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What do you think about this rental

fluke

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So I am in the process of Renting a Starwwod property for november that I saw on a different web site. The renter contacted me and I signed a rental agreement and everything seemed fine. We exchanged information and cell phones and we communicated on the phones.

But then I noticed the name and home state on the original posting was different. So I asked the renter about that and she gave a reasonable explanation that she was out of the country and her daughter had posted the rental advertisement and used her name and state.

Then I noticed ( I don't know how I missed it before) that the advertisement was titled the correct resort but the description was of an entirely different (Starwood ) resort. Ok - I guess if you rent other properties you can make the mistake. Particularly if it is the daughter who posted it and doesn't know the difference.

Despite the anomalies I don't get a really bad vibe from the transaction, I think it is the result of an older person who maybe isn't so savy.

No money has changed hands yet and she wants 40% by Paypal for a deposit to transfer to my name. She actually has been slow about sending the paypal request( I haven't received it yet).

So ultimately I think this is a safe transaction, I can confirm with Starwood immediately that the reservation is in my name and cancel credit card payment/paypal payment if there is a problem.

But this is my first rental from an individual so I am looking for any advice. Thanks.
 

presley

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I would only sign and pay for something that was written up the way I wanted it.
 

fluke

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I would only sign and pay for something that was written up the way I wanted it.

The actual rental agreement lists all the correct info, it was only the original advertisement that was incorrect (embarrassed I didn't notice it until now). The whole rental agreement is exactly what I want (and I have had trouble finding this - I have been looking for months).

It guess I am just looking for confirmation that there is really no way I can get scammed since I pay the deposit through paypal and I can immediately get confirmation from Starwood of the reservation in my name. At least that is how I see it - am I wrong?
 

Rent_Share

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I would ask for the confirmation from the resort in your name before sending any money, it should not be from II or RCI

This is not normal, but due to the discrepancy in the listing the rentor should bend over back-wards in comforting you.

They can always cancel if you don't send the money
 

fluke

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I would ask for the confirmation from the resort in your name before sending any money, it should not be from II or RCI

This is not normal, but due to the discrepancy in the listing the rentor should bend over back-wards in comforting you.

They can always cancel if you don't send the money

But is that really fundamentally different then paying and then checking the resort confirmation? The only downside I could see from the original route is my deposit could be tied up for a while (days or weeks) if this was a scam attempt. Unless I am missing something - I am unsure of my own reasoning because I have never done this before.
 

Rent_Share

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But is that really fundamentally different then paying and then checking the resort confirmation? The only downside I could see from the original route is my deposit could be tied up for a while (days or weeks) if this was a scam attempt. Unless I am missing something - I am unsure of my own reasoning because I have never done this before.


If it is a scam attempt, your attempt to get a refund would go unanswered, the point was to independently confirm the issue that was in question before you turn loose of any of your money.

You cannot count on paypal to protect your payment
 

DeniseM

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You should ask the owner to email you their Starwood confirmation - there is no reason for them not to do so - you can't do anything with the confirmation until they put it in your name.
 

Rent_Share

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You should ask the owner to email you their Starwood confirmation - there is no reason for them not to do so - you can't do anything with the confirmation until they put it in your name.

They are the ones that created the doubt by the way they listed the ad and changed "locations" shoudn't be an issue for them to provide additional information.
 

MaryH

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They should be able to provide you with some information about the reservation under their name. I provided the person who is renting an extra week I booked to keep my choice of dates options open with the confirmation before we signed the rental agreement but we talked on the phone already.
 
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fluke

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That seems reasonable enough. I will request she send me her confirmation.

I actually have done google and white pages searches for the name and address and I am seeing nothing that matches. Address given shows other names on white pages search. That has made me even more nervous. Of course she may never have listed at that address and those may be old residents. But everything dooesn't feel so appropriate now. I don't want to be the sucker in the story.
 
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fluke

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reply

I stated my concerns (In a polite manner) and requested a copy of the confirmation from Starwood and got this in response:

??????????????????????????????????????

exact cut and paste.

Even if she is legit I think this is going badly so maybe I should pull out. Unfortunately I did sign the rental agreement, before I thoroughly looked at everything. But In light of the situation I think it may just be prudent to walk away.
 

Pmuppet

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That seems reasonable enough. I will request she send me her confirmation.

I actually have done google and white pages searches for the name and address and I am seeing nothing that matches. Address given shows other names on white pages search. That has made me even more nervous. Of course she may never have listed at that address and those may be old residents. But everything dooesn't feel so appropriate now. I don't want to be the sucker in the story.


I think it is even worse (than losing your rental money) is to arrive at your destination planning on spending a week there, only to find out you have been hosed.

Then you need to find an alternative place to stay which likely will be quite pricey as you will have lost a lot of leverage as a renter.

Highly recommend you have a backup plan before you leave just in case the fit hits the shan. Whether that is a priceline hotel, redweek rental, just have a plan.

Too many attractive rentals out there than to rent from risky situations, imo.
 

Jennie

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I don't know what the policy is with Starwood, but when we owned several weeks at one of the Royal Resorts in Cancun, we were able to do a conference call with the potential renter and a representative of ISCO, the management headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale to confirm our ownership and check-in dates.

Other smaller resorts would agree to verify our ownership and dates, upon our request. We would then tell the potential renter to call the resort directly and ask for the manager.

Is there some way that the alleged owner can do a similar conference call with you?
 

fluke

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After the above email I sent another polite email elaborating my concerns and stating before money changes hand, I really felt I needed to see the confirmation by Starwood. I also told her on the web site she had posted her add the scam warning had a scam example that started with the exact same way that our interaction did - discrepancy between the owner's name and state on the add and the follow-up email.

She sent me this:

Thanks for your time.. I will pass....


SO any way another renter just emailed me actually at a slightly cheaper price for what appears to be better unit. I'll see how this one goes. At least her name and state match.
 
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Sandi Bo

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Good for you fluke. I think at some point you have to trust your gut.

In today's internet age, more than ever you need to be able to build trust. People on both sides of the transaction have to realize it. Even if the person was legit, she's got to understand your concerns and help make you feel comfortable with the transaction.

I hope the new one works out!
 

DeniseM

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After the above email I sent another polite email elaborating my concerns and stating before money changes hand, I really felt I needed to see the confirmation by Starwood. I also told her on the web site she had posted her add the scam warning had a scam example that started with the exact same way that our interaction did - discrepancy between the owner's name and state on the add and the follow-up email.

She sent me this:

Thanks for your time.. I will pass....


SO any way another renter just emailed me actually at a slightly cheaper price for what appears to be better unit. I'll see how this one goes. At least her name and state match.

When you make a Starwood reservation, you immediately get emailed a confirmation with all the details. I suspect that this was a II trade and she didn't want to reveal that to you be sending you the II confirmation.
 

fluke

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New listing

OK so my first foray into renting a week is turning into a crash and burn.

So I have emailed with this new listing and it is asking me to send a check for deposit. The check will go to a different person than was on the original listing(man vs woman). Now the first name on the original listing is also listed with the above male name (with a different last name) so maybe this is due to recent marriage. But are you kidding me.

Plus I get this unintelligible email with the contract:

Check attachmenty for the contract form, fill sign and email back to me,Please read carefully and also my secretary information for the check is given below, you send your check to my secretary information provided below

What? There is nothing below -this is it.
 

DeniseM

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theo

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What's that smell...?

OK so my first foray into renting a week is turning into a crash and burn.

So I have emailed with this new listing and it is asking me to send a check for deposit. The check will go to a different person than was on the original listing(man vs woman). Now the first name on the original listing is also listed with the above male name (with a different last name) so maybe this is due to recent marriage. But are you kidding me.

Plus I get this unintelligible email with the contract:

Check attachmenty for the contract form, fill sign and email back to me,Please read carefully and also my secretary information for the check is given below, you send your check to my secretary information provided below

What? There is nothing below -this is it.

Marginal literacy is only one of the apparent problems here. How valid does the rental agreement look?
Is the contract any more coherent? Does it include owner details and a phone number? A prompt request for a check, but without a name or address for a "third party" recipient? :confused: The "secretary" reference is also puzzling (...and a bit suspicious, imho) --- with or without the missing recipient address details.

I think my first step would be to first overtly ask your semi-literate correspondent for the full name and address of the owner of record of the week at issue or to provide some documentary proof of ownership (easiest of all for everyone would be to just send you a copy of the reservation confirmation). I would then independently contact the resort directly to verify a precise match with any and all provided details.

I would have been willing to bet (just as Denise had theorized) that your first rental attempt above was an individual who was attempting to improperly rent out a week acquired via II exchange, in clear violation of II membership terms and conditions, but trying to conceal that fact from you. However, this one so far (imho) just plain has "a faint aroma of scam" --- but I hope for your sake that I am simply mistaken...:shrug:
 
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DeniseM

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I assume when you are talking about credit card you mean with a credit card through paypal or some other service?

It depends, some people can take credit cards directly.
 

fluke

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update

So I emailed the entity (since I am not sure who I was really talking to) and expressed my concerns (in a polite manner)and wanted clarification of what was being sent to me. I didn't even get into the fact I was sending a check let alone a check to a name that was originally listed as an owner. I was just curious to see how this would play out.

So up to this point no response at all. So this one I am feeling strongly was a scam. Wow - 0 for 2.
 

fluke

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Marginal literacy is only one of the apparent problems here. How valid does the rental agreement look?
Is the contract any more coherent? Does it include owner details and a phone number? A prompt request for a check, but without a name or address for a "third party" recipient? :confused: The "secretary" reference is also puzzling (...and a bit suspicious, imho) --- with or without the missing recipient address details.

I think my first step would be to first overtly ask your semi-literate correspondent for the full name and address of the owner of record of the week at issue or to provide some documentary proof of ownership (easiest of all for everyone would be to just send you a copy of the reservation confirmation). I would then independently contact the resort directly to verify a precise match with any and all provided details.

I would have been willing to bet (just as Denise had theorized) that your first rental attempt above was an individual who was attempting to improperly rent out a week acquired via II exchange, in clear violation of II membership terms and conditions, but trying to conceal that fact from you. However, this one so far (imho) just plain has "a faint aroma of scam" --- but I hope for your sake that I am simply mistaken...:shrug:

The rental agreement looks like a standard form (probably downloaded from the web). But parts that include specific details were obviously entered in. It has scattered errors, semi-colons where colons should be and info put in wrong spots (zip code where phone # should be).

I don't think I'll here from them again.
 
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DeniseM

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Where exactly are you finding these rentals? Have you tried TUG and Redweek? They both require paid membership and registration, so you tend to get more reputable offers.
 

fluke

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Where exactly are you finding these rentals? Have you tried TUG and Redweek? They both require paid membership and registration, so you tend to get more reputable offers.

This is the website: http://www.vacationtimesharerentals.com

I have tried TUG and Redweek with no luck for my dates. I have had some limited contact with listings on both. I just see limited listings for Caribbean low season. Most people are trying to rent out high season weeks. Maybe no demand so no supply?
 
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