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VRBO (vacation rental by owner)?

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New York
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25 posts
2 reviews
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VRBO (vacation rental by owner)?

We have never used the VRBO website before but are checking out a place in Manhattan Beach. Any suggestions or info would be helpful. How reliable is the website? What questions should we ask,etc. Thanks!

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach
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199 posts
42 reviews
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11. Re: VRBO (vacation rental by owner)?

WOW! Great feedback everyone.

With regard to the MB rental you're looking into, find out if it's on a major street (Highland, Rosecrans, Valley or MB Blvd). If it is, confirm the bedrooms are in the back or that they have sound proof windows. FInd out how close it is to "nightlife" as you may not want to be next to a noisy bar. Is there parking (Important!). A/C is not necessary here. Anything within 4 -5 blocks to the beach is considered walking distance, exept in North Manhattan where there is a huge (but fun) sand dune.

As a local I've had the opportunity to see a few. My brother & his family spent a weekend in: http://www.vrbo.com/119986 This beach house was FANTASTIC. The owners were terrific, and the neighbors invited them over for drinks!

Another nice property I've seen is: http://www.vrbo.com/130494 MIke, the owner, is a very nice guy.

Finally, you may want to call Yvonne at www.socalbeachcribs.com

Yvonne has a line a some amazing, unlisted, beach rentals in Hermosa and Manhattan Beach. Let her know you're contacting her from TRIP ADVISOR so she gives your call priority. She would also be a great person to talk to about the right questions to ask about beach rentals.

Her number is 310-382-4535 or email her at yvonne@socalbeachcribs.com

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2 posts
4 reviews
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12. Re: VRBO (vacation rental by owner)?

Can anyone please advise me how to get in contact with someone at VRBO directly?

Many thanks

Sun City West
Destination Expert
for Rosarito
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4,449 posts
133 reviews
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13. Re: VRBO (vacation rental by owner)?

Since each owner lists his property individually, the owner is really your only source of information. The people at VRBO have never seen the property. You can see on the listing how long it has been on the web site; that's about all the information that is available. I think you can tell a lot by how the owner responds to you--ask for pictures to be emailed; ask the questions you are interested in; talk to the owner on the phone. If there have been complaints about the owner not providing what the listing says is there, VRBO will have removed the listing.

New York
1 post
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14. Re: VRBO (vacation rental by owner)?

HELP! I've had a horrible experience with an owner of an Ormond Beach, FL property advertised on VRBO. They broke the contract 2 days before our flight. They wanted to give our condo, which we rented for one week, to a couple that wanted to rent it for one month. Any concerns/complaints that you try to post on a particular property on VRBO goes to the owner for approval first. If the owner doesn't like what you have to say, they just deny submission of your e-mail complaint....it's never posted. How can I contact VRBO directly? We've lost a lot of money on our flight tickets and car rental and we've yet to receive a reimbursement for the condo we rented - the rental of the condo was paid in full.

3 posts
1 review
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15. Re: VRBO (vacation rental by owner)?

We have often used many sites from the VRBO family and generally were satisfied... until now. I will never again rent from the owner of the # 167470 add. He is now blackmailing me to write a good coment on VRBO if I want my security deposit back.... I will send a formal complaint to VRBO and see if they care about the renter.

Napa, California
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41 posts
3 reviews
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16. Re: VRBO (vacation rental by owner)?

I discovered VRBO last year when I was researching locations for an anniversary trip for my husband and I. I have had excellent accommodations with two so far; Cambria, Ca and St. Thomas, USVI. We are set to rent our third at the end of the month in Manhattan Beach, CA.

With all rentals, I have had extensive correspondence with the owners' by email and phone prior to making a commitment. I did request more pictures and details (like the previous post mentioned). I also read every review on VRBO and tried to cross reference it with trip advisor. (If there weren't any reviews, I quickly moved on because there are plenty of places that have dozens or more). I also signed contracts that detailed dates, fees, deposits, policies and procedures, etc. so there is no confusion of expectations for either party.

Bottom line is you have to go with your gut when corresponding. If it sounds to good to be true, then it usually is. If it feels right and you have a good instinct about the owner, I think it's a pretty safe bet.

Finally, I will be hard pressed to ever stay in a hotel again after having the comforts of home on every vacation. Plus knowing the bed I'll be sleeping in and the view that I will have out my master bedroom window is priceless. Happy hunting!

Chicago, IL
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8 posts
45 reviews
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17. Re: VRBO (vacation rental by owner)?

I am in a VRBO right now. I won't reveal the city as I would like my security deposit returned. Let's start from the beginning. The VRBO ad said: credit cards accepted, only to find out that the owner wanted a check, and when I said I didn't have a check, they wanted me to go to a cash machine and draw money. It was very uncomfortable, but we settled it by promising to send a check when we returned home. The home looked cute, clean and very nice, however, the best pictures do not reveal the sad shape that this property is in, it is a house at least 50 years old, the "remodeling" is one of the most half assed jobs I have ever seen, cracked old floor tiles in the kitchen and baths, a kitchen that was advertised as a "full kitchen", but in fact it has no dishwasher, the cabinets should have been thrown out 20 years ago, the cooking pans are worn and greasy, everything is mismatched, from the floors, paint colors, window and door trim, and not in a good way. The hot water heater is vented poorly and held together with duct tape. There is a terrible mustiness that is only now going away after 6 days of constant a/c. There are huge cockroaches lying on the floor, they come out to die every night and we fear we will squish them. The owner skimped on soap for the bath room and paper towels for the kitchen. The only good things are terrific location, leather couches, a comfy bed (with worn linens) and a good internet. Plus the place is roomy. Looks are deceiving. This is our 7th VRBO in the past years, and we were fooled by the photos which depicted the place, but not the really bad condition that the house was in. ASK questions! Parking, method of payment, if the internet service provided is reliable, what is supplied in way of soaps, towels, and paper goods. This place was put together by shopping at garage sales, and thrift shops. Nothing wrong with that, except we are paying alot of money and expected nicer furnishings.

We have had great VRBO, and not so great ones, convenient ones, and inconvenient ones. The other thing that bothers me is that they all charge a "cleaning fee" on top of the price to make their come on price in the ad look cheaper. I have successfully negotiated that fee many times as it is just another way to extract more money.

Buyer Beware. I would not rent anyplace where I have not met the owner, or an agent of the owner. Too much to risk when you might get blamed for past damage.

18. Re: VRBO (vacation rental by owner)?

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