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View Full Version : Do I need to be cautious renting from individuals on VRBO?


1rockinmamato2
01-03-2008, 11:14 PM
I found a vacation home on VRBO that we are interested in. I spoke with the owner and he is handling the reservations and speaking with his management company with the availability, etc. He wants me to mail him a check for the deposit, but I'm a bit cautious when it comes to mailing strangers checks.

How should I handle this? Should I trust that he's on the up and up and our vacation home will be available for us when we arrive?

I would just like to save money this time and not go through one of the more well-known management companies, so I thought this would be a great way to save money. But, I'm skeered. :scared1: :rotfl2: :lmao:

Any and all advice appreciated!

JANNYANS
01-04-2008, 03:18 AM
Once you have the owners name you can check they actually own the home you are renting .You need to know which county it is in it will be either
Lake, Polk or Osceola and each one has its own property appraisers website. You can then check the information you have with what is recorded.

http://www.polkpa.org/ is the site for Polk which covers Davenport


http://www.lakecopropappr.com/ is the site for Lake which covers north 192 /27 area



the Osceola site appears to be down so I can't post the web link for it but a search will find it for you.Osceola will cover the Kissimmee area.

You can ask for the man co details and check the dates have been booked for you or see if the owner has an online calendar you can check.
I understand the apprehension in doing this for the first time but remember it is a trust that has to go both ways and in recent times any incidents of homes not being there when someone has arrived or of problems on arrival have largely been because agencies have gone.Owners who do the letting themselves tend to be more proactive in the running of their home and not leave it all to a third party which is where problems can arise.

Cruz91
01-04-2008, 05:47 AM
In addition to the PP's advice, you can also check tax records. I did this before I rented my first time at WH. I also put a lot of stock into comments posted by previous guests at the various condos. Many of them even post their email addresses. I emailed two or three different people who had stayed at the one I wanted to rent and they all had positive things to say. It put my mind at ease.

Having said all of that, I don't know I would be too happy about mailing a check. I did paypal for the first two trips to WH (with same owner) and credit card with this trip.

sympatico
01-04-2008, 06:32 AM
This is the tax record site for Kisssimmee ( Osceola County ) :
http://www.property-appraiser.org/
You can also ask if you can pay by credit card or pay pal through their management company. I've done this before.
Also on the homeaway.com site ( which is the parent company of vrbo and some others ) there's a guarantee that any homes posted on their sites are legit.
You have to register with them when you first book the home.
http://guarantee.homeaway.com/
Look across the top of the page for those that are part of HomeAway.
Good luck. :)

dfarner
01-04-2008, 09:08 AM
I found a vacation home on VRBO that we are interested in. I spoke with the owner and he is handling the reservations and speaking with his management company with the availability, etc. He wants me to mail him a check for the deposit, but I'm a bit cautious when it comes to mailing strangers checks.
How should I handle this? Should I trust that he's on the up and up and our vacation home will be available for us when we arrive?

I would just like to save money this time and not go through one of the more well-known management companies, so I thought this would be a great way to save money. But, I'm skeered. :scared1: :rotfl2: :lmao:

Any and all advice appreciated!

That would make me nervous too. I only use Paypal when renting points from DVC owners, but I've never rented a home from anyone. Have you inquired about using Paypal? Does he have an account? Renting online is never full proof, but I feel w/ Paypal I can check up a little better on who I'm renting from and have a little more sense of security.

FoggyToad
01-04-2008, 10:21 AM
Maybe I'm too trusting, but I've always used a check for rental properties and have had no bad experiences. However, I would proceed with extreme caution if the owner wants you to pay before he's checked out availability with his management team. That does sound f-ishhhhh-y, doesn't it? I would definitely want to contact some of his other renters and see his booking contract and get it all in black and white before I send any deposit to him. There are TONS of homes out there and I would guess 99% are owned by reputable people, but you're right in being cautious. The information all the PP's have given is extremely helpful in making a good decision regarding this particular rental.

Mrs Doubtfire
01-04-2008, 10:23 AM
Thanks for the property listing - just what I was looking for!

PistonsFan
01-04-2008, 11:06 AM
I've used VRBO several times (not always for Florida, but other places too). Have never had a problem and I think I have always mailed checks for the deposit. Maybe I am just lucky. I think you have to check them out as best as you can and trust your instincts - maybe talk to them on the phone if you are not feeling right about the email communications.

1rockinmamato2
01-04-2008, 02:39 PM
Thank you all so much for your replies and extra special thanks for the property assessor site. I found my owner's vacation home listed with their physical address and the mailing address that matched up with the address they had given me.

I feel so much better now. I knew you all could help me! :thumbsup2