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Precautions to take prior to renting a villa? #101273
06/24/2016 12:59 PM
06/24/2016 12:59 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 8
K
KT_Chatt Offline OP
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KT_Chatt  Offline OP
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K
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Posts: 8
Any suggestions on steps to take prior to renting a villa I found on vrbo to be sure it isn't a scam? I'm wondering if it is possible to find out who owns the villa to make sure the name matches up with the pay pal invoice. I'm told it was recently sold and is undergoing a remodel.

I've been renting condos on VRBO for years with no problem, but today I just had a funny feeling. The person did not provide a contract, just an invoice from Pay Pal. They did give me the option to pay through VRBO, but that would cost $600 more with the new fees. I don't want to make a mistake and then have the hassel of trying to get my money back. Thanks

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Re: Precautions to take prior to renting a villa? [Re: KT_Chatt] #101274
06/24/2016 01:17 PM
06/24/2016 01:17 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 304
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NakedAsAJaybird Offline
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I wish I had some answers for you, but I have never rented through VRBO. I do know people the have without problems. On the other side of the coin, I know there is a listing on that site that is fraudulent. Someone representing themselves as owner of a condo, when I know for a fact, they do NOT own this Condo. I have reported it.

Re: Precautions to take prior to renting a villa? [Re: KT_Chatt] #101275
06/24/2016 01:23 PM
06/24/2016 01:23 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 12,459
Staten Island
Bobcat Offline
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Bobcat  Offline
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Posts: 12,459
Staten Island
GOBEACH

======================
Gobeach is a very reliable source for villa rentals - see if your villa is on the map and compare prices and descriptions, if asking price or description of your villa is far less and differs it maybe a sign of a problem

Also at the bottom of the page is a link to the map on Orient beach villas.


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Re: Precautions to take prior to renting a villa? [Re: NakedAsAJaybird] #101276
06/24/2016 01:23 PM
06/24/2016 01:23 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 59
East Tennessee
taraavo Offline
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taraavo  Offline
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East Tennessee
Take this for what it's worth, but I have never felt comfortable using VRBO for this reason. It feels so "unofficial" and unregulated. I use AirBnB all the time, and as I understand it, there's more involved in verifying the identity of users (both renters and hosts). Further, I think the set-up of AirBnB makes it easier for parties on both sides to vet potential renters / hosts - by that I mean that I spend a lot of time reading reviews, looking at pictures of the host's other properties and reading reviews of those properties, analyzing how much detail they've chosen to provide in the description. It could be all for naught one day, but thus far it helps me come to a decision with more ease than VRBO. For VRBO, I would suggest googling the name of the villa you're interested in. See if it also appears on other rental sites, with any degree of consistency in owner and descripton.

Re: Precautions to take prior to renting a villa? [Re: KT_Chatt] #101277
06/24/2016 01:39 PM
06/24/2016 01:39 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 150
NH
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DrDoug Offline
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NH
Follow BobCats advice and use Gobeach, a local on island business.

This VRBO business seems to keep changing their terms for owners and renters. I did find a nice condo in Hawaii 3 years ago, but the owner said to deal directly with him and all went well. Since the changes, his condo isn't listed.

http://www.gobeach.com/sxm.htm will show you many villas for rent.

Re: Precautions to take prior to renting a villa? [Re: DrDoug] #101278
06/24/2016 01:48 PM
06/24/2016 01:48 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 8
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KT_Chatt Offline OP
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Thanks for the replies. The place I found is at Ocean Club Villas in Cupecoy. I see it on BobCat's map but it didn't give me a price. It's a small complex of 8 villas.

I am going look at gobeach and see if I find another option to rent. I appreciate the help.

Re: Precautions to take prior to renting a villa? [Re: taraavo] #101279
06/24/2016 01:54 PM
06/24/2016 01:54 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 8
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KT_Chatt Offline OP
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KT_Chatt  Offline OP
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Taraavo- I tried to sign up for AirBnB earlier this week, but never got the hang of it. I did not want to provide the last 4 of my ss #, so maybe they held that against me. I just didn't see the need to give that to them.

I might give it another try now though. Thanks

Re: Precautions to take prior to renting a villa? [Re: KT_Chatt] #101280
06/24/2016 01:57 PM
06/24/2016 01:57 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 12,459
Staten Island
Bobcat Offline
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Bobcat  Offline
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Staten Island
Ocean Club Villas is part of a timeshare resort that has been around for a long time. You should confirm with the resort the ownership of the unit or villa you wish to rent.


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Re: Precautions to take prior to renting a villa? [Re: KT_Chatt] #101281
06/24/2016 02:09 PM
06/24/2016 02:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,893
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
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boucharda  Offline
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Massachusetts
Quote
They did give me the option to pay through VRBO, but that would cost $600 more with the new fees


The rental fees are maxed out at $499 and that gets you the protection that you are trying to circumvent AND you can use a CC with no additional fee for even more protection. I have used VRBO many, many times and have had no issues.

I am not thrilled with the new fee but when I figured out the CC charge for our 7 week rental it was nearly a wash AND I get miles/cashback <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Thumbsup.gif" alt="" />.

Hard to figure out why you "have a bad feeling" and then do not use the protection offered.

Rant over.... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif" alt="" />

Re: Precautions to take prior to renting a villa? [Re: Bobcat] #101282
06/24/2016 02:59 PM
06/24/2016 02:59 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 8
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KT_Chatt Offline OP
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KT_Chatt  Offline OP
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BobCat,

How can I get contact info for the ownership of the villa?

I called Gobeach, and they are looking for other rentals for me. The lady at Gobeach used to rent the exact villa at Ocean Club, but no longer does as it was sold. She was nice but did not have any contact info for me.

Re: Precautions to take prior to renting a villa? [Re: KT_Chatt] #101283
06/24/2016 03:06 PM
06/24/2016 03:06 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 12,459
Staten Island
Bobcat Offline
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Bobcat  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 12,459
Staten Island


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Re: Precautions to take prior to renting a villa? [Re: boucharda] #101284
06/24/2016 04:50 PM
06/24/2016 04:50 PM
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 4
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VancityS4 Offline
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Quote
boucharda said:
Quote
They did give me the option to pay through VRBO, but that would cost $600 more with the new fees


The rental fees are maxed out at $499 and that gets you the protection that you are trying to circumvent AND you can use a CC with no additional fee for even more protection. I have used VRBO many, many times and have had no issues.

I am not thrilled with the new fee but when I figured out the CC charge for our 7 week rental it was nearly a wash AND I get miles/cashback <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Thumbsup.gif" alt="" />.

Hard to figure out why you "have a bad feeling" and then do not use the protection offered.

Rant over.... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif" alt="" />


^^^This^^^

If you pay through the VRBO site with a credit card you are double protected. Have done it many times. If you deal with the "owner", you had better be very sure to whom you are sending a bag of cash.

I walked away from one villa rental as the deal seemed too good to be true, and I got three different quotes (two in US$ and one in Euros) purportedly from the "owner". I do believe her site was hacked. When I asked her about the three different quotes, she said she had only sent me one. I told her I think her site was hacked and she got very upset at me. She said "We have never been hacked", but had no explanation for the other two quotes I received. I emailed her the other quotes but she never replied. I politely declined her offer.

Re: Precautions to take prior to renting a villa? [Re: VancityS4] #101285
06/24/2016 09:33 PM
06/24/2016 09:33 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 437
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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KGB Offline
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KGB  Offline
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Posts: 437
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Rented via VRBO or HomeAwayZfromHome numerous times, in SXM, Europe and US. Never had a problem but alway went with my gut feeling.... If your gut feeling tells you to bugger off - then bugger off!


"Often Wrong, Never in Doubt"
Re: Precautions to take prior to renting a villa? [Re: KGB] #101286
06/25/2016 08:03 AM
06/25/2016 08:03 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 669
Ottawa Canada
candu Offline
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candu  Offline
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Posts: 669
Ottawa Canada
Rented from 5 different places on St Maarten/St Martin as well as all over Europe and never had a problem. I usually contact the owner through the contact owner button to verify. Now that we have our favourite we just book every year.

Re: Precautions to take prior to renting a villa? [Re: candu] #101287
06/27/2016 10:20 AM
06/27/2016 10:20 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 93
US
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jborosara Offline
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Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 93
US
All I can report is what happened to us the first time we visited SXM other than on a cruise ship - we found a villa in the Orient Bay neighborhood on VRBO - put down a 900 dollar deposit on the villa. About three months later, I received an email from someone who said the owner of the company renting the villa had died unexpectedly but that he was trying to "keep" our reservation for us - it felt very scammy so we cancelled immediately - I never did get any of my money back. We did find another villa though a local agent (for significantly more $$$) and had a lovely stay...

We now have local agents that we use - we are in a situation right now where the condo we had rented (and paid deposit on) is going to be long term rented so they are cancelling us - but we are being offered another unit and they are holding it while we decide - also offering full refund if we decide against... they are local and terrific (St. Martin Rentals - Sylvia and Christine)

Re: Precautions to take prior to renting a villa? [Re: KT_Chatt] #101288
06/27/2016 10:33 AM
06/27/2016 10:33 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 100
Fairhaven, Ma
PattyM Offline
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PattyM  Offline
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Posts: 100
Fairhaven, Ma
I have rented villas through gobeach.com for 16 years now and never had an issue.. all the villas we rented were better than they looked on the site. I will be going back in November and again renting through gobeach.com I highly recommend it.

Re: Precautions to take prior to renting a villa? [Re: PattyM] #101289
06/27/2016 06:31 PM
06/27/2016 06:31 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 8
K
KT_Chatt Offline OP
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KT_Chatt  Offline OP
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Posts: 8
Thank you all for your input. I did use the contact owner button on VRBO and ended up dealing with a property manager. She did not make that clear to me at first. I've spoken to Ocean Club Villas - thank you BobCat - and confirmed ownership. At this point I feel confident renting from her, but I'm also considering a couple at gobeach.com. They have a lot of nice options. Thank you all for the help!


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