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Thread: Bad Villa Rental Experience with Marla Villas

  1. #1
    scotth is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Sep 2010 Posts: 61

    Bad Villa Rental Experience with Marla Villas

    I had a week booked at Sud-Ouest Villa through Marla Villas in November and was just informed the owner is taking the villa off the market in 2020. Apparently he has a long term renter and is not going to honor my rental in 3 months. My daughter had a different week reserved as well in November and she is in the same boat - looking for a place to stay.

    I guess the Lease we sign only protects the owner of the villa and not the person leasing?

    Scott

  2. #2
    ccg is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2009 Durham, NC Posts: 660

    Re: Bad Villa Rental Experience with Marla Villas

    Quote Originally Posted by scotth View Post
    I had a week booked at Sud-Ouest Villa through Marla Villas in November and was just informed the owner is taking the villa off the market in 2020. Apparently he has a long term renter and is not going to honor my rental in 3 months. My daughter had a different week reserved as well in November and she is in the same boat - looking for a place to stay.

    I guess the Lease we sign only protects the owner of the villa and not the person leasing?

    Scott

    Scott - we got the same message for our upcoming vacation. We are arriving the 1st week in December. The scramble to find a new place has been very frustrating.

    That being said, Nadine at Marla, has been working very hard to help us out, and I appreciate her efforts. I will continue to work with her.

    Good luck with your rental search and enjoy your vacation!

    Charlotte
    "There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign" Robert Louis Stevenson
    House Divided - Roll Tide War Eagle

  3. #3
    scotth is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Sep 2010 Posts: 61

    Re: Bad Villa Rental Experience with Marla Villas

    Charlotte

    Same villa or a different one?

    Scott

  4. #4
    LMAC is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2003 Northern Virginia Posts: 1,558

    Re: Bad Villa Rental Experience with Marla Villas

    This is not Marla's fault. We have had this happen with other villas over the years.... villas rented through St. Barth's Properties, Wimco and Marla. It has also happened when we have rented directly through the owner. It seems as soon as we find a villa we really like (as in Sud Ouest!) it is taken off the market. Very unfortunate and very upsetting but ........ it happens.
    Libby

  5. #5
    KevinS is online now
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 19,823

    Re: Bad Villa Rental Experience with Marla Villas

    I had a similar situation a number of years ago with a different villa, which was in the Sibarth portfolio at the time. I don't think that the rental agency has a whole lot of control over this type of situation. I'm guessing that the agency doesn't have a lot of recourse either.

    The only questions which I might have would be 1) when was Marla informed, and 2) when did Marla inform you. If there is a large gap between the two then I would tend to be more concerned about that, which would color any future relationship with them.

    I personally knew at least a month ago, possibly two months ago, that Sud-Ouest rentals were cancelled, as a friend who was renting direct had his upcoming reservation cancelled. I have no knowledge of when the rental agencies which rep Sud-Ouest were notified.

    Best of luck finding a suitable alternative.

  6. #6
    scotth is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Sep 2010 Posts: 61

    Re: Bad Villa Rental Experience with Marla Villas

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinS View Post
    I had a similar situation a number of years ago with a different villa, which was in the Sibarth portfolio at the time. I don't think that the rental agency has a whole lot of control over this type of situation. I'm guessing that the agency doesn't have a lot of recourse either.

    The only questions which I might have would be 1) when was Marla informed, and 2) when did Marla inform you. If there is a large gap between the two then I would tend to be more concerned about that, which would color any future relationship with them.

    I personally knew at least a month ago, possibly two months ago, that Sud-Ouest rentals were cancelled, as a friend who was renting direct had his upcoming reservation cancelled. I have no knowledge of when the rental agencies which rep Sud-Ouest were notified.

    Best of luck finding a suitable alternative.
    As much as I can't blame Marla Villas, you shed a different light on the "gap". We had the week before Thanksgiving booked and usually spend a couple nights on St. Maarten before coming back to the States. On the weekend I was looking at hotel prices over the weekend for St. Maarten and then decided to see if Sud-Ouest was available for a couple more nights. It was no longer on Marla's website. I emailed them she responded on Monday saying it was off the market in 2020 and were trying to have the owner honor 3 reservations they had this year. Tuesday she confirmed he would not honor our reservation. I don't know when she would have told us if I didn't reach out to them and now you're telling me others had their reservation cancelled at least a month ago.

    Makes me wonder!

  7. #7
    phil62 is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2005 Glen Cove, NY Posts: 6,082

    Re: Bad Villa Rental Experience with Marla Villas

    The current housing shortage on the Island has a lot to do with what the OP, and many others are experiencing. Management level workers in hotels, restaurants and stores are competing for the same villas that most of us rent. When an owner looks at the return on investment of weekly rentals verses long term rentals, very often it's a wash, and long term renters represent a significant cost saving because the villa doesn't have to be turned over every week or two. Maintenance and operating costs are lower as well Couple that with the current trend of building 5, 6, and 7 bedroom houses when most of us are looking for 1 or 2 bedrooms, and you can see why there is a housing shortage that won't be changing any time soon. And with land values as high as they are, the case for building housing specifically for workers is a very hard one to make.

    I know this doesn't help those whose villa rentals are cancelled, but at least it may shed some light on why it's happening. Eventually, government and the tourist industry are going to have to get together on a solution. BTW, this problem is not exclusive to St Barth, as many other tourist areas are experiencing the same conditions.

    Phil

  8. #8
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 8,330

    Re: Bad Villa Rental Experience with Marla Villas

    Believe the points you raise Phil are global. In 'hot' vacation areas, prices rise and locals and workers are priced out of the market. Villas and homes continue to be built as 'local' properties are torn down. So many people on the island are there seasonally for the high season from France and elsewhere to work and then return to home or another area such as Cannes or St. Tropez fro their high season. Construction and trades people often come in from say Portugal or other countries to earn a higher wage- some end up staying but many return after a period of time.

  9. #9
    ccg is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2009 Durham, NC Posts: 660

    Re: Bad Villa Rental Experience with Marla Villas

    Quote Originally Posted by scotth View Post
    Charlotte

    Same villa or a different one?

    Scott
    Sorry for the delay, same villa. Now trying to make the new villa fit the budget. It has been a stressful week. Plus on Monday, AA changed our flights from RDU. Monday was a bad day.

    C
    "There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign" Robert Louis Stevenson
    House Divided - Roll Tide War Eagle

  10. #10
    NancySC is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2017 Posts: 865

    Re: Bad Villa Rental Experience with Marla Villas

    Same here in the Hilton Head Island SC area, difficult for seasonal employees to find affordable & reasonably priced housing. Many may choose to live off island in Bluffton, my town, but traffic traffic & only the one bridge.

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