14 Replies Latest reply: Oct 2, 2019 7:21 PM by tacdionne RSS

    Guests overstayed their reservation, what do I do?

    tacdionne New Member

      Our guests were suppose to check out yesterday but when I arrived this morning to clean, they were still there. When I knocked on the door and told them that checkout was yesterday, they said I was wrong. I didn't have cell phone service to prove it to them, so I repeated that Homeaway had them checking out yesterday. They told me it was wrong, and I left because I didn't know who to handle it!


      How do you handle this? I'm furious. Should I text them the screenshot of the Homeaway details and send a payment request or just keep their damage deposit? Do I need to do anything to protect myself in case they come after with any disputes?


      Thank you so much.

        • Re: Guests overstayed their reservation, what do I do?
          bonesxxx Active Contributor

          First you need to have a signed rental agreement if you don't already.


          Second, check it to make sure it has a holdover guest clause like this:


          Holdover Guest:  If GUEST does not vacate the Cabin at the end of the Dates of Stay noted in the reservation, GUEST will be charged rent of $500 per day in addition to any and all legal costs required to evict GUEST.

          If you have neither of those things, I think you just need to document that they stayed an extra day and nick the extra day from their deposit.


          But, before you do anything, you need to get them gone.  They are trespassing at this point. I assume you showed up to clean this morning at close to check-out time?  If not go back at check-out time and usher them out the door.

            • Re: Guests overstayed their reservation, what do I do?
              linky17 Active Contributor

              tacdionne  ~  Please -- please! -- do "not usher them out the door."  Whether or not you're within your rights?  There is simply zero value to you for putting yourself in harm's way. 


              As feibus suggested/below, follow your locality's legal protocol, and be sure that your RA sets forth terms that spell-out same + defines any financial penalties.


              Hope that this has since been resolved?


              Please keep us posted.  Best wishes.

            • Re: Guests overstayed their reservation, what do I do?
              green_mango Active Contributor

              I would double check the dates & assuming you're correct then send them an additional payment request.  Save the deposit to use in case of damage, or if they don't pay the additional payment request.  Either way, their reaction doesn't bode well - if I were a guest and learned I possibly had the check out day mixed up I would be triple checking and trying to work in out with the owner.  Their reaction isn't good & I'd be worried they're going to stay even longer.

              • Re: Guests overstayed their reservation, what do I do?
                feibus Senior Contributor

                Do you have a signed rental agreement?  Do you have their photo ID to prove that one of the people in the home actually signed the agreement?


                You might have to call the sheriff to evict, provided they haven't stayed long enough to qualify for "tenant" status, so know your local transient rental laws.

                • Re: Guests overstayed their reservation, what do I do?
                  scowol Active Contributor
                  1. Assuming they booked via an OTA (Vrbo, HA, Airbnb), print out all details of the reservation showing the dates and check-out time.
                  2. If you have an RA, print that as well.
                  3. Send the guest an email via the OTA (if you booked that way so that there is documentation) that they have overstayed and must evict the premise immediately.  Provide dates and times in your email citing that you met them in person on date/time per their scheduled departure date and instructed them to depart.
                  4. Drive back over and furnish them with the documents in #1 and #2 above.  Bring a witness.
                  5. If they still refuse to leave, advise them that they are in breach of contract, trespassing and that you are consequently going to contact the sheriff/police to have them evicted.   Even if you know that the police/sheriff won't do anything, don't let that stop you.   Follow through.  File a report and get it formally and officially documented.  Your goal is to get the guests out.  Tell them they are breaking the law, trespassing and that this can result in a record that can be very damaging for them personally and professionally with court time, legal fees and legal judgements against them.   Again, your objective is to get them out.  Don't be timid.  Be forceful with your message and make sure they understand the ramifications if they do not leave immediately.
                  6. If the guests refuse to leave, call the OTA (if booked through them) and ask for their guidance. Start building your case.  Get this all documented on the OTA's correspondence manager. 
                  7. Continue to keep the pressure up on the guests until they leave.
                  • Re: Guests overstayed their reservation, what do I do?
                    tacdionne New Member

                    Thank you all so much for your advice, I was in such a state of shock, I didn't know what to do!


                    It has since been resolved, thank goodness. There is no cell phone service at the cabin so no one had service to pull up the reservations online. They recently called to apologize about their mistake and asked how to rectify the situation. I will be sending a payment request.


                    Thanks again for your advice and input, this is certainly something to keep in mind for next year! I was so concerned because we have guest checking in this afternoon. I'm glad it all worked out peacefully!

                      • Re: Guests overstayed their reservation, what do I do?
                        linky17 Active Contributor

                        Whew!  That you mentioned a lack of cell service made me worry.


                        Onward + upward.

                        • Re: Guests overstayed their reservation, what do I do?
                          wildiris Senior Contributor

                          I'm glad that it worked out well in the end.  From what you've written, it doesn't sound as though you have your guests sign a rental agreement.  This is vitally important.  You should have a rental agreement prepared by an attorney in the state in which your vacation rental is located.  In the future, you should have all guests sign your rental agreement.  If you search the Community, you should find different threads about the various ways in which owners have guests sign the rental agreement.  Some use e-signing services, others send a PDF to the guest via the owner's personal email account and have the guest print, sign, scan and email the scanned and signed rental agreement back to the owner.

                          • Re: Guests overstayed their reservation, what do I do?
                            martyp Contributor

                            Do you have internet? What cell phone carrier do you have?


                            I have T-Mobile and they offer voice over IP; Tthey call it WiFi calling.  I think most of the carriers offer that not.  If not get a mini-cell from your carrier. This is a device that connects to your internet and it acts like a local cell tower (transmits/recieve cell phone signals).

                              • Re: Guests overstayed their reservation, what do I do?
                                tacdionne New Member

                                No internet, we have Verizon. We are in the willywags of the northern Maine woods, it's definitely not an option But thanks for the suggestion! The only option we have would be satellite internet, which costs a lot of money and requires a contract.  Since we are only a seasonal rental (May 15-October 15), this is not a direction we wish to go. We state over and over in our welcome packet that there is no internet and cell phone service is limited at best, so luckily everyone knows what they're getting themselves into!

                            • Re: Guests overstayed their reservation, what do I do?
                              sage Senior Contributor

                              Every owner should know what their local laws say regarding this issue, and know before it happens.


                              It may be that local laws allow an informal removal of holdover guests, or the laws may allow involuntary removal only after following the full judicial process for eviction. Local laws may specify an amount owed by holdover guests, perhaps a multiple of the amount charged for the booked period, in which case it may not be necessary to include terms in the rental agreement regarding the amount owed.


                              I am glad that this all worked out. This time.