View Full Version : Is this normal protocol for a rental home?

03-13-2011, 10:11 AM
Hi there,

We are planning a trip for the fall to Orlando and have been researching rental homes, villas, townhomes, pool homes, etc. One of the places I was looking at looked like a good deal, so I started reading some of the comments left by visitors on the page. One of the comments complained that when they arrived, many of the rooms of the house were locked, and they didn't feel like it was fair advertising. I didn't find this information listed anywhere on the site, just in one guest comment. So I emailed the owner for a quote and asked if any rooms would be locked and I was informed that the price on the website is for only 2 bedrooms, and if we want anymore unlocked, the price will be higher depending on how many more rooms we want/need.

Now, I understand, how a small family might not need all of the rooms unlocked, and I understand it is silly to clean a whole house if only some of the rooms were used. However, seems like false advertising to me, when you have a large home of 4, 5, or 6+ bedrooms, and the cost changes depending on how many rooms are used AND I have never seen this clearly explained on any of the sites I have looked at.

If this is standard policy, and most owners do this, then maybe I just didn't realize it, but I would think this should be more clearly listed on the website and in quotations!

Have you heard of this, and is it standard practice?


03-13-2011, 10:27 AM
Is it listed as a 6 (or however many) bedroom or a 2 bedroom? If it's listed as having more than 2 bedrooms but they quote you a price for only having 2 bedrooms and then charge more to unlock the other ones they advertised I would think that would be false advertising. If they list it as a 2 bedroom and the price is for 2 bedrooms, I guess they would be doing nothing "wrong" although I, personally, find it sort of odd if they don't detail that in the description.

I *did* hear someone talking about this same thing at work this week. It was for a 3 bedroom condo on a beach and she said that the price they listed it as 2 bedrooms but you could pay to have the other bedroom unlocked. That is the only other time I've ever heard of it but maybe it is more standard practice than I realize.

03-13-2011, 10:42 AM
I never heard of that before... sometimes they might have a closet locked up just because all of their personal belongings are in there and I can totally understand that. I've never heard of bedrooms being locked up.

03-13-2011, 11:17 AM
Gee, folks are getting creative in this tough economy.

I've never heard or read of this with Orlando villa rentals, only condo-like timeshares where they have "lock-offs". I guess it's another way, for owners with a larger home, of attracting more renters who are looking for less bedrooms. Best to have a little rent than no rent.

But the pricing should also be made CLEAR. Just my opinion.

03-13-2011, 11:40 AM
Yeah that's what I thought too.

The rental page listed it as a 6 bedroom home, great specials, etc. etc. and X amount per night.

Nowhere did it ever mention that price was only for 2 bedrooms, including the quote email personally sent to me.

It was only because I ASKED (because of what I read in one of the comments left by a visitor to the page), that he confirmed the price of X per night was for only 2 bedrooms, but we could have others unlocked at X per night extra per room.

The person who left the comment was upset because they expected more, got there and everything was locked up! That doesn't seem right to me.

If anything, I would have expected the advertised price of X per night was for all bedrooms, and then if I didn't want or need them all, I could maybe get a discount... not the other way around.

Definitely left a bad taste in my mouth and I won't be considering that rental anymore. Plus I will be sure to ASK this question now for any other quotes I am getting... sigh... :confused:

03-13-2011, 12:01 PM
Actually that happened to us years ago. This was when we began renting homes and went through an agency and asked for a 3 bedroom home. When we arrived they had given us a 4 bedroom home and locked one of the bedroom doors.
Not exactly the same experience but if an owner was going to do it this way they should let you know up front that some of the bedrooms would be locked off.
I know of a couple of owners that were considering to do this just to generate more income and less expense. I don't know how much they would save but it doesn't seem that it would be a lot.
Now for me I wouldn't mind having a 6 bedroom home and only being able to use 2 of the bedrooms if that's all I needed. The 6 br homes are huge and it usually gives you lots of space in the living areas. But the owners perhaps should let you know that the great price includes having the other bedrooms locked.

03-13-2011, 12:02 PM
I don't think this would be common practice for the short term rental industry with privately owned homes. However, we were in Hawaii and paid for a one bedroom condo at a Westin (ended up being time share resort but rented through AAA). They gave us a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, and we arrived and were pleasantly surprised. The maintenance man then arrived to lock off the one bathroom. He left the one bedroom open for us to use the safe there, but we were not to use it. Of course there were only 2 of us and it was a hotel condo situation. I would be leary to rent from this individual, as this is definitely false advertising. Now I know why I see sometimes people advertising, "this is for the whole house" lol.


03-13-2011, 12:12 PM
I would be passing on it too.. especialy since you asked him about it and it sounds like he didn't answer your concerns. There are so many other houses/villas/condo's out there I know you will find the perfect one.

I learned the hard way... Sometimes if it's to good to be true, there is probably a catch. Not all the time, but sometimes.

03-13-2011, 12:13 PM
I am not one to think of the worse case senario in many situations but my concern would be fire escape routes, the more rooms open the more escape routes you have open to you.

I would be very cross with this if it happened to me, if I wanted a 2 bed house I would rent a 2 bed house not a 4 bed house with rooms blocked off. I would also be very annoyed if I had booked a 4 bed house and expected to use all the rooms, if the information was not given to me upfront in the quote that I couldn't use some of the rooms I would be beyond livid.

One of the reasons we rent a house rather than a hotel room is for the kids to have their own space. If they need it. I am really suprised this happens and thank you for giving me the heads up I will be more wary in the future and ensure I ask this question.


03-13-2011, 12:48 PM
Never heard of this either, and I've rented a few vacation homes in my day. It's just weird. I wouldn't feel comfortable renting from this owner.

03-13-2011, 02:16 PM
I'd stay away from owners who use these types of tactics also. This isn't something I would expect either, so I also thank you for starting this thread.

Just gives me bad vibes and has undertones of deceit. Especially when it's not spelled out & made clear throughout their advertisement. I'm not saying I disagree with owners doing what they need to do to generate income from their properties. But, it's HOW you go about doing business with the public that says a lot about how you do business.

03-13-2011, 02:26 PM
I don't think I have heard of this in Orlando at all. Most people rent the whole home. As long as you are within the state mandated occupancy limits, it really doesn't make much difference to the cost of running a VR if there are 2 or 12 people in a 6 bed home. Utilities might be a little higher with more people and cleaning might be a bit more if they have to do all the bedrooms.

By law, the owner should maintain a register of all guests on property so they should know how many people will be staying at the home. They can be audited by the state for this information.

A lot of sites ask for the total number of guests, so as an owner, they can quote appropriately. They wouldn't know if 4 people were a family of 4 that could sleep in 2 rooms or 4 gentlemen on a golfing vacation who would each want a room of their own.

I would be annoyed to turn up and find rooms locked if I wasn't made aware of it before hand. (On the flip side, some people think it is OK to pack more guests into a VR than is allowed by law with the quote "its OK, the kids can sleep on the floor". Oh, no its not.)

What website did you find the property on? I would love to see the advert.


03-13-2011, 02:38 PM
The rental page listed it as a 6 bedroom home, great specials, etc. etc. and X amount per night.

Nowhere did it ever mention that price was only for 2 bedrooms, including the quote email personally sent to me.

This is false advertising. I would copy the description he has on his listing and the email you got confirming that he was advertising a 6 bedroom home for a 2 bedroom price and would then charge you to access the other 4 bedrooms. I would email both copies to whomever he is listing with. They need a big heads up!

And, I agree, it isn't safe.