Photos: Couple disappointed with 'disgusting' vacation rental home

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by Meredith Yeomans

azfamily.com

Posted on May 17, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Updated Thursday, May 17 at 5:10 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Natalie and Rusty Seek live in Safford, Ariz., but they visit the Valley often.

On their latest trip, it was just the two of them. But earlier this year, the couple met up with relatives from out of state.

“So, we tried to find accommodations for all of us so we could all be in one place,” Natalie said.

Everyone was supposed to stay in the Tempe rental home that they found online through a website called ArizonaVacationHomeRental.com. The address of the home is 1958 Laguna Drive in Tempe.

Looking at the pictures, Rusty says the home seemed to be bright, clean and just what they wanted. So, they reserved the house and paid a total of $650 for three nights.

“We were convinced that we probably had a fairly nice place to stay,” he said.

But the Seeks say when they arrived, the house looked nothing like what’s on the website so they took their own photographs.

“It grossed us out real quick after we walked around, and the maid didn't stick around with us long after either,” Rusty said.

They say from stained sheets and yellow pillows, to downright dirty bathrooms, the home was nowhere close to how it was advertised online. The carpets, they say, were filthy and it looked like something splattered on the ceiling.

As for the spacious two-car garage advertised online, the Seeks says it seemed to be nothing more than storage space filled with items belonging to the home's owner.

“His garage had probably 10 to 15 mattresses stacked up in there,” Rusty said. “There was nothing right about that house, anywhere.”

After less than an hour inside the home, Natalie and Rusty say they'd seen enough and decided it was time to go somewhere else.

“I just couldn't imagine sleeping there,” Natalie said.

They asked the owner, Harlan Jacobsen, for their money back but say he refused. So, they contacted 3 On Your Side.

“Talked to Harlan,” Rusty said. “I just told him it was unacceptable. It was just too much mess, too much grime.”

A 3 On Your Side crew showed Jacobsen the pictures taken by the Seeks, and while he didn't want to talk to us on camera, he tells us he feels the home is clean.

In fact, in an email, he says the housekeeper keeps the home "spic and span," and that he has repeat customers. Jacobsen went on to say he isn't sure what the Seeks are upset about, and that he won't be giving out any refund.

The Seeks tell 3 On Your Side they're disappointed.

“I learned a valuable lesson in that I am not going to rent anything where there aren't any reviews,” Natalie said. “This place didn't have any reviews so from now on that's going to be my key. If there aren’t any reviews, don’t rent it.”

3 On Your Side checked with the city of Tempe and the Maricopa County Environmental Department and it turns out, they don’t get involved with complaints involving private homes.

Bottom line: Buyer beware.

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