Finding Vacation Rentals By Owner Using VRBO

VRBO Connects Vacation Property Owners With Renters

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A sometimes overlooked option for finding vacation rentals is using the VRBO website that connects property owners directly with people seeking vacation rental properties. VRBO is an acronym for Vacation Rentals By Owner. VRBO operates a website known as VRBO.com that allows vacation homeowners to advertise their vacation properties to potential vacation property renters. Finding vacation rentals using the VRBO website is done without the use of real estate brokers. Vacation property seekers contact property owners for details about the listed property and contract directly with property owner to rent their vacation property. This arrangement can potentially save vacation property seekers a considerable amount of money since vacation property owners do not have to factor in the cost of the realtor commission in their rental price.

How To Use VRBO

VRBO operates throughout the world. Not in every single country, but in just about all of the developed countries of the world and a number of developing countries. To find a vacation property rental using VRBO.com, type in the location of the vacation property you are seeking and the dates you would like to rent the property. You are provided a number of vacation property listing for your desired vacation destination, which are priced either nightly, weekly, or monthly. Select “View Details” to obtain detailed information about the vacation rental property you are interested in renting, such as how many bedrooms are in the rental unit and what amenities come with the unit. The details contain the rental rate information, including additional taxes and fees. Once you find a vacation property on VRBO.com that you are interested in renting, the property owner can be contacted via email using an online contact form that is provided alongside each detailed rental. From that point on, you make your rental arrangement directly with the property owner.

A VRBO Cabin In The Woods Rental

Cabin in Wooded Setting For Rent on VRBO - Pigeon Forge, East, Tennessee, USA
Cabin in Wooded Setting For Rent on VRBO - Pigeon Forge, East, Tennessee, USA | Source

Great VRBO Vacation Rental Deals Are Available

While VRBO provides some vacation property rental listings that are not much cheaper than what one will find on mainstream Internet travel sites, VRBO does provide some very good values, especially if one is planning on visiting an area during an off-peak time period. What makes VRBO different than mainstream Internet travel sites is that, as VRBO’s name implies, it includes vacation property listings directly from vacation homeowners. These homeowners at times really need to rent out their vacation properties, or are interested in undercutting the competition and gaining attention for their vacation property rental, which can provide those seeking vacation property rental bargains ample opportunities to secure great vacation rental deals.

For example, many three and four star hotels in Manhattan, New York City, charge $300 to $400 per night for a modest but comfortable hotel room. A one bedroom apartment in Manhattan, New York City can be rented for $200 or less per night through VRBO, which includes a kitchen that makes it easy to avoid spending a lot of money on expensive meals while on vacation.

Things To Watch Out For When Using VRBO To Rent A Vacation Property

VRBO can be a great resource for finding good deals on vacation rentals; however, there are some drawbacks that users of VRBO should be aware of when making arrangements through VRBO. The following are some of things to watch out for when using VRBO:

  • While VRBO makes efforts to police itself and keep scammers off of their site, there have been situations in which Internet scammers have used VRBO accounts to swindle money from unsuspecting vacation property seekers. To avoid being taken by an Internet scammer using VRBO, deal only with established vacation home renters on VRBO that have good reputations and contact them directly. If the situation doesn’t seem right, then don’t proceed; there are usually plenty of other vacation home rental options available both on VRBO and other vacation rental sites.
  • Making arrangements through VRBO means you will be dealing with a vacation property owner rather than a hotel company, which can limit your options if you have problems with your rental. While many vacation property owners take their reputation on VRBO seriously and will do all they can to accommodate you, there is very little you can do to rectify a problem beyond contacting the owner.
  • There are many complaints on the Internet by people who used VRBO to rent a vacation property and were unable to keep the reservation, and despite cancelling in time, their deposit money was never returned by the vacation property owner.
  • There are also numerous complaints on the Internet by people who used VRBO to rent a vacation property and found the VRBO rental property to be misrepresented in some way or extremely dirty and unsuitable for habitation.
  • Keep in mind that customer reviews shown for vacation rental properties on VRBO are likely skewed in favor of the vacation property owner. This is because VRBO allows vacation property owners to approve reviews. Some of the bad actors using VRBO will routinely deny negative reviews by stating that the person never actually stayed at the property or some other underhanded means, thus covering up bad property conditions or legitimate customer complaints regarding matters such as failure to return a property rental deposit.
  • Keep in mind that there are usually additional taxes and fees beyond the nightly, weekly, or monthly VRRO property rental cost. If additional taxes and fees are left out of a VRBO listing, you may want to contact the property owner directly to find out why or just move on to another listing.

To mitigate the risks associated with using VRBO, HomeAway, the parent company of VRBO offers a type of trip insurance called “The Carefree Rental Guarantee”, which protects vacation home renters for up to $10,000, if any of the following occurs in regards to a VRBO rental:

  • The rental property has been foreclosed on and is unavailable;
  • The owner double-books the property and cannot honor your reservation;
  • The owner withholds a security deposit without just cause;
  • The rental property is misrepresented and is not what was expected;
  • A renter is the victim of Internet fraud while trying to make vacation property arrangements through VRBO

Even though VRBO’s parent company offers the “The Carefree Rental Guarantee” as a way of making the VRBO rental process less risky, there are complaints online by those who signed up for the “The Carefree Rental Guarantee” and were unable to receive reimbursement, due to technicalities.

Renter Beware When Using VRBO To Rent A Vacation Property

While VRBO can be a great way to save money on vacation rentals, renters need to keep things in perspective. Since VRBO operates over the Internet and those offering rental properties are not necessarily easy to locate or contact, caution should be used when booking a vacation property rental through VRBO. Many people have had positive experiences and saved a lot of money renting vacation properties directly from vacation property owners through VRBO. However, one never knows what one will actually find when renting through VRBO until they show up at the vacation rental property. This is a risk some vacation property seekers are willing to take to save money on vacation property rentals, but is not for everyone. If you do not want to take chances with vacation property rentals, it is probably best to avoid VRBO, and instead use one of the well known hotel chains to book your vacation accommodations.

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Hawaiian Scribe 3 years ago from Hawai'i

Great hub! Voted up, useful, interesting, tweeted and pinned. We used to have a vacation rental and listed it on VRBO with good results. We have also used VRBO to find rentals. Haven't used them for several years, but they are a good and dependable site. Aloha, Stephanie

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