We have been vacationing in Chatham for over ten years and this was by far our worst rental experience. The house was extremely dirty even though the cleaners were still on site when we arrived. It smelled like they dumped an entire bottle of Pine Sol in the front porch, likely to mask the smell of dog urine where a large dog crate is kept. We swept large piles of dust, wrappers, and old dog bones out from under the living room couch and chairs. The playroom was completely unusable as it had large rodent droppings (most likely raccoon) all over as well as broken wood and exposed nails. The "linens included" was a pile of mismatched sheets and old towels shoved into an open shelf. We ended up cleaning the entire house ourselves and purchasing mattress pads, sheets, and towels just to feel comfortable staying. The owners did refund the cleaning fee and paid for the mattress pads and sheets we purchased, but it was a huge disappointment that our one hard earned vacation of the year was spent at this dirty, unsafe house.
I suppose if you rent your home for 10+ years to many happy and repeat clients eventually you are bound to have a nightmare renter. Please see the other and more recent good reviews of our home and know that this review is full of false statements. She refused any help I tried to offer, and then demanded that we return half of her payment. We refused to be blackmailed and got this review as a consequence!
When she arrived, the cleaners were trying to finish cleaning but she rushed them out immediately and then complained to me that they hadn't done a good job. The cleaners leave a card saying to call them if there are any issues, but she would not call them. I spoke to the owner of the cleaning company and she said that she and her cleaners would come back and take care of everything, but she refused to let them come back and demanded that I refund half of her money. At this point, I called her bluff and said that if the house was so bad, I would give her a full refund to leave, but she wouldn't accept that either. She was determined to be upset without accepting any offer I made to help.
I accepted that the house did not meet her expectations and my only goal was to try to make things right for her. Her first complaint was that she couldn't believe there had been dogs in the house and that 3 of her party were having 'severe allergies', although apparently not so severe to accept my offer of a full refund. We have always advertised our house as pet friendly, and had she ever mentioned these allergies in her original request I would have told her not to rent our place. Of course she did not, and I truly think she was mad or embarrassed that she had unwittingly picked a pet friendly home. I do not believe for a second that the house smelled of dog urine. She never mentioned that at all in the litany of things she did spend the week complaining about. Every time she had a question and I answered it she had another to come up with more 'issues' and demand money back.
I apologized if the cleaners had not done a good enough job and it was clear that the previous tenants had left the house untidy, which was why the cleaners were still there working when she arrived. However, she refused any help I tried to offer. There were clean sheets for the beds which she did later admit, after saying she 'needed' to go and buy new ones, which I paid for and she took with her. The shelf she complained about was our backup sheets and in fact, freshly laundered sheets were in the bedrooms and she knew it. The shelf had been left a mess but could have been cleaned up in 15 minutes if she'd let our cleaners back in the house! The previous tenants had broken the arm off a bench in the play room which did leave nails exposed. Again, I apologized, breakages happen, but it took literally 5 seconds to put the arm safely back in place, something that she wouldn't do and wouldn't allow anyone back in to fix. And there was absolutely no raccoon in the play room. To suggest so is absurd.
My wife and I take great pride in trying to create a clean, comfortable and family friendly home. It is an updated 1800 Farmhouse so it certainly has its quirks, but it is not unsafe and it is not dirty. Had she just let the cleaners finish up, or come back to address any issues, we could have resolved everything in an hour, but she was determined to be mad, refused my repeated attempts to help, and kept demanding money back, holding us hostage for the week. I'm not sure what prompted this review a year after her stay. Had it been so awful I would have thought an immediate review would have been forthcoming! Sometimes things don't meet expectations and I'm sorry for that, but I bent over backwards to try to help and I've never before had anyone simply refuse my offers.