I thought I’d give an update on this thread so people that have offered input know the outcome…
The extended family group has confirmed their booking so I’m off the hook from this questionable rental… yeah!
I know I may get lambasted for this, but in the end I did chicken out and was not straightforward about declining them. I wanted to state the truth, but there were too many “if’s” in my mind (discrimination issues on just about every level) and I took to heart the warnings that y’all gave (thanks!).
Since it was about 5 weeks from the first inquiry to wanting to book I didn’t feel that I needed to rush into my response. Thankfully the other booking came in. He sounded quite disappointed and pushed back a little, as though it was his only option.
So I thought I’d try to help him find another place - possibly somewhere that there is a property manager on site. There were quite a few places available for a group of 12, so in my response, rather than pick one in particular, I mentioned that there are many places available, and wondered if there was a particular reason they wanted to book our place?
I haven’t heard back yet, but I strongly suspect it is so that they can bring in another few extra guests - there are far fewer places that will hold 16+ people. Unfortunately, this happens all too often where people will book for 10 guests, for example, but I can see that 15 beds were used and they didn’t pay the extra guest fees. If they don’t say anything at all, I’ll be even more certain this is the reason they’re pushing to rent ours.
So this worked out well for me this time, but still a conundrum on what to do if this happens again.