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Self-Catering Flats + Cleaning

(22 Posts)
NotQuiteCockney Wed 17-Aug-05 19:24:03

I've just received an aggreived email from the owner of the flat we rented in Montreal. A few days before we left, we had a somewhat confusing conversation in which she asked me to clean before going, and I said I would have a hard time doing that, as we were leaving early and it was just me and the boys.

The place wasn't scary, but I hadn't stripped the beds, swept, etc. It wasn't completely monstrous, but it wasn't cleaned either. We were paying to rent the place, we'd been there for 11 days, and (unlike some other self-catering places I've been), nobody came in to clean in that period.

She said in her email that she spend 5 hours cleaning up ... well, we did pay to rent the place, and what was she expecting?

I do think I left a dirty mug, which wasn't ideal, but there wasn't rubbish all over the place or anything, it just needed sweeping, bath cleaned etc.

I probably would have done sweeping if I'd had the time. (But we did clear out at 8:30, so she had time to do it all - and I told her we'd be out early, when we had the confusing chat.)

How much cleaning do you do when renting a self-catered place? Should I be feeling as guilty as I do?

foxinsocks Wed 17-Aug-05 19:28:20

to be honest, I haven't rented a self catering place where we haven't had to clean (i.e. we always have to) BUT we were always told this in advance so knew what to expect

NotQuiteCockney Wed 17-Aug-05 19:31:53

I guess I always expect that a self-catering place would be "professionally" cleaned between tenants, maybe unrealistically?

This place won't be appropriate for us next year, anyway, there aren't enough bedrooms really. And the owner lives downstairs and is a bit hassly (always coming to say "do this, don't do that" etc etc).

I do feel badly, but at the same time, I had a hard time getting organised to travel with the two kids, and just didn't have the energy or time to sort it out. I didn't leave piles of mess, I just didn't clean.

tamum Wed 17-Aug-05 19:33:57

I would have felt the same with a short-term let like that, NQC. We usually do tidy and do a bit of basic cleaning, but everywhere we have ever stayed has been professionally cleaned in between tenants. I don't think she was being reasonable.

foxinsocks Wed 17-Aug-05 19:34:43

You would think so (professionally cleaned) but I don't think they are!

If we clean, I never do a brilliant job of it anyway because I reckon as long as it's respectable then that's OK. I normally try and aim for it to look how it was when we arrived.

I think if she had wanted it completely cleaned she should have told you when you arrived.

trefusis Wed 17-Aug-05 19:36:18

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Cybermum Wed 17-Aug-05 20:15:23

generally when we've gone self-catering in Uk and France it has been made quite clear that you should leave the property as you found it. I do think it is up to the owner to make it clear at the time of booking waht they expect.

Alway seems a chore at the end of a holiday but a necessary evil. Once we had a property in Brittany where we had to pay a cleaning fee, so we could just walk away.

suedonim Wed 17-Aug-05 21:48:06

We've self-catered a number of times and never had to do in-depth cleaning. We've always done the same as Trefusis, although I don't strip beds and wouldn't put washing on. Surely paying for cleaning (or doing it themselves) is one of the expenses of letting out property.

acnebride Wed 17-Aug-05 21:53:20

The only time i have done a serious clean is when I was told that the owners of the caravan we had hired were Belgian and had never hired to Brits before. I felt I was cleaning for my country and scrubbed the place absolutely inside out!

Otherwise I would aim to leave it roughly as I found it, hoovering etc. But this warns me that it's a really good idea to check what's expected, which I have never previously done. I think if she cared that much she should have made it clear, and certainly if I were going to rent somewhere out I wouldn't rely on one tenant to make it clean for the next.

bran Wed 17-Aug-05 21:58:48

Goodness, what was she doing for 5 hours? That sounds a bit over the top to me, I suspect that even if you had cleaned it wouldn't have been clean enough for her. Since you don't need to rent from her again I would just reply saying that she didn't make it clear when you booked that you would have to get up at 3 am on the day that you left to clean it, it's not normal practice (practise?) in other other places that you have rented and had you known you wouldn't have booked with her.

Is she withholding a deposit or anything?

gingernut Wed 17-Aug-05 22:09:21

Well, I guess the place was absolutely spotless when you arrived then .

I don't usually clean as such, I leave the place in a decent state (empty bins, do the washing up, and leave kitchen surfaces clean, but I don't hoover and thoroughly clean bathroom for instance). I expect them to do that between lets. They usually ask you leave fairly early and the next people are told not to arrive before a certain time. The time in between is for them to clean IMO. We have only once cleaned a place and that time it was made clear that we were expected to (there was an extra chanrge we could pay for leaving without cleaning but we were skint and it was pre-kids so we had time to clean!).

NotQuiteCockney Thu 18-Aug-05 02:02:34

It was clean when I showed up, I guess ... I'm not very good at seeing dirt, really. Bit of a blind spot.

I did pick up, I didn't strip the beds (although I have, for her, other years ... but then I've not been on my own with two kids, other years).

She's not withholding a deposit, as there was none. She's just sent me an annoyed email. I answered with a reasonably apologetic one, which she's not replied to.

I probably should have left a note and a gift or something (or some cash), as she had asked me to clean, a few days before. (And I had made noises about how it would be difficult, given the circumstances.)

It's a very informal letting situation, she has no website, there's no rental agreement. The deposit is a single night's rent, and as it generally takes us a few days to get enough of the appropriate currency out of the ATMs, it generally takes a few days for us to pay, all of which she's mellow about.

But she is a bit jumpy about her house in general. There are a few better options for us for rentals, but one of them is a friend of hers' ... who does seem more mellow, though.

SecondhandRose Sat 20-Aug-05 18:17:45

I run a self catering holiday home from here, I wouldn't dream of expecting people to clean after them. That's what you've paid for surely? I have to go round and look at every little thing after each family goes home as there is always something left behind like old socks! It is really important that your holiday home is sparkling clean and fresh and I wouldn't expect someone to do it for me before they left.

Saying that a South African family of 4 came for 2 days and left the place in a terrible filthy state but an Aussie family of 5 left it as good as they found it.

cod Sat 20-Aug-05 18:20:04

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PeachyClair Sat 20-Aug-05 18:44:28

Same as Trefusis- the day to day stuff and that's all, never occurred to me to do more, in fact DH always laughs at me whrn I strip beds etc, says that is what we pay for

Tinker Sat 20-Aug-05 18:50:46

I'd always clean it myself. I'm not like that at home but would hate anyone to remember me as the one who left it in a mess.

cod Sat 20-Aug-05 18:51:12

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NotQuiteCockney Sat 20-Aug-05 18:52:21

I'm just not domestic enough to do cleaning on holiday. Pre-kids I left things reasonably clean (wipe down surfaces etc) but this trip it just wasn't possible.

I'm relieved to hear lots of other people are the same, anyway.

roisin Sat 20-Aug-05 19:01:43

I do 'tidying' and 'day-to-day cleaning' that I would always do (kitchen surfaces, sinks, toilets, that sort of thing). But I wouldn't set to and do serious cleaning of any sort ..

I do tend to vary my approach according to how pleased I am with the property. I tend to be less charitable if I feel it was overpriced, and was grubby and shabby in the first place.

Oh and we also always move furniture around to suit us, but can never remember at the end of the stay where it all goes, so we don't put it back

Tinker Sat 20-Aug-05 19:02:27

Think I might switch to being dirtier on holiday now.

sis Sat 20-Aug-05 20:27:42

If they want you to clean as opposed to tidy up before you leave then they should make it very clear before, or at the time of booking, and not tell you part way through the holiday. It would really spoil my holiday to know that we had to thoroughly clean the place before the end of the holiday - leaving the place in a reasonably presentable state is one thing but to be expected to do a five hour clean!

hercules Sat 20-Aug-05 21:21:02



I wouldnt rent a holiday place from someone who didnt automatically intend to clean it between people either herself of through cleaners.

When we've rented cottages we've left the place as we found it but I would still expect the owner to organise a thorough clean between guests. We've always had to leave in the morning so they have the opportunity to do this after the last guests.

I have stayed along with other family members so it was never a problem for us to muck in and do this but not everyone can.

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