11 Replies Latest reply: Sep 18, 2013 12:29 PM by twobitrentals RSS

    Damage to mattress and what to charge?

    lillyfan Contributor

      We have two homes that sleep about 16-18 each and share amenities. We had a group last week rent both homes for a family reunion. They left everything in good condition, except for one of the king-size mattresses. My cleaners sent me a photo showing a large stain that seeped through the mattress pad and onto the end of the mattress. It is hard to tell what it is - blood, food - but the cleaners were unable to get it out. The guests never mentioned it in an email after check-out; they did mention a couple of minor complaints about the cleaning (dirty dishes left in dishwasher, used wash rag left in tub area), and I'm not sure if they're complaining about the cleaning as a way to hedge the issue about the stain they caused (I have so far not mentioned it either). At any rate, do I charge them the cost of a new mattress or a couple hundred dollars, or what? The mattress cannot be turned over to hide the stain. It can be hid with a new mattress cover, until a guest decides to strip a bed and discovers it.

      Also, I have just received my first negative review (3 of 5 stars), which surprised us because we bent over backwards to make sure it was a good experience for the guests, and they indicated everything was great. So I am a little concerned about possible "retaliation" over charging for damage for a group that overall left things fine. Thoughts?

        • Damage to mattress and what to charge?
          sophie Senior Contributor

          I think the way I would start it is that I would write a very nice email and ask them very if they know what could have happened to the mattress.  ie: "Dear Renter, we are so glad you enjoyed your stay in our home.  We did have a question though about the mattress in the master bedroom. Do you know what was spilled on it or stained it?  Thanks for any insight you could give us on this" I would then take my cues from them and how they respond.  They may be very apologetic or they may become beligerant. At that point, I would see what they say and then determine what your course of action should be.

          • Damage to mattress and what to charge?
            Active Contributor

            Hi lillyfan,

            I'm so sorry to hear about your mattress, and while I don't have a specific answer to your dilemma, I thought this article on Security Deposit Policies might be of some use.

            All the best,



            HomeAway Community Manager

            • Damage to mattress and what to charge?
              tansy Active Contributor

              What happened in the end?

              • Re: Damage to mattress and what to charge?

                Lillyfan, I hope that you will consider updating to a waterproof mattress pad. We use the bedbug ones that encase the entire mattress and zip shut. No guest is ever going to see what is beneath the cover because you have to take the mattress off the bed...though ours still look like new. If you are using a mattress cover for a little padding you could still add that over these covers because they are strictly for protection. They are not the plastic kind but a very nice fabric that happens to be everything proof!


                We purchased ours at Bed, Bath and Beyond several years ago prices were about $100 for a King...but that is a small investment to protect the cost of a mattress.


                Always interested in what a 3 out 5 star review would say when they told you everything was great. Did they just not give you the highest stars and then leave a nice review? I hope you can top that one off quickly with another 5 star, hopefully potential guests will read them all and realize only one person didn't rate you high and figure they were people that just didn't give out high ratings.

                • Re: Damage to mattress and what to charge?
                  twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                  I don't believe in hiding from a possible negative review and so I would have asked them what they thought a reasonable charge would be and then decide if that was acceptable or not. I have charged a few of my folks for things that have been damaged or left really messy. However, I have a very specific contract and welcome letter that outlines everything that is expected of them during their stay. While one couple complained about the fact that they were not getting their deposit back for the extra time for the cleaning lady to clean up their excessive mess, it became clear that they even had extra guests that were not supposed to be there. I gently explained that even if the house were spotless that based on this new information they would have actually have had to pay more than the deposit for the additional guests that they did not tell me about.


                  So, I guess I want to be very fair with folks, but I won't just roll over.

                    • Re: Damage to mattress and what to charge?
                      joan.l Senior Contributor

                      Late to the discussion, but I put soft plastic down on my mattresses, and then put the mattress pad on top.  This prevents blood, coffee, or other things from staining the mattress.  I've used dollar store shower curtains as a soft plastic barrier. 


                      The mattress pad (cotton, well-padded) prevents the mattress from feeling warm from the plastic, and the soft plastic prevents any noise (no plastic crinkle sounds). 


                      As for stains on mattresses....if it is blood, usually Windex, ammonia, meat tenderizer, or Oxyclean will lift the stains (meat tenderizer breaks down the blood proteins).  If coffee, then Oxyclean. 

                        • Re: Damage to mattress and what to charge?
                          twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                          Something that may work better than a shower curtain for protection is a bed bug protection cover that covers the entire mattress. Most hotels use them even if they don' t have bed bugs. They are quite a bit more expensive, but it kills two birds with one stone, protection from spills, or accidents AND prevents infestation of bed bugs. then put your soft mattress pad over that!