Everyday people wire me money and send me checks… no questions asked. They do this based on ads I place on the internet for vacation rentals.
I deal a lot with summer vacation rentals in Cape Cod and year round short term rentals in Florida. Vacationers ares my favorite population of people to deal with. It is because they are happy! Who isn’t when they are planning a summer vacation after months of cold New England weather?
Sadly, not a year goes by where I do not hear of a story where a renter has been scammed.
There are so many scams these days. It seems each one keeps getting better. I could blog for months about all the different ones.
Instead I am going to offer a few tips on how to avoid mishaps when dealing with summer rentals. No one wants their vacation ruined!
-Ask the owner to put in writing how they will handle foreclosure proceedings should they occur before or during the time your vacation is planned. Many people in the middle of foreclosure still rent out their homes for profit! This is a lot more common than one would think!
-Check to see if the house is for sale. Give the town a call to see if the taxes are up paid to date, and the utilities as well.
-View lots of pictures and if possible video tours of the property. Use google earth to make sure the outside photos are indeed the property you are renting.
-Check out the city/town records online if possible to view floor plans etc. You can easily tell if a 300 square foot home is being marketed as a 4 bedroom three story colonial!
-Some owners/agents will even show you the property if you ask. We do not for anything less than a month rental but offer photos and video tours.
-Drive by the property for rent if possible.
-Check out feedback left by prior renters.
-Check public records to see who owns the house. (More often than not the homes are in trusts and this should not be a reason for alert if the owner can explain it.)
-Trust your judgement. If it sounds fishy, it is!
-Deal with an agent/owner or a real estate office/property management firm if possible when renting.
If not possible then choose an owner who has owned the property and is experienced in working with renters.
Remember agents have large networks!
They can point you to a rental in your desired area if they currently have none in their inventory.
-Ask family and friends for recommendations of owners and agents they have worked with.
Need a summer rental in the Cape or Daytona Beach?
Give us a call! 617.674.2977 or Tina in our Florida office at: 386.232.8268.