There are many frustrations when renting out your second home. Because it is not a pure investment property we have emotional attachment to the property ourselves. We love it and as with all things that we care about it hurts when it is mistreated. As we have said before, MOST guests are courteous people who appreciate the effort we put in and we have a good percentage of returning guests.
The most difficult situations are the ones where the guests complain about the keyholders in some way. I’m glad to say this is rare now as our current keyholders are so good. However we had a recent incident where after returning home the guest emailed, the following day, to say she had lost a small item of jewellery at the house. By then the cleaning had already been done so I was surprised the keyholder hadn’t told me about finding it. It turned out the house had been left in a really untidy state, lots of rubbish just lying around, unwashed meat tins in the oven, food spilt in the store cupboard, food marks on the sofas, the barbeque not cleared out after use and food crumbs and sand in the beds.
The holiday makers had a great time, they were a lovely family, but they hadn’t shown respect for the house. All the crockery and cooking utensils had to be re-washed as they didn’t look or feel very clean and the usual 4 hour clean had taken 2 people well over 8 hours. The result was that as she bagged up rubbish – sweet wrappers, hair ties, tissues etc in the bedroom the jewellery item had just got swept up with everything else, almost unnoticed. As it had been left lying around with rubbish it had been assumed it was just item of discarded dress jewellery no longer wanted. Had the guests have cleared away their own rubbish (as they should) it would have been a different matter – one item left behind on the dressing table would have been noticed and put to one side while emails were sent and postage arranged.
Fortunately the situation was resolved. But I felt, rightly or wrongly, that I couldn’t be honest and say the reason it had happened was due to the level of rubbish left lying about and general unhygienic, dirty state of the house. How do you tell someone that?