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Old 08-27-2012, 09:35 PM   #1
conniehar90
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Windsor Hills help

We have stayed at WH several times over the past 7 years and we have always rented a condo with the same owner. Their price is right, their units are great and we never have any issues. This next trip, their units are booked up. So, I have been looking around. I have found a couple that I really like from the windsorhillsrent site, but I am so scared to change owners! Plus, I was leaning towards townhomes rather than the condos and so it is a bit of new territory to me.

What sort of questions should I ask? What problems might I anticipate? How do I know they are legit owners? Are there any warning signs I should watch for?

When we first made the plunge to WH many years ago, it was no big deal as we had been staying in dumpy motels on 192. So, how bad could it be? But now that we have been staying in really nice places in WH, I am afraid this change of owners will result in some sort of nightmare!

Thanks!
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:29 PM   #2
Doogan
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I'm interested to here other opinions, but here's what I have done in the past and so far I have had very good success.

1) Look for properties that are "active". This means reservation calendars that are fairly well booked out, lots of recent visitor comments, rate information that is current, etc.
2) Cross-domain reviews. What I mean by "cross domain review" is that I can find information about the property on more than one web site (domain). I like to be able to find reviews on disboards, tripadvisor, vrbo, homeaway, etc. (as many as possible) to give me a better feeling that it's legit.
3) Owner interaction. I always ask the owner several questions. Even if they are "dumb" questions just to see how responsive and friendly they are. If they are slow to respond or are unfriendly to me when I'm looking, I figure they are likely to be even less responsive after I've gotten my money.
4) Does the rental agreement have anything that disturbs me? If there is anything that seems out of the ordinary I usually steer clear of it.

My basic thought is that there are many, many fish in this sea. There is no reason to settle for something that smells, well, fishy.
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:17 PM   #3
conniehar90
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Thanks Doogan. I found one I really like but it doesn't meet all of your criteria... Their website is fairly basic and doesn't have an availability calendar or guest testimonials. I also can't find it on any other site other than WindsorHillsrent. But, the owner is very responsive, friendly and helpful. I have the address and checked out the owner on a Florida tax site that I found on another thread and everything appears to check out. I also have their home address and home phone and cell phone. I don't get the feeling that there is anything fishy going on here.

I would love to hear more input from others!

Thanks!
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:49 AM   #4
Doogan
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They're more like "guidelines" as Jack Sparrow would say. If you get a good vibe from corresponding with the owner and you can use a credit card then you are probably OK. I believe using a credit card will protect you from fraud in most cases. I may be naive about that, but that is my understanding from reading the legalize from my credit card company. I tend to be pretty trusting, though.
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:22 AM   #5
deejay-55
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There is always an element of trust involved when renting a holiday home - you are trusting the owners to rent you their house, and they are trusting you to treat it with respect. Mostly everything works out fine.
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:09 PM   #6
rellinge
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As both an owner and a renter, I have never had a problem with a property listed on one of the major sites. As another user said, your credit card should protect you in the worst case if you are overly concerned. Specifically regarding WindsorHillsRent, I know that they verify the owner before listing, so unless the owner's account got hacked, you should be very safe.

There could be lots of legit reasons an owner doesn't have a full calendar or loads of testimonials. For example, they could have just bought the property.

Anyway, if you like the pictures and the price + the owner gives you a good vibe, I 'd say go for it.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:14 PM   #7
LisaNJ25
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We are here at wh's right now.

It's our first time and we rented a townhouse through vacationcentralflorida.com

I have no complaints at all. The whole process was great.
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