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Last Updated
31st of January, 2010

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» Does VacationRental.org own or rent properties directly?

» How do I contact vacation rental Owners/Managers?

» If I call a vacation rental owner or manager, am I obligated to rent from them?

» I have called the vacation rental owner/manager and have not heard back from them. Why?

» Should I just focus on properties rented through a property manager versus an owner?

» How do I know the properties advertised are legitimate?

» Are the prices set or is there room for negotiation?

» How do I handle payments?

» Are there extra fees beyond the nightly or weekly rental costs?

» Can I get refunds due to weather?

» What if something goes wrong while I am there?

» How can I provide feedback on my experience with a vacation rental or vacation rental owner/manager?

» Do I have to clean the property before I leave?

» What languages can I use to communicate to owners/managers?

» What currency are prices shown in? What currency can I pay in?



Does VacationRental.org own or rent properties directly?

No. VacationRental.org is a service which allows vacation rental owners/managers to advertise their vacation rentals and helps potential renters to find a suitable vacation rental property. To rent properties, you contact the owners/managers directly using the contact information provided with each vacation rental listing.

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How do I contact vacation rental Owners/Managers?

VacationRental.org  consists of thousands of vacation rental properties available directly from owners and property agents/managers. Arrangements for rent or lease are made directly with the owners/agents/managers. Each listing on the VacationRental.org site includes a phone number and/or email address. All inquiries should be sent to the vacation rental owner or manager. To email owners, click on the "Contact Owner/Manager" link in the property detail page. You can use this form to request a reservation or ask questions to the vacation rental owner/manager. For the most timely and efficient exchange with the owner or manager, provide as much detailed information as you possibly can. Give the dates you are inquiring about and if your dates are flexible, note that too. List how many people, adults and children. If you have a pet that you wish to bring along, be sure to include that information. If you have any special needs or questions, do not hesitate to ask. If there is a phone number listed for the property, call the vacation rental owner/manager, most welcome the questions that your may have. Remember, most often you will be speaking to an owner or manager who knows the area very well and can be a very useful resource in helping you choose the right place for your next vacation as well as activities and attractions once you get there.

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If I call a vacation rental owner or manager, am I obligated to rent from them?

No, but as a courtesy review the listing carefully before you call and be sure that their property is a place that you would seriously consider. Sometimes conversations with an owner/manager can assist you in narrowing down your choices. Please also be considerate when contacting owners, you are often calling their home, so try to be aware of time zone differences and try not to call during dinner time or after 9pm. If you call and get an answering machine, be sure to leave your name, number (clearly and slowly), the dates you are inquiring about and an appropriate time for them to return your call. Most owners/managers will indeed call you back.

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I have called the vacation rental owner/manager and have not heard back from them. Why?

One common reason is that the vacation rental owner is on vacation! Dealing with owners/managers will not always be as easy as contacting a hotel or resort. Most owners/managers respond within 24-48 hours. If your initial contact was an email, try contacting them via telephone if the number is provided. Although we encourage our owner/managers to respond whether they are booked or not, a small percentage may not respond to all inquiries on a timely basis. In these cases, we recommend you find an alternative property with a more responsive and considerate vacation rental owner.

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Should I just focus on properties rented through a property manager versus an owner?

We feel both vacation rental owners and property managers are worth considering. Property managers typically have local offices and fixed office hours which can be convenient. They may also have other properties available in the area. On the other hand, vacation rental owners tend to use their properties a lot themselves, which means the home may be furnished nicer, better equipped and very well maintained.

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How do I know the properties advertised are legitimate

We review all listings before approval. While fraud is rare on our website, it can happen just like in any other business transaction.  Try to avoid payments using a money order or wire transfer.  Credit card payments are always recommended. Warning signs include an unusually low price, uncertainly regarding the exact property location, or any suspicious behavior of the property owner or manager. The best way to avoid potential problems is to do your homework. We suggest talking to the owners/managers on the telephone versus strictly email. If you have concerns after speaking with the owner/manager, then ask them for a list of past renters that you may contact. Do not send payment via check, bank transfer, wire transfer, money order or other non-recoverable payment methods until you have satisfied any doubts regarding the legitimacy of the property or property owner/manager. For addition information please see our fraud prevention tips page.

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Are the prices set or is there room for negotiation?

Most vacation rental owners/managers are somewhat flexible on their pricing during certain times of the year. Some advertise discounts or a seasonal rate schedule. If you inquiring for a week that is not in the peak season for a given area, then the owner/manager may negotiate on price. However, don’t expect the owner/manager to drastically discount their rent just because it is not booked. Many vacation rental owners/managers do not rely on off-season revenue and would choose not to rent it at very low prices and risk damages from a renter getting the property at a deep discount. On the other hand, if you ask about a discount for a Holiday weekend or other peak season week, then most prices are usually firm.

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How do I handle payments?

Payments are made directly to the vacation rental owner/manager. Since each vacation rental is individually owned and operated, the payment methods and schedules will vary. Typically the owner/manager will require a reservation deposit, then the balance to be paid in one or two payments. Most owners/managers require full rent plus a deposit paid prior to the rental period. Payment methods will vary also, but most will take personal checks. Credit cards or PayPal may also be an option. Before you send any money (even the deposit) we recommend that you ask the owner/manager about their cancellation policies. It is best to have these policies in writing. Payments made using a wire transfer, money order or personal check typically cannot be recovered in the event that your accommodation is not supplied as promised so extra caution is recommended. Please see our fraud prevention tips page for additional information.

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Are there extra fees beyond the nightly or weekly rental costs?

There are typically several additional fees beyond the nightly or weekly rental fee. These fees may include cleaning fees, local taxes and a refundable damage deposit. In some cases, additional fees may exist for maid service, pool heating, telephone calls or other things specific to the property. These fees are often spelled out in the property listings, however, you should confirm these fees with the vacation rental owner/manager prior to paying your deposit.

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Can I get refunds due to weather?

Since weather is beyond the control of the owners/managers, if you choose not to come or to checkout early due to the weather, you must understand that you will generally forfeit your rent. Many third party companies offer travel insurance that may cover a trip cancellation due to weather under certain conditions.

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What if something goes wrong while I am there?

How will it get fixed if the vacation rental owner/manager lives miles away? Many owners/managers are very conscientious about their maintenance and do a lot of preventative measure to ensure that things will not go wrong. But in the unlikely event that something does break while you’re there, simply call the owner/manager. The owner/manager should be able to get the problem resolved quickly and professionally.

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How can I provide feedback on my experience with a vacation rental or vacation rental owner/manager?

Owners/managers typically appreciate feedback. Whether you have a suggested item that you would have enjoyed, or if something was not working properly, please let the owners/managers know. And of course if your accommodations were perfect, the owners/managers love to hear that also. Some owners/managers include links to guest books within their listing so other potential renters can see your feedback. If you have feedback you believe VacationRental.org  needs to be aware of, please email VacationRental.org Customer Service.

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Do I have to clean the property before I leave?

Cleaning policies vary from property to property. In some cases you will have to clean the property yourself and wash the linens. In other cases, a cleaning staff will come in and clean after you leave. Be sure to ask the owners the check-out policies for the property. Even if cleaning is provided, it is still expected that you leave the property "broom clean". In other words the cleaning staff generally does not do the dishes and clean up excessive messes. In either event, keep in mind that this is someone's home.

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What languages can I use to communicate to owners/managers?

Typically, most vacation rental owners/managers will be able to respond to inquiries in English along with the language spoken where their property is located. Many owners/managers speak multiple languages and some even note which languages they speak within their listing.

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What currency are prices shown in? What currency can I pay in?

Price are typically shown in nightly and weekly ranges. Prices in the listing summaries are shown in US Dollars for comparison purposes. Prices on the individual listings are shown in the currency of the property owner's/manager's choice as indicated on the listing. You should confirm the final price and currency of the payment with the vacation rental owner/manager.

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How do I contact the property owner or manager?

Simply click on the “Contact the Owner” or “Contact the Property Manager” button on the listing. You will then be able to fill out a short form and send it to the owner or manager.

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What happens after I contact the owner?

The owner will respond shortly after you send an inquiry. He will let you know if the property is available. You will then decide if you want to rent the property.  If you do, you will need to send a deposit to the owner or manager.

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How can I quickly find a property in a specific location?

You can use the “Quick Search” feature and type in your desired destination.  In addition to the “Quick Search” feature, you can refine your search based on amenities, nearby activities and more.

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Whom do I contact if there is a problem at the property?

Contact the owner or property manager.  You will receive their contact information in the rental agreement.  Take it with you during your vacation so you can contact them if there is a problem at the rental.

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Do I have to stay at a property to leave a review?

Yes.  VacationRental.org only allows property guests to leave reviews.

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What does the Standard of Quality badge mean?

The Standard of Quality badge is given to owners and property managers that provide quality rental property to renters.  Owners and managers must adhere to strict guidelines in order to receive the badge.

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