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Educational Consumer Tips

Vacation Home Rental

Author: Rachel Gelb
Category: Service

Renting the perfect vacation home is not an easy feat, but there are ways to guarantee you get the vacation you want at the right price. It is important to do your research ahead of time and carefully check out the rental to avoid being scammed. In order to have a peaceful vacation, follow these tips when renting a vacation home.

Tips for Vacation Home Rentals:

Do Your Homework.  Try to stick with real estate agencies or established rental sites when you are renting. If you opt to rent from a private party, make sure the ad is legitimate. Do not only look at the pictures and maps, verify the ad is real by making sure the actual owner is renting the property or was hired by the owner. Check out businesses at to find a reliable vacation rental agency.

Ask the Owner Questions.  Ask about the accommodations of the rental. Make sure you know who to contact if there is an emergency and something needs to be fixed. Do not rely on communication solely through email; talk to the owner on the phone or in person. Avoid renting from owners with foreign numbers and poor grammar in their emails, this is a sign of a scam.  

Visit the Property.  If you are able to, visit the property before putting any money down. If you are not able to visit the property, look at several pictures of the inside and outside of the property. Be wary of pictures where the curtains or blinds are closed. Check out the property by searching the address in Google Maps to get a street view and see what else is in the area.  

Request References.  Ask the owner for references so you are able to speak with some of the previous renters. Ask the previous renters about their experience renting from the owner.

Never Wire Money.  Never pay for your vacation rental by a wire transfer, prepaid debit card or through services like Western Union. You should pay using a credit card. Avoid renting if there is pressure for instant payment.

Carefully Review the Contract.  Read the contract carefully and thoroughly. It should include the responsibilities of the owner and the renters. Who will pay for the utilities, cable or Internet? Understand who is responsible for cleanup at the end of the stay and what the consequences are if the standards are not met.

About the Author: Rachel Gelb is Communications and Marketing Manager for BBB serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont. Find Rachel on Google +.

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