, when returning the deposit, how do i nicely mention "You left gum...etc"  or do i mention it at all?

        • Re: Giving deposit back do i mention damage?
          susaninrehoboth Premier Contributor

          I wouldn't mention it when returning the security deposit. If I were 100% positive (i.e., I inspected the rental when they left before anyone else-cleaners, workers, etc.) they caused the gum damage, they would be put on my "Do not rent to again" list. If they inquire about renting again, I would politely tell them they are not a good match for your rental. If they question why, that would be the time to mention the damage. I hope this helps you decide.


            • Re: Giving deposit back do i mention damage?
              anja Senior Contributor

              I do the same as you.


              First, I have to say:  it would really depend upon the extent of the damage. I can not speak from experience because I have not had anything destroyed that was costly...not even as high as $50  {I knock on wood}.  If it happens, I probably will take compensation from the guest for an extensive damage or to  "replace" an item if it can not be used again....but would also consider the prevailing situation...the guest....my experience with that guest...before going ahead with persuing compensation from them. It's all relative and I rarely snap to decision before I consider everything.


              I absorb the small damages like glass, dishes...even broken snorkels and body boards which are way under $50 to replace...beach equipment has a short life span, anyway,  when used by so many different visitors. I haven't had to replace anything more than that...yet....{knocking on wood, again}.


              I have a record file for every single guest that has stayed with me. The overwhelming content is *positive* for them, respectively.  It includes the train of communications from first inquiry....and I note in that file what my experience with them has been....what they liked...anything they needed that was special {handicap, or whatever}, etc..   If they leave my place a mess, dirty, disorganized, ruined something, or violated any of "our agreed-to terms"....I note that down...and those people do not get a green light to return. But, if they just broke a couple of glasses and were nice guests...of course I'm happy to have them back....but if they did many more infringments that lead me to believe they were disregarding, they would not be back!


              My "black file" is confidential...I don't make it public or share it with any other owner in my vicinity {unless the guest was really high-risk. I've never shared any details so far!}.  My black file has served me very well to "recall" what a guest was like if and when they contact me again for a return visit. And, my motivation is to be prepared for that particular guest {I have regulars who have preferences...and they are delighted that I remember their preferences}....and also to avoid "the careless and disregarding" guests, again.

            • Re: Giving deposit back do i mention damage?

              I think it depends on your rental whether or not you should charge for the damage. I've also noticed in these forums that people seem to consider $50 in damages, a cost of doing business. And that makes sense in some cases.


              However, remember these forums have owners not just from all over America, but international owners too. Each owner has their own set of circumstances that allow them to choose what they will and will not charge for. You have to decide that for yourself, based on your unique rental situation. $60 out of a $1,000 rental is nothing. $60 out of a $300 rental is quite a lot to lose.


              Here is my situation...I have several cabins I rent out. My largest cabin rents at $275 per night. My smallest cabin rents at $120 per night. I have a 2 night minimum, so I rent weekends and also weekly.


              $60 damages in my small cabin (rented for 2 nights) would mean I'd be shelling out 25% of my income to replace the bedding. I'm not ok with that. I would charge their security deposit.  $60 damages in the same small cabin if  they rented for an entire week, would only be around 7% of my income, so I'd be ok with that and probably wouldn't charge them.


              $60 damages in my largest cabin however, (rented also for 2 nights) would only mean I'm shelling out 11% of my income to replace the bedding. I'm ok with that. Generally, if it's less than 15% of my rental income, I don't deduct. If it's more...I do. However that percentage is based on MY unique rental situation.


              I do not deduct EVER for things that I consider 'normal accidents'. Plates and glasses get broken...no biggie. However, when it comes to gum...that's not what I consider a 'normal accident'. Gum should be in your mouth or in the trash...nowhere else.


              But, whether I am charging for the damage or not, I always mention it in the email...politely..."Oh darn, I see you didn't notice the gum....etc..." along with the cost of the repairs/replacements. I am careful to always say "I see you didn't notice the...<whatever damage there is>" because even if they did know (and often times they do), this gives them the opportunity to make it right (pay for it) without feeling like you think they tried to get away with it...even if they did. Why automatically decide to not charge them? Maybe they'd be ok with paying for their damage?


              Good luck...most people are honest and want to do the right thing. Mention the gum in an email...<I see you didn't notice...> along with the cost...feel them out...see what their response is. They may OFFER to pay for it.

              • Re: Giving deposit back do i mention damage?
                sophie Senior Contributor

                No matter what the cost of the rental was, if the items were damaged and couldn't be used again, I would absolutely charge for a new bedspread and throw blanket. They are probably not aware of the damage as it was probably a kid that did it. Start off by "Did you know about the gum......?" or like above "I see you didn't notice....."