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Tracking down a villa owner

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Chicago
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194 posts
13 reviews
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Tracking down a villa owner

Is there any way to to track down a villa owner? All avenues (vrbo, the villa website, etc) all point back to a rental agency, so I'm guessing they don't want to be found. However, I'm really interested in renting a place that has some child age restrictions and in the past, I've found that villa owners are very often willing to be flexible in that regard if you can speak with them directly. The rental agency refuses to pursue it on our behalf. Maybe I should just abandon ship on this one?

St. Thomas
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1. Re: Tracking down a villa owner

Isn't the acronym VRBO that you cited -- Villa Rentals By OWNER?? - if they don't want to be found there I would move on.

St Thomas
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2. Re: Tracking down a villa owner

If a villa/condo owner uses the service of a management company to manage their rental property they're doing so precisely because they don't want to manage it themselves. In this case it's quite understandable that the management company won't pursue it as they probably have strict instructions from the owner and are doing what they're being paid to do.

In answer to your question about abandoning ship on this particular villa I'd say yes. There are many villa owners who DO allow children so I'd extend your search and I'm sure you'll find something wonderful! Good luck!

sosci
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133 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Tracking down a villa owner

If I can chime in as a "newbie owner in STJ and a few other domestic locations; personally I welcome feedback and dialogue from my guests .

But, that's just me the micromanager - there are some things we like/ need to delegate to a P.M. - but I am all about the value of personal one on one with guests , be it emails or call. It's all the bookeeping, leasing paper work & deposits, and the reservations calender we can't or elect not to micromanage. You would be surprised how many PM's and owners lurk these various message boards reading both returning guests and potential new guests preferences to improve our homes and therefore guests experiences. Why not post the name ofthe villla on TA, virginislandsonline and, vi now message boards - can't hurt if you really love the villa you desire. I work full-time as a nurse and I certainly don't have the time/ energy to do what many of these wonderful PMs & caretakers do ( I know some are not not so wonderful too). Frankly, I am guessing some of the child-age restrictions noted are likely related to the child's safety and therefore owner liability more than anything else - just speculation though. Even the US VI has their fare share of law suits/ ambulance chasers (nothing personal).

Best Wishes & Happy hunting.

Holland, MI
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1,219 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: Tracking down a villa owner

I agree that you may get some results if you post the villa name. I've had good luck getting the owners to waive the age restriction so I'd say it's worth a try.

CT
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for St. John
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5. Re: Tracking down a villa owner

You received a villa owner viewpoint and now I will give you a former Property manager view.

Many owners do not want childrenstaying at their property for many reasons.

Sometimes it is because the property is just not safe for little ones and the liability is not worth the risk.

Other times, they may have had a bad experience with damage to the property or, in one case, dirty diapers left on top of all the clean linens in the linen closet. GROSS

We even had one owner that took meticulous care of their villa, did not have children, and simply did not want them staying at their property.

In any of these cases, I would not have contacted the owner either. They paid us to rent their property by their rules.

I never gave out the name of the owner. If they wanted to handle the details of renting, they would have listed it on their own.

There are so many wonderful villlas on island that do not have child restrictions, I would move on to he next property on the list.

.
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356 posts
10 reviews
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6. Re: Tracking down a villa owner

I know it's tough when you get your heart set on a villa (I literally have dreams about them! But then again I'm obsessed.) If you post a topic seeking villa input and provide your wish list (part of island, number of bedrooms, inside access, etc.) or a short list of villas then the fine folks here can help.

Lots of villas don't have interior access to the bedrooms, and depending on the age of your kids this might be important. (I feel better w/inside access even though my kids are now 11 and 13.)

St Thomas
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7. Re: Tracking down a villa owner

Tinkerbelldee provided the definitive response as a former Property Manager and amplified my previous post on the subject.

To add on to my maybe initially terse and basic response, there are steps and pools at some villas which aren't child-safe. No hand rails, no fence around the pool.

The US is such a sue-happy country and, as a US territory, we're tagging along slowly but surely. Argh!

Someone who advertises their rental property as an "adult-only" or "no children" venue is perfectly normal. They're covering their bases and keeping their insurance premiums down.

However much you perceive your particular children as well behaved and you see yourself as being stellar parents, villa and condo owners have been there and done that and learned the hard way that the kids aren't necessarily as pristine as the parents perceive them. Cheers!

Elk Grove Village...
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1,235 posts
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8. Re: Tracking down a villa owner

As the parent of a 1 year-old, if a villa listing said that it did not allow children, I'm not sure that I would want to stay there even if the owner was willing to be flexible. I would assume that to mean that it is not child proofed in any way. I don't want my daughter to do be able to get into anything that she could break or that could hurt her. If an owner opens their property up to kids, it indicates to me that there has been at least a little thought into breakability, etc., because they know there is the potential for kids to be playing there. If they say "no children" it would signal to me that those sorts of potential issues have not been considered or taken into account.

Pennsylvania
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2,387 posts
16 reviews
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9. Re: Tracking down a villa owner

We run into the restriction each year. Two things that turned the NO!s into yes for us were offering to sign a liability waiver and offering another $1,000 on top of the regular security deposit.

When renting on VG last year, the agent thought I was crazy when I asked about kid restrictions. Apparently that is not the practice on VG, a refreshing change.

Chicago
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194 posts
13 reviews
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10. Re: Tracking down a villa owner

Thanks for all the replies. Just wanted to point out that I'm not being pushy about this and I respect the villa owners and rental agency's decisions about kids.

We have traveled to St John multiple times with our kids and in the past, I have asked if the owners were firm about the age restrictions and have often been met with a positive reply. This time I was told that the listing says no kids so the agency wouldn't even ask the owners. I was just taken aback and was looking for some opinions.

We just got back from the island so this inquiry is for a trip in 2011 - it just means that I can obsess over other villas now. :)