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Oklahoma City...
2 posts

Are the folks at stayincocoabeach.com legit? The alleged owner of the place I'm looking at for a condo at Chateau by the Sea is named Drew. This will be my first time renting a condo and I'm kind of nervous. I found them by going through several websites, so it all seems legit.... but you never know

41 replies to this topic
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Cocoa Beach
Level Contributor
2,691 posts
35 reviews
1. Re: stayincocoabeach.com

I can understand why you might be nervous, as there are cases when someone solicits a deposit for property they do not own or represent. One defense against this is to do some research on the ownership records at www.bcapo.us , which is the website for the local government's tax assessor.

On that website's main page, click "property research", then agree to the terms. You can then enter how you want to find the specific property. In this case, you know the name of the complex, Chateau by the Sea, so select "Condominium Propery by... CONDO NAME" in the drop-down box and hit GO. Then enter the complex name, "Chateau by the Sea", and it will bring up a list of all the units in the complex (45 in this case). Just click on the number under "account", to the left of the address, to get more information. It will show ownership, property characteristics including the number of square feet in each unit, and year built and purchased. You can even see a copy of the deed in most cases.

I looked at all the units claimed on stayincocoabeach.com , and found that all but one are owned by either Dean Groff, Drew Groff, or Stephen Groff, who all have an address in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. One unit, 203, is owned by Branden Domm, with an address of Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.

So, it appears that the Groff family does own all but one of the units, and the owner of unit 203 could be a friend or other family member. Of course, this just shows ownership, and doesn't indicate the condition of the units or their performance as landlords.

You can also look on websites like www.vrbo.com . For example, I looked at unit 101 at Chateau by the Sea, which is one of those listed by the Groff family. On vrbo, it is listed as "Bright and spacious ground floor unit by the pier", and many of the photos are the same. There are six reviews for that unit, so you can see what previous renters have said about it -- just click on the "reviews" tab.

I can tell you that the neighborhood around the Chateau by the Sea is more of a quiet, safe, residential area. The pier is just to the north, and is busier at night because of the bars there -- last Friday was the annual pirates night, and the area was busy. Our Florida home is 5-6 blocks north of the pier, and have no problems with the area.

Finally, I note that the owners will accept credit cards, so you can gain additional protection in that way.

I hope this helps you make up your mind, and it works out for you. Enjoy your vacation!

Edited: 21 January 2014, 11:10
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Cocoa Beach
Level Contributor
2,691 posts
35 reviews
2. Re: stayincocoabeach.com

The link given for the assessor's office doesn't work. Try https://www.bcpao.us/paohome.asp instead.

Level Contributor
44 posts
10 reviews
3. Re: stayincocoabeach.com

I was recently researching rentals down there. Although I wasn't able to find what I was looking for during the dates I needed, I did correspond with Drew, Steven, and Jacqueline Groff. They were all very professional and helpful. I googled the properties under "Stay in Cocoa Beach", and they seemed to get good reviews for the property, and the management team. I wouldn't hesitate to book with them.

Oklahoma City...
2 posts
4. Re: stayincocoabeach.com

Thank you for your input everyone! It is much appreciated. Although the website showed the condo was available for the dates I needed, Drew informed me that the unit I was looking at was actually already booked. So much search continues.....

Belleville, Ontario
Level Contributor
625 posts
25 reviews
5. Re: stayincocoabeach.com

We stayed next door at the Cocoa Beach Club last March, loved it! I rented through VRBO and also dealt with a Drew!

Anderson, Indiana
1 post
2 reviews
6. Re: stayincocoabeach.com

To the Groff family.

My name is James Olive. My wife and I and another couple are currently renting unit 809 at Canaveral Towers.

We contacted Dean Groff during our first week about a problem with the TVs in the unit. He said he was sending someone to fix it but we have heard nothing. That was Feb. 4th. I have tried to contact Dean Groff by text, cell, and home phone and have no replies.

We don't know If Dean Groff is ok, or if this is normal business practice for the Groff family.

If we were only renting for a week the TVs wouldn't be a problem, but we have rented for 4 weeks.

Please respond, and let us know if Dean is OK and if so does he still plan on having someone take care of our TV problems before we leave on Feb 22.

Awaiting your reply...James Olive, Jan Olive, Bill Fouse, Libby Fouse

Level Contributor
296 posts
49 reviews
7. Re: stayincocoabeach.com

We stay at Resort on Cocoa Beach or Discovery Beach Resort or Seagull resort and have a wonderful time they all have great amenities. Disappointed we can't use our unit this April so will have to try and rent it out.

Level Contributor
4 posts
162 reviews
8. Re: stayincocoabeach.com

I stayed in Unit 446 Paradise Beach Club that is listed in the stayincocoabeach.com. I would not recommend it. Front Door cracked outside/inside. Unfinished repairs.

Ad says sleeps 6 (2 cots). 1 cot broken-unusable. Filthy yellow-stained pillows. Sagging mattresses. Worn/torn Comforters. Friends/family planned visits-we were EMBARRESSED-told them no. Daughter’s family still came; broken cot & poor conditions, mandated renting extra condo from facility (not Dean).

Ad states "brand new stainless steel appliances"-there weren’t! 1999 refrig door rusty. Microwave door cracked, dishwasher dinged. Greasy Wallpaper. 2 cabinet doors missing. Florescent light yellowed-dozens dead bugs. Laminate peeling.

Ad says “brand new paint”. Baseboards/jams/walls damaged, smudged, peeling paint, grime. Multiple holes (> 2”) had visible sloppy spackle-not sanded/repainted. Unrepaired water damage hole.

Toilet seats chipped & severely worn.

Balcony door wouldn’t close. Sand & bugs came in.

BROKEN glass table shelf. Sofa arms/seats soiled.

Master BR very dirty. I removed dust layers off canopy top, when we developed bad coughs.

Upon arrival unit smelled bad. Next day we bought 5 air fresheners. During visit, kept finding old air fresheners.

While we were out, w/o notice, balcony chairs delivered. I complained. Dean called 3 days later @ 9:00 pm to tell me it was “OK”, because he authorized entry if no was there! During phone call I told Dean how poor unit was; he said my comments were insulting! Days later, facility told me Dean would make repairs. Maintenance man (Terry) showed up, took pics, removed broken glass, adjusted balc door, & told me he emailed Dean that many more repairs needed. Terry told me that maybe Dean could move us to newer unit. Week later I followed up. Appt set for next day 10:00 am to repair. No one came. I waited few days, no one followed up.

I filed complaint (inc pictures) with City of Satellite Beach. They referred me to Florida Dept of Business & Professional Regulation Div. of Hotels & Restaurants. Agent came, inspected & provided me with a copy of now public report citing Dean 14 violations of Florida Code 509, requiring corrective action. We had reserved for 2 mos. Same day after inspection, we left (sick)! 5 miserable weeks! I called Dean, left vmail explaining why we left early. NO RESPONSE. During my stay, I read guest reviews he posted from 1.5 yrs ago, and it felt to me like he was paving the way to negate my forthcoming review. I feel he treated me with a lack of business integrity. I feel cheated! I will never recommend 446 or any property owned by Dean, Drew, Stephen, or Jaclyn in Stay In Cocoa Beach family.

Traverse City...
Level Contributor
101 posts
10 reviews
9. Re: stayincocoabeach.com

They may be "legit" are far as running their biz.... but I do not trust them. I first found them via VRBO. Their listings do not state they are affiliated with stayincocoabeach.com..... they state NO restrictions, and they state they are open with full availability for our stay. So I made my flight arrangements. They then come back and state they will not rent any unit unless it is Saturday to Saturday. Well that is not what they said at first and when I arranged my flight I did not consider Saturday to Saturday. I asked them to make an exception, and I didn't receive a response. From Steve. I then tried to contact Drew..... and now I get an email that states they do not have availability. Yet VRBO still states they are available and still no restrictions. OH and they prices are NOT what is stated on VRBO.... it is actually (depending on the unit) $500-$800 more then stated.

At first we were very much looking forward to our stay at Chateau by the Sea..... but now I think it was for the better. I am feeling frustrated, but everything happens for a reason!

Just be careful with them!

Atlanta, Georgia
5 posts
1 review
10. Re: stayincocoabeach.com

I sent out over 30 inquiries from Flipkey, Homeaway & VRBO all saying available for great rates. Well of course when I try to book none are available at stated rates. I think I think if it walks like a duck & quack like a duck, it's a duck! Sounds like some sort of scam. BEWARE!!

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