Thinking of using a home rental service to rent your home to Super Bowl XLV visitors? Know what you're getting into.
The Super Bowl comes to North Texas for the first time on February 6, 2011, and homeowners in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are considering using home rental services to rent their homes for the big event. Home rental services have been advertising online and on signs in the area. Home rental services typically charge the homeowner an upfront fee to help find a renter for an event like the Super Bowl.
According to news reports, so many hotel rooms in North Texas have been blocked for Super Bowl XLV visitors that homes may not be in high demand. In addition, some cities may ask homeowners who rent their homes for the Super Bowl to pay hotel taxes.
Better Business Bureau advises homeowners who are interested in renting their homes to Super Bowl visitors to proceed carefully.
“Know who you’re dealing with, what the terms and conditions are, and what your costs will be,” advises Jeannette Kopko, spokesperson for BBB serving Dallas and Northeast Texas. “You also may want to check with your homeowners insurance company to find out if you’re covered for any damages to your home by renters.”
BBB offers these tips on considering a Super Bowl home rental company:
To check out a business, to find BBB Accredited Businesses, or to file a complaint, start at www.bbb.org.
- Check out the company with BBB before providing any personal information or paying a fee. Review the BBB Reliability Report on the business for the experiences other consumers have had with the company. You can check out businesses anywhere in the country at www.bbb.org.
- Remember that just because a business has an attractive Web site or advertises on Craigslist or another familiar service, that’s no guarantee. Check the business out for yourself.
- Get everything in writing from the company helping to rent the property.
- Consider using a local home rental company. Find out if they have helped rent homes for special events before, and ask for local customer references.
- Do not pay any upfront fees through a wire service. A number of different scams entice consumers to pay fees up front by wire and consumers end up losing their money. This could happen with upfront fees to phony home rental services. Beware if the only way to pay for the service is to wire the money.
- Require a damage deposit from the renter and have a signed rental agreement that states how any damage or theft will be handled.
- Be clear on what services are provided. Renters may expect extra services such as maid service. Decide whether to provide services yourselves, so you can check on your home each day.
- Check with your city to find out any regulations on renting your home to Super Bowl visitors. Regulations vary from city to city, so check with city hall where you live.
- Finally, decide if it’s worth it. Consider whether the potential income from renting your home is worth having strangers in your house who may be drinking, smoking, and using your personal space with little or no control on what’s going on.