The Stayz system is seriously flawed. If you have a premises with Stayz please read this carefully and change your description to ensure you are covered.
Say things like: Any additional guests entering the premises at any time will be charge $200 each. Be specific. The system is not to support those people sharing their homes. It’s to support the paying guests who can behave in any way they like.
Let me also say that I have had much smaller issues with Airbnb. Their response was swift and they gave refunds immediately. They care much more about the home owners. I will be placing much more energy in getting my bookings through Airbnb, from my own experience.
This whole affair has been so stressful!! I hope it is never repeated!!
Firstly, I suggest that you read this article on the restrictions that were put in place on the Central Coast at the time of their stay, putting myself in jeopardy, as well as the neighbours and the surrounding community.
Holiday let or short stay rentals can have up to 10 people, unless you were already staying at the rental from Monday 21 December.
You can easily find this information out with the NSW Government. That is a maximum of 10 people in any household.
Marcus’ group far exceeded this number. Also, the rules state that you can’t have different people coming and going on the same premises. It must be the same 10 people. They had people coming and going from all different families. If one of them is caught with the virus then I will have to go into lockdown. My business could be in jeopary. I could have called the police, but I didn’t. I should have and now I regret it, because these guests do not care about the repercussions for anyone other than themselves.
They write that they don’t need to ask for permission to have more guests in the house. Why not? Surely this is a breach of the rules. If you were visiting friends you wouldn’t bring 15 extra guests. You would ask. And in this environment of Covid you wouldn’t even bring them in the first place because you would understand that it is putting the community at risk.
I spoke to some of my neighbours, and although they didn’t take much notice at the time, they all agree that it sounded like more than 10 guests. One neighbour who lives directly behind the premises in a flat said categorically that he believes there were more than 10 guests. You can phone Peter Gold 0414371755 and he will confirm this. Other neighbours said that they had to shut their windows because it was getting a bit loud. They didn’t complain that it was excessive. Simply that they remember it was noisy enough that they had to shut the windows and it appeared to be at least 15 guests.
Concerningly, I have an elderly lady neighbour who lives in the flat next door. I asked her if she could see how many guests there were through the window. She told me that she didn’t see them, but that she saw several cars in the driveway. She says that she was taking the rubbish out on Thursday night, (Christmas Eve). She usually puts the rubbish bins in the gutter, so that cars don’t park in front of them. She says that just as she got to the gutter with the bin, one of Marcus’ guests drove their car out of my driveway and parked it just where she was about the put the bins. She tried to talk to the man and explain that she needed him to move the car and he just walked off and ignored her. This is not a good look of my property to the neighbours. In this respect I think she had every right to complain, but she didn’t. She just said that she made a comment about how rude this man was with a friend of hers who was standing with her, and they both had to manoeuvre the bins in different spots so that her rubbish could be taken away the next morning.
When I came home on new years day at about 11.45 I couldn’t see any cars in my driveway. I thought initially that the guests had gone out. However, when I went to the back of the house and saw all the guests through the garden area, I realised why the cars were not there. The cars were all parked on the road, so that no one would suspect that there were so many additional guests, because if they got caught they would have had to pay $1000 each. That is the fine at the moment. So it makes sense when this lady said that the car was moved from my driveway and then onto the road and parked there, rudely in front of her bin. What other reason would there be to just move your car off my driveway and onto the road?
I was so surprised to see so many people on my premises, (I knew that there had been extra people swimming in my pool on previous days, but I let that go – I also knew that there were many different guests, as I could see them coming and going – but on New Years Eve I felt I had to say something. There were 4 young men sitting outside the accommodation, children running up and down the stairs in the accommodation, many people in the pergola, and others swimming in the pool! I had every right to say something, and I did so politely but firmly, saying that in light of the fact that there were so many guests I would be charging more for that. Simply that. No heated words. Just pointing out that I needed to be compensated something towards my stay. I presume it was then that the guests started to take the photos!! They were covering themselves and putting my property in a bad light.
Ultimately on the Central Coast it is well known that some guests will book a room in a motel, and then they will sneak other guests in so that they can use the pools etc They even go through the emergency exits to get in. I believe that they are now moving in to holiday rentals. I noticed that a group had been caught and fined doing just that. It will become a bigger and bigger problem unless you take action and give them some sort of consequence for this inappropriate behaviour – even if it were less than 10 guests, as that is what they have owned up to. It’s still a breach!!
In addition to this there has been a lot of damage to my property. I didn’t notice at first, as they had tried to tidy the house. It was only after I finished cleaning that I realised the extent of the damage. Here are some things I found:
Disgusting cigarette butts that they left in the pergola. I had to put up with their smoking every time I walked past to get to my premises. There was ash on the floor and on the firepit.
At times there were a lot more cars than this. I didn’t take pictures of it, as I didn’t think it would be an issue – as a couple of extra people is normal. It’s when the numbers grew that it became an issue. And then they started to park the cars on the road, so I wasn’t able to photograph it then. They obviously knew what they were doing!!
A bag of left-over prawns or meat or something?? in my green garden bin. Instead of disposing them in the red bin. I went over to check it because I could smell something really bad!! And that is what I found.
I went to mop the floor in the pergola, as I always do, and lifted this chair up and it fell apart. They had obviously put it back together presuming I wouldn’t notice. At least $50 for this chair.
I have never had the bbq left in such a state!! I know that my bbq is not super clean, as it is old and there are stains, but this is the worst I’ve seen it. Normally I charge $50 if I have to clean the bbq. This is exactly how they left it. They were using the bbq many times to feed all the extra guests. There is also the expense of gas, which I only just bought after the last guests. See how thick the grease is on the cloth and on the tray!! And all the grime on the cloth. I suspect that the guests have shown you similar photos, but I can assure you they were using this most nights and they left the mess. It was not in this state when they arrived.
I have cleaned it ready for the new guests.
Normally I wouldn’t complain about things like this, but it is still an extra thing that I have to sort out. As I had guests arriving I had to sticky tape it on like I have, so that it works. This will be another big expense, and I’m not electrically savvy, so I’ll have to get someone to help me set up the new remote!! So much wasted time!!
I only bought these utensils for the bbq about 3 months ago. They had hardly been used as my guests haven’t been using the bbq. But these guests have left marks all over the handles as they left them on the grill etc. They complain about my saucepans, but leave my utensils like this!!
I am missing 3 cushions! I have had these cushions for years as a decorative piece. You can see them in my photos of the stayz. Now in one foul swoop, guests who are making unsubstantiated claims about my premises, yet have no quarms about stealing my things. No apology. No admitting to it. Just outright stealing!!
You can’t see it in my picture but the guests left my umbrella up and the blinds up, so when it rained, my furniture got wet, and could have been ruined if I hadn’t pulled them down myself. And the umbrella could have snapped and broke. I had to go and put it down myself.
All of these items were at least half full when the guests arrived. They used it all!! This is time consuming to fill and more expense. With so many guests they used a lot of my gear. This would normally be fine if a group of guests used my resources – but this was so because they just had so many extra guests!!
This is how the guests packed my dishwasher. Do you notice the knife? It is sitting upright, so that the water jets can’t spin around. They could have easily broken my dishwasher. I’m very fortunate that they didn’t! (At least the new guests haven’t complained just yet!!)
My cutting board – This is relatively new – 3 months about? It was very clean before they arrived. I tried to clean this but I think it was from the bbq. It goes with a set of three.
Again, time and money to change the coffee – this was half full!!
So many plastic wine glasses for the bbq have gone missing!! These are not cheap to buy. Fortunately I have a set in the cupboard that they didn’t use for my next guests!!
This is how my cupboards are always left. I don’t know what the guest meant in regards to the bottom of the saucepans not being flat!! I have a wide range and they are clean. When I first started I bought a whole heap of nice saucepans and then a guest swapped them all for their old ones. So I just buy them intermittently. I recently bought a new, large fry pan, plus an induction stove top, to give guests more choices. I forgot to take photographs of the cutlery and I have guests in the house now.
Cleaned by me.
They left this in a mess – I cleaned it with disinfectant. This is how they left it!!
This is broken too!! Has a great deal of sentimental value!
I took photos of my premises after I cleaned it when they left. I clean it like this every time, and for them it was no exception. As you can see I have made improvements outside - not less. Admittedly here are a few chairs around that I need to get rid of, when I get the chance.
Photos taken of the pool two days before their arrival. How can a pool get so dirty in 2 days? As they suggest. It had been raining constantly for those 2 days, and it was raining on the evening that they arrived, so to make the area as pleasant for them as possible I cleaned it in the morning, as they were arriving late. Very few guests swim in the evening, especially as it is in a local neighbourhood, and it is not good for noise. So it was super clean for them on their first day of stays. I spent about $6000 on sorting out the back of the pool, putting in a new retaining wall about 2 months ago, as I had an issue with water sitting on the edge of the garden, so I put in a drain. I also spent $3500 fixing up the plumbing for the sewage, under the house. It all costs money – and to clean 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and the toilet in the laundry takes a massive amount of time. This is not appreciated!! I especially feel under appreciated and my moral is very low, when I put in all this work and money and then they try to scam me out of that money.
I am constantly purchasing new items. I could do with a new toaster. It has been on my list. I purchase a new roasting tray in preparation for Christmas. Guests will take things, and I’m constantly replacing things. Most guests often comment on how well resourced the kitchen is.
This is my sink in the kitchen. My kitchen is very old. My house is well over 70 years. This sink is cleaned with disinfectant every time, as is the whole kitchen. Unfortunately it is stained. Most guests understand this. About once a month I get the scrubber out and give it a good clean, but as soon as you start washing dishes, the stains return.
My relatively new set of cutting boards – I’ll have to get some more now that these guests have routined this one.
I always have new scrubbers, new dishcloths, etc
This is my stove. This is how it is cleaned every time I have new guests. I also clean the oven, fridge, microwave and grill thoroughly every time. Do you see any reviews of how dirty it is. Some people complain it’s not as the photos. It’s an old , fibro house. This is an old kitchen that I painted. So much storage!! And it’s large. What’s to complain about?
I bought many of these things for the kitchen new – fridge, microwave, dishwasher etc. The stove and fan-forced oven are old but very good.
I always make sure I check this cupboard every time, so it’s always clean. Unfortunately glasses and plates disappear!!
Spare plates and bowls, other than the ones in the main cupboards. I have spare table mats etc, for special occassions and a lovely, glass cheese board.
Blow – forgot to take a photo of the tv and the lounge. Ultimately it is the same lounge as in the photos, but guests were leaving chocolate stains etc, so I paid a lot of money to cover them. I take the covers off and wash them when I get a break in guests.
The guests also stole a summer blanket that I keep in the bunk bed area, in case they don’t want a heavy duvet. I have had this for several years and will now need to replace it.
An old bathroom. It is old but it is cleaned with disinfectant every time I have new guests. I never have complaints except that it is old!! I have had it lined.
Disinfected and cleaned to the highest standard. The taps are old, but they work, the water is hot, the spa bath is relaxing, and it’s super clean. Old but clean.
Lots of spare room. I recently painted it inside. I need to give it another coast when I get a chance.
A previous guest broke this. I have temporarily glued it together. I intend on getting this fixed as soon as possible, but as it only happened several weeks ago, and with guests arriving and leaving it’s hard to find the opportunity. It is on my priority list. I am a single mum who recently lost her job. I am surviving on the money that I earn from my accommodation. I am presently trying to find over sources of income. When I have some money together I will be able to afford to fix the bannister.
The pergola is a vast improvement to any of the pictures on Stayz. This is a wonderful area to relax – and these guests were no exception. They were constantly out here having bbqs, and swimming by the pool. I suggest that what they paid for these premises was way above what you would expect!!
I also have the solar lights in the evening, which is great when you want to just chill.
Pretty similar to the picture on the stayz website.
There are a few stains on the doors through ware and tear. I know that the downstairs area on the door needs a coat of paint. It is on my list. There is also a door downstairs with a hole in it that was kicked. I will also be fixing that, but it is a very expensive job. I have to work out my incoming money and prioritise as I see fit so that ultimately, I can make a profit, just as you wish to make a profit. No body has ever complained about the door.
Ultimately, the final images are presented just as Marcus and his family would have seen. If they were so bothered then please explain why they didn’t complain until I requested some compensation for the stress they have caused me through extra guests. They say they were being polite. They didn’t say thank you when they left, or goodbye or anything. They were rude to my neighbours, and they had no regard for my wishes as the owner of the premises. They wrote: ‘
We paid to rent your house out, which basically means its ours until you get the keys back as long as only 5 slept in the house, which is what happened.
This is not how it works in holiday accommodation. Imagine if they stayed in a caravan park and all their additional guests used their pool?? What would they do?? The owners would complain, and then they would ask the guests to leave immediately without a refund. They do not have the right to use it as they wish. There are rules, and they didn’t abide by them. They made a booking for five guests. Not six, not seven, not ten and definitely not fifteen. They were not only my rules. They didn’t abide by the rules of the state and of this country. Putting lives at risk.
They smoked on my premises and left all their butts in my garden and pergola. Again, it clearly states this is a non-smoking premises. They stole my cushions, and a towel, broke a chair, broke my remote, broke my wooden fruit tray, which I bought over in China, so it has sentimental value – my kids loved it!! I had to clean the bbq, they destroyed my bbq utensils and numerous other things.
On top of that I find it extremely upsetting that Stayz should threaten me saying:
If we do not hear back from you by 01/06/2021, we will be forced to suspend your listing until this matter has been resolved.
However, at the moment I have a lovely family staying in my premises. They knocked on my door this morning to ask about a local site, and did I know anything about it. I explained it to them, and they were all very excited to be going. They then asked me for a mop and bucket as they want to clean the floor before they leave. I said that is very kind of him, but totally unnecessary as I would do it when he left. He said that he would do it out of respect because that is important to him. He then very proudly told me he was a bus driver!! It’s moments like those that keep me going. I’m not a slave to these guests who are ungrateful and expect everything all for nothing.
Please reconsider in the future how you communicate. Do not accusingly write these things without the facts. I am happy to send you this information. It is only fair. But not with threats. And also, you should really be fair in how you request information. It should be the same on both sides.
In regards to this comment of yours:
If you have not already notified your traveller that you plan to keep any part of their deposit please contact them with this evidence.
I will not be sending them this evidence until you send me their evidence. This request would never work in a court of law. You can send this to them if you prefer. But before you do I suggest you should ask them to answer some questions relating to many of these points before you actually give them the evidence. I don’t even know what they have said to you. It is unfair!
Anyway, I have said my bit. It is out of my hands. Please let me know if you need any more information.
I will very likely not get my $200. Not because you think I am wrong, but because you are looking after your own interests and don’t want to upset the paying guests that you rely on. Just remember that you also rely on the owners too!! Without us you don’t have a business.
It is now 3 am ….. and for what!!
The message I received from my guest after requesting that they pay for the additional people using my facilities. I am a premier host with Stayz. Many guests have said it is sparkly clean. Why would I risk that?? These comments are lies.
Although there has been little damage to note as yet,(I’ve only just started to clean), other than the pool – I feel obligated to charge you additional costs for the many extra people accessing my premises. The pool is very cloudy and much lower than it should be. The extra cost of filling the pool with water and leaving the pump on is not a minor cost. Also the stress of having so many additional people smoking and utilising the area which is a non-smoking area, staying up late into the night when I have next door neighbours – and cars etc was substantial. I believe that you have thwarted the rules – you didn’t ask if you could have extra guests and showed little respect for myself or my premises. On quite a few days you had many additional people utilising my facilities, especially on New Years Eve. When I arrived home just before midnight there were no cars in the driveway, presumably so that no one would suspect the number of guests all in one area. Numbers were not supposed to exceed 10 yet you have thwarted the rules and put at jeopardy our community with possible transmission of COVID19. I could have reported you, but I didn’t. Please pay the additional costs for the extra use of the premises.
The guests response:
Hi Wendy, firstly as the polite people that we are, we would like to thank you for allowing us to use your premises. Now as for the unbelievable message you have sent. Here is the what we actually experienced while staying at your premises. When we arrived to your property we did not expect that we were basically having you live with us. You did not explain to us that your so called granny flat was actually connected to the house. And so that in itself was very uncomfortable for all of us because for our entire stay I was nervous about my children making too much noise and I shouldn’t have to feel this way! The pool was actually filthy when we arrived and you said this to us yourself. You told us you would clean it in the morning even though the kids actually wanted to swim that night! We have paid for this service so to come and have the pool dirty on the first day I believe we should actually be refunded for that!. Now let ME walk you through this house that we have been so polite about and kept quite and didn’t actually report you!! 1- walking into your property there was a smell that was unbearable. It smelt like mouldy would and dirty dishes. The smell was that bad i was starting to panick because my son suffers from asthma!! 2- your photos do not represent your house whatsoever. This is misleading and deceiving. Your outdoor area is nothing like the image you have posted as well as your couches and dining area. So your add is actually misleading people to believe that you have this modern looking house when in fact it isn’t. 3- your kitchen sink was so filthy and brown i actually had to go to woollies and get vinagre to soak it overnight and clean it for you ( we have all the receipts to prove this as well as all the images of the filthiness of your house) 4- your pans were so disgusting with food still stuck on them that we also had to buy our own pans (again we have pictures and receipts to prove this). They were not even flat at the bottom which meant that they didn’t sit right on your stove. Which was also cleaned by me because around the plates were so brown with old food. 5- your furniture was the most uncomfortable furniture we have ever stayed on. From wobbly chairs to the most softest beds. 6- my kids bunk bed was so wobbly that I didn’t even sleep properly checking up on them all night because of how unstable the bed was. Surely this is a health and safety issue that can be reported also!! 7- our pillows were so overused that the actual inserts were all torn on the insides ( I also have images of these) 8- stairs were broken with sharp wood sticking out 9- your laundry was so dirty with bugs everywhere and rubbish that I cleaned myself 10- spiders and spider webs everywhere!! The list can go on and if you wish to take this further i am more then happy to put a file together and actually talk to my lawyers about getting my entire money back. We were 5 guests only staying at the property. Yes we had visitors (not 15! i actually have photos Wendy, because just like you, I am a photographer myself and love taking photos of my experiences(even the bad ones)) Never in our life have we ever had to ask permission to have guests over. We are not your children to have to ask permission to have someone come and have dinner with us. For you to come out and embaress us the way you did was totally inappropriate unacceptable and unprofessional. We paid to rent your house out, which basically means its ours until you get the keys back as long as only 5 slept in the house, which is what happened. We are not paying you an extra dollar. We have been polite enough to not complain and actually ask for a full refund, till now or put a review about your property. But again if you wish to take this further, please be our guest and I will speak with my lawyer when back in Sydney to request a full refund of our money as this property surely was not as described and very deceiving.
I then had to phone Stayz more than three times – explaining my concerns – There so called, automatic button to request a claim did not work. Stayz representatives told me that they were sorting out the issue. After three days of waiting I firmly rang them and said to sort it out. Finally, after many ours of phone calls repeating my claims, the button worked and I was told I would get a refund.
Then, shockingly, I got this message from Stayz.
I responded with this web page. You can read above my opinion of this scaving message from Stayz. It was the threat of forcing me to suspend my listing that was the most concerning. To date I have not received any information in regards to the content of these accusations. How can I respond accurately if I don’t have the details?
I sent this webpage – above – to stayz and this was their second response!! Also appalling!!
I received this on 5 January 2021
Please take note of the comment: If you have deducted the $200 for additional cleaning, and the repair/replacement of items – we require copies of paid invoices and receipts which prove the out of pocket expenses you have incurred.
Seriously!! Don’t the pictures say it all. How can I prove the cost of a broken chair that is years old??
Also the comment of: A guest cannot be fined for not following certain house rules if there is no financial loss as a result of these actions. Surely having additional guests is worthy of some sort of compensation. The guest wins every time in this case.
IF YOU HAVE A STAYZ PROPERTY THEN THE CLAIM COULD VERY WELL BE VOID!! CLEARLY STATE THAT THERE WILL BE FINES AND CLEARLY STATE THE AMOUNT OF THE FINE – OTHERWISE YOU CAN BE LEFT IN THE SAME SITUATION AS ME!!
I did finally receive this email from Stayz:
This was also sent on 5 January 2021
So I’m assuming that I will get the $200. I have requested that they clarify this, as I have two conflicting messages. To date I have not had a response. I have spent hours on this. It’s certainly not to claim back $200. It’s because the system is seriously flawed. If you have a premises with Stayz then you need to be particularly careful about what you write in your listing. As I stated earlier, please read this carefully and change your description to ensure you are covered.
Say things like: Any additional guests entering the premises at any time will be charge $200 each. Be specific. The system is not to support those people sharing their homes. It’s to support the paying guests who can behave in any way they like.
And book with Airbnb!! They care much more for the home owners. They will give you back your refund!!
It is now the 19 January and I receive this!! What is going on??
I phoned HomeAway as soon as I received the message above as I thought that stayz may have made a mistake. I was just getting everything sorted!! Starting to get other things done that needed to be done for my work etc!! Again I am feeling a lot of anxiety and am very upset. Not only is this just affecting me emotionally but also financially as stayz have taken me off their listing. I have been informed that I must send them receipts of the expanses due in relation to the damage done. I explained on the phone that I have cushions in the house that I have used to replace the other ones. I cleaned the bbq myself, I also cleaned the disgusting bins, I put extra water in the pool, I cleaned up their disgusting cigarette butts, I won’t be replacing the chair as it is part of a set – I’d have to replace the whole set. You can see in the picture. I haven’t replaced the blanket as it would probably cost more than $200, I spent many more hours cleaning the premises than I care to think about, but I don’t have receipts for this. I’m so fortunate that I didn’t have a guest arriving on the same day, as there is no way the house would have been prepared in time. There are so many other things that I could have said, but these come to mind. This is what I said over the phone. They responded by saying i must still send receipts. I explained that I’m confused seeing they had already sent me the $200 deposit. Stayz responded by saying that it relates to the other guests making a complaint. I then replied then that if they made a complaint then surely it is up to them to send the receipts and loss of income and all the rest. Not me!
My reply to Stayz via email
20 January 2021 - 9.10 am - Phone call
I contact Stayz via phone when I hadn’t received any confirmation about my next steps, and also because my listing was still offline. It was a quick phone call and the support worker told me that it was online again. I asked her is there anything else that I need to do and she replied that there was nothing.
20 January 2021 - 9.16 am
I received this email.
Then at 9.20 am I received this message:
I replied with this message:
It is now 11.15 am and I’m yet to hear from them, so again, I’m assuming it is all ok??