A Michigan man is out $3,200 after his April vacation in The Villages was derailed by the Coronavirus.
Bob Patton of Fenton, Mich. paid the money in advance for a month-long rental on Mendoza Boulevard in the Hacienda Villas near Spanish Springs Town Square.
The 68-year-old had previously rented here and has a sister-in-law who has lived in The Villages for a decade.
He chose the two-bedroom, two-bathroom home because he, “Wanted to have the kids come down.” The villa is located within walking distance of Spanish Springs.
In March, the Coronavirus crisis shook the nation and Patton had to call off his spring break in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
Residents of Michigan found themselves under a stay-at-home order. At the same time, Florida pulled in the welcome mat. Patton contacted the owner of the property on March 15 and told him traveling to Florida would be impossible.
Patton said the owner of the home he had hoped to rent decided to re-rent it. The price was cut to $2,000, but there were no takers.
Patton said the owner refused to refund his money. He also refused to accept Patton’s offer to leave the money in place for an April 2021 visit to The Villages.
“Come on guys, we would love to come, but it’d be against the law,” Patton said he told the property owner.
He said the property owner, who lives in South Carolina, wouldn’t budge. Patton said the owner showed a “lack of compassion” in light of the pandemic.
Patton said he has written to Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody to complain about the situation.
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