Woman Chronicles ‘Horrible’ State House Left After Vacation Rental

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The pitfalls of renting your home as a vacation property have been highlighted in a video that has gone viral on social media.

Vacation rentals are big business, with Statista estimating revenue from the vacation rental segment to reach $82.78 billion this year, with the number of users expected to rise to 887.8 million by 2026.

But while there’s clearly money to be made in the market, those getting into it should be aware of the potential downsides like broken doors, dirty rooms, and guests who don’t seem to want to leave.

Carley Harrison knows this better than anyone. Harrison said Newsweek she started in the vacation rental industry five years ago “by accident”.

A broken door and leftover food – some of the discoveries made while looking around the property after “leaving”.
Carley Harrison/Holiday Heim

“I got divorced and couldn’t make ends meet,” she said. “I had to pay all my bills, my three kids and the divorce, so when my kids were with their dad, I rented my apartment.”

While they were away and the apartment was occupied, she found places to sleep on friends’ couches, at work, or occasionally in her car. She’s come a long way since then, although the business proved so successful that she recently quit a corporate job to focus on running a vacation home.

But though she’s seen plenty during her time in the industry, a recent guest slew proved so troublesome that she decided to take to social media to give her followers a taste of the how the house was left in their wake.

To clarify: although the original version of the video mentions Airbnb, Harrison and Airbnb have confirmed Newsweek that the property featured in the video was not rented through the online vacation rental company.

In any case, the issues centered on the guests themselves who Harrison says made big demands before they even arrived and continued upon arrival at the house, which is located in the popular UK holiday destination. United, Blackpool.

“I had a chat with them before they checked in as they wanted to arrive earlier on the day of their check-in – I explained that this would not be possible as we had guests and the changeover would need to be fully completed before they arrive,” she said. “They ignored this and were dropped off in a minibus at home at 7:15 a.m., with children and all their luggage.

Despite a bad first impression, she eventually relented as she “felt bad for them” and let them drop off their stuff. Harrison was due to fly to France for her own vacation with her fiancé later that day, but left her daughter, Sharna, in charge of keeping tabs on the location.

Everything seemed to be going well until the day of departure.

Knowing they could potentially ‘be a pain to check out’, she suggested her daughter go later than planned – 2pm rather than the agreed departure time of 10am – assuming they would be long gone .

However, as shown in the video taken by Sharna, this was not the case. Instead, they found the house a mess with trash and food scraps strewn across the work surfaces and even more surprises around the house.

“The front door was locked from the inside, but fortunately Sharna had access from behind,” Harrison said. “The back door handle was completely broken off and as she walked through the house she noticed their belongings were still in the house and one of the bedroom doors was locked from the inside.”

It later emerged that the guests had not only overstayed their welcome, but had no plans of leaving anytime soon after spending a “day” at a nearby water park, leaving one of the their rest. They finally returned around 4 p.m. to gather their things and leave.

Despite the drama, she hoped they “enjoyed their time” and wanted to share the video and experience on TikTok to show the “harder” side of her job. It certainly proved popular, with the video showing the “horrible” condition the house was found in amassing 3.4million views via Harrison’s HolidayHeim account in the space of days.

‘I could never imagine my kids and I being disrespectful to anyone’s house,’ one viewer wrote, with another suggesting Harrison ‘keep the bail and throw his things away’, which she of course did not.

His advice to anyone looking to get into the vacation rental business is simple: you have to like it. “Only do serviced accommodation if you love hospitality,” she said. “You have to be passionate to deal with some of the more difficult aspects.”

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