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Old 04-29-2014, 01:57 PM
2 posts, read 1,588 times
Reputation: 10


OK, a girlfriend of mine said this is a good place to get a wide variety of opinions, so here goes.

My husband and I own some apartment buildings in a popular tourist destination here in the US. We had been renting the apartments out to long-term tenants for over 20 years, but decided to give Airbnb a try this past year and we love it. Having 30 to 40 new guests from all over the world every week has certainly broadened our horizons.

The one exception to our happiness is the state in which the apartments are left by our US guests. We have had people from all over the world---Asians, Europeans, Africans, South Americans, etc. stay with us, and almost without fail, the American guests leave the apartment in disgusting disarray. I''m talking uneaten food strewn about the table, dirty towels all over the place, a sink full of dirty dishes, unflushed toilets, hair all over the bathroom, hair clogging drains, garbage on the dresser, etc. Those are just the things I've seen that are decent enough to publish on this thread.

The guests from other countries do not leave anywhere near as much mess: their garbage is in the garbage can, dirty linens are in the basket designated for them, and so on. Many of our foreign guests have even cleaned their own units before leaving (I will admit, I find that part surprising).

So what the heck is going on? I have never encountered something like this before. I'd say about 60% of my previous long-term tenants were American, and none moved out leaving an apartment in the way that I am seeing from the short-term American tourists.

This couldn't be a matter of "class" because our apartments are pretty expensive (though cheaper than the average hotel here, which is $500 a night), and most of the guests are professionals or students from well-off families.

It couldn't simply be a matter of age, because we have had guests ranging from teenagers to retirees.

My son told me "Yeah, it is gross the way they leave stuff, but they did pay a lot of money for the place, so they can do what they want in there, right?" He is technically correct, but I would be absolutely embarrassed to leave a hotel or other temporary lodging the way the majority of my American guests seem to think is just fine.

I am even more embarrassed to think my fellow countrymen and women are going abroad and leaving their hotel rooms in such a terrible and unsanitary fashion.

Have we just had bad luck with our US guests? Or have I been completely blind to the fact that American culture thinks it is okay to be a slob simply because you've paid to stay somewhere?
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:55 PM
Location: Cleverly concealed
970 posts, read 1,530,988 times
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Perhaps you're not making the "house rules" clear enough? Insist on a surcharge to their credit cards if the apartment is left in a certain state of messiness? Do you have a paid housekeeping staff, or do you clean these apartments yourself?

I'm a cheapskate and pretty low-brow in my own right. But if I'm staying in a hostel, I follow the owner's guidelines-- linens in the basket, pick up after myself, clean some dishes, etc. It's common courtesy in shared living space like that. In a hotel with a paid cleaning staff, I'm guilty of leaving a water cup on the table, towels over the shower rod, and I'm certainly not extracting hair out of the drain. But I'm not trashing the place either. I've never stayed in a long-term apartment as a vacation.
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:39 PM
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley & Dunedin FL
1,409 posts, read 2,361,425 times
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Well perhaps it's no different than the way US tourists and business travelers leave regular hotel rooms. I'm just speculating here. I know that I wouldn't leave a hotel room in that state, but neither would I strip the bed and leave the linens in a basket. Nor would I dig around and take my hair out of a drain. I suspect in my case the class of hotel would make a difference--in a guest house or B&B I'd be a little tidier. Oh, and I'm Canadian.
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Old 04-30-2014, 03:56 AM
1,789 posts, read 1,457,094 times
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If anything I go out of the way to make sure to clean up when renting an apartment/villa vs a hotel room. I never really thought about it until I read your question. I guess renting an apartment or house from someone vs a corporation feels more personable and more self conscious. Its not like I have ever trashed a hotel room or anything but I guess you would say I actually just straighten up before leaving a hotel room whereas I actually clean up a rental. Still, I aint gonna be fishin any drains for hairballs either way. I guess also the way I find it has something to do with how clean I leave it.
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:31 AM
32,207 posts, read 33,112,696 times
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At hotel, nobody expects that they have clean up as hotels employ maids. So if you are renting out a private residence short term, you need to specify in advance that the person needs to live the property in same condition that they found it.
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:49 AM
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 21,936,716 times
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We do timeshares and we do have house rules. We are about to spend our second stay in a RCI exchange that we just paid for instead of exchanging and I am a little nervous about how I will find it. Our first RCI get acquainted exchange in Duck, N. C. was cleaner when we left than when we went there. My husband who is 6'2" said the refrigerator looked like the top had not been cleaned in more than three months yet we were told if the condos were not clean there would be an $80 charge. I am really brave to try this again.

Each place usually has a book with the rules inside. Some want the covers to be by the door, others want them to be in the huge bathtub. And it doesn't matter if they were never used, that is still the rule. You get charged extra if you are not out by 10 A. M. Since we empty the trash and do the dishes, that can be a challenge. I used to vacuum the floors but since the maids are going to do that again, I don't bother anymore. Vacuuming the floor twice is pretty useless.

I think these maids work pretty fast. I found one of those little balls of cheese under the chest of drawers in one place in Myrtle Beach. That is a pretty big item to miss in a cleanup. You have to check when you first arrive in these places. Since we do the dishes and there are maids that always clean up in all our locations in our system, we were a little shocked once to find coffee cups that had been put in the back of the cabinet without being washed. I can understand the maid missing that. Who is going to check through the cabinets to make sure dirty dishes were not put up? The person who did this was just a jerk.

Last edited by NCN; 04-30-2014 at 05:57 AM..
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:45 PM
12,393 posts, read 18,484,010 times
Reputation: 19383
Originally Posted by missbree22 View Post
Have we just had bad luck with our US guests? Or have I been completely blind to the fact that American culture thinks it is okay to be a slob simply because you've paid to stay somewhere?
It's a combination of factors:
1.) Your beliefs being swayed by publicized myths
2.) The fact that, I would venture to guess, the majority of your guests are domestic, and thus the source of the majority of your problems.
3.) The fact that foreign guests may be more careful on offending, being in a foreign country and unfamiliar with customs (similar to what an American would be in a European guest house).
4.) The fact that foreign visitors in ANY country are different from domestic visitors. Thus you aren't getting Joe Sixpack from the trailer upstate, but a foreign visitor that is much more mature, perhaps older, less children, more disposable income, higher education, etc.

Advertise your rental facility in a Russian travel magazine, give them discounts - let us know how that turns out as you are cleaning up Vodka bottles and vomit. Also - spend a week in Delhi, compare cleanliness standards.

Meanwhile, stop trying to perpetuate nonsensical myths that will only bring the trolls out. That is not you problem here, your problem is lack of rental vetting, lack of policies for renters, lack of deposit requirements, etc. The above posters were smart to ignore your "messiest tourist" question and address your real problem. Listen to them.
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