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Liability for rented week

lhclemns

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My husband and I are thinking about trying to find someone to rent our timeshare week but we are concerned about our liability should the renters damage the unit. Anyone have experience renting and know how this works?
 

theo

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Some thoughts...

My husband and I are thinking about trying to find someone to rent our timeshare week but we are concerned about our liability should the renters damage the unit. Anyone have experience renting and know how this works?

You, as the owner of the week, are ultimately responsible for damages inflicted by a renter obtained by you (...this is not the case if the resort finds a renter on your behalf, however). You can try to delude yourself into believing that you are somehow "escaping" liability by inserting applicable liability terms in your rental agreement, but good luck with that particular delusion. In the final analysis, if the resort has to legally "chase" someone for your renters' damages, the someone the resort chases will be you, not the renter.
You would then have to subsequently initiate your own legal action(s) against the wayward renter on your own --- often much easier said than done with multiple states and long distances frequently being involved (not to even mention that "time is money" too).

That said, most resorts will take a credit card imprint from your renter (...even it's a renter that they find) upon check-in, as some (monetarily limited) measure of damage protection / security deposit. You should of course have a carefully prepared, very detailed, hard copy short term rental agreement, with all parties signing same, in which you should specifically require that the credit card used by the renter upon check-in for this purpose be an exact name match of the renter who executed the rental agreement (a name you will have already have provided in advance to the resort). Personally, I make that "match" requirement absolutely clear, in writing, within my rental agreement (...I actually own my weeks to use them, not to rent them out --- but I have rented out weeks on rare occasion).

"Rentals gone wrong", in my observation and experience, are usually also "rentals poorly conducted"
(i.e., nothing at all in writing or under signature, inadequate or poorly defined rental agreement terms,
no cancellation or refund policies cleary specified, etc.).

Just my own personal thoughts and opinions, fwiw. Others here on TUG seem to "own to rent out" rather than "own to use", so there are surely much more experienced views and voices than mine on this matter. This is my own $0.02 worth just the same...
 
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gnorth16

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It depends who I have rented to. If it was Mardi Gras or Spring Break make sure you include something to this effect. (taken from a redweek contract)


Damage Deposit:

As is customary in the lodging industry, the Renter will need to provide a credit card upon check-in as a damages/loss/incidental charges deposit. The Renter is responsible for any issues in this area (other than normal wear and tear) to the unit or its contents that may arise during their stay, either payable directly to the Resort or secondarily to the Owner if subsequently billed for damages or missing inventory from the unit. These things are so rarely a problem, but Renter needs to be aware that timeshare vacation condo Owners and their Renters/Guests are directly responsible for damages to a unit or missing condo inventory of supplies, furnishings, towels, etc.
 

Timeshare Von

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I've done private rental arrangements a few times, with no incident. Once was with someone here on TUG, who I had never met . . . another was with someone I did a barter arrangement with for use of their 29' RV for use of our timeshare . . . the rest were with personal friends.

I do use a rental agreement that covers the issue of damages to hold them liable. Glad I've never had to enforce it.
 

elaine

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As I understand it, the rental agreement is between you and the renter. The resort can get damages from you (the owner) and then you have to chase the renter--assuming you can find them and take them the small claims court. As the resort was not party to the rental contract, it is not bound by anything the rental agreement said.
 

Talent312

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As said, contractual provisions are often only worth the paper they are written on and thus no guarantee that the renter will compensate the resort or you. However, helps to let the renter know that their misconduct may have serious consequences.

I'd include a statement that, not only are they liable for damages and missing items, and will indemnify and hold you harmless for same, but that egregious conduct may be reported to law enforcement for possible criminal prosecution.

In addition to customary claims provisions, I'd specify that the jurisdicction and venue for any legal actions is only in the County and State where you reside.
 

ronparise

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As said, contractual provisions are often only worth the paper they are written on and thus no guarantee that the renter will compensate the resort or you. However, helps to let the renter know that their misconduct may have serious consequences.

My feelings exactly

I am one that buys timeshares to rent, (my vacations are either ones that I couldnt rent or the odd few wyndham points that i cant use for a decent rental week or weekend) and I have concentrated in New Orleans for various festival weeks and weekends. And I do more studios than anything else, .

So I suppose, my risk is greater than most

I dont use an agreement beyond a comment on my invoices that says simply "no cancellations, no returns, you are responsible for any damages, accidental or otherwise". The resort takes a credit card authorization as a damage deposit, but as has already been said thats not much protection for me, except that it might make someone think about what they are doing

I use my gut..I dont rent to someone until I talk to them on the phone...and I get a feeling, and I go with that..so far its worked, 20 rentals in 2011 without incident everything from Mardi Gras, and Jazz Fest to Essense Festival, Southern Decadence and Voodoo Fest

The real test will be next week for the BCS College Football Championship. 18 of the rooms in the Avenue Plaza Resort (7% of the place)will be filled with my guests. mostly Alabama Fans, but a few LSU. There could be fights in the halls. Im thinking of using one of my weeks and staying there myself.
 

Gophesjo

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Good luck, Ron! Wishing you the best
 

DeniseM

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I agree that it is prudent to be careful about who you rent to, and your rental terms, but please note that damage caused by renters is very rare.

This topic comes up a few times a year, and in all the time I've been on TUG I've never heard of anything more than a few minor accidents caused by renters. For instance, on owner had to pay for a bedspread that a renter threw up on.

I think that the fact that most resorts require a valid credit card to check in is a deterrent to intentional damage.
 

e.bram

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Renters should also be concerned about being sued by your tenant for personal injury and property damage while staying at the TS.
 

gnorth16

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Renters should also be concerned about being sued by your tenant for personal injury and property damage while staying at the TS.

Please give an example.. I need some amusement, there is nothing on the tube or DVR tonight....
 

DeniseM

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Please give an example.. I need some amusement, there is nothing on the tube or DVR tonight....

+1 - In all my years on TUG I've never heard of a renter suing an owner.

Of course, since the renter across the street sued the owner because there were too many mosquitoes in the back yard, and because the toilet the renter backed up and left that way got moldy, I guess anything is possible. :D

BTW - they lost and of course there were in default on their rent too, and were also evicted.
 

SharonD

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I've rented 5-10 weeks per year for the last 10 years to strangers. Never a problem until this year when we rented to a work acquaintance of my husband! It was a resort that did not take CC's on check-in, and about 2 weeks later we received a itemized bill for the damage the renters did after check-out. Since it was a "friend" we didn't have a rental agreement.

Luckily the renter admitted that he had left the unit in the condition described and paid us the for the damage, so no harm, no foul. Nevertheless it was upsetting when I received the letter, and I hope to go another 10 years without problems!

Sharon
 

funtime

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My feelings exactly

I use my gut..I dont rent to someone until I talk to them on the phone...and I get a feeling, and I go with that..so far its worked, 20 rentals in 2011 without incident everything from Mardi Gras, and Jazz Fest to Essense Festival, Southern Decadence and Voodoo Fest

The real test will be next week for the BCS College Football Championship. 18 of the rooms in the Avenue Plaza Resort (7% of the place)will be filled with my guests. mostly Alabama Fans, but a few LSU. There could be fights in the halls. Im thinking of using one of my weeks and staying there myself.

Ron you are the Mardi Gras King of all renters! With 18 rooms rented at Avenue Plaza Resort I might second your suggestion to be there yourself as well. Please keep us posted as this has got to be a TUG record.

I like the language cited in the posting above and will use it. While my sister and I do not have a rental agreement we do send our tenants a long email after we have secured the transaction. This is part of it:

You will need to leave a credit card on file in case you have any incidental expenses. If you are arriving much later or on a different day you must call the resort to let them know.

Check-in begins at 4:00 PM on ** and check out is 10:00 the following * . Rooms are assigned upon check in. I suggest you arrange your visit to be there right at the check in time or a little earlier. If you get there a little earlier, you can request a * view. However the reservation is for whatever is available upon check in. All of the rooms are equally nice, just some have better view. As a timeshare they will be providing group activities if you attend the welcome meeting. Unlike a hotel, this is a timeshare property and as such, they do not provide daily housekeeping, although they will be providing extra towels thru the week upon request.

Funtime
 

DeniseM

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It was a resort that did not take CC's on check-in, and about 2 weeks later we received a itemized bill for the damage the renters did after check-out. Since it was a "friend" we didn't have a rental agreement.

What kind of damages did your "friend" leave? Unbelievable that a friend would do such a thing!
 

pr2203

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Rental Agreements

Hi,

I haven't rented my unit to anyone other than family or very close friends in the past, but will probably have to try to do that this year.

Can some of you experienced renters share a copy of your rental agreement? Or can you recommend a good place to download one that I could use as a template.

Thanks,
PR
 

DeniseM

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Vincent Lehr

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Renters Insurance

I have rented my timeshares for many years and have never had a problem, but ultimately it is still your responsibility for what happens with the renter. Many times they are under the impression they are responsible for all damages because they have to put their card down which is usually enough of a deterent. Having a good rental contract is alway's important, but for total piece of mind you can go to www.dpscondos.com and they have a renters insurance policy specifically for timeshare owners that will protect you and cover you for up to $3k in damages and for four months
 

rcollinsny

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Another Ron that buys to rent

I third that good luck wish to Ron on BCS week!! :ponder:

We do use a formal rental agreement with similar language already stated but also as already stated, it is only as good as the paper it is rented on. However, we do a lot of rentals, 52 in 2011 and expecting to double that in 2012, and have never had a problem so far. About half of ours are in New Orleans so we do share some of Ron's risk/reward behaviors. :hysterical:

May everyone have a safe and prosperous New Year's!! :cheer:
 

richardm

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If you rent routinely like Ron, an umbrella policy to cover liability is a good idea and can be relatively inexpensive. Your insurance agent should be able to guide you. You'll want to make sure that your agent understands that you are renting your timeshare condo units.

If you are simply renting a week or two each year, the cost of the policy probably doesn't make much sense- unless you already have a need for the coverage for another reason.

I've been handling rentals for fifteen years, and I've never had an issue with a rental client trashing a unit. I'm sure it can happen, but reports of major damage seems to be extremely rare.
 
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