Renting Vacation Properties: How to Protect Yourself

We want every traveler who rents a vacation property from GreatRentals to have an excellent experience. By following a few simple suggestions, we believe that you can reap the benefits of renting a vacation property while at the same time minimizing your exposure to risk.

First, we must remind you that GreatRentals operates strictly as an advertising medium - please fully read our disclaimer.

GreatRentals lists more than 29,000 properties from around the world. By far the vast majority of properties you encounter on the Internet (especially those listed on are indeed legitimate. Nevertheless, we do recommend that you reduce your risk by using judgment and caution. Remember that these suggestions apply when dealing with anyone you don't personally know, whether a business entity or an individual.

It is very unusual that an owner reserves a property for you without a deposit, and typically they will expect full payment before you arrive. A deposit from you ensures the owner that you do intend to occupy the property during the time interval you are reserving.

We recommend you satisfy yourself with the legitimacy of the ownership claims prior to submitting your deposit:
  1. Ask the owners for referrals from previous renters.

  2. If the property is a part of a homeowners association, contact the association to verify that the person with whom you are corresponding is indeed an owner.

  3. Ask for the name of the company who does the maintenance or cleaning and contact them for verification. You might also wish to inquire regarding the condition of the property.

  4. Ask for references from anyone else who services the property. For example, pool service, snow removal, etc.

  5. Many of our listings also display guest book comments or a link to an online guest book where previous guests' comments have been added.

  6. Prior to sending any money to an owner or providing a credit card number, always request and receive a completed rental agreement or contract. Be sure that it specifies the dates you will be staying in the property, the cost of the rental, any deposits, taxes, cleaning fees, and the cancellation and refund policies. Without a signed rental agreement, do not consider the rental to be yours. If you do and something unforeseen happens, you may have little recourse in getting your funds returned. If an owner prefers not to use a contract or written agreement, find one that will.

  7. Your best protection can come by working with property owners that accept credit cards. First, there are certain protections that the banks put in place, and not everyone qualifies to accept credit cards. Secondly, using your credit card does provide you with certain remedies that are unavailable via other forms of payment. Note: Paying via PayPal may not provide you the same level of protection that paying directly via credit card provides. Avoid listings that demand quick payment via a wire service like Western Union or bank transfer.

  8. Register your trip and enjoy the protection of the HomeAway Rent with Confidence Guarantee!
By protecting yourself, you can be confident that you and your family will indeed enjoy a truly unique and affordable vacation experience.

Register your trip and qualify for the HomeAway Rent with Confidence Guarantee!

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