Author Topic: Holiday Cottage Moochers  (Read 23427 times)

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Redneck Gravy

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2013, 10:06:17 AM »
Years ago we also had a small trailer at the lake - it couldn't have taken one whole hour to vacuum, carry out trash, wipe down and scrub.  Everyone took their own linens and we kept the electricity off (when vacant) so there was nothing left refrigerated.   

You would be amazed at the condition we found our little spot in sometimes!  Some people have no common sense, manners or simple decency.

I agree with PP about setting up your rules and leaving a checklist for departure.  We did not want to limit our family's usage either - but some people just don't have any respect for others' property.   

Hmmmmm

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2013, 10:16:24 AM »
Thanks for some good ideas so far, I like the idea of a cleanup fee (for those who I know won't leave it clean), and I think I'll look into a cleaning service in the area that I can call on.DH spoke to his niece about the damage and she at first denied all knowledge, but then said her father would fix the hole in the wall (he's more likely to walk on water than fix it), so we said we'd fix it but she should contact the friend responsible and get some money from them (so far heard nothing).

I do still want to allow people to use it, perhaps I'll draft an email to be sent upon requests along the lines of some of the posters suggestions.

I don't really want to charge people but we certainly don't want to be taken advantage of.

DH has already decided to lock some of the cupboards for our personal stuff.

I highly recommend the requirement of EVERYONE borrowing the cottage being required to pay a for a cleaning service. It elliminates the:
-The family member who is running late to leave and doesn't have time to get the towels dry before leaving and calls you to let you know they are in the dryer.  And then you arrive to mildewy towels that didn't get dried.
-The person who loads the dishwasher and turns it on right before leaving - and then you arrive to a full dishwasher that needs to be unloaded and potentially worse, a water damaged kitchen floor because there's been a problem.
-The friend who's visiting with your relative and offers to take out the garbage but doesn't secure the lid properly.

We have friends with a family cabin that is jointly owned amongst 4 sets of siblings. They have a cleaning service come in after each of them leaves and it saves a tremendous amount of arguements.  Having to pay $100 or so for a cleaning service is cheap for a weekend use of a cottage.

As far the whole in your wall, I wouldn't have told the niece to get money from someone else. She is responsible for your wall since she borrowed the cottage. She needs to pay you and she can recoop from someone else if possible, but you need to hold her completely accountable.

For the person whining that they want the cottage when you are planning to use it, well they would never get access to it again. 

I'd have a set of rules outlined for everyone asking to borrow the cottage.  Clearly state they are responsible for any and all damage done while they are in possession of the cottage, instructions on dealing with trash, who to contact for plumbing issues or other emergencies, noise restrictions for the area, and any other expectations you might have.

SPuck

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2013, 10:23:58 AM »
Rusty, I think you being a little to nice and forgiving to the people who dirtied and damaged your property. You shouldn't have to prepare or make arraignments for people who you know are going to cause a mess, even if they are friends and family.

MrTango

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2013, 10:39:46 AM »
I agree with starting to charge a fee and/or deposit.  I also agree with posters who suggested a specific list of rules and cleanup tasks that need to be followed for every visit.

Also, anyone who has already done damage or failed to clean up after themselves, even before the new list of rules is provided, should probably be banned from ever using or staying at the cabin again.

wheeitsme

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2013, 11:55:00 AM »
 
With the Easter Break here coming up we have told everyone its not available (it isn't)and I've had a few people carrying on saying, "But you can go there anytime".   I really did want to be generous and I just don't know how to deal with it now, as I previously said they could stay anytime we weren't.


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Shoo

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2013, 12:01:51 PM »
 
With the Easter Break here coming up we have told everyone its not available (it isn't)and I've had a few people carrying on saying, "But you can go there anytime".   I really did want to be generous and I just don't know how to deal with it now, as I previously said they could stay anytime we weren't.

The people who gave me a hard time about me using my own property when *I* wanted to would be off my list, honestly.  I just would not deal with them in the future and I like to think I'd be honest with them and tell them why (but I'm not sure I could be that confrontational).  For sure I'd just stop dealing with them and tell them no to future stays at the cabin.

You are way more tolerant of bad behavior than I think I would be.  What do you get for all your aggravation?  Why open up your cottage at all? 

jaxsue

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2013, 12:27:09 PM »
OP, I'd stop letting people stay there. They have proven to not be responsible.

I used to own a lakefront home in FL. As you can imagine, it was an attractive option in the wintertime. I was fortunate; no one - family or otherwise - abused the situation.

You are more patient than I am. I'd already be done with letting others use it.

jaxsue

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2013, 12:34:56 PM »
Rusty, I think you being a little to nice and forgiving to the people who dirtied and damaged your property. You shouldn't have to prepare or make arraignments for people who you know are going to cause a mess, even if they are friends and family.

Per the bolded: actually, that is the appropriate word!  :)

TootsNYC

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2013, 12:52:38 PM »
I would not put myself through the headache of charging deposits, booking dates, bla bla etc... this seems to be beyond ridiculous.  The cottage is supposed to be a treat for your family, a reward for hard work, and its turned into a hassle and a bone of contention.  I'd shut it down if I were you and I wouldn't be shy about stating the bare facts.

"Family, the cottage is no longer available for use.  Arguing over dates, property damage, an general filth left behind are unacceptable.  Similar properties can be rented at xyz agency.  Thank you for understanding."
this. so much this.,,

I'll just jump on here.

And let me say this:

Let's say I'm the Good Niece; I would *never* do what the Bad Niece did.
And let's say I haven't even had a chance to take you up on the offer to borrow it.

Guess what--I'd absolutely understand and accept your decision to rescind the offer. (I'd probably assume that whoever *did* borrow it had trashed it.)

And I'd take it well because *I'm a reasonable person.*

So anybody who does get upset is someone who will cause you trouble over it. And they don't deserve to mess up your life that much.



But I see you want to keep loaning it out. I would say that you should do what some of us have suggested that SiotehCat do:

Draw up an agreement, with rules.
State on there that anyone who breaks the rules will never again be allowed to use the cottage. (Sorry, Niece!)

I like the idea making them fork over some money, even if it's not to you but to a cleaning service. It will keep them from being too casual with borrowing it.

(When people have to pay for something, they value it more--and the people who are complaining that you won't let them go because YOU want to go are the people that I'd lay money will break things without worrying about it.)

Eeep!

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2013, 01:46:36 PM »
Thanks for some good ideas so far, I like the idea of a cleanup fee (for those who I know won't leave it clean), and I think I'll look into a cleaning service in the area that I can call on.

DH spoke to his niece about the damage and she at first denied all knowledge, but then said her father would fix the hole in the wall (he's more likely to walk on water than fix it), so we said we'd fix it but she should contact the friend responsible and get some money from them (so far heard nothing).

I do still want to allow people to use it, perhaps I'll draft an email to be sent upon requests along the lines of some of the posters suggestions.

I don't really want to charge people but we certainly don't want to be taken advantage of.

DH has already decided to lock some of the cupboards for our personal stuff.

I know you still want to loan it out, but the fact that you feel you need to do the bolded makes me inclined to suggest you don't.  I have friends who have a house in the mountains. They use a management company to rent it out when they aren't using it.  The bolded is one of the things they absolutely HATE.  It is a real pain to have to lock up your stuff.  At least for them, it seemed easy enough to start but it has turned out to be rather tedious.  It is much nicer to be able to just show up at their place and have THEIR food in the regular cupboards/fridge, etc. To have their stuff wherever they want it.  Now maybe it won't be a pain for you, but I just wanted to throw that out there.
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Figgie

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #40 on: March 20, 2013, 02:39:45 PM »
Resentment is kind of an emotional acid that will eventually weaken and destroy relationships.  When you allow family members to treat your vacation home (and you) badly, it is impossible not to feel resentment for the disrespect and work that they have chosen to make for you.

Setting limits and expressing your feelings about being hurt, frustrated, angry and so on to the people who have behaved badly is the only way I know to keep resentment from building up and ultimately destroying relationships.

So, every single time you set a limit, you are actually doing something good to protect the over-all relationship with family members.  Just because they don't like the limit doesn't make it a bad thing. 

I know that I never feel good about myself when I allow people to use and abuse me.  It also isn't a lesson that I want my children to learn by seeing me allow people to treat me badly.

lowspark

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #41 on: March 20, 2013, 04:18:12 PM »
You know, whenever someone stays there without paying you, you are actually losing money unless you get your electricity and water for free. Not to mention supplies like toilet paper and detergent (if they're doing laundry), etc. and damages!

I'm with the others who would put a stop to it. But if you really feel strongly about continuing, then yes, lay down some hard and fast rules. First one would be, if you do any of the following, you will no longer be allowed to use it:
-- complain that the date you want is unavailable
-- leave it the place dirty
-- don't bring your own supplies
-- cause any damage

And no way should you lend it to anyone who is under age.

Honestly, I think you're being way too generous with this. I completely understand your wanting to share this and I think that's great. The trouble is that the more lenient you remain, the more you will be taken advantage of. Then the very thing that should have made your rel@tionship with your relatives better will end up making for anger and hurt feelings on both ends and potentially irreparable damage.

Lynn2000

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2013, 05:24:54 PM »
I really like the idea of having clear, detailed, matter-of-fact rules about using the property. I admit it, I don't travel much to places besides hotels and sometimes certain chores just wouldn't occur to me. I mean, I wouldn't think it was okay to punch a hole in the wall, but I wouldn't necessarily think about tallying up the toilet paper I'd used. Plus, it wouldn't be very fun for me to clean everything at the end of my vacation--I would actually rather someone say, "The cost is $100 for the cleaning service at the end, plus $25 a day for expenses," or whatever. Then I would just pay the money, use the place like I wanted, and leave--I wouldn't have trashed it, of course, but I wouldn't be worrying about vacuuming, doing laundry, changing the trash, figuring out how much coffee I'd used, etc..

Rather than seeing these rules/charges as being a hindrance or punishment to family members, think of them as helpful guidance. Of course, the bad apples will complain about the new rules, because they don't want to follow them. But I think a lot of people would prefer to know the expectations upfront, and even to pay cash so they don't have to worry about certain things, or worry that you will worry.
~Lynn2000

TootsNYC

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2013, 07:34:40 PM »
Resentment is kind of an emotional acid that will eventually weaken and destroy relationships.  When you allow family members to treat your vacation home (and you) badly, it is impossible not to feel resentment for the disrespect and work that they have chosen to make for you.

Setting limits and expressing your feelings about being hurt, frustrated, angry and so on to the people who have behaved badly is the only way I know to keep resentment from building up and ultimately destroying relationships.

So, every single time you set a limit, you are actually doing something good to protect the over-all relationship with family members.  Just because they don't like the limit doesn't make it a bad thing. 

I know that I never feel good about myself when I allow people to use and abuse me.  It also isn't a lesson that I want my children to learn by seeing me allow people to treat me badly.


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Midnight Kitty

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #44 on: March 20, 2013, 07:52:50 PM »
I live in Waikiki in a high rise condo-hotel.  We have neighbors who used to stay in their unit frequently even though their primary residence was on the Mainland (US).  She had cancer and they would come to Hawaii after her treatments to restore her energy.  Unfortunately, she died last year. :'(

Because we had indicated an interest in occasionally hosting family members who could really use a 2 bedroom vacation rental, the husband told us the name of the property management company he selected.  Yes, we are friends.  No, we don't get any special consideration.  He said he makes family go through the management company, too, because he doesn't want to get into arguments with his family over a vacation rental.  Besides, he still lives primarily on the Mainland and can't inspect the unit after other people stay there.

I highly recommend you get a property management company and use them whenever anyone else wants to stay in your vacation home.  It's better to have someone who lives nearby and who is paid to check.  They will do a better job than asking a neighbor to check for free.  It makes your life so much easier and provides employment for cleaning services and a rental agent, which will buy you much good will in your home away from home.
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