10 Tips to prevent getting scammed when renting a vacation home
With the advent of online advertising that has far more outreach, vacation rental industry has become a prominent area for scammers. Are you concerned about Orlando Florida vacation home scams? As a provider of premium Orlando area vacation rental homes, we at www.emeraldislandrentals.com want our guests to be aware of various scams out there on the internet. Here are the top 10 tips on how you can avoid getting scammed while renting an Orlando area vacation home for your next Disney trip.
- Know who you are renting from. Significant percentage of Florida vacation rental homes are owned by owners who live outside the state or even country. Most of Orlando area Florida vacation villas and homes can be rented from owners or rental agencies.
- Verify the ownership of the villa if needed. A genuine owner can verify his ownership in the form of a county license or property utility bill.
- If you are renting a vacation home from the management agency, they should be able to verify the utility bill of the vacation villa.
- Ask questions and speak to the owners if needed. Scammers tend to send brief emails and are generally unwilling to speak over the phone. Look for clues that suggest that emails are auto-replies. If you are not able to reach the owner by phone, walk-away from the transaction.
- Don’t be attracted to very low rates. Scammers want your money and they will lure you by offering “too good to be true” deals. Compare the prices from other villas in the neighborhood and step-away if the price is too low.
- It is a common practice for owners to request payment upfront as the home is reserved for you exclusively unlike hotels who book more than their capacity. Scammers do not accept credit cards though some genuine owners also may not accept them due to high cost of accepting the same. Scammers prefer that you send money with Money Order or Wire Transfer and not a personal check. Note that some owners may not accept personal checks if the rental is a last minute transaction as that makes owners vulnerable to “bad checks”.
- Ask for guest reviews from past guests understanding that scammers have a ‘short lifespan’. Look for guest reviews that range a period of time on reputable websites.
- Ask the owner if they have a personal website. Verify the ownership of the website and for how long that domain name has existed.
- Use caution while renting from leads stemming from free classified websites.
- At the end, if you have a bad vibe with more than one aspect of the deal from the above list, you probably are getting a bad deal!
By Sri Gogineni