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Opinions please - Holiday cottage asking for money due to 'damages'

Discussion in 'Personal' started by impulce, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. I returned from a week's stay in a holiday cottage last week, and have just had an email from the company saying that the owner phones to say the cottage was left in an "Unsatisfactorily clean manner" and that the work surface had marks on it from a pan and can I send a cheque for £50 please.
    The cottage was left perfectly clean. We were only there for 1 week, made little mess, did all the washing up, wiped the surfaces and made the bed. All that needed doing was the usual clean over for the next guests and a vacuum.
    As for the marks, I cannot remember making them but do put pans down on my work surface all the time - it has never, ever marked from a pan.
    What would you do?
  2. If you're going to feel guilty about it, send a cheque.
    Otherwise, tell them the owner must make allowances for wear and tear. They will certainly be claiming a wear and tear allowance on their tax return!
  3. I dont feel guilty - if I did do it it was completely accidental, as my work surfaces never suffer damage from my pans, and I also have that opinion about wear and tear...nothing was purposefully damaged, and we made every effort to leave it clean so the sentence that says it was not left clean and tidy has really bugged me!
    Im just worried they can do something legally..and also if people think I am out of order and should just pay for it, as it may just be my defensiveness kicking in!
  4. I can't see what they could do legally - what proof do they have, and how has the cost been calculated at £50?
    I'd be tempted either to ignore the email or to briefly respond refusing to pay.
    If you feel they're acting unreasonably you could also mention it in a review on their website.

  5. pwtin

    pwtin New commenter

    Cant see why you needed to make the bed before you left? Personally it annoys me when they ask you to leave the cottage as clean as you find it .In the past we have spent hours cleaning up before we vacated a cottage .They employ people to go in and clean up after visitors so basically you are being expected to do the job they are paid to do.Now we leave it tidy and hoover round but do not go overboard.Luckily they did not ask you for a deposit , otherwise you would not have any choice .
  6. I agree...checkout is 10am check in was 4pm..thats 6 HOURS to do a bit of hoovering and the odd wipe down. There's only so much mess 2 adults can make in a week when we were out and about most of the time! Makes me feel ashamed like a messy child to know that we have been complained about.
    The work surface thing is more of an issue, though I genuinly dont think it was us. Ive replied explaining all this and saying I am not going to pay, and will see what I get back.
    I am more concerned there is something they can do legally, though I doubt they would pursue it?
  7. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    We had this a few years ago. I sent them a letter saying we had not caused any damage, and told them a copy was with my solicitor. I indicated that any more correspondence would be dealt with by the solicitor. I never heard from them again.
  8. Tell them to get lost, and make it clear to the agents that you will never be using their service again, and posting on every internet forum you can register on, as well as TripAdvisor etc that you are being hassled for things that are not only trivial but not your fault.
    If they did not 'inspect', and bring these issues to your attention immediately when you left, then there is nothing they can do about it.
    Name and shame.

  9. The problem is theres *some* chance it may have been me, albeit accidently, so I cant 100% say it wasn't me.
    I have replied and told them it wasn't though, and disputed the clean/tidy business and told them I wont be booking again.
  10. DON'T PAY!! they are out for all the money they can get and pray on nice people like you seem to be!! The most they can do is not allow you to book their place again which i'm sure you wouldn't want to anyway!!
  11. It's their word against yours.

    We tend to take a photo record of any "faults" / damage we can find on arrival and then post them to an online album (gives date evidence).If there is any comeback we can refer the letting agency to the online album.
  12. Crowbob

    Crowbob Established commenter

    If you did do it, it wasn't "accidental" it was done through carelessness.
    burning a work surface is not "wear and tear". It makes no difference whether you did it purposefully if you did damage it.
    If you didn't do it, then dispute it. If you did do it, or think you may have done it, you should pay.
    If you are genuinely not sure, then it is down to your conscience.

  13. Milkandchalk

    Milkandchalk New commenter

    Can you ask the company to email you pictures of the mark?
  14. I am genuinly not sure. We're leaving to a very tight budget at the moment, or i'd probably just send the cash and have it done with.
    I've emailed back so will await reply, and if they push it at least it might be able to wait until next payday.
    If I was 100% sure i'd not done it I'd fight it but Im concerned I have and just haven't noticed.

    On a related point - Is it just me who has had a range of work surfaces that have never burnt from having pans put on them? Surely thats the point of a work surface?
  15. If you tidied up before you left who wiped the work surface down? Surely you would have noticed if you'd scorched it?

    You may be the 30th person that has had the request from the landlord for the £50 repair...........
  16. No idea, I would never put a hot pan in a work surface, I'd put it on a spare over ring or on the drainer. I don't think all work surfaces are designed as 'non scorch-able' when faced with that heat. I would imagine it depends on the material and the finish.
  17. Sorry impuce but I think you are bang to rights. You should not put hot pans on worksurfaces if you don't know they are heat proof.
    You were in someone else's property. No good relying on their insurance to cover your "forgetful" accidents.
    It's damagage not dirt you are talking of, which cannot be remedied by cleaning, so that's a red herring, isn't it?
    As to blackening the letting company on the web: I'd sue if you did.
    Now think about it carefully, its not their fault you are on a tight budget: it is your fault if you may have ruined their worktop.

  18. If the pan is very hot it may scorch, regardless of the type of work surface. I think it sounds like a scam, though. £50 wouldn't replace a work surface (unless it' small) and it sounds like the kind of amount people would be likely to pay without querying too much.
  19. Crowbob

    Crowbob Established commenter

    A good point, airy.
  20. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I've reluctantly paid returnable deposits in the past and have always had them returned. I wouldn't dream of coughing up for a sum like this - they're trying it on. Write politely and say it wasn't you as someone said earlier.

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