Author Topic: Holiday Cottage Moochers  (Read 24305 times)

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Spring Water on Sundays

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #60 on: March 21, 2013, 02:56:35 PM »
My grandparents own a small lake house. The house is in their name and they pay all the bills and taxes. They are happy to do this. Like you, they bought the house with the intention of sharing it with the family. Anyone in the family can schedule time to use the house. Grandma and Grandpa get first dibs, but after that it's first come first serve.

There is a binder that lives on the coffee table with a sign in/sign out sheet, a detailed checklist for opening the house (because it sits vacant for weeks at times), a detailed checklist for closing the house (wash, dry and put away all dishes, vacuum carpets, take all perishable food with you, unplug appliances, etc). In other words, there is no excuse for anyone to "forget" to keep the house up to Grandma and Grandpa's reasonable standards after they've used it. In addition to leaving the house in the condition in which it was found, most people will bring some laundry detergent, TP or other consumable supplies with them and leave them there for others to use as a token payment for the use of the house.

As far as I know, we have never had a problem with anyone leaving the house a mess. I think having the expectations so clearly written out in an easy-to-follow format has gone a long way in keeping the peace.

ladyknight1

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #61 on: March 21, 2013, 04:12:32 PM »
I would be very hesitant to let a group of people younger than 21 borrow your vacation home again. I used to work in hospitality, and there were very good and valid reasons not to rent to a group of teenagers or young adults without supervision.

strawbabies

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #62 on: March 21, 2013, 11:53:06 PM »
I wouldn't let anyone who left a mess before use the cottage again. 

Since everyone is now fighting over who gets to use it at a given time, even if you want to use it yourself, I'd stop letting anyone else use it. 

My in-laws had a cabin up in the mountains that they used to let other people use.  Family members tended to do little home repairs and decorating that made it so the place was in even better condition when they left than when they arrived, on top of keeping it clean.  FIL owned a company and invited employees to visit the cabin with their families.  They were absolute pigs and nobody not approved by MIL was ever invited again. 

cutejellybeen

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #63 on: March 22, 2013, 09:34:30 AM »
Rusty, I think you;ve gotten some great advice here on deposits and rule lists ( which I agree *should* be unnecessary).

I just wanted to say I think its so nice that you bought a place with the intention to share with your family. That is a very kind and generous thing for you to have done. It makes me so sad that you've had to deal with these issues, especially someone telling you that you should let them go for Easter as you can use it whenever you want. Good for you for not backing down for them, and please try not to let them  make you feel badly about that!!



Venus193

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #64 on: March 22, 2013, 10:13:25 AM »
Echoing FoxPaws on the issue of the source of the money.  It doesn't matter whether you earned the money, inherited it, or won it in the lottery; the property is yours and didn't come "free."

I think the management company idea is excellent.  That also protects you from something I think was mentioned in another thread long ago:  People who borrow the place for a week and stay longer than they say they will.

bopper

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #65 on: March 22, 2013, 02:22:24 PM »
Sometimes people think:

Free => No value
No value => worthless
Worthless =>not worth spending effort on


or

I am on vacation.
On vacation I don't have to do work.
I am staying at a place other than my own, like a hotel!
Maids clean up hotels.

cheyne

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #66 on: March 22, 2013, 02:47:58 PM »
It doesn't matter where the money for your beach cottage came from, it is yours.  Please stop feeling guilty about having something nicer than the rest of your family(ies).  It's OK for families to have different incomes and lifestyles, not everyone is going to be the same or have access to the same "stuff".

I don't mean to be harsh, but misplaced guilt is the easiest human emotion for others to take advantage of.   

POD to Foxpaws and Shoo.

mmswm

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #67 on: March 22, 2013, 03:18:51 PM »
My parents have a similar problem, but with their own home.  They like to spend the summer months touring the country in their RV, which leaves their gigantic house unoccupied during those times. Lately, they've been loaning their primary home to various relatives who want to come here for vacations.  While their home isn't exactly in prime tourist location, it's huge (5 bedroom, 3 bath, indoor and outdoor kitchen, 30X60 foot pool on a deck nearly the same size as the footprint of the rest of the house, several acres of land), it is centrally located to many South Florida destinations (Upper Keys, Everglades, Miami Beach, Downtown, Coconut Grove are all within an hour of the house unless traffic is horrifically bad). They just ask that their home is left in the same condition it was found in. Sadly, this hasn't always happened. 

I think the posters who've guessed about the attitude that free=we don't have to take care of the place, are right on target.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

magicdomino

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #68 on: March 22, 2013, 03:26:30 PM »
Sometimes people think:

Free => No value
No value => worthless
Worthless =>not worth spending effort on


or

I am on vacation.
On vacation I don't have to do work.
I am staying at a place other than my own, like a hotel!
Maids clean up hotels.

This.  It's an attitude that I've run into before.  Rusty, you don't have to charge market rates if you don't want to, and you might be able to get away with a refundable damage deposit, but to make it fair all around, you need to ask people to put something in the pot.

kherbert05

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #69 on: March 22, 2013, 04:31:38 PM »
I have rented homes, I've stayed at family homes, I've stayed at "private time-shares" (groups of friends owned the home together and divided up weeks), and I own a farm with 9 other family members.

Except for the farm (camping rules there) we always expected to pay for and contact the maid service at the end of our visit. We would clean up our "messes" put up what we had used, wash and fold the sheets* and towels, clean the kitchen and bathrooms, vacume and sweep and if at the beach wash the windows (it was my Dad's hang up) -  and the maid service would do the deep clean.

I actually would be irritated not to have a maid service to contact and pay for - because then I would expect to have to do the deep clean. I also remember liking the instruction sheets because they set out what was allowed and expected.

*We were ALWAYS instructed to NOT put the sheets back on the bed. They wanted to be absolutely sure the sheets were freshly laundered. Dad (former Marine) and Mom (scientist) had us fold up all the sheets and towels. We got refunds on our cleaning deposits with the rentals because we didn't just wash the stuff and throw it on an stripped down bed. (The kitchen table was scrubbed and dried and the folded laundry was put there because putting it on the uncovered mattress wasn't acceptable to my parents.)
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CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #70 on: March 22, 2013, 05:12:38 PM »
When my family rented a vacation condo, there was a big sign on the refrigerator listing what we were expected to do before leaving.  We appreciated this as it allowed us to plan our departure schedule and ensured we didn't forget anything.

We were expected to put dirty dishes in the dish washer and turn it on and to strip the beds and leave the bedding in the laundry room.  A cleaning crew came in to finish up after guests left.  Expecting guests to wait around while the washer / dryer / dishwater cycle through could delay departure by hours, and that seems unreasonable. 

 :-\ We were expected to take our trash to a disposal about a quarter of a mile away, up a steep hill.  Unless you were an athlete, that meant putting it in your car.  There was no cleaning service while the condo was occupied, but there was an envelope on the counter for guests to tip the cleaners. 
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rose red

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #71 on: March 22, 2013, 05:18:20 PM »
My family stayed at a relative's empty apartment during a visit to home country.  We cleaned and left a thank you gift.  When she called us about a month later, it was sad how grateful she was that we did that.  She informed us that we are welcome any time, but mentioned how certain other relatives were not.  I guess she'd been burned by them.

OP, I hope you do some of the things suggested by previous posters.  My recommendation is never let them use the cottage again, but that's not my call.  Letting them get away with the disrespect is telling them it's OK to treat you that way.

sparksals

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #72 on: March 22, 2013, 07:06:11 PM »
When my family rented a vacation condo, there was a big sign on the refrigerator listing what we were expected to do before leaving.  We appreciated this as it allowed us to plan our departure schedule and ensured we didn't forget anything.

We were expected to put dirty dishes in the dish washer and turn it on and to strip the beds and leave the bedding in the laundry room.  A cleaning crew came in to finish up after guests left.  Expecting guests to waiit around while the washer / dryer / dishwater cycle through could delay departure by hours, and that seems unreasonable. 

 :-\ We were expected to take our trash to a disposal about a quarter of a mile away, up a steep hill.  Unless you were an athlete, that meant putting it in your car.  There was no cleaning service while the condo was occupied, but there was an envelope on the counter for guests to tip the cleaners.


I think both are perfectly reasonable.  You can time the dish washer with the other duties before leaving and it only takes a second to drive up the hill to take the garbage.

JenJay

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #73 on: March 22, 2013, 07:40:23 PM »
When my family rented a vacation condo, there was a big sign on the refrigerator listing what we were expected to do before leaving.  We appreciated this as it allowed us to plan our departure schedule and ensured we didn't forget anything.

We were expected to put dirty dishes in the dish washer and turn it on and to strip the beds and leave the bedding in the laundry room.  A cleaning crew came in to finish up after guests left.  Expecting guests to waiit around while the washer / dryer / dishwater cycle through could delay departure by hours, and that seems unreasonable. 

 :-\ We were expected to take our trash to a disposal about a quarter of a mile away, up a steep hill.  Unless you were an athlete, that meant putting it in your car.  There was no cleaning service while the condo was occupied, but there was an envelope on the counter for guests to tip the cleaners.


I think both are perfectly reasonable.  You can time the dish washer with the other duties before leaving and it only takes a second to drive up the hill to take the garbage.

Yes, we would strip the beds and start the laundry as soon as we got up and run the dishwasher after breakfast. Everything was dry and ready to be put away by the time we were finished packing, loading the car & giving the house its final once-over. If I was paying $$$ to stay I might not appreciate having to clean so much before leaving, but for a free or nearly-free stay? And for a friend or relative? No problem!

Corvid

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Re: Holiday Cottage Moochers
« Reply #74 on: March 23, 2013, 02:43:03 PM »
My grandparents ended up buying their own cottage on the other side of the lake to avoid all the fighting, which my great-uncles deemed "not fair" (since my grandfather was the only only one of the three well-off enough to afford to do that) and they didn't talk for decades.

You would think your great-uncles would have been pleased that there was less competition for the family cottage.

People don't always make sense.


I'm not as nice as the OP.  I would have been calling brother-in-law after I walked in the door and found the cottage foodless and dirty, asked why he thought it was okay to leave things in this state for his brother and me to walk into, and state firmly that I never expected to come in there and be his maid service ever again.