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3978 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Jul 8, 2012 6:41 PM by mauioceanview RSS
New Member 1 posts since
Jan 3, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 3, 2012 8:13 PM

Pay in full before having rental agreement?

Is it standard practice to pay in full before having a rental agreement?

  • sophie Senior Contributor 955 posts since
    Mar 4, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 3, 2012 10:29 PM (in response to southernmom)
    Re: Pay in full before having rental agreement?

    Absolutely NOT! You should have a copy of the rental agreement that you can go over before you send any money!

  • anja Senior Contributor 1,554 posts since
    Aug 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 4, 2012 2:49 AM (in response to southernmom)
    Re: Pay in full before having rental agreement?

    I advise you not to send full payment if you have not seen a Rental Agreement.  Owners have different ways of organizing their "administration"....but some basics are pretty much standard.

    You did not provide any details, so my first question to you is:  How far in advance were you making the reservation? Some Owners, including myself, need payment in full when a reservation is made...but it is only under certain circumstances {I explain below}.  As far as Rental Agreement: you should already have it..for your review and your signature, before sending money! Otherwise, what are you "agreeing to"?  You have not mentioned what the extent of your communication with the Owner has been...whether you talked on the phone ....whether the Owner gave you any rental terms and conditions...whether you read rental terms on a website, etc..   But..regardless, whatever you were told, in conversation, or what you read on a website about rental "terms and conditions", you need a Rental Agreement...which you return to the Owner usually with the payment of either a security amount, or a deposit to reserve the accommodation.   You also did not mention: How were you going to send payment?  I advise you use a credit card!   But, did the Owner ask for a "wire transfer" of full payment?....if so DO NOT WIRE ANY MONEY...there are too many scams!   I am an Owner and I work to foster "trust" with every person who wants to rent from me.  I have an interested inquirer, I send all details to that person first in an information pack via email....which includes details on the rental, how to confirm a reservation, how to pay, how to cancel -i.e. my cancellation policy, a cost and everything included in the total price, rental terms and conditions, and I include a copy of the rental agreement. My cover message will inform them that they need to thoroughly read the Rental Agreement *before* making the reservation...sign it...return it to me with a deposit....BUT...depending on how the payment is being made, the reservation is not final until I have a deposit {50%}....and it has cleared my bank.  My balance due {50%} is 30 days prior to arrival.  My cancellation policy would explain that...and what happens upon cancellation -- depends on when the cancellation is made.   Some Owners will have a similar method...some very different, but the standard is to provide the Rental Agreement for review, for your agreement to the terms - by your signature --- before paying.  The Rental Agreement should spell everything out.   Do I ever require full payment? Yes...for reservations that are sooner than 30 days in advance...because of my cancellation policy....but my inquirer will always have the "Agreement" in advance.

  • Active Contributor 540 posts since
    Aug 25, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2012 10:11 PM (in response to southernmom)
    Re: Pay in full before having rental agreement?

    Hi Southernmom,

    The answer to your question depends entirely on how the owner has chosen to do business and what comfort level they have left you with.


    I am an owner with two small properties.  I do absolutely everything electronically including sending our "rental terms" (which are only about 3 short paragraphs long) to which I ask the guests reply by e-mail stating "I agree to the rental terms".


    I encourage payment by Interac e-mail (this is electronic banking in Canada) or PayPal.  On the odd occasion that a guest prefers, I will accept a personal cheque -- if so, this is the only time anything is ever "snail-mailed" during the rental process.  There are no keys to send since I use an electronic door lock and provide the code the day before arrival.


    I do not collect a damage deposit since I have found that it is not required in 99.9% of my rentals in the end anyway and, on the one or two occassions where some damage has occurred the guest has been quite willing to foot the bill.


    So, I would say that as long as you have discussed the rental terms with the owner in e-mail or some other verifyable written form of communication and you have a good level of comfort with the owner (do they have a web site?  any reviews on their posting? [not conclusive, but a hint at good service], can you find them on linked-in or some other web directory?  etc..) then you're probably safe continuing with the rental.


    If you have major doubts but want to proceed with the rental anyway, you could consider the HomeAway "Carefree Rental Guarantee".  Personally, I think HA should stand by their owners and offer the "Rental Guarantee" for free but, at least it's there as an option should a guest feel more comfortable purchasing it.


    Have a great vacation wherever you end up!!


  • Contributor 26 posts since
    Feb 25, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 26, 2012 4:50 PM (in response to southernmom)
    Re: Pay in full before having rental agreement?

    No, just a deposit and depending on how long they are going to stay, make them pay the 1st week/month upon occupancy..


    Source: rental lease agreement

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