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Renting to groups - what rules to set

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Basil Fawlty

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We rent out our whole guest quarters to groups as a vacation rental as it has a separate kitchen and entrance. We issue a short-term rental contract spelling out the rules on the grounds,deck and hot tub use. By and large most folks resepct the property. But, wow, the bad apples can be really bad! We had a wedding party in here yesterday that caroused in the hot tub and yard until 3:30am! When we went out and told them they needed to respect the property and our neighbors on adjacent acres, they became belligerent and declared that they had rented this space and it was theirs to do with as they pleased.I actually became a little apprehensive, but I stood my ground and finally they decamped back in to the house.
Does anyone have advice on how to deal with this sort of thing? In our 6 years in the business this episode was unique!
Kimberly, Green Cat Guest House, Poulsbo WA
 

Joey Camb

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Those people seem exceptionally awful I would say whether it is true or not it is because of local noise regulations/restrictions/ also people should respect your neighbours. We occasionally have trouble with our nextdoor neighbours as they have a balcony at the back of their B&B which the door onto it has to be unlocked as it is a fire escape and people sit on it at night and talk and smoke. Trouble is they don't have to be talking loud for it to carry last night they were only talking at a normal level and I could hear it in my quarters. Between me and her we are trying to work out a way to keep them off the balcony at night but not block the fire escape. However this is people making a genuine mistake and not like you where they just seem to be
I would simply say if you don't keep it down I am sure my neighbours will be calling the cops as they are not used to this sort of noise comming from my place and will be worried. It is one of the reasons I won't large wedding parties. Trouble is sometimes I find it easier to deal with as a woman as men sometimes get all big up with a man where as other times it is better to have back up when you don't know what you are walking into.
 

gillumhouse

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When we went out and told them they needed to respect the property and our neighbors on adjacent acres, they became belligerent and declared that they had rented this space and it was theirs to do with as they pleased.


Au Contraire!!! The answer is this is MY property and renting space does not give you the right to do as you please! You WILL return to the house and be quiet or we WILL call the police and have you ejected. And if there is any disrespect to our property we will file charges.
People cannot be permitted to do whatever they please because if they get away with it one place they will do it again. Renting a hotel room does not give the right to make excessive noise at all hours and the same principle fits this situation. They rented space, it is not theirs.
 

Copperhead

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Groups can be the biggest Pitas as they can gang up on the innkeeper, as in your case. You state you have a contract that must be signed, make sure that all policies are listed - including times when the hot tub, etc. can be used. Also make sure it states that as of x time, noise volumes must be at normal levels. Make sure the consequences for inappropriate behavior are addressed as well. (i.e. inappropriate behaviors could result in immediate removal from the premise, no refunds.)
It is sad that due to the actions of a few, others have to be scolded before they even step on our properties but we live in such times...
 

Morticia

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You handled it well. Are there hour limits in the contract? If not, add them. And I would make it midnight that all outdoor activities must cease. Around here it is generally 11 PM, but you soundlike you have acreage.
If it is possible to turn off the jets on the hot tub so it's not as much fun, that would help, too. A timer INSIDE your house would be ideal, rather than something the guests could find.
If it's only happened once in 6 years, it may be a fluke. But now you know and you're planning, so that's good.
 

Samster

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You handled it well. Are there hour limits in the contract? If not, add them. And I would make it midnight that all outdoor activities must cease. Around here it is generally 11 PM, but you soundlike you have acreage.
If it is possible to turn off the jets on the hot tub so it's not as much fun, that would help, too. A timer INSIDE your house would be ideal, rather than something the guests could find.
If it's only happened once in 6 years, it may be a fluke. But now you know and you're planning, so that's good..
Our noise ordinance is 10 PM. Getting the police to enforce it is another thing......
 

Don Draper

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Get as specific as you can...only registered guests can use the property or grounds, set time limits, make a non-refundable deposit, etc. Try to think of any and everything as they will take advantage of every little thing. Groups are the WORST.
 

Morticia

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Altho we don't have the situation you do, I would say that a requirement for a group booking is the email of everyone staying so the policies can be sent to everyone. We're sharing a group right now and our half of the group appears to be very unhappy with their accommodations. (Or, maybe it's with the planner they are unhappy, or the location, or the whole damn vacation.)
They basically said nothing to us when they checked in. Have said nothing since. Have been going in and out slamming doors for a couple of hours.
I think it would have been in our best interests to have asked for the emails of the rooms we got so they would know what to expect on arrival.
 

JBloggs

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No boundaries, groups. Sorry this happened to you.
 

Samster

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Altho we don't have the situation you do, I would say that a requirement for a group booking is the email of everyone staying so the policies can be sent to everyone. We're sharing a group right now and our half of the group appears to be very unhappy with their accommodations. (Or, maybe it's with the planner they are unhappy, or the location, or the whole damn vacation.)
They basically said nothing to us when they checked in. Have said nothing since. Have been going in and out slamming doors for a couple of hours.
I think it would have been in our best interests to have asked for the emails of the rooms we got so they would know what to expect on arrival..
Sorry this happened to you. :-( Also, not a fan of the groups.

 

Don Draper

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Altho we don't have the situation you do, I would say that a requirement for a group booking is the email of everyone staying so the policies can be sent to everyone. We're sharing a group right now and our half of the group appears to be very unhappy with their accommodations. (Or, maybe it's with the planner they are unhappy, or the location, or the whole damn vacation.)
They basically said nothing to us when they checked in. Have said nothing since. Have been going in and out slamming doors for a couple of hours.
I think it would have been in our best interests to have asked for the emails of the rooms we got so they would know what to expect on arrival..
Yes, contact info including email addresses and everyone gets their own confirmation. Of course it still doesn't matter, they don't read a thing and if one person has done the choosing for the entire group there's always someone unhappy.
 

EmptyNest

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It is YOUR property and renting them only entitles them to what you state in your policies. Make sure your policies cover this kind of thing and make sure they sign it! IF they don't obey, call the cops if you have to.
 
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