Testimonies of House Renters

From Airbnb:  “Unfortunately this home was not what we were expecting for our business travels. Upon arrival, every window was wide open and there were cobwebs and screenless windows, letting insects in. We found out later that night that there was an ant infestation in the kitchen, there was black mold in the garage, and several pieces of furniture were just thrown together to furnish the home. The pictures look much nicer than this home. The neighborhood is not safe, and even though we had paid for a month of this listing, we ended up staying there only one night and forfeiting the rest. We tried resolving this with the host but she wanted us to work through her mom. Terrible resolution, very disappointed with how the host interacted with us and was very accusatory. Worst AirBnB experience ever.”

Rent from Kocarslan/Uzumcu At Your Own Peril: this is how countless “victims” of Kocarslan have felt

Great view. But HARD PASS.

Great view in the back. Not all the heating lamps outside work. The A/C unit broke down at one point (It was repaired). A few of the bathrooms didn’t look or feel clean and a few toilets were not fully functional as indicated by notes next to toilet. A little tacky. Agreed on checkout time prior to checkout then pushed it up day of checkout without notice. Kitchen sink kept getting blocked. Very slow drainage. No cable TV:( We had a good time overall but there were way to many issues small issue and should have never come up in my opinion for the what we were paying. OH and I current have a legal judgement against the host who violated contract and policy and kept my security deposit after checkout. The host also made uncredited and unproven claims of damage to her property as justification. So…I will never be renting from this host again and I would save yourself the potential headache. I know it looks good and tempting for the pictures…but you should PASS.

  • Submitted: Jun 1, 2016
  • Stayed: Dec 2015
  • Source: HomeAway (click here)

amazing view — house not quite like the pictures!

Amazing views but a disappointing house
★  (one star of five)
If you are looking to have one of the most amazing views in California, this house is the place you want to be. The yard offers a beautiful setting and the neighborhood is first class.

Unfortunately, the house is not very well maintained and the time we spent in the house was a disappointment.

The refrigerators were disgusting (and smelly) and left over food and condiments were inside. The kitchen is in badly need of an update. Drawers are old and don’t fit very well. Pots and pans and essentials are old and should be replaced.
Curtains and shades had holes in them and should be replaced.

At least two of the bathroom toilets had signs on them not to flush toilet paper down the toilet – fairly disgusting when using the bathrooms. Very little hot water throughout the house.

All of the TV’s had a smart TV feature but no cable or satellite TV is available – we had to spend half the day at a sports bar on a Saturday to accommodate the 3 college alums who were playing that day – not something we were looking forward to.

The pictures on the website should be updated. Although the views were beautiful, the yard is much different than the pictures portrayed. The decks and hot tub near the bluff were torn out and some support poles were left barely attached to the ground. My daughter almost got hurt by touching a post that fell down within a few feet of her head. Gutters were hanging off the back off the house.

The furniture and fixtures need to be updated. I sat on a chair that broke when I first sat on it. It could not have been the first time this happened. My 27 year old daughter touched a hand rail while walking down the stairs (I witnessed it) and it came off the wall. It was not secured to a stud in the wall. The hot tub was not full and the pool was so cold (in the shade most of the day) it could not be used.

Not disclosed in the ad for the house is a cleaning fee and a deposit (for a 3 day stay) that we have not yet received. Given the condition of the house, I would like to get back at least half of my rental fee.

I use HomeAway to rent our ski house in Colorado and know that you need to fix these things and keep the house in good condition for renters who pay a fee to use your home. At least 3/4 of our renters are repeat guests.

Unbelievable, beautiful views, but if you want to spend time in the house be ready for a home that needs a lot of work!

  • Submitted February 2016
  • Stayed: February 2016
  • Source: HomeAway (click here)

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Testimony of a 3-day Wedding Party Renter

 “I was searching for an event venue where we could hold a rehearsal dinner evening party close to the wedding location at the Terranea resort, where we had reserved hotel rooms for our overnight stay.  Though we would not have rented the property if not for its primary use as a party venue for 80+ people, we figured we may as well get some use from the house for people to stay overnight as well.  Soon after arrival, however, we discovered that far fewer people could stay there semi-comfortably than we were led to believe (there are only 3 real beds in the house and they are gross so I wouldn’t really want to stay there overnight again).  To be clear, any Motel 6 is even better bed wise.  On Homeway.com, I found 605PdM advertised as “Beautiful Waterfront Chateau,” with the contact person cited as Desire Meli Kocarslan (aka Melahat Uzumcu – I wish I had Googled that name instead!).  The pictures on the site looked luxurious, but only when we finally got into the house months later did we realize how poorly maintained, horribly furnished, and outdated was most of the property.  After calling Desire Meli Kocarslan, she guided me to circumvent Homeaway’s reservation system and work directly with her to avoid paying the website the fee it had earned.  Communications with Kocarslan were odd from the beginning, with wide gaps in response times including a two month gap from the time I sent her my reservation deposit and when she admitted she had received it.  Also, Kocarslan appeared to be avoiding written E-mail documentation, insisting often on phone calls and text.  On the two trips my daughter and I made to Palos Verdes pre-wedding, Kocarslan ignored or rejected my multiple requests to see 605 Paseo del Mar, even though I made clear we just wanted to get a quick glimpse of the layout to help plan the 80-100 person party set for after the Friday night rehearsal.  However, the worst was to come when we finally arrived on the Thursday night of our 3-day, $2,500/day rental period.  Within minutes of our arrival, Kocarslan threw a tantrum essentially over the fact that she wasn’t getting her “normal” $12,000 rental amount for the house being used as a party venue (instead she was getting $7,500).  Upon learning that my sister (present) was a lawyer, she ratcheted up the lunacy and told us to “get out now.”  After hours of this insanity, and due to our being terrified of losing the event venue to which nearly 80 people had been invited months earlier, Kocarslan extorted an extra $3,500 out of me (by converting our damage deposit into a rental payment), taking the total up over $10,000 and closer to her $12,000 target.  After Kocarslan finally left, she made various abrupt attempts to change our new, forced agreement, including changing a 3 p.m. checkout time on Sunday to 10 a.m.  Now let’s discuss the house and backyard.  The house is a disaster – items don’t work all over the place, there are plumbing problems, the sheets didn’t appear to have been cleaned, and it seems very little maintenance is ever done.  The backyard, the key point of our rental as it was for the party, was not as advertised either.  Contrary to a story that Kocarslan told us, the City had forced Kocarslan via years of litigation to remove the two illegally constructed (non-permitted) stone patios depicted on her web photos.  Thus, instead of a spa on a raised, elegant patio to the west and a BBQ area on the patio to the right, there was a little brick and stone sitting area to the west and a sandbox (not exaggerating) to the east (where she also had an irrigation pipe broken an leaking lots of water onto the Cliffside below – and this is during the California drought).  Before Kocarslan left us the last time, she said that if anyone, including the police, should ask who I was, to say I was her friend using the house for the party, and not the truth of my being a commercial customer using her property as a party event venue.  Sure enough, the police showed up as the neighborhood had endured years of Kocarslan illegally renting her residentially zoned property as an event venue, and had had enough already.   In fact, Kocarslan was threatened in 2009 with jail time for her illegal actions on this matter.  Though the police, which was disconcerting at a wedding party to say the least, left us after a few visits, it seems the neighbors didn’t forgive so easily as we found our cars egged in the driveway the morning after the party.  We were so afraid of what Kocarslan might do to our belongings at her house while at the wedding that we hired someone to guard our stuff during that period!  The checkout process was just as horrific as the check in – Kocarslan sent a procession of her people to harass and threaten us to leave earlier than agreed.  Finally, after a hellish 3-day period as a “guest” at 605 Paseo del Mar, we got out.”


The owner is “Meli” although she also goes by Desire.

Chateau del Mar “Guest” Review (BlogSpot, 02/19/2013)

We rented this home for several months and sadly, we feel it was a disappointing experience to say the least.  I normally would not share a negative review but this time, I am making an exception because I would hate for anyone else to be taken advantage of and have to go through what we went through with this particular landlord.

We rented the Chateau del Mar in Palos Verdes, signing a 3 month lease for the summer. By the 2nd month, we already knew we did not want to stay. The landlord, Meli, had proven to be dishonest and quite unstable among other things.  I could write paragraphs about all the bad experiences we had with the Chateau and the landlord, but I will keep it short.

More than once, we were told we needed to vacate so she could sublet the house for 10 days to other people for more money.  The first time, she claimed it was a mistake and that a couple from turkey had booked the chateau before we had signed our lease. She was incredibly sweet, begging us to understand and to help her out. She claimed she had financial issues and really needed the sublet and knowing we would be out of town that week, we reluctantly agreed under pressure.

The following month, she did it again- this time, I said absolutely not, that we would be remaining in the chateau and did not want to leave to let her sublet again. Weeks went by and with a few days notice, she called us and said we had to be out in 3 days because she had gone ahead and signed a contract with a 2nd subletter for 10 days. I was stunned. I told her we had no other accommodations and she said it didn’t matter- she said she had already signed the contract with them and began begging for our understanding and help one minute, and the next she was forceful and demanding, even raising her voice. This went on until I finally realized it was not going to stop and that one way or another, she was going to get her way.  I’m still baffled how this happened.  I had a few days to locate a vacation rental, during a holiday, that cost us a small fortune on top of what our rent was at the chateau.

She later admitted the 1st couple was not booked before our lease but that this was how this was the best way for her to make as much money as she could with the chateau.

At one point we had an intruder in the house and the police that came, told us there were constant issues with this property and that the landlord had a reputation in the area.

Another time, she instructed the maid to throw our supplements out and when confronted, she said the maid had misunderstood her. Over the phone, Meli was sympathetic and INSISTED she be allowed to reimburse us. She asked that we send her an email with the items missing and the costs.  We sent her the email as she requested, telling her “we understand these things happen” and said it was ok if she only reimbursed us for a small part of what was lost.  We were stunned when she replied with a rage-filled, highly offensive response telling us she was not responsible for our things and would never reimburse us for anything. We were dumbfounded. She ASKED us to send her the list and insisted we allow her to reimburse us and then slammed us for doing as she asked.  The clencher though, was that the following month… she did it again! The poor maid apologized, explaining the woman was putting her in a tough position, instructing her to throw our things out AGAIN.  Absolutely shocking.

This is just a few things out of dozens that this woman did. Obviously we decided not to renew our lease when the 3 months was over and by the 2nd month, we were ready to run.  More than 40 days before the end of our lease, we sent an email telling her we would not be renewing and would be vacating by the end of the following month.  We discussed this with her over the phone several times and even discussed the move out dates and details of the move out over the phone. After we moved out, it was about five months before she finally returned one of my MANY phone calls regarding the deposit being returned. When she finally called me back, she said she would not return my deposit, claiming we did not give her enough notice when we moved out. When I reminded her I had the email I had sent her 1.5 month’s before vacating, and that the move out terms had been discussed with a mutual friend as well, she finally said she had just decided she had not charged us enough and would be keeping the deposit. I realized then that the initial “discounted” $15,000 monthly rental rate was just a ploy and she had probably intended to keep the deposit from the beginning to make up the difference. I could easily have won if I had taken her to court but it was not worth my time to go back to california and she knew this. Btw, she did add that she would have returned our deposit had we renewed our lease and stayed longer.

Like I said, I could go on for paragraphs regarding everything that happened during our stay at the chateau del mar, but my goal is not to vent- just share enough of our personal experience to save others from being taken advantage of and having to go through such unnecessary trouble.

Regarding the state of the Chateau del Mar itself…
The house was very outdated, requiring constant repairs she had us managing- arranging repairmen etc several times a week.  Also, the description of the chateau was not exactly accurate. For example, yes there is a jacuzzi tub in the master, but there is not enough hot water to fill it, it is from the 70’s and it’s just a thin, old tub that even looks uncomfortable.  Not all the showers work in the house. The door knobs are broken here and there, the trash compactor and dishwasher hardly work and need replacing. The front gate to the property barely works and often has to be pushed/pulled manually with a great deal of effort. The garage is locked because she keeps her clothes and things in there so she can rent the house out without having to move her things, so note that although the description says there is a 4 car garage, you will not have access to this. The front door does not shut right and if the wind blows, it opens.  At least two of the beds are broken and one is actually on a heavy slant so it’s not possible to sleep in. The pool is always in the shade & covered in leaves so there’s a 95% chance you won’t be using it, etc, etc. etc.

The house has an impressive look from the outside and the ocean view is indeed beautiful, but those are really the highlights of the chateau.  There are plenty of other rental properties in the area that offer the same view for far less money, with better amenities and with honest, professional landlords that use property managers.

Total cost of our summer “vacation” at Chateau del Mar = $56,000 + disappointment.


605 Paseo del Mar Struck by Vandalism (click here; scroll down to Sept. 17)
“Between 6 p.m. Sept. 17 and noon Sept. 19, eggs were thrown on a resident’s vehicle in the 600 block of Paseo Del Mar, causing damage.”

NOTE FROM SITE TO DESIRE MELI KOCARSLAN: All of the information on this site was obtained from public sources (e.g., County and State court and other records) or provided voluntarily to sources of the site by parties mentioned herein (e.g., Natasha Cleveland or other renters of your illegal event venue). Should you have written evidence that any false statement exists on this site, you are encouraged strongly to contact the site immediately. You are encouraged to provide a signed, notarized affidavit exclusively disputing accusations made against you or related parties. Such affidavit then may be made available on this site, allowing the public to consider “your side” of the story.

 

This web page and related posts and commentary represent both publicly available and direct witness/participant facts and personal opinions, as protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Comments made by third parties, in the Comment Section below or elsewhere, represent commentators’ own representations of facts and own opinions.

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