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3531 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Jul 11, 2012 3:06 PM by crescentbeach4u RSS
citybythebay94118 Contributor 40 posts since
Mar 18, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 5, 2012 11:20 AM

Renters reluctant to pay in full prior to arrival??

I just rec'd this email from renters arriving in 14 days.  Enlisting the communities help with a proper response.  My terms in the agreement they signed were quite clear (they've paid half and are coming from overseas):


"I saw that the balance of the rent is due 14 days before we enter the

house. This is quite unusual for us to pay upfront all of a rent, as

what guarantee do we have that we will have access to the house on the

day of arrival? I just realized that apart from your name I don't have

any other info on you. We would like to offer to meet you for the keys

when we arrive and then do the 2nd payment transfer in front of you on

our computer with Paypal?

Sorry to sound so cautious, but nowadays you are never too careful...


  • thaxterlane Active Contributor 786 posts since
    Jul 27, 2011

    I have a few ideas for your response (these are not in any particular order of importance):


    You might tell your guest that payment in full before occupancy is standard in the US.  These terms are not uncommon in US rental contracts.   (In my travels in Europe, none of our contracts have required payment in full.)  This should ease his concerns.


    Ask him what he would like to know about you and your property to be reassured about his upcoming stay.  It's frustrating that he waited until this time to become concerned; it's possible a relative or friend put the idea in his head. 


    Communicate by telephone, perhaps after arranging a time for your conversation via an email exchange.


    A few questions for you:  Are you in a position to meet this guest, as he requests, if he refuses to advance payment?  Are you willing to forego this rental, if he is unconvinced after your conversation?


    I can't comment on the paypal transfer "in front of you" because I only accept checks as payment on my vacation property (full payment 60 days in advance - tell him about that!). 


    I hope a friendly conversation will resolve this problem for you.  Good luck.

  • lrbaldwin Active Contributor 757 posts since
    Feb 16, 2011

    Do you have reviews on your listing from previous renters?  Is your phone number on the listing?  Tell them they should call you on that phone number so they'll know they're speaking to the owner.  Does your isting state when the final payment is due?   If so, and they are past due, they need to PayPal you immediately or forfeit their week.



  • sandybeach Contributor 56 posts since
    Jan 2, 2012

    Other than the fees, why not accept payment through Paypal? In Florida (at least), I would refer the renter to the property appraiser's web site so that they could at least get some assurance that I do in fact own the property.

  • iopbeachhouse Community All-Star 455 posts since
    Aug 10, 2011

    We require payment 90 days before arrival since we accept only checks and need time for everything to clear. Living 11 hours away, meeting someone to get cash upon arrival would not be an option for us.


    You might point out that this is a business that is based upon a certain level of trust. They trust they payment to a total stranger. You trust total strangers to come into your home and use is appropriately without damage. There is risk on both sides. It is a part of this business.


    They signed the contract and they should follow through with your requirements.

    • mauioceanview Contributor 251 posts since
      Jul 22, 2011

      you could of course remind him that if he pays NOW by credit card via PayPal, he could do a charge-back if the condo is not as advertised. I agree, taking PayPal on arrival is not good, what if the credit card bounces or something else happens.

      • mauioceanview Contributor 251 posts since
        Jul 22, 2011

        I would phone him regardless. Go over the other terms of the rental agreement with him, who knows what else he missed.

        • sfvacationhut Community All-Star 643 posts since
          Dec 31, 2010

          Here's a copy and paste of my message in the SF Network group.


          Also, mauioceanview, I agree with you, it's a very good idea to call these guests, regardless, to make sure that no other "misunderstandings" will arise upon or after arrival!


          See message below.



          Hi CitybytheBay94118 !


          Thanks for joining the San Francisco group.


          I agree with sfowner's post above.


          I would kindly respond that you understand about the practices being different in Europe, but it is quite common for the full amount to be paid prior to arrival here in the U.S.  I agree with sfowner that you don't need to change your policies for this person; I'm sure it's a great inconvenience to you.  I would offer to talk with these guests on the phone, direct them to your reviews, and allow them every opportunity to alleviate their fears.  But I would stick to the policy of payment in advance ... perhaps you can modify it to 7 or 10 days in advance, to give both parties time to talk on the phone, etc.  But if you don't have payment on time, honestly you should be able to open the dates up to other parties who may want to book it for real.


          Right now you don't know whether these people are scammers who are trying to get the 50% off, also.  What happens if they show up on the day of arrival, and they say "Something happened, now we don't have the other 50% payment."  In that case, what will you do?  Most likely you cannot re-rent it on such short notice (day of arrival).  So ... probably you'd be forced to bargain with them.  Or you could simply refuse to rent to them, which would be a lose-lose because the guest would lose 50% of their payment, and not get to stay there ... and you would have received only 50% payment for a stay that surely would have been booked for full price.


          On the other hand, most likely these are very nice people who are just being cautious.  Most likely someone they know, or a news article they read ... planted the fear in ther heads at the last minute.


          But even though they are probably very nice, honest people .... I'm with you, CityBytheBay. I would find this vexing because ... while I do understand their caution, I don't understand why they didn't do their due diligence to alleviate any fears BEFORE entering into the agreement with you, and BEFORE entrusting you with their 50% deposit money. This is awfully short notice to be having cold feet now, I think ...


          There has to be a lot of trust on both sides of a rental agreement.  We (the owners / managers) have to trust that the guests are responsible, honest people who will take good care of our apartment and not steal stuff and not be rowdy /noisy and not to be scammers ... and they have to trust that we will be there and will provide this apartment for them to rent, in good condition, and as advertised.


          Good luck from the 94110 !

          Hope you can write back and tell us how it all worked out ...

      • twobitrentals Community All-Star 1,369 posts since
        Aug 5, 2011

        Not to be argumentative, but I would never suggest a "charge-back" to a person that you already have questions about. I think that might open the door to a suggestion that after they leave and have even the slightest thought that they didn't like something they could try to do just that without justification.


        I, for one would never open that door! Just me though!

  • crescentbeach4u Community All-Star 865 posts since
    Sep 10, 2011

    I personally would meet them and get cash.  If you have 50% of the money now, I do not anyone that would say to heck with it and not follow through. 

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