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View Full Version : Question about condition of vacation homes


ConnieB
01-14-2008, 12:50 AM
Ok, first let me say that I truly am enjoying our stay in a vacation home. Having a whole house instead of a cramped little hotel room (on or off site) has been heavenly. Being able to cook meals has been a budget saver, not to mention we paid less than a hotel so saved there too.

But....I also have to admit that when we first arrived I was a little taken aback by the condition of the property. As we got our key from the lock box I noticed mold growing on the outside of the house....I realize this is Florida and everything is moist, unlike at home, but it was kinda creepy.

Then we open the door and notice the cracked tiles in the entry way....wander through a bit more and the walls have scuff marks everywhere, not just a few, but dozens...including one on the hall that it is not just a scuff, but a chunk of wall missing, you can see the black behind the wall board.

More chipped tiles in the kitchen. Mismatched, and odd numbers of glasses, coffee mugs and plates. It's a 4 bedroom home (2 Queen, 2 with double twins, so it sleeps at least 8, though VRBO says 10 because of the sofa bed). The dishware varies from a low of 5 (small dessert plates) to 7 (drinking glasses). No where is there 8 of anything, except silverware is a complete set of 8. The ad said "gourmet kitchen" yet it contains 2 pots, 2 badly scratched pans, 1 small tupperware type storage, a tea kettle, a cutting board, a 4 cup coffee maker, a 24 ounce blender, 3 cooking spoons, a whisk, 2 sharp knives and ONE hot mitt.

Two different places in the ad, once in the narrative and once in the amenities list, it mentions that it has a 2 car garage....well, yeah, but there are wires hanging down instead of any kind of opener. Not much of a useful garage if I have to go inside to open the garage to put the car inside.

My husband says the condition of the walls and tiles reminds him of when he used to rent houses....it was the reason he always got the landlord to agree to pay for paint and he'd do the work before he moved in. Since I went from my parent-owned home to husband's owned house I never experienced such things (sheltered ain't I).

I was pretty grossed out when my daughter dropped her little bouncing ball and I went to retrieve it from under the bed to find empty juice boxes and candy wrappers. Made me want to clean everything before we used anything. There was simliar trash under 2 of the other beds.

Again...while some of these things were gross...some are just nusiances or unsightly to my sheltered life where when the walls start to show signs of wear I trundle down to the paint store and have fun changing colors!

While I don't expect the owners to paint after every guest, :rotfl2: I guess for a less than 3 year old house I was expecting a bit better of condition, and a "gourmet kitchen" I was expecting to be able to cook pretty much anything. It would have been nice to have a baking sheet for the oven, a knife for cutting something other than the meat on my plate (and for that matter, not having to share the meat knive with everyone else at the table). Maybe a muffin tray. A mixing bowl, maybe a few more storage containers. A strainer for my spaghetti noodles, or to drain browned meat. A pan for cooking anything in the oven....a roasting pan would be ideal, but a casserole dish would have sufficed. I wasn't expecting a cappuchino machine for heavens sake....but a toaster would have been nice...or something to put the toast on in the oven under the broiler even!

So....did I get a typical vacation home....or a poorly kept one? What's the condition of some of the places you've stayed?

I guess next time I'll ask for an inventory of the kitchen so I can plan my meals, or bring along a strainer and a muffin pan, lol. I was planning to cook some of the simpler meals we have at home, but find myself almost unable to do so.

ChrisinNJ
01-14-2008, 06:40 AM
Wow! It sounds poorly kept to me! I would be very disappointed with that. If I were you I would contact the owner/management co. to complain at least about the garbage under the bed....That is completely unacceptable!

Who did you rent it from? I will keep them on my "avoid them" list for the future!

Christine

Freaky
01-14-2008, 06:47 AM
I really don't think this is the norm :scared1: - we have not had anything like this when renting a vacation home. Obviously the management company is not doing a good job for the owner as the place should be at the very least clean! For a home that is less than 3 yrs old I would expect it to be better.

Perhaps make a call to the management company and see what they say as you don't want to be charged for the missing chunk in the wall - make sure they are aware that these issues were found on your arrival.

Sorry, this sounds like a place to avoid :sad2:

Tracey

sympatico
01-14-2008, 06:57 AM
No, I don't think this is the norm either. We've rented quite a few homes and they have been well kept, aside from a few scuff marks on the walls. I will agree that sometimes the cleaning companies don't do a very good job with their cleaning, if it was my home and saw how they "cleaned" it I'd get new cleaners.
Did you rent directly from the owners or through a rental company?

Lucky'sMom
01-14-2008, 07:10 AM
I'm sorry for your negative house experience. I have not rented a vacation home yet, and this is why. I'm scared. For me, the things you've described would really put a damper on my vacation. When I vacation, I like to feel like the surroundings are "better" than what I have at home, or at least the same. We've been staying at vacation club properties (DVC, Marriott usually, Vistana Villlages). If the room was unacceptable, I would ask to be moved. But, we haven't had that happen yet. It's hard with the vacation homes, because they all look great on-line. How do you know for sure? I really, really considered renting one this trip, but went back to Marriott vacation club. I do hope you have a wonderful vacation, and thank you for posting your experience.:)

JANNYANS
01-14-2008, 08:20 AM
Badly kept by the sounds of things .Out of state or country owners really do need a good man compoany to keep on top of things for them in between their own visits to their property .Maybe in future one question to ask is how often the owner visits ?
I would make sure the management company are aware of your thoughts and like wise the owner as the condition and everything else is unacceptable for a 3 year old home .

Emma1
01-14-2008, 10:49 AM
Hello ConnieB,

That is terrible! We booked our condo for this fall. Were there any guest comments listed on the homeowner's website?

Emma1
Ok, first let me say that I truly am enjoying our stay in a vacation home. Having a whole house instead of a cramped little hotel room (on or off site) has been heavenly. Being able to cook meals has been a budget saver, not to mention we paid less than a hotel so saved there too.

But....I also have to admit that when we first arrived I was a little taken aback by the condition of the property. As we got our key from the lock box I noticed mold growing on the outside of the house....I realize this is Florida and everything is moist, unlike at home, but it was kinda creepy.

Then we open the door and notice the cracked tiles in the entry way....wander through a bit more and the walls have scuff marks everywhere, not just a few, but dozens...including one on the hall that it is not just a scuff, but a chunk of wall missing, you can see the black behind the wall board.

More chipped tiles in the kitchen. Mismatched, and odd numbers of glasses, coffee mugs and plates. It's a 4 bedroom home (2 Queen, 2 with double twins, so it sleeps at least 8, though VRBO says 10 because of the sofa bed). The dishware varies from a low of 5 (small dessert plates) to 7 (drinking glasses). No where is there 8 of anything, except silverware is a complete set of 8. The ad said "gourmet kitchen" yet it contains 2 pots, 2 badly scratched pans, 1 small tupperware type storage, a tea kettle, a cutting board, a 4 cup coffee maker, a 24 ounce blender, 3 cooking spoons, a whisk, 2 sharp knives and ONE hot mitt.

Two different places in the ad, once in the narrative and once in the amenities list, it mentions that it has a 2 car garage....well, yeah, but there are wires hanging down instead of any kind of opener. Not much of a useful garage if I have to go inside to open the garage to put the car inside.

My husband says the condition of the walls and tiles reminds him of when he used to rent houses....it was the reason he always got the landlord to agree to pay for paint and he'd do the work before he moved in. Since I went from my parent-owned home to husband's owned house I never experienced such things (sheltered ain't I).

I was pretty grossed out when my daughter dropped her little bouncing ball and I went to retrieve it from under the bed to find empty juice boxes and candy wrappers. Made me want to clean everything before we used anything. There was simliar trash under 2 of the other beds.

Again...while some of these things were gross...some are just nusiances or unsightly to my sheltered life where when the walls start to show signs of wear I trundle down to the paint store and have fun changing colors!

While I don't expect the owners to paint after every guest, :rotfl2: I guess for a less than 3 year old house I was expecting a bit better of condition, and a "gourmet kitchen" I was expecting to be able to cook pretty much anything. It would have been nice to have a baking sheet for the oven, a knife for cutting something other than the meat on my plate (and for that matter, not having to share the meat knive with everyone else at the table). Maybe a muffin tray. A mixing bowl, maybe a few more storage containers. A strainer for my spaghetti noodles, or to drain browned meat. A pan for cooking anything in the oven....a roasting pan would be ideal, but a casserole dish would have sufficed. I wasn't expecting a cappuchino machine for heavens sake....but a toaster would have been nice...or something to put the toast on in the oven under the broiler even!

So....did I get a typical vacation home....or a poorly kept one? What's the condition of some of the places you've stayed?

I guess next time I'll ask for an inventory of the kitchen so I can plan my meals, or bring along a strainer and a muffin pan, lol. I was planning to cook some of the simpler meals we have at home, but find myself almost unable to do so.

Thats_for_Shore
01-14-2008, 11:46 AM
We stayed at a four bedroom vacation home about three years ago, and that was the only time. We really enjoyed how much room we had, and the place was immaculate.

The only thing that would have bothered me would be the size of our kitchen. It was small. I mean really small. It would barely hold two people, and if one of those people tried to open the fridge, the other person had better get out of the way.

Like your kitchen, there wasn't much in it, either. But I was ok with this, since I was on vacation, and I refuse to do any cooking on vacation.

But I will say that I'd probably hesitate to do it again. When I booked the vacation home the last time, I was a little naive. After going through the process and realizing that these companies have thousands of houses, any of which could be run down or dirty, they could never guarentee that I'd get a house I'd be satisfied with. And once I arrived in Florida, it was nearly impossible to get a hold of the people. So, if I had any complaints, there wasn't anyone around to hear them, since I arrived on a Saturday.

hopare
01-14-2008, 05:36 PM
Where is this place, I want to avoid it????

2wins
01-14-2008, 09:21 PM
Sorry to hear about your troubles. I would like to know where you rented. We found a place through VRBO. I'm a little nervous because the owners are from the UK. Can you let us know?

isla bonita
01-14-2008, 10:46 PM
All of the homes are individually owned so there are no standards.

There should be no trash under beds or any where else in the home.

I would contact both man/co and owners and let them know the condition of the home.

Sorry you had such a disapointing experience. Just know that all owners are not this lax.

wildwood
01-15-2008, 01:56 AM
I agree with above post not all owners operate like this no mater how far they live away from the property you must tell the owners so they can take the matter up with there management who are obviously not doing what is expected of them .

Mainebound
01-15-2008, 06:51 AM
Re: the walls and cracked tile: This is why I always try to rent from the newest developments. These problems are even less likely to occur.

I know that two of the three owners we have rented from have told me that at least some renters have treated their properties very badly. If an owner has back to back bookings, it can be hard for him or her to have these things repaired immediately. I know as a renter I would rather put up with a dirty wall than painters in the house!

As for the mess, that would be the cleaners' fault. I have to often walked into hotels rooms, even on WDW property, to find the same. I hope you let the owner know so they may hire another cleaning service.

As for the stocking of the kitchen, it is true that many homes have only the bare essentials. Some owners are too cheap to stock well, thinking many renters do not cook on vacation, and I am sure some renters make off with various things.

I hope you have a great vacation and consider renting a home again in the future. The homes we have rented have been spotless.

Frothy
01-15-2008, 07:17 AM
We have stayed in vacation homes the last three visits and ours have always been immaculate. The homes we stay in are not the cheapest and have many features that other homes we have looked at do not.

Sometimes it's the price you pay that makes the difference. From my limited understanding some companies use tour operators to fill their homes and it sounds like you have ended up with the bare minimum due to either the owner or the management company cutting corners and costs.