Just had guests leave after a 2-week stay. At first glance, the house looked great until I started looking a little closer. They had a small child who:
- dug a bunch of dirt out of a potted plant (not a big deal, just annoying that I have to buy more soil and refill it)
- drew on 2 living room chairs with red and blue crayon (brand new chairs purchased in July). It was obvious that they had tried to clean it off but hadn’t fully succeeded.
- left food smeared on just about every surface in the living room- the couch, the 2 aforementioned chairs, the entertainment center, the bookshelves, the TV screen, a window, a mirror, caked onto one of the dining room chairs (like seat, sides, up the back, etc), and smashed into the carpet in a few places. I also found sticky residue all over the coffee table and even dripped onto the base of the living room floor lamp.
- Bits of food ALL over the floor around and under the couch. Lifted the couch cushions and the entire couch was filled with bits of food. (I take cushions off after every guest, so I know this was all from these guests.)
Not child related, I found a bunch of my towels in the dryer that had been dyed blue (I’m assuming they washed the white towels with colored laundry.) I did get that color out, but after washing all the towels twice with bleach, I had to discard 5 towels that still had huge, dark stains on them.
The iron had something burned all over the bottom of it.
They used all the extra paper towels in the house during their stay (at least 6 rolls.)
They filled up the entire outside garbage bin when they left, plus left a bag of garbage on the front steps and garbage in the kitchen bin.
House rules state that food spills must be cleaned up immediately so that we don’t get ants (we live on the edge of a forest, and ants are an issue) and that for longer stays, guests must keep the house tidy and take out the garbage when full. Obviously, they waited until the last day and took it all out at once, then didn’t have enough room in the can for it. Not a big deal on its own, but it meant that I had to make an extra trip the next day to dispose of garbage after the can was emptied.
It took me 6 hours to clean the house, 3 hours longer than normal. I sent them a fee request for $100 to cover the extra cleaning time (which is mentioned in my house rules), the damaged towels, and the damage to the furniture that was drawn on. The guest replied saying they would only pay $50 because there were problems with the house (that they never mentioned before that moment) like the coffee pot was dirty and the stove didn’t work very well. (Both were working fine for the previous guest, so I have asked for more details on both issues so that I can rectify them.)
So first- how much would you have charged for drawn on furniture and ruined towels? And do you think it’s reasonable for the guest to counter my offer stating problems with the house that were never mentioned to me previously? I thought I was being pretty fair asking for $100 because by the time I pay to buy towels, have the chairs professionally cleaned and the carpet shampooed to get the food out, I will be out a lot more than that.