Frequently Asked Questions by Travelers

 

Price Comparison Chart of Traveler Fees on Major Vacation Rental Listing Sites versus Florida Rental By Owner

 

Does Florida Rental By Owners charge a service or booking fee to renters/travelers who book through the site?

No. We do not charge any fees to renters who book through our site. One of the main purposes of developing this venue for Florida vacation rentals is to provide travelers an alternative to booking without paying traveler fees, such as those charged by HomeAway, VRBO, and Airbnb, which can add hundreds of dollars to your vacation costs. We would much rather you use that money to enjoy yourself while on vacation in Florida.

How do I Use the Instant Quote Calculator?

Use the search box to enter your ideal location, enter your dates and any other pertinent information and press the "Search" button. Click on a property listing that you are interested in for more details. On the right side of the page, you will see the instant quote calculator.

Enter your arrival and departure dates. Use the arrow keys on the calendar to find the month and year that you are planning to visit. Enter the number of guests in your party. then click the "Get an Instant Quote" button.

Quotes are an estimated price for the rental period selected and may not include optional or seasonal fees. Click the "Email The Owner/Manager" button to get a detailed quote. 

Book Direct to Host Estimated Savings - are calculated based on a conservative industry average of 14% on the rental price. Most large online travel agency platforms charge travelers up to 20% for booking a rental through their websites. By booking directly with a verified owner or manager through Florida Rental By Owners, travelers are guaranteed the best Book Direct price.

Does Florida Rental By Owners verify property ownership?

Yes. Florida Rental By Owners verifies each owner before a listing is activated. Documentation must be provided and is validated through public government documents. It does take time to verify documentation, we advise travelers to look for the verified button found beneath an Owner's profile. Florida Rental By Owners does not take any responsibility if for any reason the Owner does not honor a reservation. If an Owner receives serious complaints and the Florida Rental By Owners team deems it necessary, the listing(s) will be removed immediately from the website without any refunds to the owner.

Does Florida Rental By Owners own or rent properties directly?

No. Florida Rental By Owners is an online advertising venue that allows vacation rental owners/managers to advertise their vacation rentals and helps potential renters find a suitable vacation rental property. To rent a property contact the owner/manager directly using the contact information provided within each vacation rental listing.

How do I Contact a Vacation Rental Owner to Inquire or Book a Property on Florida Rental By Owners?

Use the search box to enter your ideal location, enter your dates and any other pertinent information and press the "Search" button. Narrow down your final decisions to at least 4 or 5 properties. Send the owner an inquiry directly from their property listing page. 

How Can I Protect my Booking and Ensure the Vacation Rental Owner is Legitimate?

Although Florida Rental By Owners does take steps to verify ownership before a property listing is activated, it is a good idea to take a couple of minutes and run through a few of the following steps to ensure your money is protected. 

1. Always use a secure certified platform to exchange money for a reservation such as a credit card processor, or PayPal that has some recourse in the event something goes wrong. 

2. Validate that the person you are conversing with is the actual owner of the property. You can search on a public property appraiser website (Florida county) for the owner's name and property address. Cross-reference the owner's phone number with a search, usually offering the area where the owner is located. All of the above should match the rental contract.

3. Do not rely solely on an email address to contact the owner and be wary of foreign telephone numbers.

4. Ensure you sign a rental contract and understand what you are paying for. Ensure all details match (owner name, property address, etc...)

5. Investigate the property and, if possible, visit the property before signing a contract or sending any payments.

6. Do take a minute or two to search an owner on the internet. Professional owners usually have a profile of some kind (Linkedin, Vacation Rental License, Professional Associations, etc...) Check for how long of history the owner has on these platforms, the longer the better.

7. Do check the property listing for reviews. These are testaments from past guests where you can see how long the owner has been hosting for.

8. Find out if the owner has a legitimate vacation rental website of their own. Websites cost money to invest in and are traceable through IP addresses and host servers. Check that the website is full of useful information and links to professional associations, has a vacation rental license, and an about us page where you can find more information about the owner. Usually, an owner that has a website would be legitimate.

9. Never rent from a person who has contacted you privately through a social media platform via direct or private message. This is a red flag where a person is not communicating publicly and may have something to hide.

10. Search on Google Maps the address of the property. Does it match the photos on the property listing?

11. Always purchase travel insurance that includes fraud prevention to protect your holiday investment.

12. Do a search on the vacation rental property 'name'. Check that all listings have the same owner name, physical address and contact details.

13. Ask for additional photos or floor plans from the owner. A legitimate owner should quickly and easily be able to provide these to a traveler.

14. If a deal is too good to be true it probably is. Below-market rent is a red flag. High-pressured sales tactics are also red flags.

15.  When using a third-party website to book travel accommodations, be sure the site is secure. The web address should start with “https” and have a padlock icon in the URL address bar.

16. Don’t wire transfer money or pay with a prepaid gift card for a vacation rental. Once the scammer collects the money, it is almost impossible to get it back.

Anyone who encounters a vacation rental scam should immediately report it to the Florida Attorney General’s Office by filing a complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com or by calling 1-866-9-NO-SCAM.

Does Florida Rental By Owners share my data or information?

No. We will never share your data or information with any other members or external companies. We know your data is very sensitive and it should not be shared in any way.

Does Florida Rental By Owners offer payment processing?

No. You will deal directly with the owners for making reservations and payments. Each owner has their own booking process in place and we respect their right to do things their way. It is totally within their discretion how they would like to accept reservation payments. Each owner has their own booking policy within their vacation rental listing, be sure to read it carefully. It is useful for travelers to make payments through secure platforms (https) as well as using a credit card for security.

What if something goes wrong while I am there?

Many owners/managers are very conscientious about their maintenance and do a lot of preventative measures to ensure that things will not go wrong. But in the unlikely event that something does break while you're there, simply call the owner/manager. The owner/manager should be able to get the problem resolved quickly and professionally.

If I cancel my reservation can I get a refund?

Each property owner has their own cancellation policy, which should be posted in their property listing on this site. Because one size does not fit all, we allow property owners to use their own best judgment in creating their cancellation policies, so long as it does not violate the law. If you do not see a cancellation policy stated in their listing on this site, please let us know so we can tell them it is a requirement for listing. If you have questions regarding a cancellation policy for a specific property please contact the owner or manager of that property directly. Cancellation policies should also be included in all rental contracts.

If you have to cancel your trip (especially at the last minute), you may forfeit a portion or all of your rental fees. There are ways to protect yourself. First, make sure you know what the cancellation policies are for the property you are renting.

Second, consider purchasing Trip Cancellation Insurance for added protection. If your trip has to be canceled for covered reasons such as illness, accident, death of a family member or traveling companion, jury duty, weather conditions which cause delay/cancellation of travel, or fire or flood in your home, this coverage protects your investment and will reimburse the normally non-refundable payments you make for your vacation rental, airline tickets, and other covered travel-related fees. Each Insurance company has their own policies and procedures, be sure to read your policy carefully to ensure you are protected.

 

If you are having difficulty navigating or using the Florida Rental By Owners website or would like to provide some feedback feel free to send us a detailed message through our Contact Us page.