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Is renting really this easy?

LauraS93

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Say I get an email from a prospective renter, saying he'd like to rent my villa at St. John.

Basically, I just need to collect the $$ from him and submit the names of all the occupants to the Westin, right?

I read somewhere that many of you don't bother with a rental agreement, unless the renter requests it.

Are many renters this trusting? Do they make you fax them any proof of ownership, or if they need confirmation that I own what I'm renting, have them call the Westin themselves?

It just seems too easy, if the renter is laid back and not asking for a whole lot.
 

Faith

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Renting

I just rented out my Marriott ski week. I asked for 50% up front. He asked for proof that I had the week I was renting out. I sent that, and he sent the first half of the money. Once I got that, I contacted the resort and put his name on the reservation. I copied my email to him, as well as the resort's response. Then he sent the balance.

I believe the key for both of us was that we communicated regularly. I let him know as soon as I'd sent the info to the resort, and he let me know when he'd sent the check.

We did not use a rental agreement. I suppose I could have, but I was comfortable with the way things were going. We both did exactly what we said we'd do, when we said we'd do it.

Even if the renter didn't ask for it, I'd want to send verification, to show that I had what I said I did. That way there's no room for misunderstanding exactly what you were renting.

The whole process was much easier than I expected.

Faith
 

BocaBum99

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It's almost that easy. Not quite. As long as you get paid upfront and it is well in advance of checkin, you are in the driver's seat. You can do that if your unit is attractively priced. If the renter has to cancel, you have time to re-rent it.

There are a couple of things you need to do to protect yourself. The first is payment risk. The second is damage risk. And the risks are different if the renter is a US vs. non-US citizen or your timeshare is a US vs. non-US timeshare.

If your renter is a US citizen, it is easier to use a standard rental agreement to help protect again damage risk. What legal leverage do you have over someone who doesn't live in the US? The agreement wouldn't be worth the paper it's written on. You may run into the same problem in different states, but the threat of a lawsuit is enough to act as a small deterent.

If you are really concerned about damage risk, ask for a 10% refundable deposit. If your resort asks for a deposit or credit card at check in, I would skip the 10% deposit. You have a solid first line of defense.

Payment should always be in US dollars. I have found paypal to be a great way to accept credit cards. If it's an international rental, I would only accept paypal or a credit card (if you have a merchant account, which is unlikely). The problem with paypal is their international limits for new customers are very low. That could prevent a transaction. This prevents problems with bogus certified checks. Or, you can have them wire you funds. That works very well. The last resort is to use escrow. It will cost both of you about $50, but you will get paid and they can pay with a standard credit card. The downside is you don't get paid until 2 weeks after check out.
 

Dave M

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Also, be sure that you don't fall for one of the common scams.

If your potential renter sends you a check for more than your asking or agreed rental price, requesting that you refund the excess amount or send the excess amount to a third party, it's a scam. You'll part with your money and find out only later - perhaps several weeks later - that your bank has charged you back because the check you received was fraudulent.
 

Hoc

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I have found that, with my more popular rentals, I can just list them on ebay for $99, and they will eventually rent for quite a bit of money. I would assume that the Westin St. John at a popular time will get this result. That is the easiest way to do it.

I require 50 percent, as a non-refundable deposit, at the close of the auction. The rest (plus a $300 refundable damage deposit) no later than one month before the use. The renters generally have never asked for proof of ownership nor for a written rental agreement, but I provide both, anyway (agreement to be signed concurrently with the first deposit). It just avoids problems or misunderstandings later.

It takes a little bit of work the very first time, but after that, you just use the same documents/ebay auction postings over and over, and yes, it is that easy.
 
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