VRBO reviews


Feb 12th, 2006, 03:11 PM
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VRBO reviews

Have booked apartments in Paris and Lisbon through this site. It sounds easy and the pictures are quite nice. Has anyone had problems with going this route. VRBO stands for vacation rentals by owner. Most are connected to their own site. Any feedback would be appreciated
namaka is offline  
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Feb 12th, 2006, 04:55 PM
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Our 2005 experience in Paris was excellent. The owner was most accommodating, the rental surpassed all expectations, and the location was ideal for our purposes. We would follow the same route again.
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Feb 12th, 2006, 05:07 PM
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can you forward the site you went through as well as the apartment?
namaka is offline  
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Feb 12th, 2006, 05:15 PM
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We used it for Ft. Lauderdale with great success. I think it depends on the owners themselves!
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Feb 13th, 2006, 06:54 AM
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I am also browsing through the site for rental apts in Paris (Mar 8th - Mar 15).. Trying to find a budget accomodation (around $500 for the week). If anyone has any recommendation, I will really appreciate.
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Feb 21st, 2006, 09:09 AM
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Are there certain guidelines that owners must adhere to in order to post on VRBO? Or is it just a consolidation of links to individual apartments? I have been browsing through VRBO and found a few viable options (mostly budget types). However, I am concerned about the reliability/trustworthiness of the owners, especially those that don't accept credit card for payments. Any suggestions/comments much appreciated.

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Feb 21st, 2006, 10:32 AM
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We have rented a couple of times through vrbo, the most recent being this place last August and then again this month: www.vrbo.com/24464

Having rented more than a dozen houses and apartments in France over the last six years, all through French Connections, Holiday Rentals, or vrbo, we have dealt with a variety of rental arrangements.

In all cases we dealt directly with the owners after finding the listing on one of the sites mentioned above. In nearly all cases, the owner asked for 50 per cent of the rental cost at time of booking, with the balance payable either a few weeks before arrival or in cash on arrival. (We have yet to deal with an owner who accepted a credit card or Paypal, so we have used either bank drafts or electronic bank transfers to send them the money.)

Some landlords have also asked for a damage deposit. We have generally been successful in getting them to accept a personal cheque in our funds ($ Cdn) for the equivalent of the deposit. At the end of the rental, they have returned our damage deposit cheque to us.

All the owners we have dealt with have provided a rental agreement that clearly spells out the dates, arrival and departure times, the costs, cancellation policy, what's included, and what's not. For example, most places provide post-rental cleaning as part of the agreement. If this is the case, it's explained in the agreement. If not, it will say something like "Renter will clean the house before departure ..."

Rental agreements will also spell out the amenities, such as whether there is a working phone, internet connection, TV, or DVD player, and mention whether heat is included. The restrictions are listed, such as "No pets" or "No smoking."

If all this sounds like a huge leap of faith, it is. But we have found that careful e-mails back and forth (or even phone calls to the owner) give us a good sense of what they are like. Owners will also refer you to previous tenants if you wish, and you can e-mail them to find out if the place is as it says it is.

A few words of advice: figure out what's important to you in the rental and make sure it's there. As we like to cook in France, we only rent places that have photographs of the kitchen. We also look for photos of the living room to make sure there is at least one couch. One thing for sure, you can safely assume that all photos were taken with a wide- angle lens. Be prepared for rooms that feel smaller than they looked on the website. (And, as someone else on here once said, if the photo of the bedroom shows one side of the bed against the wall, it's only because the room is really tiny.)

One other important piece of advice: things occasionally go wrong (we once rented a place where we couldn't get the front door to lock, and on another occasion, the hot water heater shut itself off). Look for places where the owner is either in the same town or where they have an agent who handles things like handover of keys and emergency repairs.

LAX, as to your question about certain standards for owners on vrbo, take a look at the link for owners on the vrbo website. (I haven't bothered, but I suspect there is something along these lines.) One of the people we rented from once told me that the site where they list has a policy that they will drop a listing if renters complain about unfulfiled obligations or misrepresentation.

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Feb 21st, 2006, 10:51 AM
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I've used vrbo for Lake Tahoe (multiple times), Florida Keys, Paris, and Florence. Varies according to the specific owner but my own experiences have always been good.

For budget studios, check out Rue Princesse and Rue Bourbon on beau-paris.com or vrbo.com (beau-paris has better pictures). I posted a review of my stay at Rue Princesse -- click on my name and you'll find a posting about "Paris hotel or apartment". The owners seem open to negotiating on price if it's a last-minute rental. I did Rue Princesse for 80 E/night for only 3 nights -- would have been lower if I could have stayed the whole week.
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Feb 21st, 2006, 11:00 AM
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I use vrbo.com constantly in the US, I've never tried it in Europe but have never had a problem in probably 50 times used. They do have a staff that periodically goes around and stays in the properties, I think they call him/her the "Bear" or some such thing. I would love to hear about both properties after your stay(s).
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Feb 21st, 2006, 11:09 AM
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We stayed VRBO in Montreal that was artisitic, well furnished and very clean. It was as advertised. The owner was accomodating. We liked the location. We'd rent from VRBO again.
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Feb 21st, 2006, 11:24 AM
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One last thing with vrbo -- I've always been able to negotiate on the price with vrbo owners. So, I always look at a few listings above my budget and it generally works out that they're willing to knock off $20-30/night, much more if it's last minute. For rentals in the low season (for example Florida Keys in July) I've been able to rent a place that was asking $1050/week (their low season rate) for $700. This obviously doesn't work as well for the most popular rentals but it doesn't hurt to ask -- I generally put up-front our best qualities: tidy, responsible, mature adult couple, no pets, no kids, non-smoking. I've only had one owner refuse to budge on price.
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Jul 13th, 2006, 09:23 AM
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If you usualy book apartments for your vacation try www.apartmentsholiday.com
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Jul 13th, 2006, 11:07 AM
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We have used vrbo in HI for years, and this March in Puerto Rico. Generally, you get what you pay for, but when the owner is stateside sometimes the local agent isn't as careful as might be liked. In the case of PR, I don't think the photos on the site were even of the apartment we rented. The one the photo was clean - ours was run down and grubby. And the local agent didn't pay the utilities so the phone was shut off 2 days into our stay. We had to call the owner in NY directly to get the situation corrected. We will probably use vrbo again at some point because often the prices and locations are good, but generally we have had better luck with reputable commercial property managers.
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