A week ago my wife and I were sitting in front of a crackling fire in a wonderful 100 year old cabin in the mountains of northern Virginia. The fall colors were at their peak and the cool air so worth the long drive from Florida. The one thing that put a damper on a picture perfect evening was a large red “No Smoking” sign prominently displayed in the living room. Just in case you missed that one, another one hung over the front door. And that’s all it took to suck a whole bunch of charm out of the room.
I wondered, “What have people done to this place that makes a sign like that necessary?” In addition, a twelve-page rental agreement pretty much forbid everything a tenant might do, from drugs and alcohol to smoking and parties to long showers and too many flushes. I’ve stayed in other places with no other rules than “please take out a load of trash.” So I wonder what previous renters did to make such regulations necessary?
Yes, I know the answer to my question. Rather than taking out trash, the guests trashed the place. The cistern ran dry and the septic got clogged. A dirty bathroom and a sink full of dishes greeted the cleaning crew. Even though you are extra careful who you rent to and clearly state the rules, it’s hard work to open up your place to total strangers. Airbnb, VTBO and other services have been a great resource for us. But it only takes one bad renter to spoil it for so many others.
We’re not perfect, but we tried to leave the place in better condition than when we arrived. I’ll try and fix small things that might need repair. I hope I can be a renter who gives the next ones a better experience.