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I am new to VRBO. I have a customer who wants to rent our home for 2 days (our min is 3) we agreed to 2 day min. She received the rental agreement but has responded by saying she only wants to put 50% of the rent down now and give the security deposit 2 weeks before her arrival date. I don't feel comfortable with this. I believe one of the purposes of a security deposit is to secure that the place is being held for you? I don't want to wait that long to collect it and then she changes her mind. Our security deposit is 500.00 her rent would be $250.00 for the first night. That is how much she wants to give us now. No mention of the cleaning fee and taxes that we included in the rental agreement. Red flags are going up for me on this one. Any suggestions.
Your terms are your terms and you should not have to defend them. That said, I don't see any flags in the reply you got. We request 50% down to hold the space (that would be your $250) and the balance 1 month prior to arrival, along with our $500 security deposit. I think most tenants (and LL's) view the security deposit as a reserve in case of damage; not a commitment fee. Bottom line, if you are not comfortable with the rental, withdraw the offer.
Enjoy your new life as a LL!
amw is correct, they are your terms. If she doesn't want to abide by them, I wouldn't rent to her. You have to stick to your guns if you don't feel comfortable.
As a new owner, you will see over time that the renters who want to "negotiate, change the rules and be a pain in the butt" BEFORE they get into your property, will probably be a larger pain when they get in the property and beyond.
Over 15 years of renting we have found without a doubt .."If they want to change the rules" .you shouldn't rent .Plain & simple.....to the point ....Because when we did .. we had "GRIEF"
Melck, the security deposit is for damages, not really required to secure a property.
Depending on your cancellation policy, you must have enough to cover this fee in case they cancel, i.e. if you require 50% cancellation fee for 15 days or more and 100% under 15 days, you should ensure you get 50% up front and the rest 15 days before.
The security deposit can be in the form of a credit card, since the damage can be significantly higher than $200 to $500 most owners require, unless they obtain the Damage Protection (Which does not cover contract violation such as smoking or overloading with guests).
I always demand a signed contract and the first 50% to guarantee a rental, and the rest 30 days before, you can have your own terms.
My own contract states 50% deposit to hold the property... That's 50% of the total rental cost...taxes and cleaning fee included. Security deposit is for damages only and I don't charge that until the day before their booking.
The replies above are correct. Think for second what type of renter you have on your hands here. If this person is negotiating and scrimping on every issue and penny right now before they stay with you...how will they behave during and after their stay with you?
I'd cut them loose and move on.
Guys, sorry to be contrarian, but I really think your giving MelK's tenant a bad rap- not earned.
There is nothing wrong with someone trying to get a better deal or asking if you would consider shortening your minimum period to fit their needs (I've done it myself ... if I don't need 3 days why pay for it). Frankly, I'd be flattered that they liked your house enough to ask. If your answer is NO, so be it, and to quote trace...move on. But don't shoot the messenger for asking.
With respect to the comments that the inquiring tenant feels Mel's security terms are unfair...well, look at the replies above. Your terms are NOT consistent with what the rest of the community is doing; I don't take issue with them pointing that out.
One last comment...For those who have asked me for lower prices or shorter stays that I've agreed to I've never had a problem over the 5 years and 3 homes we rent (and sell out consistently). If anything, I've received gratitude and thanks for showing flexibility in helping to meet their needs (as I did just this morning when I worked with a bride-to-be to be to reduce my rate to help her wedding expenses and shortened my stay requirements to fit her activity schedule...
Maybe I'm being hypersensitive, but I think it's only fair to Mel to set reasonable expectations and not scare you about your future prospects with some of the negativity in this thread
Mel herself said:
"I don't feel comfortable with this" and "I don't want to wait that long to collect it and then she changes her mind" and "Red flags are going up for me on this one".
She is new to renting and no matter what, owners shouldn't feel uncomfortable about tenants and should stick to their own terms and conditions.
I had a business consultant tell me once
"The best business is sometimes the business we lose!" So true.
I have been renting sinnce 2006 and everytime , a guest negotiate a rate, asked for additional discount. I always have problems.
I try to avoid those who are asking for too much of a discount and give sad story. The best thing is to talk to your guest over the phone and get a feel for them.
You owe me and everyone else big here who gave you this advice and I only pray that you will listen to us. When they want a discount, don't say no, say Hell No!! Please believe us when we say if you give in, even a little, you will regret it in the end. You don't have to make this mistake, you can learn from others who have made it before.
I agree with both sides here, meaning yes, stick to your instincts, but also, I have given many discounts, and most or all have been good guests. If you screen properly for other things, "bad" guests are rare.
You can take the guesswork out of it. Put it in your contract and your written terms on vrbo, etc. that 50% of theTOTAL (w/tax and cleaning) is due "at time of booking," and "remaining 50% is due 30 days prior to arrival." Then there is no argument, and that you stick to like glue, regardless of any discounts you may give. Your problem here doesn't seem to be that she wants a discount, just that she wants to pay you too close to arrival. I would also say no. My advice (and I know I'm in a minority, but it hasn't affected my bookings one bit): "remaining 50% due sixty days prior to arrival." And no cancellations within that 60 day period, "unless we can book your space," of course. That's how long it would take us to be sure of booking cancelled time; one month in low season is nothing; two weeks would never be sufficient to have a good chance of re-renting. Since we changed ours to 60 days, no problems, no cancellations whatsoever, and hasn't put a dent in our inquiries and bookings. If people are worried, they can buy cheap trip insurance.
I agree with amw that it can be a great tool, or "perk" to offer discounts, or even sales in low season. We do it all the time. I don't mind someone asking, and will usually give something, especially in Low Season, but I won't allow anyone to tweak our terms. (By the way, there is nothing wrong with amw charging $900/nt. if that's what it is worth! We charge more, give discounts often, and have nothing but happy customers who as amw said, often express their gratitude and are extra good guests. But yes, we say no to exteme requests, like half off). So my advice is give discounts when it helps you, but never let someone tweak your TERMS, and change your two week period to at least a month, for your protection. And whatever you decide, put it ALL in writing in your contract, so they won't even ask! Good luck and happy renting!
My husband and I are in our first year of renting out our condo. We have been asked a few times to give a better deal and we always respond with, "Our prices are set." My husband is adamant that we have priced our condo fairly. We have lost a few renters who got a better deal but we feel people will find out by renting other condo's in our area why we charge what we do. We also don't have to rent the condo in order to pay for it. That also drives my husband's refusal to discount.
We also have had a request to waive the cleaning fee. My response, "We never waive a cleaning fee." Actually this person rented our condo in the end.
Stick to your guns as others have said. There are always renters who will replace the ones who don't like your terms.
We require a $200 deposit of the total rent when signing the rental agreement. We require a 2/3's payment of the remainder 60 days prior to checkin and the remaining monies are due 30 days prior to checkin. We have not had a cancellation yet.
I have been a VRBO owner for two years and I've never had a bad guest. The closest I've ever gotten to a bad guest is one who called after arriving asking for another parking permit, another gate remote, and a new light bulb for a tiny decorative lamp that I doubt anyone ever used (it wasn't burned out, it was just loose).
I have often given discounts and better deals. My rental is rented about 20 days a month and is doing very well.
However, if you have a bad feeling for other reasons, dont rent to them.