6 Useful Tips to Protect Yourself From Vacation Rental Scams

By: Jennifer Villalba

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Getting a vacation home on rent for your next trip can be a great option to enjoy your time holidaying and making long-lasting memories. However, some vacationers have experienced really bad vacation rental scams over the years.

Every year Consumer Affairs, Internet Crime Complaint Center, and the FBI get numerous reports from people who are victimized by vacation rental scams. The very common complaints people register about vacation rentals in different parts of the country are un-maintained and dirty properties and properties not being available when the visitors show up. It sounds no less than a nightmare, isn’t it?

For instance, Craigslist, while a fantastic source, is a hot spot for vacation rental scammers. It is infamous for having fake listings posted by mysterious clients who are attempting to get you to deliver your private data or to wire them some security deposit – when the property isn’t as publicized or doesn’t exist at all. Some scammers even dare to break into homes while the inhabitants are away and “lease” the property to clueless vacationers.

But a few bad incidents shouldn’t discourage you from enjoying an awesome vacation rental accommodation.

All you need to do is follow these six useful tips to maintain a strategic distance from vacation rental scams and to only enjoy your vacation time:

1. Ensure the Property Actually Exists

Google Maps is a magnificent resource for ensuring locations are genuine. You can even look for street view photographs of the property and its neighboring area. Look for a well-managed property, and stay away from peer-to-peer rental websites like Craigslist. While those websites may appear to be offering a good deal, many times scammers exploit these resources to take advantage of vacationers seeing a rental property in anonymous places.

2. Be Careful While Making Payments

Never send cheques, wire reserves, or make an online payment to somebody you don’t know. It is just impossible to get your lost money if the vacation rental ends up being a scam. Utilizing a credit card is a lot more secure alternative if there is any occurrence of fraud, provided they have a reliable dispute resolution department to handle such scams.

3. Request a Rental Contract

The reputed property management organizations and renters need a rental agreement for the safety and security of both the renter and the company. So, you can ask for a proper rental agreement before paying for a vacation home. This will ensure you’re getting a real deal not just any scam.

4. Do Some Investigations

Have a genuine conversation with a real person at the property management organization or the homeowner’s place. Search online for the landlord’s or agency’s name and contact number to ensure it truly exists. Email is a very easy way to scam anyone, so get the contact number and call for confirmation.

5. Check Reviews and Testimonials

Look for online reviews, references, and testimonials from past inhabitants. Reviews are an incredible way to get genuine renters’ straightforward feedback about vacation rental properties. So, do thorough research.

6. Find Property Agents

Make use of a reputable website that screens each of the properties listed on it. In case, it seems too unrealistic, it most likely is. You can never be excessively cautious. Just rent summer homes from reputable and trusted property owners and vacation rental organizations. If all else fails, request verification that the owner really possesses the rental property or manager is actually hired to handle rental deals of a home, or check with the region assessor’s office to affirm the property owner.

These were some helpful tips to only deal with respectable, reliable vacation rental companies or homeowners that are known for providing memorable vacation experiences to vacationers. We hope that these tips will assist you in avoiding any vacation rental scams when you’re booking your next stay.

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