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Nasty email from holiday cottage owner - how to respond?

(65 Posts)
Ginandcolic Sun 29-Dec-13 16:55:59

I have had a pretty crappy year and I think I might be being a bit over emotional about this so I need level headed MNers to give me some advice.

DD (19 months) and I went to a holiday cottage over Christmas with our dog. Had a lovely time except the owner, who lived nearby, was a bit of a PITA. Went through our recycling to "check we had done it properly," and lots of little reminders / comments about not taking food and drink into the playroom etc (I didn't, by the way so this wasn't a polite hint or anything).

XH (DD's father) came over for Christmas Day, and the owner knocked on the door to complain that his car was parked wonkily. It wasn't blocking anyone, it wasn't in anyone else's spot, it wasn't on the verge or anything like that, it was just "not straight, and it looks funny out of my window." He also said that he'd checked XH's car tax and that it was out of date. It wasn't ... But I thought that was a bit weird.

But anyway, we had a nice time.

When it came to leave, I stripped the beds, cleaned the loos, sinks and bath, washed, dried and put back all the cutlery and crockery, and hoovered. I asked for a mop to go over the kitchen floor (muddy paw prints from the dog) and was told I must only mop the tiles, not the rest of the floor. Fine. So did that too. And emptied the rubbish, put dirty linen and towels in the laundry basket (as requested) etc.

FYI the dog only went in the kitchen, he did not go anywhere else like the carpets, sofas etc.

I get home and received a pissy email from the owner saying that it took him 7 hrs to clean the house (it was not a big cottage so I really don't believe this) and that he was very upset with the state in which we had left it. He said that if he had used cleaners, it would have cost him close to £100 ... but that he will return my housekeeping deposit anyway.

NB he didn't mention anything in particular that was dirty or not left in the proper place.

I am, and I am not sure why, really upset by this. I cleaned up pretty well, I paid an extra £35 as a cleaning surcharge for having a dog even though I cleaned up after him anyway, I didn't break anything, as far as I know I put everything back where I found it and I can't work out what he's talking about.

Do I ignore him and put it down to him being a bit nuts? Or do I stick up for myself and risk an lengthy email debate about what is an acceptable state in which to leave a holiday cottage? I mean, FFS, it was pretty expensive too as it was Christmas and I paid a cleaning surcharge ... What more does he want???

Or do I just accept I am a slattern? <smile>

Thanks for reading!

Wigeon Sun 29-Dec-13 16:59:15

So the owner is not actually charging you for the seven hours he apparently spent cleaning, as he's going to return your housekeeping deposit? If that's the case, then IMO there is no point at all arguing. If you start arguing, surely he's likely to keep the housekeeping deposit, out of spite?

Sounds bonkers, but if you are not actually being charged for the cleaning, and it's more a point of principle, then I'd just forget about it, and never ever book that cottage again!

susiedaisy Sun 29-Dec-13 17:00:53

He sounds weird op I would not respond to his emails. I dont think you would get a rational reply if you did.

EBearhug Sun 29-Dec-13 17:01:19

He hasn't charged you extra, so I'd just ignore it and never go there again.

Parking the car wonkily? He should come down our street...

gallicgirl Sun 29-Dec-13 17:01:29

Get your deposit back then put a very truthful review on trip adviser.

finallydelurking Sun 29-Dec-13 17:02:39


BikeRunSki Sun 29-Dec-13 17:03:27

If he is sending the deposit back, I'd ignore it. And tell us the name and location of the cottage so we know to avoid it!

ReluctantBeing Sun 29-Dec-13 17:03:36

Gallicgirl is right - get your deposit back, then review very honestly.

finallydelurking Sun 29-Dec-13 17:03:53

Sorry! Meant to write haha gallicgirl beat me to it! smile

Charotte31 Sun 29-Dec-13 17:05:08

Wait until you get your housekeeping deposit back then write your email. He sounds like a very odd man!

ProudPineapple Sun 29-Dec-13 17:05:26

Wow, he sounds mad. As he is returning your deposit etc,, i guess there's no real "end" to the dispute - but it is awful to feel unjustly "told off". Did you hire from him directly or via a holiday company? If the latter I would complain, forwarding photos and his email and let them deal with it.

If you have dealt with him directly, I would be inclined to send a detached, polite but assertive email stating the facts as above (once your money has been returned) and then block him from your emails etc. Try and put it to the back of your mind.

Retrofairy Sun 29-Dec-13 17:05:29

He sounds like a tosser. Get yourself on to trip advisor and do a bad review, will be cathartic and sounds deserved given that you are stressed after your break.

JustSpeakSense Sun 29-Dec-13 17:05:48

As long as you get your deposit back, I would just ignore the email. (Owner sounds like a bit of a nutter & not worth a moments worry!)

Toughasoldboots Sun 29-Dec-13 17:07:20

Was it through an agency? I had an experience like this and copied them in on everything.

exexpat Sun 29-Dec-13 17:08:33

Someone uptight and detail-obsessed enough to get bothered about someone not parking their car straight (when it's not illegal or obstructing anyone) really shouldn't be letting out holiday cottages. They are never going to be happy with the way anyone else cleans and tidies.

I'd ignore his email and do a very carefully-worded tripadvisor review.

IamInvisible Sun 29-Dec-13 17:09:05

He sounds completely mad.

Get your deposit back and post a review on Tripadvsior etc.

Bigbrassband Sun 29-Dec-13 17:09:56

Review on trip advisor for sure, so other people can be informed and link it, so we can giggle

Quoteunquote Sun 29-Dec-13 17:11:00

Get your deposit back, then go on trip advisor and write what you wrote in your OP.

and if there is an agency then let them know what went on.

JaquelineHyde Sun 29-Dec-13 17:11:01

Absolutely agree that you should wait for your deposit to be returned and then review the cottage on every website possible.

You should also name and shame on here so that we can all avoid what sounds like an utter nightmare.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 29-Dec-13 17:12:25

I'd wait until I got the deposit back and then go onto trip advisor and let rip.

mrssmith79 Sun 29-Dec-13 17:14:27

Make sure you have your deposit back and fire him a quick email back along the lines of 'bog off you pedantic, moaning arseface'. Then forget all about it and get on with your life.

BananaNotPeelingWell Sun 29-Dec-13 17:16:46

What you did sounds perfectly fine. He sounds most strange. Nod, smile and edge away. At least you will get your deposit back.

Next time hire from an agency? He is renting out his property but seems reluctant to accept that in order to do so he has to actually let it go to some extent and allow people to actually use itconfused. Good idea about leaving feedback if you can on Tripadvisor.

OldBagWantsNewBag Sun 29-Dec-13 17:23:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ginandcolic Sun 29-Dec-13 17:26:34

Thank you all for your advice, very sage words.

Yes, I think once I have my deposit back, I will do a trip advisor review and maybe just send him the email link?

I suppose I was mortified to think I had left the place in a real state but I honestly tried very hard to clean and tidy up and think I did a good job.

Also, a very good point about him not being the right kind of person to let out a cottage - surely you expect to clean, or get cleaners in, between guests anyway?

As soon as I get my deposit back, I will name and shame on here too - just want to hold on in case his DW is on here!

Thanks though, I am feeling much less stressed now


Ginandcolic Sun 29-Dec-13 17:28:40

Oldbag, I did read a few reviews, some were raving about it and others said he was a nutter. The majority were very positive though ... Maybe he just didn't like me or everyone else cleans better than I do!

Although I have been to lots of cottages like this in the past and nobody complained about my cleaning before ...

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