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VRBO - Vacation Rentals By Owner

Lewiston, Idaho
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11 posts
50 reviews
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VRBO - Vacation Rentals By Owner

We just booked a condo in Hawaii on a VRBO website. It is a well done website but one always wonders if when you are dealing directly with Owners - is it a straight deal and when we send the check to them - will the unit be there when we booked it? Does anyone have any information regarding how the Owners are checked on the website?

Thanks

Booker-Idaho

Hawaii
10 posts
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1. Re: VRBO - Vacation Rentals By Owner

The truth is, VRBO does not check the validity of the owners. However, as a vacation rental owner who advertises on VRBO, the guest comments are very important and should be reviewed to see what prior guests had to say. If someone was swindled by a vacation rental owner there would certainly be a comment added. I've never had to request this but I believe the owners cannot remove guest comments.

Lewiston, Idaho
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11 posts
50 reviews
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2. Re: VRBO - Vacation Rentals By Owner

Thanks for your reply. The listing on VRBO for the unit had no comments listed. I can only assume that this is ok.

Thanks again

CT
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1,419 posts
13 reviews
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3. Re: VRBO - Vacation Rentals By Owner

Also look how long the ad has been up. If a listing was a fraud and complaints filed, the site would have been taken down. A long running ad at least implies no one has reported them for fraud to the VRBO website itself.

I believe that VRBO is part of the Homeaway network and has a rent with confidence guarantee. There are exclusions and you must register your trip with the site prior to departure, but at least there may be something. See:

http://guarantee.homeaway.com/

Santa Barbara...
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484 posts
1 review
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4. Re: VRBO - Vacation Rentals By Owner

VRBO also has a "gurantee" of up to $5,000.00 (I think) but you have to register your booking with them within 7 days of sending money. I used them for our first trip to London and delt with an agency, all looks like a go.

Apple Valley, CA
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647 posts
26 reviews
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5. Re: VRBO - Vacation Rentals By Owner

It's nice to know that VRBO does back up the vacation if you register it with them. I did not know that. We have rented 3 times from this website.

All vactations were fine. The only time I wasn't totally happy was with a 4 night getaway to San Diego one time in a house right by the beach. Turns out it was actually the guys full time residence and he rented it sometimes during the summer to make extra money. It was uncomfortable and I partly blamed myself for not asking more questions. Next time I will definitely ask "is this strictly a vacation rental or someones full time residence?".

I also think VRBO should have a feedbadk rating similar to what ebay has for both renter and rentee. This would motivate everyone to do the right thing.

Janna

Lewiston, Idaho
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11 posts
50 reviews
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6. Re: VRBO - Vacation Rentals By Owner

The replies about VRBOs mentioned to review the details on the warranty. It is only a warranty that the listing is real and carries thru with the rental. It does not cover issues such as not happy with conditions. So you still must take care of yourself.

7. Re: VRBO - Vacation Rentals By Owner

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Removed on: 11 August 2008, 23:34
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1,109 posts
112 reviews
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8. Re: VRBO - Vacation Rentals By Owner

We have used VRBO in the past with great success, but this said I think we have been lucky. Many sites such as VRBO do have areas for guests to leave comments, but unfortunatly it is usually only people who are not happy that do leave comments. It would be great if everyone took the time to write about their experience, but unfortunatly this does not happen.

Some things to keep in mind are to find out if you are dealing directly with the owner of the house or a managment company (not all VRBO listing are actually owner managed). We have found that owner managed homes especially if the owner lives in the immediate area were much better taken care of, they were kept updated and having the owner readily available for any issues that came up was a real bonus. We also usually prefer to pay by credit card as then we at least have some recourse if problems were to arise. Also there are several scams out there so we are a bit leary when they require a postal check or personal check and will not take credit cards - even better is if they use paypal as you enter in your own financial information and the owner never sees this and they don't have access to your credit card number.

Also ask lots of questions such as how recent are the photos on the site, what is their refund policy if a deposit has to be paid, what are the expectations at check out, who do you call for problems, is management easily accessable for any issues that may come up etc...Back and forth dialogue will also give you a good feeling for the person you are renting from.

Last always go through the home with the person who is checking you in and make note of any damages, broken appliances, stained furniture etc so that you can not be blamed for this after you leave. If the home is unacceptable or is not anything like what was portrayed on their website, take photos and notify management immediatly and don't wait 2-3 days.

(these are just our preference and things we do based on our past experiences with renting homes on vacations and I am sure others will have more or different opinions as well).

On the flip side it really is a two way street because the owners of the homes are also trusting that you will take care of and respect their home and property while you are there.

Renting a home or apartment is really a great way to save money, give you plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the company of your friends or family. I am sure you will have a great time and bring back many fond memories.

Huntsville, Alabama
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4 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: VRBO - Vacation Rentals By Owner

I've rented twice thru VRBO, and been extremely pleased. Both rentals were very hands on with the owner, which makes living/playing easier in an unfamiliar place. In both cases, we spoke directly with the owners prior to sending in our deposit. Ask questions, see how involved the owners are. It makes a difference.

Outer Banks, NC...
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23 posts
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10. Re: VRBO - Vacation Rentals By Owner

We used VRBO last summer to go to San Diego and we had an awesome vacation. Don't be shy about asking questions and pay with a credit card. The poster are correct. Most people write reviews when they have had a negative experience, so no reviews is actually a good sign. Good luck and I am sure you will have a good vacation!

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