Last week, we posted a “Do’s and Don’ts” article on avoiding vacation rental scams. This week, we’re supposing that you successfully sidestepped scam artists and are dealing with legitimate landlords. What issues should you explore in order to get the most out of your vacation rental house or condominium? What questions should you ask, in no particular order of importance?
First, you will want to know about cancellation consequences in case of a family crisis, a hurricane, an illness or some other “god-forbid” that makes use of the vacation rental difficult or impossible. Therefore, you should ask about the cancellation policy, particularly regarding any deposit, time limit for cancellation and the possibility of making an alternate reservation.
Secondly, you will want to know how you can occupy the premises upon your arrival. You will want to know how many keys, cards or codes will be given to you and how to obtain the necessary keys, cards or codes, whether you arrive during or after regular business hours.
Third, if you are taking children to the premises, you will want to know whether the premises are child-friendly/child-proofed and what, exactly, the landlord means by child-friendly/child-proofed. Otherwise, you might be unpleasantly surprised.
Fourth, if you are taking pets to the premises, you will want to know whether the premises are pet-friendly/pet-proofed and what, exactly, the landlord means by pet-friendly/pet-proofed. Otherwise, you might be unpleasantly surprised.
Fifth, you will want to know the types and number of vehicles allowed on the premises, any related fees and local parking restrictions. This will allow you to prepare for no vehicle, one vehicle or more vehicles on or near the premises.
Sixth, you will want to know the person(s) to reach and their phone numbers, in case of an emergency or other problem occurring while you are using the premises. This will allow you to plan for and handle emergencies/problems far more easily.
Seventh, you will want to know which cleaning chores are yours, which are the staff’s, what charges apply, and the desired condition of the premises when you vacate. This will allow you to avoid unpleasant cleaning and/or fee surprises.
Eighth, you will want to know about any amenities and perks, including but not limited to: appliances and equipment; transportation from the airport; concierge service, access to pools and beaches, housekeeping and laundry service, etc., provided on or near the property. This allows you to plan and pack more intelligently, save you some work, and save wear and tear on some of your personal property.
Ninth, you will want to know what to know what grocery stores, restaurants, and popular tourist attractions are nearby, their distance from your vacation rental and whether they will be operating when you are vacationing there. Otherwise, you might be headed for Clark Griswold’s “Wally World.”
DO’S AND DON’TS
DO ask about cancellations, rescheduling and deposits.
DO ask about the number and retrieval of keys, cards or codes to occupy the premises.
DO ask about the possibility and meaning of child-friendly/child-proofed premises.
DO ask about the possibility and meaning of pet-friendly/pet-proofed premises.
DO ask about vehicle policies, fees and parking restrictions.
DO ask for contact names and phone numbers in case of emergencies or other problems.
DO ask about cleaning policies and fees.
DO ask about any amenities and perks provided.
DON’T wait for your arrival to find out which grocery stores, restaurants and popular tourist attractions are nearby and operating during your vacation.
By Kathy Catanzarite
Note from HandelontheLaw.com: This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author, handelonthelaw.com, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.
LANDLORD AND TENANT DOS AND DON'TS