Saturday 23 December
Back in April, we spent so many hours trying to find somewhere to stay to be near our daughter, Flic, with her young son and eventually settled on a house in Maidenhead advertised through HomeAway, a company we have rented through before and at a cost of over £1500 were hoping for a good property.
The two reviews on HomeAway were good albeit a year old and whilst we knew parking could be problematic, we were not prepared at all for what we found when we gained access to the property. The parking was the least of our troubles – in fact we had no issues with the on street parking.
Mismatched furniture, some of it dating from probably the 1950s, three different styles of settees in the living area, one of which has a door underneath the cushion which whilst providing some support, is loose and had to be pulled up to stop the cushions sagging.
This is a potential hazard for fingers, especially those of youngsters. Would question whether two of the settees have fire retardant certificates, I would doubt if a charity shop would accept them.
The property has not been renovated or maintained for many years, the decor is worn and dated, especially in the kitchen
There were many other issues:-
- Loose tiles in the dining area by the fireplace, again a potential for injury
- One other settee ( a bed settee ) in the living room has been bolstered by a spare settee cushion
- Ill fitting kitchen units dating from probably the 1970s. The whole kitchen is in need of refurbishment. The kitchen units are de-laminating resulting in bits falling into food.
- Absolutely filthy cooking pans/dishes and a not particularly clean oven
- No washing up bowl and no matching crockery, very thin cutlery and inappropriate cooking utensils which are not suitable for using whilst cooking as they are too thin.
- Handwritten Instructions written on the inside of the kitchen cupboards as to where to put crockery and glasses that was overwriting other written instructions is not the sign of a homely environment.
- Mismatching drinking glasses, only one egg cup
- Cleaning liquids in a cupboard that does not have a child protection lock on it. If unsupervised, it could cause serious illness to children.
- Dangerous and loose floorboards on the ground floor especially outside the kitchen, to the extent that shoes need to be worn throughout to prevent trapped toes.
- Very steep and thin stairs to the first floor with a loose banister
- Dirty carpets on the stairs and landing
- No banister on the stairs from the 1st floor to the Attic.
- No working radiator in either the Attic bedroom or it’s en-suite bathroom (temperatures 3 degrees C some days!) which has no stand up shower ability, just a shower unit over the bath but no curtain or screen.
- Bath waste water leaks on the floor at a join in the pipe behind the sink.
- A stained sanitary pad left in a cupboard in the Attic bathroom
- Hair left in the bath plug in the Attic bathroom
- 3 lights in the Attic not working and no clothes hanging space.
- The main “pink” bathroom has two showers over the bath, one of which appears not to function well whilst the other is supposed to be the back up.
- The main “pink” bathroom has a translucent door allowing other guests to be able to see you in the bathroom.
- The 5 page house instructions provided to us after we had paid the final amount of rent indicated that the house has a car parking space outside the house. This is a joke as all the road is available for anyone to park in, there is no reserved car parking space. In fact from arrival to 27 December, the same red car was parked Directly outside the house, it didn’t move.
- We were supposed to have a food waste recycling bin: nothing was provided and for general waste, just a bucket was provided
- The “high chair” provided is an old, wheeled office chair with straps which is totally unsuitable.
- We had specifically asked if a Christmas tree would be left for us, we were told “no” so Sarah brought one from Jersey, we brought the decorations from home and: you guessed it; a decorated Christmas tree had been left!
- It is only when you pay the final balance are you told that no visitors are allowed: not very Christian like for Christmas!
Anyway, some photos from inside the property wouldn’t go amiss here just so that you can get the feeling of it.
So, understandably we were not impressed and apart from all the family being with us, it spoilt Christmas.
We had sent an immediate message on arrival to say that we were not happy and were later that evening advised that the caretaker would call between 10 & 11 tomorrow morning, in fact it was virtually 11 am when he turned up.
He seemed to appreciate the poor quality of the kitchen cooking pans and the water leak from the bathroom, and got on the phone and went away saying he would be back having also taken with him the sanitary pad left by the previous occupiers.
When he did return, he brought new cooking pans, cleaned the cooker, tried to mend the bathroom leak but could do nothing about the non working radiator in the attic bedroom.
On Christmas Day, the bath still leaked but obviously nothing could be done about that so a message advising the continued leak was only sent late at night.
Somehow, the Christmas meal was cooked (thank you Sarah), served and consumed before the ritual of present giving got under way, toys played with, TV watched before we retired to (for us in the attic) a freezing cold bedroom.
Boxing Day and the rest of the week was spent away as much as we could from this house and we left the following Saturday somewhat pleased that we had left – Sarah, Ali, Harry and Mel having left the previous day to go to Jersey and we had spent Friday with Viv in Fleet.
We were eventually able to extract a payment from the owner for the “inconvenience” but this in no way compensated for such an appalling excuse for a rental property. My review on Trip Advisor was eventually published and, somewhat surprising, the review on Home Away was also eventually published but probably because I said to them that I doubted it would get published in view of the appalling nature of the comments.
However, it has now disappeared (as of mid Feb 2018). Surprising that (not).
Fortunately, our visits on the way home to John & Dierdre (for New Year) and Sally’s cousin Alan partially made up for it. Sarah’s crossing home on the ferry was very rough, she was glad of a cabin.
Nothing specific planned for 2018 which is unusual for us, but no doubt our diary will soon fill up.