20 Replies Latest reply: Feb 6, 2020 5:39 PM by green_mango RSS

    My first charity auction will be my last charity auction

    bonesxxx Active Contributor

      A friend asked me to donate a weekend stay at my STR to benefit a local charity. I agreed (what can I say? I’m a decent human being).

       

      Well I just spent the day cleaning up after the guests who ( you would think ) would be at least half way classy... but nooooooooo.

       

      They repaid my act of kindness by acting like &%#*’ing pigs.

       

      I did make them sign an RA but did not make them give me a DD.

       

      Here is the rundown (thankfully my housekeeper is on vacation so she didn’t have to deal with it)

       

      • Dog poop all over the yard (yes I allowed a pet like a *******)
      • Ruined plastic dog toys strewn about the yard
      • Shooting debris from unauthorized target practice
      • Toothpaste spit on the wall next to the sink
      • Bacon grease all over the stovetop
      • Two sets of king sheets in the dirty pile (and I only have one king bed)
      • Large clump of women’s hair on the shower floor
      • A tidy pile of pubes next to the sink (ick)

       

      The moral of this story? Damage Deposits are VERY effective. AND if you give it away, guests will treat it with equal value.

       

      NEVER. AGAIN.

        • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
          scowol Active Contributor

          Sorry to hear about your awful experience.  I sadly had the same experience, and so it was a lesson-learned.  It's also a double money-loser because I learned that donating nights to charity of a vacation rental is NOT a tax write-off.  I didn't believe it, so I did some research and sure enough.

           

          https://kahnlitwin.com/insights/think-twice-before-donating-a-vacation-home-stay-to-charity

           

          I have friends asking all the time to donate and telling me "you can write it off!"   Um, nope.  It's a myth.  The reason I say it's a double-money loser is because in addition to no tax write-off, you lose out on potential rent by blocking revenue for the donated nights, and pay for the operating expenses.   So only donate out of pure goodness of your heart and if you have a thick wallet.  

          • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
            hmmmm Senior Contributor

            This was my lesson as well.
            Not fun, and I would only even consideration it with a large refundable deposit and a large cleaning fee.  Large did I say Large

             

            Yes and no its not a write offfffffffffffffff.

             

            And I would add that some people, friends too, are under the misunderstanding that some of us use this as an income as well.

             

            Would I ask them to donate their paycheck for a week to a charity?

             

            And I would not hesitate to let the "friend"  know the results of your good deed.

              • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
                scowol Active Contributor

                Indeed.  I'll add further that, today, my rentals are not profitable (as many are not, namely due to forgotten depreciation of the dwelling capitalization, which is 27.5 years on a 1040 tax return for a vacation rental).  Ultimately they will be a profitable nest egg, but today I just about break even.  Yes, vacation rentals may rake in a lot of income, but the operating expenses and capitalization is oftentimes overlooked.

              • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
                captmarkhd Senior Contributor

                I‘m sorry for your heartache, no good deed goes unpunished!!! I had a similar experience for a charity auction. A group of adult women came to my home and trashed it! According to my onsite staff they were partying  the entire time, broke many items in the house including two glass refrigerator shelves And they complained the entire time and were just plain rude to my staff. I still use my home for charities but what I do instead Is to have a raffle through the Charities  Go fund me account. I only open the raffle up to my former guest so I know who I am dealing with. I have done this twice now and has worked out fantastic!

                • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
                  green_mango Active Contributor

                  Sorry - that's awful! 

                   

                  I've had better luck thankfully - our VR has been the prize at two charity auctions.  In both cases, I sold the nights to a parent at the school for a small discount, and then the parents made the donation to the school - so, I got paid (just slightly less than my usual rate) & I collected a deposit (and returned in full both times).  

                   

                  When charities ask me to donate straight out they get a little education in how that is not a tax-write-off for me, so I prefer to donate cash. 

                  • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
                    twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                    Well I did a private charity of sorts. I offered up my home for a week stay at $20.00 per name entered. Not only did I raise a little bit of money for a very needy family but the lady who won the trip said she wouldn’t be staying, she just wanted to donate to the cause. She told me to try and rent it for my normal rate and donate that as well. So, while it sounds like all charitable situations are bad, mine was not.

                     

                    As for the tax write off, I wasn’t too worried I just wanted to help just like each of you.

                     

                    Based on your comments I would definitely get a deposit if the situation arose again. (Thank you for sharing)

                    • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
                      bonesxxx Active Contributor

                      Thanks all. Misery enjoys company and you all made me feel better about how upset I was.

                       

                      What I forgot to mention is that they also used my good Calphalon cook pot as a doggie bowl. Seriously? What kind of ignoramous does that? And it logically follows that if they did that, they might also assume that every other dish and utensil in the House had been used at some point by someone as a toss pot

                       

                      they hey left a note in the guestbook that they will be coming back... oh no they won’t.

                      • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
                        vrdoctor Senior Contributor

                        We did a charity auction for our school one year and regretted it for similar reasons.  Our neighbors from down the street booked our cabin and left it kind of a mess.  We didn't collect any security deposit but we would not have made a claim as we would not have wanted hard feelings between neighbors.  We opted to not donate our cabin stays for any future events.

                        • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
                          thaxterlane Premier Contributor

                          Donating a stay can be a minefield for owners who are not experienced . . . Always use a rental agreement (yes!) and always charge a fully refundable security deposit, preferably from the guest and not the organization.  Prior to the auction, set the dates that are available for the stay, set the house rules, and set the rental process - and PRINT IT for distribution to interested bidders.  Set a reserve price, in addition to the value of the stay, if possible, too.  I have donated a stay at my home three times to benefit local groups.  It's gone well due to planning before the stay has been put to auction. 

                          • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
                            stinklepink New Member

                            Am considering do this for a local non-profit of which I am active in. wondering how to collect a damage deposit through the system while making the winner's stay (nights, fees, etc) equal to $0

                             

                            Anyone figure this out?

                              • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
                                bonesxxx Active Contributor

                                You don't need the system at all.  Why would you?

                                 

                                You just have them sign a rental agreement and write you a check for the damage deposit.

                                  • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
                                    stinklepink New Member

                                    I was going to use the system to get confirmation of the rental agreement and a mechanism for them paying the damage protection. I don't collect a damage 'deposit' for my property (although I may in this case). I normally just make renters pay a non-refundable $99 flat fee for the damage protection.

                                     

                                    I have PayPal, CASH app (aka Square) and Venmo. How would I collect a $5K damage deposit using these tools?

                                      • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
                                        bonesxxx Active Contributor

                                        $5K damage deposit?  That's crazy talk.  I wouldn't do that as the winner unless you were renting me Buckingham Palace.

                                         

                                        $200-$500 max.  Use a zero fee service like ApplePay.  Hold the $ until they leave, and, if no damage, send it back to them.

                                         

                                        You MUST have them sign a rental agreement which should stipulate that the guest is responsible for damages exceeding the amount of the damage deposit.  I can send you the clause from mine that addresses this exact scenario. 

                                        • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
                                          green_mango Active Contributor

                                          They can buy the damage protection straight from www.propertydamageprotection.com - it's the direct site for the CSA policy sold on VRBO. 

                                           

                                          When I "donate" (which I really don't call it that since as said above it's not tax deductible) I include all expenses - cleaning, PDP, etc...  I just collect a damage deposit and refund after their stay.  I use digisinger for e-signing the contract - which is what all guests do anyway.  If you're relying on the "click to agree" box for your agreement uploaded to VRBO it's better than nothing, but not as solid as a signed RA. 

                                      • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
                                        green_mango Active Contributor

                                        Through the system?  Like through VRBO?  When I've done auctions I've just collected the damage deposit myself (I process credit cards with Square).  If you're not set up for that you could do PayPal or Venmo.  Not sure why you'd want to go through VRBO - you'd have to let them choose dates, then go into your rates section and set a special rate ($1 for the total should work), but it's a lot of work because you also have to remove your fees manually and then after they book, add the fees back into your listing.  If they send an inquiry without a rate adjustment first I don't think the service fee will adjust - it stays the original amount, so you'd need to adjust rates first. A lot of work.....

                                        • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
                                          margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                          Not only would processing the booking through the system cost extra work, it would also cost extra money, the service fee would be charged on the damage deposit. Donating time at your vacation rental should be handled as a direct booking: Get the rental agreement signed and take a damage deposit by check or your own credit card processor.

                                        • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
                                          calicalling Active Contributor

                                          One of my owners allowed her home to be auctioned at an annual event for a group she attends.

                                           

                                          The winner was the mayor of a large, upscale city in SoCal. She she showed blantant, self-centered disregard for the community, property, and needs of other guests. When I addressed it during her stay she lied (until presented with photo evidence). Then she packed her bags and left in a huff, not before ripping the leather of a very expensive chair on her way out.

                                           

                                          I always require a damage deposit from auction winners, and my guess is that this owner will too.

                                           

                                          Such a bummer that being a 'decent human' (as you say) isn't always reciprocal. VRs are evidence that karma isn't actually a thing.

                                          • Re: My first charity auction will be my last charity auction
                                            ambidextrous Active Contributor

                                            Tax implications of the donation:

                                             

                                            (This of course is NOT tax advice since I'm not a pro....)

                                             

                                            Any time you give your home away for less that market value, it counts against your owner-use days. So depending on your situation, it could put you over your 14 days of use, or at least change the ratio of personal vs. rented time. I have determined that in my case, it's better just to make a personal cash gift instead of a free stay. I get rental income for the days I did not give away, and the whole thing is cleaner.

                                             

                                            For those of you who are unfamiliar with these rules it is well worth your time to check with your pro for the scenario that would apply to you.