AVOIDING PROBLEMS WHEN RENTING A VACATION HOME
5 Tips For Renters
As the summer vacation season approaches, now is the time to plan. Private short-term vacation home rentals and home-sharing arrangements are the rage and provide an opportunity for vacationers to reduce their traditional vacation costs by obtaining cost-effective non-traditional vacation accommodations. Additionally, property owners can use their homes to generate income. Therefore, if the arrangement is handled appropriately with full disclosure and documentation, it can be the quintessential “win-win”. The key, however, is to make sure that both parties avoid certain pitfalls.
Five essential steps the renter must do to protect
themselves and their vacation experience:
- Use a Reputable Online Booking or Management Service. Review the service’s online reputation, if it is not a national entity or company, check local records, including local business review services. If using a website consider the website’s payment methods and established security policies. Carefully review and consider any comments that may have been posted online about the service. There are many services that facilitate vacation home and home-sharing rentals, so if research reveals negative comments about a particular service it is best to consider
- Payment. Do not pay by cash, check, money order or wire transfer. Always use a credit card that enables you to dispute charges in the event that there is a problem. This is extremely important as owners of properties may get “better offers” and then attempt to cancel a reservation and delay or even never refund funds paid.
- Use a Guest Agreement. For the same reasons that a property owner needs to have a Guest Agreement, so should the renter. An agreement should be written to protect both sides, so there is a clear understanding of the terms and
conditions of the arrangement. In the event that one party fails to comply then the agreement may be the only way of providing appropriate legal recourse to the aggrieved party.
- Verify that the Property Exists. There are many online resources that can be used to verify that the property exists. Online maps and searches such as those provided by Zillow, Google and the local property appraiser or tax accessor, can provide credible information on the property from anywhere in the world. Additionally, if the renter is not familiar with the area, online tools can be used to research the neighborhood, including crime statistics and proximity to things that may be of interest. Finally, simply searching the address on the
internet can reveal whether there has been any positive or negative activity at the property that may have been reported in the media.
- Be a Good Neighbor. Renters should always remember that a vacation home rental or home-sharing property is likely in a neighborhood where many people own and live in their homes. A typical renter is on vacation and therefore, is not limited by the normal restraints of everyday life. In many instances, however, the neighbors are and they may get upset if their quiet use of their homes is violated by the activities of a short-term renter. There are very few things that can put a damper on a vacation, like having to deal with law enforcement because someone has complained about certain
activities. If a renter knows the rules and is courteous and respectful of others, then the arrangement will work out great. If, however, the renter wants to have more of a party-vacation, then that renter may want to rent more traditional accommodations, like a resort hotel where almost everyone is on vacation.
Like many arrangements, renting a vacation-home or sharing a home is a transaction that has legal consequences for all involved parties. As a result, it is important that both parties know their rights and just as importantly, their obligations. With research, full disclosure and a well-drafted guest agreement, each party will know exactly what to expect and the transaction will be a mutually beneficial and rewarding experience.
Congratulations to Partner, Lindsay Greene for her feature in CNBC Mix It article. To read full article please click on the photo.
The Tampa office celebrates 18 years of service to its clients.
Partner Bart Valdes, Julie Fannin and their families represented DSK Law at a volunteer event with Tampa Bay Watch to construct new oyster habitat in Tampa Bay. The event involved bagging tons of old shells and transporting them to a nearby island in the bay where the bags are strategically placed in shallow water for the greatest impact. “This project is uniquely beneficial for Tampa because the oyster bars that we helped create serve as a natural breakwater to prevent erosion and as new oysters grow they will improve the water quality in the area,” said Valdes. DSK Law is proud to support Tampa Bay Watch in its mission to foster a healthy Tampa Bay watershed through community-driven restoration projects, education programs and outreach
On March 25,2023, DSK Law Partners and Attorneys joined together with friends and family to participate in the OCBA Law Day 5K at Lake Baldwin. The run/walk raises funds for the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association.
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