"" Writer's Wanderings: How Not To Find A Vacation Rental

Thursday, January 14, 2016

How Not To Find A Vacation Rental

In a few words: through a friend of a friend of a friend who you really don't know that well to start with whose friend didn't want to rent it in the first place. Could'a asked why. Would'a asked why if we weren't so glad to have found a place. Should'a asked why.

There were signs and a feeling in my gut but we couldn't find any other place available where we wanted to stay. So with a little fear and trembling we put the key in the lock and opened the door.
We weren't expecting the Ritz. We weren't even expecting it to be as nice as the condo we had rented several years in a row before going on a world cruise and losing our spot to other renters. And we kept telling ourselves at least we are in the gated community where we wanted to be.

We decided not to unload things from the car until we inspected. I always like to take pictures so that if there is any question as to the condition of the rental place when we leave, I have pictures to show of what it looked like when we arrived.

It was said that the condo was cleaned just a few days before we were to arrive but it was obvious from trash in several places and an empty paper coffee cup on the table that someone had been there since if it had been cleaned.

The bathrooms looked okay except for used bath products in the tub/shower and on the sink including a bar of soap with hair on it and a tube of toothpaste that was almost empty. I shuddered.

Okay, I thought. We can clean things up. Then we looked in the refrigerator. It had all sorts of half eaten, half used items in it. I shuddered again. Then I tried to open the freezer. The door wouldn't budge. It took Bob sitting on the floor with his foot against the bottom and all his strength to open the door. Once open it was obvious this hadn't been defrosted in a long time. I fought off tears.

Undaunted my wonderful husband volunteered to clean it out while I took care of some of the other things. It took us a couple of hours to feel we could actually spend the night and a week of cleaning, trying to get WiFi and a mailbox key, buying and installing a new shower head, getting a toaster and several other little details that cropped up.
Still haven't figured out why all the pillows are stuffed
 between the headboard and wall.

There was little response from the owner and when he suggested we get the office for the development to replace the lock on the mailbox because he couldn't find the key, they told us no because he hadn't paid for the last lock they changed for him. At that point we knew that there wouldn't be much help coming.

It has garnered us some sympathy from others who have experienced the same thing in years past and were wise enough not to rent that unit again. And now we're experienced. There will be no more friend of a friend of a friend suggestions to follow up on. We're sticking with VRBO and other rental agencies where we can get feedback and reviews. Lesson learned.

By the way our worst fear, lingering cigarette smoke smell, was not realized. Sometimes you just have to celebrate the little things in life.

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