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how do you know the vacation rental (condo) and owner are legit?

i am planning to rent a condo using vrbo for one week in the jersey shore. found a nice one on the website, contacted the owner and he asked that i send him a $500 security deposit check to book that weekend. just want to check that it's standard to do that. how do i know he's not just going to keep my money and leave me hanging? how do i know the condo is as nice as the pics? is it just a risk people take? what are some questions i need to ask to know the owner and place are legit and as good as he advertises it?

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Asked by Anonymous at 6:30 PM on May. 15, 2009 in Travel

Answers (3)
  • If it is a list off of Craigslist then I would forget about it. Also sometimes those types of rental places you can check with there local BBB. It is also just a risk you take. If you send him a check just make sure it is traceable just in case he screws you over.


    Answer by Anonymous at 6:49 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • Not to scare you, but to inform you so that you will be able to make good and wise choices with your money: A person advertised a house for rent. Ironically, the "owner" said they were out of the country "temporarily" and to send the deposit check asap or the house would be rented to someone else. Turned out, the "owner" was NOT the owner, just someone who posted a pic of a house they prob. found on the internet, and was reaping deposits from unsuspecting renters. What a scam!!

    I would find a place that a friend or fam. member could recommend, or go thru a legit business that rents vacay condo's. If you send a check to a person you can't meet face to face, or doesn't have a store front business (and even then neither one of these scenarios guarantee's they are legit), then you risk sharing your account numbers.

    Answer by lifeasinoit at 12:09 PM on May. 17, 2009

  • I have rented through MANY times and it is a reputable website. A deposit to hold your reservation is absolutely common. In fact, I've rented through many different sources and have never seen a rental that didn't require a deposit. VRBO also offers a rental guarantee that's available to view on their website. Hope this helps!

    Answer by deadheadjen at 9:06 AM on May. 18, 2009

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