Our family recently rented Richard's cottage, which is in a sweet, private location with clear sight of the water and a close distance to town. The living room was crowded with furniture making it difficult to move around and open the sofa into a bed. The sofa was dirty and there were spider webs and dust that we cleaned before unpacking. The grill needed cleaning as well and a new tank of propane. Up until this point, we were still focusing on the charm of the cottage and a great week ahead of us.
Tuesday night, we discovered cockroaches. This was harder to take in stride. Given the late hour, we waited until the next day to contact Susan. We discovered what looked like mouse droppings (which we learned were cockroach droppings) in the silverware drawer. After cleaning out the drawer and the silverware, we discovered more droppings in the same drawer an hour later. For the next several days we saw many cockroaches and carcasses on windowsills, the floor and crawling on the kitchen table (about 20 in all). We could not use our groceries. Anything that was not canned or refrigerated had to be thrown away. We ended up eating out all week and spending much more money than we planned.
We first communicated with Susan who became defensive and upset. We were told that there simply were no cockroaches in Ptown and that what we saw were water bugs. We sent photos of the cockroaches and the dead carcasses to Richard via text as well as email. We talked only about the facts of what occurred but his response was emotionally charged and accusatory. Susan insisted we hung up on her and refused to let her come over but that never happened.
Both Richard and Susan's emotional reactivity prevented constructive conversation. Richard accused us of making this up and having an "agenda." It seemed that Richard was more concerned about his reviews than with the issue at hand. When I told Richard we were concerned about bringing the cockroaches back with us, he replied, "How do I know you didn't bring them"? Dealing with cockroaches was unpleasant enough, but what was more difficult, was the resistance and accusations we were met with. There was nowhere for us to go in a conversation when Richard flat out told us that we were wrong. The last day we told Susan we would wait for her to come so we could show her what we had found. She did not show up.
The cottage was much cleaner when we left than when we arrived (included in rent is a $300. cleaning fee). We used many precautions in order to not have cockroaches come back with us. We have rented in Ptown for over 25 years and have been treated with respect, professionalism and gratitude. We hope Richard got an exterminator. We also hope that when his future tenants have rental issues, they will be met with concern and respect.