Aug 20th, 2008, 02:16 PM
Original Poster
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Posts: 268

Has anyone ever had a problem using a VRBO rental? Is there anyway to assure the rental is legitimate?
I have used one only once with no problems, but it was a location not far from my home. I am looking at on in Orlando, and the owners are located in the UK.
Any warnings?
lss1 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 03:00 PM
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vrbo doesn't rent places. It is only a site that lists owner's ads. Your experience will only be as good as the individual owner/property.

Anecdotally most are totally legit. But I personally know one person who did what she thought was due diligence- wired a deposit to LOndon and later the same day got an urgent e-mail from vrbo that the property was being pulled because there was some "issue" w/ whether the flat even exists.

Too late for her - lost the $$

I personally think vrbo is safer than craig's list - but there are no guarantees.
janisj is online now  
Aug 20th, 2008, 03:11 PM
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I would never wire money for any rental. Pay only using credit card or PayPal which guarantee you receive the services you pay for.
RBCal is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 03:25 PM
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I've used VRBO several times and had no problems. I agree it is a good idea to use a credit card, but a lot of owners don't accept credit cards due to the fees. I don't know if paypal is popular with owners or not.

Is there a realtor or rental agency in Orlando with similar homes? That would give you more security, I would think. The same house might also be available thru an agency.
aloha is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 04:07 PM
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Many owners of rental property in Orlando live in Europe. It's just a fact of life with the dollar dropping so badly - the Europeans have the money due to the great exchange rate.

I've rented many times off VRBO and never had a problem. But if you don't feel great about this deal, move on. There are plenty of rentals in Orlando!
Postal is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 04:40 PM
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The one time we rented a property listed on VRBO, the owner called to discuss the rental with me, then agreed to it (we had pet issues she graciously accommodated), then passed me off to her agent, who handled the rest of the transaction. So perhaps going through an agent rather than dealing only with the owner would make you feel more secure?
NewbE is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 04:54 PM
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On VRBO, I believe you can now register your reservation and get a full moneyback guarantee if the property ends up not being legitimate. The details are on the website, but you must register pretty soon after booking.

While of course there may be more "security" in renting via a legitimate agency, up to 30% additional in fees may make a lot of people look for the economical way out.

By the way, last month I rented a two bedroom house on a canal a block from the beach on Ft. Myers Beach for my niece and family. It was $275 for the week -- TOTAL. I kept worrying that it was too good to be true, but it indeed worked out perfectly. And the owner refunded my additional $100 deposit and even a $25 cleaning fee (who in the world cleans a house for only $25?) because they left it spotless.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Aug 20th, 2008, 06:09 PM
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I should have mentioned that when you go to the VRBO website, in the header it lists "rent with confidence". Click that and it will tell you about the free guarantee which is called "Home Away".

And Iss1, I also should mention that one question you want to ask since the owners are in the UK is whom you need to contact regarding problems. Is there an onsite management company? Is there a local representative with keys and a cell phone for contact?
NeoPatrick is online now  
Aug 20th, 2008, 07:25 PM
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Patrick, thanks for sharing the info about the guarantee on VRBO. I had never noticed that on the website.
aloha is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 08:12 PM
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Someone else recently pointed it out. I'm not sure that it has been in place very long.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Aug 21st, 2008, 05:12 AM
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We have used VRBO for many, many years and have only been disappointed once. The unit was dirty and stained. Other than that one time we have been more than pleased and have used VRBO for our Hawaii trip this Feb.

Patrick, I have never noticed the guarantee before, thank you!
cd is offline  
Aug 21st, 2008, 05:19 AM
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I would say it's basically safe with the exception of NYC. It's very hard to rent apts. in NYC. Whatever site you use (and most of them are, like vrbo, only a place for individuals to post) NEVER transfer money into someone's bank account. You will likely never see it again.
mclaurie is offline  
Aug 21st, 2008, 05:30 AM
Original Poster
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Thanks for the replies! I did notice that guarantee on the site last night. That is comforting! NeoPatrick I feel much more confident hearing your experience with this. As you pointed out, the prices are much better, and I am hoping to hear from the owners that they have a local management company.
Thanks so much!
lss1 is offline  
Aug 21st, 2008, 06:01 AM
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We've rented on VRBO many times with no problems. We also rent our condo out with it.

http://www.panama-city-beach-vacatio...-by-owner.html give some good tips and info for renting a vacation home from an individual owner. I think you'll find it helpful.
mrswilburrrr is offline  
Aug 21st, 2008, 07:18 AM
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DH and I have leased thru vrbo several times in very different locations without problems.

I have always phoned the owner of the unit and have gotten a "feel" of what sort of person they SEEM to be. So far so good. I did talk to one owner that I didn't get a good feeling about and leased from another.

There are so many condos in Orlando ..... I am certain you could find one with the owners in the US. Not saying anything bad about UK people but if you had problems in the US you may have less hassle.

The main issue I have with vrbo is you need to know neighbourhoods.

KarinNp is offline  
Aug 21st, 2008, 12:41 PM
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We just rented two apartments in NYC last week. They were great. Better than expected actually.
Austin is offline  
Aug 21st, 2008, 02:33 PM
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I have always had good luck w/vrbo, until our last trip. I'm talking 50-60 rentals, most in the US.(Please see NC Mts. the good, the bad & the dry). However there were some tips that should have clued me in. + I am still in negotiation w/vrbo to get all of my $$ back, I've already gotten some. Make sure they allow people to comment. Make sure the listing is detailed, not vague. Of course, the people we were dealing with flat out misrepresented the property but w/a 99+% success ratio, I'll continue to use them.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Sep 25th, 2008, 08:08 AM
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Just to update this thread...after going through the proper procedures w/vrbo.com, I did receive a 100% refund from the owner.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Sep 25th, 2008, 08:08 AM
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& I'm using them again this weekend...
SAnParis2 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 08:48 PM
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We've rented through vrbo many times as well as craig's list and cyberrentals.com. No problems yet.

Good to know about the insurance on vrbo, too.
BeachGirl247 is offline  

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