I had my first renter this weekend and everything went smoothly except the return. We agreed that they would return the van by 3pm. Around 1:30pm I sent a message to them to see how the weekend went and to get an ETA. I did not hear back till 3:30pm and at that time they said they took a nap that unexpectedly lasted 4 hours! They said they wouldn’t be back till 8pm. I couldn’t be there for an 8pm return so I had them just drop the van off and leave the keys. Once I was able to assess the van I noticed that there was an camping placard left on the dash. I googled it and it came up as a music festival which my rules explicitly say no festivals. On top of that the fridge was turned off and the freezer defrosted leading to water accumulation in the fridge and a nasty smell in the fridge.
what do I do in this situation? Do I charge them for a late return, for disregarding the rules and leaving the fridge off??
Since it is my first rental I was hoping to have them write a good review so I’m nervous to charge them or say anything.
Did you advise them ahead of time that there would be late fees if returned late? If so, charge appropriately. If not you really can’t impose a fee you didn’t tell them about. As for everything else, I would not charge. It’s not work charging maybe $20 for the extra time it takes to clean the fridge. And same thing with the violation of going to a festival. Unless you specially advised them of a fee if they went to a festival, you can go back and say hey - you violated this here’s a fee I didn’t tell you about.
Since your rules explicitly state no music festivals, then I would contact them and ask why they violated your rules. Assuming there is no legitimate excuse for them, I would at the very least give them an appropriate review to help protect the rest of the community from renters which violate rules and restrictions.