It is very difficult to find a short term rental house in Southern California. I was working with a local So Cal realtor to help us find a short term rental and this house was the only thing she found at last minute. Every place else she checked with wanted at least a one year lease. She asked to see the house ahead of time so she could check it out for us, but Rose would not allow her to. Still, we reserved it because we were desperate to find a short term rental house and nothing else turned up for us. The house is advertised as cozy and newly remodeled. Have you ever seen the movie, “The Money Pit”? Compared to this house, the money pit house was a real keeper! So, we came here May 23rd, 2015 intent on staying thru August 31, 2015. The house was a disaster from the moment we arrived. But, we were stuck between a rock and a hard spot with regards to finding temporary housing. So we decided to stick it out and work it out with the AIRBNB hostess.
The following is the list of what we encountered in this appallingly filthy and wretched house.
THE REFRIGERATOR/FREEZER The refrigerator/freezer was scummy on the outside and even scummier on the inside. You know when packaged meat and fish thaw and leak that smelly and sometimes bloody liquid out of the package? There was so much of it all over the inside of the fridge and freezer that the glass shelves were stuck like glue to the plastic shelf holders. It stunk like hell. It took us over an hour to clean it with bleach and 2 rolls of paper towels. It actually crossed my mind that we might quite possibly find body parts in the freezer. The refrigerator was not only grotesquely filthy, it didn’t work! We threw a lot of food and milk out because they spoiled in the refrigerator. We couldn’t store any perishables in there. We kept the milk in the freezer to keep it from spoiling. We tried to keep ice-cream in the freezer, but it melted by the end of the day…while in the freezer. The refrigerator and freezer would get very cold and then thaw out, randomly. It was very temperamental, kind of like a female in serious need of hormone replacement therapy. It drove us bonkers!
THE DISHWASHER We wanted to put the refrigerator shelves in the dishwasher to sanitize them, but when we went to start the dishwasher, water shot out of the kitchen sink and sprayed all over the kitchen countertop, spilling down the face of the cupboards, into the drawers and all over the floor. The first repair guy came and looked at it but didn’t run a whole cycle to see if it worked properly. He said we could use it though, so we loaded it up with dirty dishes and ran the cycle. No water was running thru the cycle. He came back a second time to look at it and said that it just doesn’t work and he couldn’t repair it. Then another repair guy came a couple weeks later and fixed it. It took more than one month before we had a functional dishwasher. Even then, it still was not secure in its frame so that whenever we opened it to empty clean dishes, the bottom tray rolled out with a force from the weight of the dishes.
THE FRONT DOOR/KEYS We got one key for the front door. Not only did Rose never give us a second copy, but she asked to borrow our key from us a couple of times because she had lost her own copy. The key was useless for a couple weeks anyhow, because when we went to turn the handle to open the door, it fell off and landed on my foot. Ouch. We tried to put it back but it wouldn’t stay in place. For several days, we had to go in and out the back door of the house because the front door would not open from the inside or outside.
THE AIR CONDITIONER We were told not to let the temperature of the house go above 75 degrees or below 73 degrees. We have no problem with that, but it didn’t matter, because the AC unit didn’t work anyhow. It is at least 20-25 years old and very poorly maintained. When we complained to Rose that the house was hot and it was hard to breathe indoors, she said we should turn the AC off because the electric bill was too high and that we shouldn’t be running it 24/7. Never mind the fact that this is So Cal in July and it’s consistently in the high 80’s or 90’s every day. We were asked by our lovely hostess to shut the AC unit off IN ADDITION to being guilted about the electric bill. (eye roll)
THE WINDOWS The house faces East-West and in the front, there is a huge window; so big that the wall around it is more like a frame for the window. There was absolutely no covering on it. When I asked Rose about this, she said I could use a sheet and nails to cover the window and that blinds would be installed in early June. This was in late May that she said this. As of the writing of this critique July 19, 2015, there are still no blinds on any windows! The sheet she was referring to for use over the window with a few nails in the wall was crumbled up in the dining room cabinet. I picked it up with the tips of my thumb and index finger and held it at arms length, but it was still abundantly clear to me that a wet dog would have smelled better than this sheet. It was mid July before she hung flimsy, and somewhat transparent curtains over the windows. Thanks Rose. That helps the heat and lack of privacy problem about as much as a good bottle of Russian vodka helps a recovering alcoholic.
THE BATHROOM SINK/TUB/SHOWER/TOILETS There are 2 bathrooms in this house. Both of them were repulsively filthy and unkept. In the 1st bathroom,there was a very thick ring of caked on dirt around the inside of the tub, mold and mildew inside around the the faucet and drain and in the grout lines; you know…not just old, but filthy. The rug on the floor stunk of BO. There was hair and dust on the floor, especially in and around the toilet. The inside of the toilet was filthy with urine stains under the seat. I could not find a toilet brush, so I went out and bought one, along with a soap dispenser, small trash bin, some new towels(because the towels in this “fully furnished” house were stained with… I don’t know…not sure I want to know.) The shower in the 2nd bathroom was old and grimy looking also with mold and mildew in and around the stall. The towel rack falls of the wall under the weight of…yep, a towel. The toilet was even older and dirtier looking than the other one. The sink and the tub in the 1st bathroom does not drain efficiently AT ALL. I complained about this to Rose in late May. Again, as of the writing of this critique, still nothing has been done about it. I bought and used 2 large bottles of drano, and still no improvement. I reported this to Rose also…so far…still no response.
THE MATTRESSES/PILLOW/LINENS The sheets, pillows, and mattresses are torn and urine stained. When I told Rose about the pillows, she attributed that to having washed them with the sheets! I bought 4 new pillows and Rose provided 5 more. I also bought blankets, sheets, and curtains for the bedrooms for our use. I would be happy to leave them if she wants to reimburse me for them.
THE WATER PRESSURE The water pressure in the kitchen sink comes and goes. When it goes, the water comes out slow and very cloudy. It looks like very watery milk.
THE INCH THICK DUST ALL OVER EVERYTHING In general, the ceiling fans(the ones that work as well as the one that does not work) are all covered with inch thick dust. But its kind of cute…because it matches the floors and the furniture. (yuck)
THE BEDROOM DOORS The bedroom doors are these sliding boards that are improperly hinged to some phantom hardware. You cannot open and close them because if you try to, you will hurt your self and possibly break the door even more than it already is.
THE PEELING PAINT You can tell by just looking at the built in wardrobes and the doors that a lot of stuff in this house was just painted over with what I’m guessing is not the best quality paint. It’s literally peeling off, sometimes in small sheets.
It took me 8 phone calls to get decent AIRBNB customer service. By that time I had been through the mill with this whole experience. And the absolute worst customer service was the initial case manager that was (finally) assigned – some narcissistic twat named Bill who, IMO, should be shot, execution style.