I’m very sad to say that hosting Carmen has been a very stressful and unpleasant experience with all her demands and false allegations. My housekeeper and I have gone out of our way to meet her every demand and, at the time, she gave us the impression she was happy and satisfied with everything. In response to her allegations, my comments are as follows:
(1) on day 1 all the beds in the house were properly made up with towels for everyone. Carmen brought her own travel cot for her youngest child. On day 5 she asked my housekeeper for a bed sheet for the travel cot. We provided her with one on the same day she requested it. Furthermore, halfway through their stay my housekeeper did a complimentary change of all the bedding and towels for her.
(2) there is a dust pan and brush and various cleaning equipment underneath the kitchen sink which she was made aware of. We subsequently gave her a mop and hoover when she requested it.
(3) Carmen was in regular communication with my housekeeper who lives in Winchester. I replied to all her messages within a few hours. She ignored many of the messages I sent to her when I tried to clarify things and needed more information.
(4) There is no off street parking space outside the house, however, they brought a motorcycle with them and carried it up several steps and left it in the front garden without informing me. They chained it to the tree in the front garden with what looked like little more than a bicycle chain. Carmen ignored and broke the house rules which clearly state no parking outside the house or on the property.
(5) The day before check out, they claimed their motorcycle had been stolen in the middle of the day. When my housekeeper went over to investigate, they asked her several times about my home insurance saying they should be able to claim for the motorcycle on my insurance. Carmen subsequently messaged me asking me to check with my insurance company to see if they are covered. She said their own insurance only covered the motorcycle in Spain. If that was the case, it would appear they were driving it illegally in the UK as not properly insured. The whole situation and their behaviour around it was very suspicious.
(6) The house is on a quiet residential street in a smart area of central Winchester. Winchester has one of the lowest crime rates in the UK and therefore relatively speaking it is very safe.
(7) I agreed to give Carmen a late check out of 11:30am. I could not offer any later as we had new guests arriving and needed to clean the house. On check out day, my housekeeper arrived to find them gone but they had left the keysafe and the back door open. Carmen had removed all of their possessions except for one bag in the back garden and a car part in the front garden. She did not ask permission and just messaged my housekeeper to say she would be back at 2pm to collect her things. My housekeeper helped move the bag to the front door when Carmen came back just after 2pm to collect these things.
My housekeeper and I have acted professionally throughout, in spite of some very unusual and difficult circumstances Carmen created. I would certainly not host Carmen and her family again or recommend them as guests to anyone.