It’s something we don’t often give much consideration. We know how it often unfolds. First we book our vacation. We get to our vacation home, very excited to spend the next week or so, relaxing and resting. But something goes wrong along the way. Maybe there is a small appliance not working properly. Or there is a defect with a piece of furniture or cabinetry. Maybe even an exterior downspout is crushed and inoperational (true story about the downspout).
No problem right? I mean, you make a note of the deficiencies, maybe even take a photo (if you remember to) and perhaps even drop the owner or property manager a quick note. Or maybe you don’t. After all, you are on a vacation, and the last thing you’re thinking of, is doing ‘homework’.
Smooth sailing from here on out right? More times than not, it is, however, once in awhile it isn’t. And here’s why.
There are a growing number of incidences where what the Renter says what happened during their vacation stay, and what the Owner/Property Manager says, are two entirely different versions of the same event. The Renter often has good intentions of documenting how they received a vacation home, but typically, little to nothing is well documented. The Owner or Property Manager may or may not have properly taken notice of the actual condition their vacation home was left from the last Renter. Or one of parties is just plain not telling the truth.
The sad truth is that this often leads to some irate Renter and/or Owner, and quite often can lead to wasted time in a small claims court. Or worse, one party simply buckles because it’s just not worth it for them to pursue legal action.
Take a look at some REAL issues that are being posted in VRBO and vacation rental forums. These clips are not edited. They are real. Even the one mentioned above about the crushed downspout.
Here’s another unfortunate dispute…
So what’s a good Renter or good Rental Owner/Property Manager to do?
Well, for starters, having a good Renter Rating score is a good start. Think about it. You take good care of your credit score right? And you try to have a good driving record. Because we all know, if you don’t, you risk paying more the next time you go and try to get credit. Similarity, the more car claims and accidents you get into, the more your car insurance premiums will go up. And that is going to hit you where it hurts the most, your pocket book.
Why then aren’t we doing the same and taking care of our Renter Rating score? After all, when you go to rent a vacation home as a Renter, the Rental owner or Property Manager (if they’re doing due diligence), should be checking your Renter Score. This not only helps you establish a prior historical record, but it also protects both the Renter and the Rental Owner.
Take a look at the above two examples. Had the first Renter bothered to get their Renter Rating score, they could have actually used this data in court as part of evidence of past historical record. Instead, they have nothing to show. And it’s his word, against the owners.
In the second example, while it would be harder to have had any prior historical data on wedding parties, as often we don’t get married repeatedly, we can however, make the booking member responsible for the entire group. After all if your name is on the record, you’re probably going to make sure you protect your name. So in short, the Rental Owner should have insisted that the booking member, create a Renter Rating account and obtain their score at VacationRenterRatings.com and if not then, then after the fact, personally enter his name into the records database so that he is visible to the entire rental community.
It’s food for thought. A stitch (or better – a rating) in time, saves nine.