How to Rent a Vacation Property Safely
Posted By BLOG MGR 01/04/2017 | 03:57PM | 0

In general, vacation rentals are a great way to experience different vacation destinations all over the world.  Vacation rentals give guests the opportunity to try different and unique activities, stay in fantastic locations, and explore a variety of nearby attractions.  They are available for large families, groups, couples, or individuals and many options for all types of budgets.  On the other hand, not all vacation rental experiences are positive ones.  There are risks involved when renting vacation properties and consumers should take preventative action to minimize these risks.

According to USA Today, the worst problems associated with renting vacation properties are a result of misrepresentation.  For example, the vacation property may be different than the one advertised or the property could already be occupied by another person when the customer arrives.  Unfortunately, when these things happen, customers are often unable to contact the owner or the manager of the property to find a solution or receive a refund.

Normally, renters pay everything ahead of time, months before their vacation begins.  If a problem occurs with the payment or the property, the customer doesn’t have many options for finding an easy and legal solution. This is especially true if the customer is renting a property in a foreign country. Customer protections are almost non-existent, except for basic contract laws, when it comes to renting vacation properties.  Therefore, the best course of action is to reduce the risks before committing to any rental agreement.

To minimize risks, it’s highly recommended that you research the property beforehand.  Ideally, you should visit the property in-person months before your vacation begins so that you’re confident about the situation.  An alternative method is to trust the recommendations of your friends and family or to read reviews from people who have stayed at the same property before.

Another way to reduce the risks is to rent from an agency that has a selective list of properties to choose from.  These agencies only offer rentals that their own employees or representatives have verified personally and they also offer a contractual responsibility to you as a renter.

Finally, renting from a website with a guarantee policy is also a good idea.  This is one of the most popular and effective ways to rent a vacation property and the websites generally have a large list of properties, which is refreshed daily, to choose from.

A giant in vacation rentals, HomeAway, is an example of such a corporation and offers three different websites: HomeAway, VRBO, and VacationRentals.  It also operates several websites worldwide, for a combined total of over 1,000,000 rental listings.  Recently, AirBnB has surpassed HomeAway, offering more than 1,500,000 rentals in over 190 countries.  FlipKey, another popular website, has over 300,000 vacation rental listings and displays comments and reviews from TripAdvisor (Dated: January 4, 2017). …and of course, you should look through the vacation rentals on

Additionally, there are some extra precautions you can take to reduce the risk of having a bad vacation rental experience.  You should always pay for your rental with a credit card, due to the consumer credit card protections that are required by law.  You should never pay someone in cash or with similar methods, including PayPal, unless you absolutely trust this person.  Always leave a paper trail.  Another recommendation is to review agents or websites with the Better Business Bureau, and review the results of your search with other websites to compare.

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This article reflects the views of the author, but not necessarily the editorial position of

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