It happened to us today and I don’t know where to start. The house is trashed: stains on the carpeting and bedding, knife marks/dings on the (vintage) countertops, pieces of food all over the house, like bites of pizza crust under furniture, scary brown …barf? in our white towels, trash all over the place. Cigarette butts and empty cigarette carton/boxes all around (no smoking allowed on property; guest said ‘one or two of us vape,’ I told her she could do it outside on the deck but our Ring camera shows 3 people chain smoking on the front stairs at all hours, til 4am most nights…also shows very drunken behavior by two guests who could barely walk) Broken picture frame, broken toilet. Also dozens of Whippet canisters that they were clearly getting high off of (I googled it … it’s either they ate an impressive amount of whipped cream, or they inhaled a lot of nitrous oxide)
How did I know this would happen? The guest (who has dozens of positive reviews, just one poor one for ‘dirtying’ some sheets) started out by asking for a discount if they stayed a week instead of 5 days. Seven guests total, coincidentally (?) our max occupancy. She said they could only afford x amount and I caved because we couldn’t have booked the 2 following days because our housekeeper was out of town so we wouldn’t be able to turn the place anyway. Then she asked if we would GROCERY SHOP and stock the kitchen for them, because it’s so convenient to just roll into a house and have everything you need…and we are vegan, she says, although they will eat cheese and sometimes salami. (?) I gave her a link to Instacart ($15 off for your first order if you sign up!) and told her about a great produce market and bakery across from a grocery store a mere $8 Uber from the house. THEN she asked if she could have some art shipped from a St Petersburg gallery to the house for a gift exchange, because she didn’t want to carry it on a plane and was worried about checking it. This is the same girl who pleaded poverty when booking. I said she could UPS or FedEX, but if it didn’t make it during her stay I had no mechanism to forward it to her so it was her risk. I was worried that she was a kook so I impressed upon her, since her stay was over New Year Holiday, that there are NO fireworks allowed because we are in a fire-prone canyon in California. She then asks if it’s okay if her friend brings FIRE FANS to ‘flow’. NO. Have you seen the news from California? THEN she asked for early (10am) check in. During her stay, my neighbor texted me to tattle about the number of people in and out and when I looked at the Ring camera footage I saw that indeed it looked like a lot of people – I messaged the guest with my concerns and she said they were following the rules, just 7 staying over. THEN she asked for a late checkout or even ‘an extra day.’ Again, no.
I should have listened to others in this forum about bargain hunters being a bad deal. My question is … do I just make a list of stuff that’s damaged/stained and request money from her, make a case for the hours of extra work to clean the place (housekeeper spent 8 hours) and rent a carpet cleaner? And for scratches and gouges on the countertops … okay, there was a wood block sitting right there and obviously if you see white formica counters from the '70s you don’t use a knife on them … maybe we should post a sign or something but how would you even claim damage for that? It can’t be fixed. It’s just a bummer that it’s something my mom kept somewhat pristine for 50 years and is original to the house.
I am a new-ish host (4 months, 15 or so stays) and apologize if these are obvious questions. Just needed to vent and hopefully hear some of your stories too!