VRBO Rental Contract?

Old Sep 22, 11, 10:00 am
  #1  
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VRBO Rental Contract?

Hey all,

For those of you who have rented via VRBO (or similar), I have a question/concern:

I read (from VRBO's site) that a rental agreement is strongly recommended especially if you're paying by check, etc.

I ended up calling and talking with the VRBO owner of the unit we are interested in renting and had a nice conversation. She was definitely willing to work something in but wasn't quite sure what to put in it, so she asked if I could help with listing out my concerns of what might go into the contract.

I guess the thing is, I don't really know either!

First, do you guys think it's even necessary to have a rental agreement? We'll be renting this condo unit for 6 nights.
Second, if I absolutely should, what types of details would I want in it?
And finally, there was some talk of using Paypal - she has an account but doesn't use it and doesn't know what kind of protection is offered, nor do I. Is Paypal usually good for vacation rentals? And does it sufficiently protect the buyer/seller?

Otherwise, the owner sounded trustworthy and I've verified that she and her husband are in fact the owners. Should I just forgo having a rental contract and send her the deposit (and just make sure I have an electronic/paper trail of our communication as well as get a 'receipt' from them)?



TIA!
jplee3 is offline  
Old Sep 22, 11, 10:23 am
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I do vacation rentals all the time and always do a contract.

One thing I add to the standard stuff is I am not responsible for any damage due to acts of God / nature and then list them out specifically...hail, flood, tornado, etc. And also put in the contract that the owner has liability insurance that covers short term tenants on the property.

Not sure what you get with paypal. I pay with a credit card and then I know I have protection from the card if it's a case of fraud. Luckily it has never been an issue.
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Old Sep 22, 11, 10:29 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by KoKoBuddy View Post
I do vacation rentals all the time and always do a contract.

One thing I add to the standard stuff is I am not responsible for any damage due to acts of God / nature and then list them out specifically...hail, flood, tornado, etc. And also put in the contract that the owner has liability insurance that covers short term tenants on the property.

Not sure what you get with paypal. I pay with a credit card and then I know I have protection from the card if it's a case of fraud. Luckily it has never been an issue.
When you say "one thing I add" are you adding that as an owner? Or as a renter? And are you the one initiating sending the contract out? Or are you adding that as an addendum after initially receiving the contract from the owner?

And in terms of liability insurance, are owners supposed to have that? Or is it absolutely required?


TIA!
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Old Sep 22, 11, 10:38 am
  #4  
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I've done it (as renter) and always gone without a contract. Never had a problem and always received my security deposit back.
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Old Sep 22, 11, 10:56 am
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Originally Posted by dchristiva View Post
I've done it (as renter) and always gone without a contract. Never had a problem and always received my security deposit back.
Do you pay by check too? The unit I'm renting is a condo in Hawaii. The owners are out in Mass. and I'm on the west coast.
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Old Sep 22, 11, 11:36 am
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Originally Posted by jplee3 View Post
When you say "one thing I add" are you adding that as an owner? Or as a renter? And are you the one initiating sending the contract out? Or are you adding that as an addendum after initially receiving the contract from the owner?

And in terms of liability insurance, are owners supposed to have that? Or is it absolutely required?


TIA!
As a renter.

Contracts come from the owner and I tell them I would like to add XYZ to the contract. I have yet to have someone refuse my request.
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Old Sep 22, 11, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by KoKoBuddy View Post
As a renter.

Contracts come from the owner and I tell them I would like to add XYZ to the contract. I have yet to have someone refuse my request.
Thanks! What about the liability insurance? Are owners required to have that when renting? I'm assuming yes?
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Old Sep 22, 11, 11:56 am
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I've always had a contract for all the VRBO rental that i've done. It just gives me a little bit of comfort and if the owners aren't out there trying to scam you they shouldn't have an issue with creating a contract for you.

Basically you just want the agreement to state what you are renting, how much, what the security deposit is, when, # of people, cancellation policy, any rental rules (i.e. you are/are not allowed to do something, ala smoking or using a hot tub, etc.).

I did a quick search and found the following link that seems to cover the important bits: http://community.homeaway.com/docs/DOC-1573

It also looks like VRBO itself has some sample ones but that was behind an owner's login that I didn't try and go past. http://vacationrentals.vrbo.com/sample-forms (although it maybe the same as above as it also says homeaway).

As far as liability insurance, the home owners really should have it on their policy. Its more to protect them than to protect you, personally, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

As far as payment, I have always used some kind of well documented form of payment, i.e. credit card or check and definitely not cash. Keep in mind if you do end up using paypal, I believe the owner will end up having to take a 2.5% (or something like that) penalty for transaction fees and they may or may not be ok with that.

Drek
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Old Sep 22, 11, 1:20 pm
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I have rented through this site many times - and never had a formal contract.

Never had any problems - YET!
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Old Sep 22, 11, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by CarolynUK View Post
I have rented through this site many times - and never had a formal contract.

Never had any problems - YET!
+1
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Old Sep 22, 11, 6:18 pm
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There was a thread recently where the renter was asked to sign a contract saying that in the event of a disaster like a hurricane or whatever it was, the renter was responsible for any damage to the property.

To me that's totally unacceptable.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...-landlord.html

There are some sample homeway forms on this page, which may help as a starting point for an agreement

http://community.homeaway.com/docs/DOC-1573

Though the agreement usually comes from the property owner, not the renter. The agreement usually protects the owner, not the renter, so they are usually the ones to issue it.

As to payment, I would bet that most would prefer not to use paypal. The fees are too high, and frankly, they don't want you having the option of an easy way to get your money back.
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Old Sep 22, 11, 10:20 pm
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So Paypal provides recourse to the renter?

I would say any damage that is not caused by the renter, i.e. earthquake, hurricane, should be covered by the owners' insurance..
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Old Sep 22, 11, 10:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Ancien Maestro View Post
So Paypal provides recourse to the renter?
Yes they do. They have a resolution service, and the buyer, if they paid with a credit card, can put in a chargeback with their credit card company. If they do that, paypal will immediately freeze your account for the amount of the requested chargeback until it's settled.


Here's a quick overview of the chargeback process:

The buyer requests a chargeback from their credit card company.
The credit card company notifies PayPal's merchant bank and debits the funds from PayPal.
PayPal places a hold on the seller's funds related to the chargeback.
PayPal immediately notifies the seller via email and requests information that could help to dispute the chargeback.


To avoid all that many places want cash, check, or money order only. The VBRO system will also let them clear e-checks and credit cards if they want.
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Old Sep 23, 11, 10:21 pm
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Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
Yes they do. They have a resolution service, and the buyer, if they paid with a credit card, can put in a chargeback with their credit card company. If they do that, paypal will immediately freeze your account for the amount of the requested chargeback until it's settled.


Here's a quick overview of the chargeback process:

The buyer requests a chargeback from their credit card company.
The credit card company notifies PayPal's merchant bank and debits the funds from PayPal.
PayPal places a hold on the seller's funds related to the chargeback.
PayPal immediately notifies the seller via email and requests information that could help to dispute the chargeback.


To avoid all that many places want cash, check, or money order only. The VBRO system will also let them clear e-checks and credit cards if they want.
Thanks Cordelli for the clarification..

Sounds like a hornets nest for the vendor.. but an extra layer of security for the purchaser..

No doubt using a cc for accomodations provides far more convenience as a traveller.. and reduces the amount of fraud that can happen.. say paying for accomodations ahead of time, and at arrival no place to stay..
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Old Sep 26, 11, 4:18 pm
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Hi jplee3,
My name is Travis and I’m an employee at HomeAway. I’m glad to see you’re booking your next vacation at a VRBO.com property and already communicating with the owner! I just wanted to let you know that at VRBO.com we strongly recommend getting a written agreement from the owner before making any payments. The rental agreement should include arrival/departure dates, payment schedules, and pet policies, as well as cancellation/refund terms and conditions. While you can choose any method of payment you and the owner prefer, you should never pay by a wire transfer such as Western Union.
I hope this information is useful.
Happy renting!
Travis
HomeAway Customer Support
VRBO.com – A HomeAway website
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