Group Consensus: What would you do with the guest & damage deposit?

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Ok, so what would you do in this situation?

Two guests have booked a beach apt for 5 nights and it is the last booking of the season. The price is £1,000. This has been booked directly with you.

  • Cleaning and linen fees are £50.
  • Total net excluding utilities etc is £850.
  • The property is insured but the damage is covered by a £500 premium.
  • A damage deposit has been taken of £100.
  • You do NOT meet and greet.
  • Entry is accessed via a key box and instructions supplied online.
  • T&C’s are agreed via a tick box. They cover the use of the damage deposit and allow debit of the credit card for excess (the card details have been tokenized for future use).

The arrival instructions ask that:

  1. The bins are emptied on departure and put in the external bin outside the back door.
  2. The beds are stripped and sheets left on the bed.
  3. Ensure you do not use the hot tub without washing off sand before entering.

…The Guests Leave & The Cleaners Arrive…

Upon departure, the cleaner arrived and neither of the 3 points were covered; beds still made, bins full there had clearly been quite a party at some point, with all furniture re-arranged, the hot tub a real mess with a lot of sand and sun cream, but no neighbour complaints. The cleaners spent an extra two hours.

The Problem

The cleaners also notify you of a nasty stain on the main living room carpet in a very noticeable place and the towels are also badly stained. The cleaner sends you a photo. The stain looks like dark wine or coffee. The estimate to carpet clean the stain is at least £75. The stain was not there previously as you always inspect the property before arrivals, but do not take time-stamped photos. The extra cleaning costs are £40.

The total cost is £115. This is £15 more than the damage deposit, also ignoring the tub refill and the stained towels costs.

The Guests Response

You contact the guest by email and tell them the problem and you will need to use their deposit to cover the costs and explain the sand issue in the tub and the cleaners extra time. The guests say that the carpet stain was there on arrival or the cleaner did it and if you take the deposit they will recharge their card and complain that the accommodation was not as described. They also say that was what you would expect of a hot tub next to a beach and hotels never charge for sun cream on towels, why would a rental?

In fact, you have no real evidence of carpet damage as there was no meet and greet or photos after the previous clean. Plus the guests also threaten to destroy you on social media and leave a terrible review (that old nutmeg).

What would you do with the guest & damage deposit?

The idea is that not every one will agree but in a fully decentralised community the majority rule.

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