VRBO wants an extra $1500 damage deposit

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by 4kids4karen, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. 4kids4karen

    4kids4karen DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Messages:
    949
    So, I just booked a place in VRBO. I have only booked on VRBO once prior but cancelled it about a month later. This is a pied-a-terre in the French Quarters in New Orleans. After going through the booking process, it asked for one of two options:

    Option one: Pay $59 damage insurance for coverage up to $1500
    Option two: Pay an extra $1500 upon booking, refundable if there is no damage

    I choose option one, not because I am worried that my, DH, my 15 or 17 year old will cause damage, but because it said the refund is not guaranteed and I didn't want to enter this place and find some existing damage and get blamed for it after the fact.

    I am wondering if this is normal? I suppose this is considered a luxury condo. It is three floors, master bedroom on second floor, and another bedroom on third floor. Completely renovated in 2013 and they list some fancy-schmancy interior designer. Building has four condos, the back one I booked it states holds historic value as old slave quarters for the mansion.

    Just made me think, wow, how many other places do this?

    Also, unlike or second choice that wanted just a down payment and then a schedule for the remainder balance, this place wanted the entire amount up front. Second choice had a 30-day cancellation, the one I choose has a 14-day cancellation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  2. Pamlur

    Pamlur No longer a newbie. Still has a tag.

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Messages:
    1,528
    I have used VRBO a few times, never in New Orleans, but all of them required a certain amount of damage deposit and all were refunded. Never $1500, though; I think more in the range of $300 or so. And I paid the whole thing up front, don't really remember the cancellation time range.
     
    Happyinwonerland likes this.
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. afan

    afan DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2014
    Messages:
    3,025
    I would imagine given it's location and that a lot of people get a group together to visit and party, that this is based either on the owner's previous experience of damage or of someone they know.
     
  5. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Messages:
    14,788
    I agree with afan that it's probably due to location in an area known for drunken debauchery ;)

    I've used VRBO many times. A reasonable security deposit, like $250, used to be standard. Now it seems that the damage insurance has become more common. I can understand why owners prefer that because $250 doesn't go too far if there actually is damage. I'm sure the insurance policy covers a lot more. As a renter, I prefer the deposit because I know we aren't going to trash the place so we always get our deposit back.
     
  6. HopperFan

    HopperFan "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Messages:
    20,548
    Debauchery is such a strong word ...

    :drinking1:drinking1:drinking1:drinking1:drinking1:drinking1:drinking1:drinking1:drinking1:drinking1
     
  7. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    28,148
    Not familiar with your situation, but is that deposit more than what you are paying in rent? In apartment situations some landlords expect first, and last month's rent in advance, and if your rental is $750, that would be in line with typical rental procedures.
     
  8. MomToOne

    MomToOne DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,314
    I rent condos in Hawaii via VRBO every year or two. Most owners require a damage deposit, usually in the $200-500 range, although I've had some who don't. I've never had a problem getting a damage deposit refunded. But if you get to a location and there is existing damage, you need to contact the owner immediately so there is no question of whether you did it or not.

    Given your description of the property, and knowing New Orleans (I grew up in Baton Rouge, family is still there so I visit regularly, kinda-sorta relatives own an apartment on Jackson Square as well as a restored plantation elsewhere in the state), I don't find $1500 unreasonable. Painful, but not unreasonable. Sounds like the property has some historical value, and is quite nicely renovated.

    As far as payments go, some owners want complete payment up front, some split it up. That's just up to the owner - I think some of them feel you are more committed to the trip if you pay it all up front, and aren't just booking it on a hope and a prayer that you can come up with the balance in time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  9. afan

    afan DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2014
    Messages:
    3,025
    It's for a vacation rental though, not a month to month situation. They are probably not renting the place for more than a week.
     
  10. 4kids4karen

    4kids4karen DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Messages:
    949
    We are staying three nights.

    The nightly rental is higher than others I was looking at in the quarter. My second choice was $125 less and recently remodeled to be very modern. Second choice closer Bourbon and the popular bars and restaurants. The one I booked was surrounded by other homes and in the French Market area.

    I am sure the company the owner uses is for their own self assurance. I just never saw a $1500 damage deposit required before or their insurance being mandatory. I paid the $59 for theirs. Positive side is it keeps my liability claims free in case we do accidently break something. :)
     
  11. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    28,148
    Looking at the VRBO website rentals run $179 to $200 a night in the French Quarter of New Orleans, so the damage deposit is basically about one weeks rent. Not my area of expertise but seems within reason based on that.
     
  12. 4kids4karen

    4kids4karen DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Messages:
    949
    Thanks for the reply. Yes, Built circa 1820 by Antoine Bordeaux. The renovations looks very nicely done, which was the appeal from an apartment that from the inside looks like it could be any modern apartment in any state.
     
  13. 4kids4karen

    4kids4karen DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Messages:
    949

    I like those "average per night" prices. We are going over a long holiday weekend, so the prices are higher than the average listed. I just went back and forth for days between two properties. The lower priced apartment the kids liked as it is modern with granite counters, full modern kitchen, sleek and clean, but had noise complaints from the downstairs restaurants. It looked like the new model homes in my area. It also only had two king beds and a sofa, so we would have to have shared beds (me & DD, then DH & DS, and 26 year old on couch would be the split). The one I liked best the price was more, but the decor has a lot of appeal and didn't require sharing beds (DH& I in master bedroom on 2nd floor, room on third floor each teen would have their own bed, and adult son still on couch on first floor), so DH finally said to book what I like best, so when I went to book, on the second page after the overall price and fees such as cleaning fee, service fee, etc., this insurance page pops up and takes me off guard with the insurance requirement. I think these things should have been in the listing prior to hitting the "book now" button. That may have been a deciding factor. In this case, I choose the $59. I mean paying the full price of $1647 (includes the cleaning fee, service fee, etc.) then to be asked off guard for another $1500 up front, I just didn't like. So that is what my complaint is, I was caught off guard with this after going back and forth for days trying to decide which property. Now for future bookings, at least I am aware of this possible damage deposit fee.
     
    tvguy likes this.
  14. 4kids4karen

    4kids4karen DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Messages:
    949
    Okay, so I was wrong. I went back to see if the ad listed this $1500. It list the damage deposit:

    Additional information about rental rates
    Cleaning Fee
    $175
    Property Damage Insurance
    $59

    So, I should not have been surprised. Again, this is my only my second time with reserving with this website. It does say no events/parties, smoking, or pets. Children are allowed. I already communicated with the owners my kids ages as years ago I found some B&B had age restrictions.
     
    tvguy likes this.
  15. cvjw

    cvjw DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    4,524
    We rent a house in watercolor every summer and there is always a charge for insurance. The rent for our house this year was $6000 and the damage insurance was about $100.

    We just include the damage insurance as a cost of the rental. It could come in handy if something happened to the house during your stay.
     
  16. MomToOne

    MomToOne DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,314
    Personally, I would think being farther away from Bourbon is a GOOD thing - it was fun in my younger days, but it's nothing that appeals to me today ;)

    I'd much prefer the French Market area.

    Of course, I'm also a sucker for the older architecture.
     
  17. a1tinkfans

    a1tinkfans Spreading Some Pixie Dust Today!

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,862
    Ur paying $1647. For 3 nites. And people think disney is expensive lol.
    We stayed in NOLA at a hotel that included bkfst, snacks and free parking and had trolley transport outside our door, which was great. It cost significantly less. We had a great time.
    Hope u have a great time and love ur rental too!
     
  18. afan

    afan DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2014
    Messages:
    3,025
    They also have 5 adults so would need 2 rooms most places still high for some people if you divide it by 2 for the "per room" cost but not bad for all the added space of a condo.
     
    4kids4karen and a1tinkfans like this.
  19. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    28,148
    Less than I am paying for 3 nights for 2 at the Grand California next week at Disneyland. Got lucky and caught a Southwest sale, so airfare will be less than the Park hopper tickets for 3 days. $2,500 BEFORE any food.
    Disney IS expensive.
     
    ClapYourHands and a1tinkfans like this.
  20. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Messages:
    14,788
    Disney can be expensive. It doesn't have to be that expensive. We can do a week at Disney World for 3 for $2,500 total - transportation, food, accommodations, and tickets. Of course, that means we drive down and stay offsite, but there are ways to do it on a more reasonable budget.
     
    Judique likes this.
  21. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    28,148
    I know. When I was in college we used to go for $100 per person for 3 days, 3 people. Drove 400 miles each way, split gas costs, slept on the ground at the KOA campground that used to be next to Disneyland. Had many of our meals at McDonalds. But looking at prices, a 7 day park hopper ticket is $500, so $1,500 of your cost if admission.
     

Share This Page