Note: This is an edited transcript of Christine Karpinski's How To Rent Vacation Properties by Owner Not authorized to view the specified article 1694 .
Christine Karpinski: Today's question comes from Julia. She asks:
Q: "I'm considering taking credit cards for my vacation rental, but I'm a little concerned about chargebacks. How can I prevent someone from staying in my home, and then a few weeks later contacting their credit card company and trying to get their money back?”
A: Well, first off, what is a chargeback? A chargeback is when a buyer asks their credit card company to remove the purchase or charge from their credit card statement. Before removing the charge, the credit card company will ask for the reason for the dispute of the charge, and they will give you the chance (as well as the purchaser a chance) to give their stories.
Common reasons for chargebacks include fraudulent purchases due to stolen credit cards or credit card numbers, or when the buyer makes a purchase that wasn't fulfilled per the agreement (not shipped, damaged, or not as shown).
The way to prevent chargebacks with your vacation rental is first to get everything in writing prior to the renter arriving in your property. Make sure that every single renter signs a rental agreement well before their stay. The agreement should contain specific information regarding your cancellation policies and your refund policies. It's also a good idea to have your rental agreement checked over by your attorney well versed in the industry.
The next thing that you want to do is make sure that you have good lines of communication with your renters. Make sure all of their expectations of your property are true. Don't misrepresent anything and, of course, screening your guests is another way. Making sure that you're talking to your guests, you're comfortable with them and they are comfortable with you. Hopefully that will help the chargeback.
Now, in reality, chargebacks don't happen that often in the vacation rental industry. If you have your credit card through PPI, the preferred vendor that most of the vacation rental websites use, then most often that company will assist you in fighting the chargeback. For the most part, charge backs are a non‑issue with vacation rental owners, which is great news.
Listen to the original audio version of this podcast .
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