Six Questions to Ask Before Renting a Vacation Home

| August 14, 2012

Find a vacation home rentalVacation rental properties have much to offer vacationers. Not only do they provide more space than standard hotels and lodging, they also include amenities that allow travelers to save money while away from home. After determining the basics, such as how many people a property sleeps and the rental rate, ask the following six questions before signing on the dotted line:

1. Are all costs included in the rental agreement? When you receive the agreement, it should state all charges, including any taxes or property fees. Ask this question — and all others — via email to get the agreed-upon details in writing.

2. What happens if I have to cancel? Life happens, and you need to know the cost of postponing or outright cancelling your stay in case of emergency. Also consider purchasing trip insurance to cover any cancellation costs, which you should do for all vacations, whether they include standard hotels and lodging or rental properties.

3. What comes with the rental property and what does not? Ask for a list of included items if it’s not already posted on the rental property-vacation rentals website. Unplanned purchases act as hidden fees. For example, if the property does not come with dishes and flatware or ample amounts of household supplies, such as garbage bags and toilet paper, you will need to factor those costs into your vacation budget.

4. Will the rental be professionally cleaned between tenants? The answer to this question must be “yes.” It’s common for a rental manager to request you leave the place tidy with no dishes in the sink, but any deep cleaning should be the responsibilty of professionals. In some instances, you can pay an extra fee and not have to do any cleaning, so you can leave those dishes in the sink.

5. When will you return my security deposit? Unlike standard hotels and lodging, rental properties often require a security deposit. If it’s not already included in the rental agreement, request that the return period — such as within 14 days — be added. You won’t want to spoil wonderful memories from a vacation with having to follow up again and again regarding the security deposit.

6. Where can I find references for your property? The property website should feature reviews from satisfied renters — Dex also includes reviews in its rental property-vacation rentals listings. The latter will help you get a clear picture of customer satisfaction, as they do not require approval by the property owner.

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Category: Rental Property -- Vacation Rentals, Travel

About the Author ()

Pamela Mitchell spent more than 15 years at daily newspapers such as the Hartford Courant and Houston Chronicle before becoming a full-time freelancer. She now writes about a variety of topics, from dining and entertainment to pets and travel.