10 Replies Latest reply: Aug 16, 2011 10:05 AM by villasamia RSS

    Identifying High Maintenance Renters and Risky Reviewers

    New Member

      I know a similar thread was started on this, but it kind of went the other direction, so I wanted to post this.

       

      We just started renting our vacation rental and our first tenants began their stay last week - so far so good. But I just got an inquiry from someone who opened with -

       

      "Hello, Please confirm availability and rate. Also, have you had any bed bug reports and how do you protect your property against bed bugs? Thank you"

       

      I replied that the place is new, we just steam cleaned the carpets, and all beds and pilowcases have protectors and dust mite covers and that we work very hard to keep the place allergan free. They replied with, "Is it carpeted in the living room and berdoom areas? Also, what parking is available?  Lastly, i did not see any reviews from previous renters and i'm assuming that is because this is a newly leased property - wondering if it would be possible to email/communicate with your last leasor? "

       

      I'm fine with the questions on carpeting, parking, bed bugs... but while my current tenants (our first ones) are doing great, I think asking to talk to previous renters is crossing the line - to me I think it's a violation of privacy and holistically their questions tell me that this renter is going to be more trouble than they're worth.  My biggest fear is that they'll be more likely to find little things to complain about and while I'm more than willing to work with them, they'll write a bad review no matter what we say/do.

       

      They also just tried to call me (which I accidentally mis-typed the number so I'll have to call them back) but before I do, I want to get your feedback on whether or not you've had experiences with these types of renters and if it's worth it. Even though it's only two weeks out, I have three other inquiries in my inbox right now. Are people like this more likely to leave bad reviews?

       

      Thanks.

        • Identifying High Maintenance Renters and Risky Reviewers
          msdebj Senior Contributor

          Get on the phone and work those other inquiries RIGHT NOW!!!

           

          These folks have a lot of concerns ( which is ok), but DO NOT give them info on previous renters!! That is crossing the line, in my opinion.  Would you want to have to "sell" a place you'd just stayed in? I wouldn't. Our guests pay us for a place to stay, and asking them to help market that same place just seems wrong. Besides-- you can't leaglly give out your guests info to anyone without their written permission.

           

          I hope you can rent to someone lese and just tell these folks, ina nice way,  that you got a confirmation while they were busy emailing you.

           

          Good luck!

          Deb

            • Re: Identifying High Maintenance Renters and Risky Reviewers
              New Member

              Thanks Deb!

               

              Actually, so I decided to give this person a call and they seemed pretty

              normal. They were most concerned about the whole bed bug thing, asked about

              how far parking was from the place, and just liked things clean - which our

              place is very clean. They didn't insist on speaking with a previous guest

              (didn't even bring it up on the call and I think they were just more worried

              about ending up in some total dump. I did decide to rent to them as the

              timing is perfect for us, but we'll see how it goes.

               

              If others think I made a mistake - let me know =)...  I'll let you know how

              they turn out.

               

              thanks!

                • Re: Identifying High Maintenance Renters and Risky Reviewers
                  sophie Senior Contributor

                  Humm, before I read your last answer, I would have suggested you NOT rent to these renters. You will find that these type of renters who are very high needs before they even sign the contract will tend to be on the high needs side when they are in your house.  Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

                    • Re: Identifying High Maintenance Renters and Risky Reviewers
                      New Member

                      Now I'm worried - although I did also have a couple of email interactions

                      with them afterward even one mistake on the rental contract (I put 8 days

                      instead 7 on accident) and they were perfectly fine with it.

                       

                      Has anyone ever had renters that started out this way and turned out fine

                      vs. bad?

                        • Re: Identifying High Maintenance Renters and Risky Reviewers
                          sophie Senior Contributor

                          I think everything will be ok! Don't worry and just do the best you can do. And yes, some do turn out really good! Sometimes you will think they didn't like the place, etc and they end up leaving a great review!

                            • Re: Identifying High Maintenance Renters and Risky Reviewers
                              New Member

                              And so it has begun... Not horrible, but my first instinct was correct. It's a week out and getting questions like,

                               

                              "does your refrigerator have a filter and when was the last time you changed it?"

                               

                              "can we have mail/packages delivered to your place?"

                               

                              "what size are your beach towels and how many do you provide?"

                               

                              "do you have beach umbrellas that you can loan us?"

                               

                              They seem like nice people and I genuinely want to accommodate them, even went out and bought a PUR filtered pitcher today, but I feel like it's all going to be in vain and it will never be enough. I'll only feel taken advantage of in the end. Anyhow it's a week away and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that things will turn out okay but this is the last time I agree to book clearly high maintenance tenants. If i get a bad review I'm going to be ******.

                                • Re: Identifying High Maintenance Renters and Risky Reviewers
                                  sophie Senior Contributor

                                  They won't necessarily leave a bad review but I think you need to brace yourself for the week ahead and their stay in the house. Anyone who is already so concerned about petty things like the size of the beach towels and the water filter changed a week before check in is bound to be high maintenance. Seriously I don't even change the water filter in my own fridge. If someone asked me that, I would not rent to the them or cancel them.  Good luck.

                      • Re: Identifying High Maintenance Renters and Risky Reviewers
                        msdebj Senior Contributor

                        Well, it must be the moon or something!  My current renters also ended up being high maint.  I received 5 emails within the 1st hour they were in the house ( pictures of a small quarter sized stain on a throw rug, a cracked tile, a few very minor things).  They stated that my foundation must be damaged ( -the craked tile)- it's not. Then an email saying how much they are enjoying the place! 

                         

                        I'm just hoping they leave on time today. I'll gladly eat any damages just to be done with them. 

                         

                        Oh well, I guess if I only have 1 or 2 of these a year I'm lucky!

                          • Re: Identifying High Maintenance Renters and Risky Reviewers
                            jamaicavilla Contributor

                            I think this is the year for high maintenance guests. I had two this year.  The funny thing is that the guests prior to them loved the villa, and the one after are returning guests, they also loved the villa.  My returning guests was surprise that we have done so much improvements, and how well maintained the place was. But the guests before found fault with everything from the toilet holder deck area outside.

                             

                            You can not please everyone.  I called my housekeeper to go through the list of things they memtioned, She went through all the rooms and nothing.

                             

                            Not sure what they are playing at, but I fell comfortable that their issues were not justified. I will be going down to Jamaica  myself in September for my end of season maintennce.

                              • Identifying High Maintenance Renters and Risky Reviewers
                                New Member

                                I new here and joined this AM after a lot of looking around and learning yesterday.

                                 

                                I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one that gets all the High Maintenance and Needy Wheeeners.  I've learned to screen very carefully but some slip through even after 5 years on the job I'm still surprised at what some clients do.  Nice to learn a few new tricks here.

                                 

                                Being in a Latin American country also presents some unique experiences.  Is there a section or some threads that I can look at and share concerning our issues?

                                 

                                I'll be looking around for a while then decide if I will advertise here.

                                 

                                Thanks.