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What is safest way to rent from private party?

fordar

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When dealing with private parties, like from the TUG classifieds, what is the best way to ensure when you give someone your money they aren't running off with it and no rental? I read some of the suggestions on the site about renting. Does anyone have advice on method been most successful and comfortable for both parties?
 

richardm

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One word... Escrow!

First American Title can offer an escrow only service for rentals at a cost of $100. There are probably other companies that provide this type of limited service as well.

Other than that- you have to take your risks if you are dealing with an individual owner. If you aren't comfortable with this type of informal arrangement- there are numerous companies that specialize in timeshare rentals and can act as a third-party to ensure both the landlord and tenant are protected.
 

DeniseM

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When you rent from VRBO you are still renting directly from the owner and VRBO does not get involved - they just provide the website and the funds go directly to the owner, so while it is a good source for rentals, it offers no special protection.

As far as escrow...many owners won't accept it because you have to wait too long to get your money. If you have a hot property to rent, it's going to rent easily without escrow - so why would the owner agree to escrow? Frankly, I wouldn't.
 
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Sandy VDH

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Ask for references. I rent privately all the time. I get references from clients I have rented to. I ask the client once the rental has been completed and they have used to timeshare. I ask if they would be willing to answer an email about a reference for me, should someone inquire. I tell prospective renters that I will provide references if requested.

I have provided references on many occassions, but I only know of 2 instances where my references have been followed up. Perhaps not many follow up as provide quick responses and insist on speaking to any potential renters prior to the transaction. I have been phished earlier this year regarding a rental. They wanted banking info so that they could wire me the funds. However they never wanted to know anything else about the timeshare or me. Red flags for me for sure.

Since I only rent prime weeks and/or prime locations, everyone has been extremely pleased with their rental and the process. I usually even call the renter in the first day or two of their arrival to ensure that everything is as expected. I guess that is why I have a repeat renter pool.

Most reputable renters will provide references if asked.
 
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Sunterra

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When you rent from VRBO you are still renting directly from the owner and VRBO does not get involved - they just provide the website and the funds go directly to the owner, so while it is a good source for rentals, it offers no special protection.

As far as escrow...many owners won't accept it because you have to wait too long to get your money. If you have a hot property to rent, it's going to rent easily without escrow - so why would the owner agree to escrow? Frankly, I wouldn't.
I think that VRBO and PayPal do provide a modicum of 'protection' as these and similar sites would not keep someone as a member who has been reported as 'bad.'

Ask for references.
VRBO and similar sites often have guest books that give you a feeling for the owner.
 

richardm

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Rental escrow....

Just found out- PCStitle.com also offers a rental escrow service for a very low fee..
 
J

JoeMid

When dealing with private parties, like from the TUG classifieds, what is the best way to ensure when you give someone your money they aren't running off with it and no rental? I read some of the suggestions on the site about renting. Does anyone have advice on method been most successful and comfortable for both parties?
When you rent from VRBO you are still renting directly from the owner and VRBO does not get involved - they just provide the website and the funds go directly to the owner, so while it is a good source for rentals, it offers no special protection.

As far as escrow...many owners won't accept it because you have to wait too long to get your money. If you have a hot property to rent, it's going to rent easily without escrow - so why would the owner agree to escrow? Frankly, I wouldn't.
Actually, VRBO and/or Homeaway provide

HomeAway Rental Guarantee

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What is the HomeAway Rental Guarantee?

  • When you register your qualified trip, HomeAway guarantees all unrefunded payments made to the property owner up to $5,000. In the event that a listing is determined not to be legitimate in accordance with our policy, we'll reimburse you for actual amounts paid by you to the owner (up to $5,000).
  • And, if after registration of your rental we learn that a listing is not legitimate, we'll contact you and use reasonable efforts to assist you in finding alternative accommodations.
How much does it cost?

The HomeAway Rental Guarantee is FREE! Just register your trip and Rental.

How do I qualify? Follow three simple steps:

  1. Inquire about and book a vacation rental through a HomeAway website.
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  3. Relax and Rental knowing the world's most complete marketplace of vacation rental properties, representing more than 200,000 vacation rental homes in more than 90 countries, is guaranteeing the listing.
By registering your trip for the HomeAway Rental Guarantee, you agree and are subject to these terms and conditions.
  1. 1. Guidelines.

    You qualify for the HomeAway Rental Guarantee if you:
    • Find and inquire about the vacation rental property through one of the websites in the HomeAway community of websites: HomeAway.com, A1Vacations.com, GreatRentals.com, CyberRentals.com, VRBO.com, VacationRentals.com, FloridaVacations.com, TripHomes.com, Holiday-Rentals.co.uk, OwnersDirect.co.uk, HolidayRentals.fr, FeWo-direkt.de, or Abritel.fr;
    • Book or contract for the property;
    • Register your trip with the HomeAway Rental Guarantee program;
    • Pay the property owner with a credit card, check, or direct bank transfer (Note: Your payment must have been sent to the property owner before your receipt of any notice from HomeAway or one of companies in the HomeAway community of websites about the eligibility of the property for the HomeAway Rental Guarantee);
    • Determine that the listing is not legitimate in accordance with our policy;
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    • Are denied complete reimbursement for your loss from the owner, your bank or credit card issuer.
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    The following are examples of claims that are not covered under the HomeAway Rental Guarantee program:
    • "Renter's remorse" or any objection to the location, condition, or suitability of purpose of the property.
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    • Deposits or payments for a vacation rental not refunded or returned because you and the owner are in a dispute over whether a refund is due.
    • Airfare and all other travel costs.
    • Payments made to any property owner via Western Union, MoneyGram, or other instant wire transfer services.
    • Deposits or payments made to any property owner after HomeAway notified you the vacation rental in question was not eligible for the HomeAway Rental Guarantee program.
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    Failure by the traveler to follow these Process Requirements, or the taking of any action by any traveler without the written consent by HomeAway that impairs our ability and/or right to mitigate any potential loss, or the making by any traveler of any false or misleading statement with respect to any claim hereunder will void such claim's eligibility under the HomeAway Rental Guarantee program.
    1. 4.1 Third Party Reimbursement. If you have paid money to the property owner via direct bank transfer, credit card or check, you must immediately contact your bank or credit card issuer to request recovery or reimbursement of your monies. If your bank or credit card issuer denies your request, then you may be entitled to receive payment under the HomeAway Rental Guarantee program. You must show written proof that you contacted your bank or credit card issuer and that your request was denied by your bank or credit card issuer. You are required to accept a settlement from the bank or your credit card issuer, but you may still be eligible for additional payments under the HomeAway Rental Guarantee program if such settlement is less than the amount covered under the program.
    2. 4.2 Prove your identity. You must provide written proof of your identity (e.g., copy of your passport, driver's license, utility bills, credit card information, etc.) as HomeAway may request.
    3. 4.3 Document the listing. You must provide written proof that the property was listed on one of the following HomeAway websites: HomeAway.com, A1Vacations.com, GreatRentals.com, CyberRentals.com, VRBO.com, VacationRentals.com, FloridaVacations.com, TripHomes.com, Holiday-Rentals.co.uk, OwnersDirect.co.uk, HolidayRentals.fr, FeWo-direkt.de, or Abritel.fr.
    4. 4.4 Document the inquiry. You must have a copy of the inquiry email verification provided to you by the HomeAway website when you first inquired about the property.
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    6. 4.6 Document your trip registration. You must register your trip with the HomeAway Rental Guarantee program within seven (7) days of booking your trip. If we have notified you that a listing is potentially not legitimate, you must have registered your trip with HomeAway and made payment via check or credit card to the property owner prior to receiving such notification.
    7. 4.7 Document your payment(s). You must provide written documentation of all payments (partial, full and/or deposit) made to the property owner.
    8. 4.8 Document your loss. You must provide written documentation of the listing not being legitimate (e.g., evidence that the property does not exist or that you were wrongfully denied access). Further, you must provide written evidence that the owner received your money, was notified by you of your claim, and illegally refused or failed to return your payments to you.
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    10. 4.10 File a claim. You must complete, sign and submit the Guarantee Claim Form with all required documentation to HomeAway within seven (7) days of (i) notifying us of your loss as provided in Section 4.9 or (ii) the departure date set forth in your trip registration, whichever is later. Your Guarantee Claim Form must contain your agreement that:
      • Any payment available to you under the HomeAway Rental Guarantee program shall be payable to you only to the extent that the proceeds of any coverage or recovery provided by any insurance policy or any other source of recovery held or collectible by any applicant under the HomeAway Rental Guarantee is insufficient to reimburse wholly the traveler for payments made to the property owner;
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      • You agree to release HomeAway from any and all claims you may have arising prior to the date of the payment of the claim.
    11. 4.11 Help us help you. If you initiate a claim under the HomeAway Rental Guarantee program, you agree to provide to HomeAway, on a timely basis, any documentation requested to support your claim. You also agree to fully cooperate with HomeAway in all aspects of the claim process. HomeAway may cancel claims of travelers who do not respond to inquiries regarding an alleged claim within specified times.
    12. 4.12 Collect monies owed to you. Processing of your claim will be completed within 30 days of receipt of all requested documentation. In the interim, it is recommended that claimants not discard or alter any documentation related to your claim.
    13. 4.13 By registering with HomeAway you may also receive our email newsletters and account information targeted to your interests.
 
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