14 Replies Latest reply: Aug 20, 2012 2:14 PM by old_frog RSS

    How do I nicely decline a reservation request on blacklisted guests?

    New Member

      This doesn't come up often at all, but I just never know how to tactfully respond.  We have received a reservation request from someone who stayed with us a number of years ago that we blacklisted (chopped up fence with hatchet, went on to neighbors property and started a fire in their firepit, tore apart our firepit, left broken glass all over the floor).   They have entered an online reservation request and I don't wan them back.  It's not as easy as saying that property is booked-because I have a number of properties and they could easily just try to rent another.  I don't want to be rude to them, and just don't know how to say we don't have a cabin for you.   Any ideas?  THANKS!

        • Re: How do I nicely decline a reservation request on blacklisted guests?
          Senior Contributor

          It's always tough to handle these folks. I think it's best to simply tell them none of your properties are available.


          I had a group I've rented to 3 yrs in a row. This year they were completely different - I have no idea why. I had complaints from my neighbors, they left the place a wreck and acted like they were frat boys ( or girls).


          I notified them after this stay that there had been complaints. I stated that our property was not suitable for them, and suggested other places they should look at for future VR rentals. I never heard back, so I assume they knew they were in the wrong.


          If you are the only person in charge of renting your cabins I'd just tell them that you have nothing available. If they push, be honest. I think some people are just clueless that their behavior is not acceptable.


          Remember, it is YOUR home and your investment. You decide who to rent to. You can be nice, but be firm. You have nothing to lose  by not renting to these people- except anxiety.


          Best of luck!


          • Re: How do I nicely decline a reservation request on blacklisted guests?
            susaninrehoboth Premier Contributor

            If the request is by email, I just wouldn't answer. Why not take the easy way out? It's not like these are ideal potential guests asking to rent.



            • Re: How do I nicely decline a reservation request on blacklisted guests?

              Or try to turn them into good guests? They already are repeats. Maybe allow them to book pending some highlighted rules, violation of which would result in loss of deposit AND future booking opportunity.



                • Re: How do I nicely decline a reservation request on blacklisted guests?
                  carol Premier Contributor

                  David is an optimist, but it's possible you could turn them around.   I had one set of guests that did lots of little irritating things (like attempting to repair a leaking faucet instead of reporting it to me, and causing more damage)  and one big one -- forgot to send the laundry to the cleaners when they left.   I had decided not to rent to them again.  But when they called for a reservation, I explained that some of their actions made my life rather difficult and they'd need to promise to do better this time.  In addition, I reworded their contract to mandate that they not attempt any repairs without calling me first and I added a penalty of $150 for failure to deal properly with the laundry.   And then I held my breath when they returned this summer.    Outcome -- they behaved like angels and everything went smoothly.  


                  You need to decide if this group has any redeeming qualities, and your decision may be affected by how easy it is to fill all your cabins on the particular dates they want.   If you have no trouble getting perfect guests, then tell them frankly why you will not rent to them -- it will do all the rest of us a favor if they understand that there are consequences to bad behavior in a rental home.

                • Re: How do I nicely decline a reservation request on blacklisted guests?
                  New Member

                  These are all great suggestions, and Carol I think your point is great-if we all come clean and just say their last stay caused us extra expense as Thaxterlane suggested- we all may benefit by changing the behaviors of some guests.  Thanks to all- this is great.

                  • Re: How do I nicely decline a reservation request on blacklisted guests?

                    I had renters recently who did not follow the check out directions and failed even to take out their trash or pick up the yard after there dog.  I could have withheld about $30 from their security deposit, but for various reasons chose not to. However, I did let them know that they had violated the terms of the contract and that I could have withheld the $ based on the problems found after their departure. They quickly replied with an apology and asked if they would be able to return in the future. I didn't say "no" but indicated that if they wanted to return, we would need to talk by phone to discuss the terms of the contract in detail first. In other words, I would have to feel comfortable that they were committed to meeting the terms of our agreement before I would agree to allow them to come back.


                    Although it was difficult to be direct, I felt that I needed to put these renters on notice that there were issues in case they DID want to return.  I knew it would be harder if I waited to tell them until they asked to come back, as it seemed from their level of enthusiasm that they might want to do that. However after I disclosed my displeasure in the exchange of emails that followed, I sensed they will probably go elsewhere in the future.


                    In your case, even though years have passed, it might be good to gently let them know that your records show that there were problems identified after their departure last time and that you are not comfortable renting to them again. I personally try not to lie or make excuses to renters. As a VR renter myself on occasion, I appreciate it when owners treat me with honesty and tact. I believe it is possible to let people know either before of after they rent that my property is not a good fit for them as sometimes it is obvious that there is a mis-match in expectations.

                      • Re: How do I nicely decline a reservation request on blacklisted guests?
                        anja Senior Contributor

                        I want to support what the others have suggested....and further  a thought that  "gmajay" stated:  Most owners are in a state of perpetual "concern" over what  "the guests" will write about our homes and/or about us, as owners ...e.g the review!  The "guests" actually have the "correct attitude" about our transactions,  in my view....meaning....they see the arrangement as  a business deal.  They pay for our "product/service"....and they critique what they got!

                        {...whether fair or not isn't the topic here}.


                        So, why do Owners have such a **hard time** operating with the same "mind set"....a "business mindset".....and  **constructively** critique the guest....and I mean constructively in a nice manner?  We should be telling them what we found wrong about their stay.  We really have to be honest with them when they violate our rental terms and conditions.  We provide a good enough product and they just may want to return.....and then we're in a tissy over how to keep them away because of the mess they left, first  time,  etc..   It's  best to be *constructively*  honest --- and I'm hearing what sadamo/David said...I think it is possible....maybe I'm a dreamer....but I do think by being honest with *reasonable* people,   it could become a win-win. 


                        I prefer honesty.


                        I would approach this as "thax" suggested.


                        To "georgiamtns"....would  you return here to let us know how this ends?  I'd love to know....as I'm sure others here who gave their considerations would.  We are all always learning.



                        P.S. Something to think about:  maybe we should all  begin to  "draft"  together a "resource bank" of  what we would think a *reasonable, constructive* response to such situation would be....(and other common situations)  that we can all "share"....???    It's obvious  that some owners (who are nice people) really have problems with being direct with guests....but we know that guests have no problem at all expressing themselves !!! ---- it just so happens to be our plight being in the "service hospitaliy sector" to be forced to deal with uncomfortable situations and "characters".

                          • Re: How do I nicely decline a reservation request on blacklisted guests?
                            thaxterlane Premier Contributor



                            Excellent idea about a resource bank of constructive (and polite) ways to speak to guests about shortcomings in their rental behaviors.


                            In my experience I have found that the majority of guests that "misbehave" are new to renting, did not read the house rules or guidelines, or "forgot" about something on their way out the door.  They are amenable to a polite conversation.


                            In my experience (and that's all I can write about), guests do not intend to cause problems for owners.


                            It's a question of expectations.  The guest needs to be aware of and agree to the owner's expectations.  


                            Unlike hotels, which accept all who apply, and are able to devote whatever financial and human resources are necessary for the upkeep of their facilities,  small property owners do not have the "luxury" or ability to handle these types of situations.  Guests need to understand that rental of a home is different than a hotel stay.  If they leave without fulfilling their part of the agreement, they create serious problems. 


                            A qualifier to my remarks, they do not apply to guests that intentionally "misbehave".  That's a different category all together.  And, I think that's often an issue of "discovery" during the screening process, well before agreeing to rent to a particular guest. 

                              • Re: How do I nicely decline a reservation request on blacklisted guests?

                                All your points are well-taken, thax.  In the case I wrote about above, it was a young couple who had never stayed in a VR, only in motels before. So I chalked it up to an honest misunderstanding and inexperience on their part.


                                I have also had one party of renters who were intentionally sneaky in violating rules (I still found out!), and I wouldn't bother trying to communicate with them. If they ever contact me again, I will definitely be direct in letting them know why our rental is NOT a good fit for them--no negotiation possible. In retrospect, they were a party I shouldn't have rented to in the first place, but I was new to renting and failed to pay attention to my gut feeling.

                          • Re: How do I nicely decline a reservation request on blacklisted guests?

                            "Dear Goom, Son of Goombah:


                                 Thank you for your inquiry of July 24, 2012.  We wanted to respond as a matter of courtesy to let you know that your inquiry has been received, and also to clearly and respectfully suggest that you explore other possibilities in lodging for your upcoming vacation, as our properties will not be available for your rental.


                               Without wishing to be negative or appear critical or overly judgmental, it has become abundantly clear from the experience of your previous stay(s) that the idea will not work for us.  That sense of "fit" that can make the whole vacation rental experience comfortable and positive for both parties, simply is not there for us in this case.  Please understand that our conclusion truly reflects neither  criticism, nor any kind of judgment. As we see it, it's not a question of "right"/ "wrong," or "good"/ "bad," etc.  It is simply a question of fit.  And it is not there.


                              We see no point in discussing the matter or hashing it over further, as it would not change the fact.  We would hope that you might  be more interested in applying your energy in a positive manner, possibly by beginning to seek out a different place that you might enjoy staying.  After all, it is your vacation!


                               That is why we thought it the best and most respectful course to simply let you know. We wish you and yours nothing but well in the years to come, and a truly wonderful vacation.  Thank you for your understanding.




                                 Sexie Sadie 

                              • Re: How do I nicely decline a reservation request on blacklisted guests?

                                The previous post and leter is great.  Direct & to the point.  After sending, just be alert in watching for them to rebook in a the name of a differnt lead person. 


                                Personally, I like this approach.  There are some that have stayed that I just do not want back.  The petty thieves of misc. personal property, the ones that sneek in the dog, or try to have the flash party, etc.  Thanks, but no thanks.  There are just too many good guests and renters out there to put up with the knuckleheads.