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Mann & Sons Realty - Renters Beware

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Mann & Sons Realty - Renters Beware

We booked a week long rental in Rehoboth Beach through Mann & Sons rather than VRBO or Airbnb because I (incorrectly) thought a realtor would provide some assurances that the house would be as represented in the pictures and habitable. On the phone, the realtor seemed great. He steered me away from the property I was initially considering to one he recommended as more child friendly.

Instead, I arrived at the home to find, among other things:

- Partially eaten and smelly food in the refrigerator.

- Partially eaten and smelly food in the kitchen sink.

- Food and candy wrappers strewn on the bed.

- Dried urine covering toilet seat, toilet and floor around the toilet in the bathroom.

- Sinks in both bathroom covered in toothpaste and other debris.

- Hairs, sand, dirt and rocks on mattress covers of each bed.

- Every trash can filled and trash around the floor near the trash cans.

-The pillows had large brown and yellow stains.

-Oven, stovetop, and microwave covered in food.

Beyond these specific issues, however, the level of general filth made clear that no house cleaner had been in some time. The dirt and dust on the floor and other surfaces was thick. Feet were black after walking barefoot through the house. There were spider webs in innumerable corners. Furniture was covered in what appeared to be white dog hair.

After multiple calls, I got through to Mann & Sons. Several hours later, the realtor came to look at the house. Mann & Sons acknowledged that no cleaner had been to the house between tenants (although they were contractually obligated) and, after some back and forth, agreed to get new pillows. They also said they would try to get a cleaner to come the next day.

Although a cleaning crew was provided the next afternoon, since I had no assurance they were coming and because I had 2 small children with me and 2 more arriving the next day, the bulk of the more disgusting cleaning (urine, sinks, etc.) had to be handled the evening of our arrival by me and my mother-in-law.

And, it should be noted that when the cleaners arrived, they commented that it did not appear that the house had been cleaned all summer if not longer. Indeed, they found a spider nest beneath one the of beds.

When I called Mann & Sons to discuss the issue after the first day, Betty Mann Beebe, the owner, was clear that any issues I had I should take up with the property owner. I explained that my contract was with Mann & Sons. That was who I had dealt with and paid.

I explained that this whole matter could have been averted had someone did a quick visual inspection of the property before or in between tenants.

She told me that her main duty was to rent properties on behalf of landlords and her only obligation to tenants was to fix issues after they arose. She said that Mann & Sons do not do any visual inspections of the properties they rent to make sure that they are as represented.

Rehoboth is a nice beach town. I suggest that if you intend to rent a house there, use a realtor who has a passing knowledge of the houses they rent.

With Mann & Sons, it seems to be "Renters Beware."

Bethesda, Maryland
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40 posts
37 reviews
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1. Re: Mann & Sons Realty - Renters Beware

Hi, your posting caught my eye because I’ve rented beach houses from Mann & Sons in the past and now that I own a rental property in Rehoboth, we use Mann & Sons to handle rental management issues, which we also advertise online.

I am sorry to hear that you had such a horrible experience. If something like this occurred to me – or one of my tenants – I would have expected to be offered no-cost accommodations until AFTER the cleaning people came the next day. Did you request this or did they offer any similar accommodation?

It could be, depending on when you arrived, that Rehoboth was sold out, but I find it hard to believe that they couldn’t find SOMEWHERE for you to stay, even if it was out on the highway, rather than “in-town Rehoboth.”

Unfortunately crazy things do happen in the hospitality industry – whether it is with house rentals or hotels or even campsites, things do go wrong. What separates the good from the bad is HOW they handle the situation when things go wrong.

Permit me to elaborate on a few other points you raised, because in all fairness, what you experienced – with the exception of the problem resolution – could have happened with any other rental company.

1. Delay in reaching rental company – It is not surprising that it took “several hours” for a representative to arrive. Saturday in check-in and check-out day and ALL over Rehoboth, you will find cleaners, rental agents, and others just moving at the speed of light to try and get things done. It is crazy and though I’m sure you wanted someone there RIGHT AWAY, I’m also pretty confident that they did get out there as soon as possible. Or at least, I hope so – again, because I trust them to treat our rental tenants appropriately, and my sense is that they definitely do that.

2. Hair (dog hair?) – Did you request a pet-free property? If not, be sure to do so in the future, regardless of whom you rent through.

3. Delay in cleaning company arrival – Again, not surprising given that this was a Saturday. This is why they should have PUT YOU UP IN A HOTEL for a night!!!

4. Cleaners’ comments – I would try to put that aside. It was unprofessional of the cleaners to comment like this. They have no idea when the house was last cleaned. Mann & Sons sends representatives to inspect the properties before the first tenant checks in for the season. Some owners use their own private housekeeping services, and some use cleaning companies that coordinate more closely with Mann & Sons. In my experience, the private housekeeping services are far superior, however they can be unreliable. ALL of the big cleaning companies that clean houses in Rehoboth are essentially the same: they hire temporary staff and they move through the houses VERY quickly. It’s really the luck of the draw. For a few summers, we had a lovely woman who was incredible, but I was always afraid that we would be stuck if she ever got sick and couldn’t show up for work, thus potentially leaving us with a situation where the house was not cleaned in time for the next tenants arrival – just like the situation you encountered.

5. Did you follow-up with the property owner? In my experience, when I’ve had problems at my property that affect the tenant, Mann & Sons advocates on behalf of the tenant. They obviously don’t want people to be unhappy and badmouth their company (as you’ve done). However, any resolution involving money is the property owner’s decision, so technically, Betty Mann Beebe was correct. I do not know of any rental companies that do visual inspections in between tenants. There simply isn’t time, given the clogged roads, vast numbers of properties for rent, and the four hour window between check-in and check-out. Most damage is reported by the house cleaners or the next tenants checking in, but this can be hit or miss. However, as a rental property owner, I would hope that if my house cleaning service did not show up, the rental company I had hired would do everything in their power to help the tenant, including booking other accommodations. I, as the owner, would absorb the cost of the hotel.

So….I guess the bottom line here is that this situation could arise with ANY rental company in Rehoboth. The real issue is once the issue came up, how did they handle it? Did they offer to put you up somewhere else for a night?

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2. Re: Mann & Sons Realty - Renters Beware

I understand that sometimes there are mistakes and cleaners miss a week or aren't particularly thorough. That was not the case here. This house was beyond filthy. It was gross. Mann & Sons sent a cleaner the next afternoon and replaced the disgusting pillows. They did not offer a replacement property. They do not want to give money back. My main issue with them is that, from my conversations with them after the fact, it was clear that they were well aware that the owner did not always (or usually) clean and yet they recommended it to us (I was leaning toward renting a different property and they told me that this one was better suited for kids), rented it, and had us arrive knowing what we would likely face. They did nothing to check or clean it before we arrived. Their position is that because the "corrected" the problem in 24 hours, they have no responsibility. People should know that fact before they decide to use (or not use) Mann and Sons.

Edited: 31 August 2014, 03:21
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256 posts
59 reviews
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3. Re: Mann & Sons Realty - Renters Beware

My family has had issues with other realtors in Rehoboth for the same type of issues and others over the years. It had become apparent that the realtors serve a primary purpose and that is to collect the money from renters and arrange the transition between weekly renters. While we all understand the logistical difficulties with the day out/day in transitions, that cannot be an excuse for properties to be not clean and ready for new arrivals. Most realty firms will try to remedy the situation if they are called on it, but do so with a lack of urgency and sometimes courtesy. It has always been apparent to me that the realty firms and agents will side with the home owner over the renter every time in any dispute .... they need to maintain the referral since without that there is no money. As a result, we only rent directly from home owners that take all these issues very seriously.

Edited: 02 September 2014, 18:37
Martinsburg, West...
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4. Re: Mann & Sons Realty - Renters Beware

I also had a problem with Mann & Sons. It took a month and 4 phone calls to have the Security Deposit returned.

Martinsburg, West...
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5. Re: Mann & Sons Realty - Renters Beware

Also had a problem with Mann & Sons in September. It took 4 weeks and 4 phone calls to have my Security Deposit returned. Also while staying their we reported a problem with dryer and was ignored.

Edited: 04 October 2014, 04:01
Rehoboth Beach...
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6. Re: Mann & Sons Realty - Renters Beware

My name is Bobby McVey and I am the rental agent that is fully responsible for what transpired to this tenant. It was an extremely unfortunate chain of events and has never occurred to me or any of my tenants in the past.

As the season progresses we receive a much higher volume of partial week inquiries and we try to be as accommodating to everyone’s needs as much as possible. In this scenario, I reserved a last minute rental on a Tuesday for a two nights beginning that Thursday and checking out on Saturday.

When a rental is confirmed we report it to the owner of the property so that they are made aware. In most cases Mann & Sons will schedule the cleaning so that our owners have one less thing to worry about. Where some owners express their right to use their own cleaning company. The owner of this property in particular is one of those owners use their own cleaner and when I reported the rental via email I made an error when typing the owners email address. That being said, the rental report never found its way to the owner and I never received delivery failure email causing the property not to get cleaned between tenants. In no way do we rent properties to tenants knowing that the property hasn’t been cleaned.

Due to traffic delays the tenants had not checked in to our office until 4:30PM and when they arrived at the property they attempted to make contact with us right before the close of business. Since it was later in the day, it caused the tenants messages to go unheard until they reached out to our emergency contact number around 6:30PM. At that point they had already yelled, screamed and cursed at me before having time to correct the problem. After being notified of the problem, I had arrived at the property by 7:30PM.

It highly upsets me that all of my efforts that night have gone entirely unmentioned. I was up all night laundering floor mats, comforters, mattress pad covers and pillow cases. I purchased all new pillows at the request of the tenants that evening and I even turned on the self-cleaning cycle for the stove. The laundromat where I took all of the linens had actually closed at 10:00PM and there were two comforters left to be dried. I then delivered the clean linens to the property and took the two comforters home to be dried so they would be ready the next morning. The house wasn’t cleaned between tenants by mistake and I can assure you that I did everything in my power that night to correct what I could. Due to the unfortunate timing of it all we were unable to find cleaners that night but had someone out before 11:00AM the next day to clean the rest of what the tenants didn’t.

In the end, once I had realized that the last minute rental report never made it to the owner due to my error in typing their email address, a refund was issued to this tenant by Mann and Sons. If I haven’t made everything clear and anyone has any questions about what transpired please feel free to contact Mann and Sons or myself at any time.

7. Re: Mann & Sons Realty - Renters Beware

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