Villagers side with Michigan renter stiffed by investment property owner

Readers of Villages-News.com are siding with a Michigan man who lost $3,200 on an April rental when an investment property owner refused to issue a refund.

Bob Patton of Fenton, Mich. paid the $3,200 in advance for an April rental on Mendoza Boulevard in the Hacienda Villas near Spanish Springs Town Square. In March, the Coronavirus crisis shook the nation and Patton had to call off his spring break in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

Readers could not believe the owner of the property, who lives in South Carolina, would not issue a refund.

“I also had April renters from Canada and they weren’t allowed to come. We returned their money. We all have to take a hit. Just didn’t feel right to keep it. They wanted to come,” said Robert Beland of the Village of Mallory Square.

Bob Harms said he felt the same way.

“I own two houses in The Villages that we rent during the season. We had cancellations during our prime rental season and refunded 100 percent of our renters’ money. It’s the right thing to do. Don’t understand why the person wouldn’t work with the renter and at least give him credit for next year,” Harms said.

The Michigander had offered to allow the South Carolina property owner to keep his $3,200 if he could switch the visit to April 2021. Patton said the property owner wouldn’t budge.

Doug Trowbridge, who lives in the Village of Pinellas and owns an investment villa in the Village of Duval, made the opposite call with his renter.

My renter called made a request to switch to April 2021. Wife and I decided to allow renter to make the change and they are looking forward to it next year. It will be their first time to visit The Villages,” Trowbridge said.

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