10 of the Best Questions to Ask Before You Book Your Rental
Booking a vacation rental is a pretty simple task these days. With online booking, you're on your way to the vacation of your dreams with just a few clicks. Whether it's your first time booking a rental or not, it's important to get answers to any questions you have before you sign on the dotted line. Smart travelers know to be informed and to understand what the vacation rental includes and does not include.
Here's a helpful list of 10 questions you want to know the answers to before booking your rental. More often than not, you can find the company's vacation rental policies online, but if you are uncertain or have any questions about your rental, it's always best to ask.
1. What's the cancellation policy for my rental?It's really important to know the details of the cancellation policy for your vacation rental before you book. The cancellation policy defines the terms should you or the property owner have to cancel the vacation rental. Understanding the vacation rental’s cancellation policy gives you the information you need to determine whether it’s necessary to have trip cancellation insurance.
Many vacation rental sites have trip insurance options that cost just a few dollars relative to the cost of losing the deposit you’ve placed on your entire stay. Know what your options are and be informed of your window of time. It's helpful to schedule a calendar reminder a day before the cancellation policy expires so you don’t miss your window if you need to exercise it.
2. What are the payment terms and deposit?This may seem obvious, but it's vital to know what is due and when it is due. Some vacation rental companies require payment in full upfront and others require a deposit to secure your rental. Understand how much this is, what it covers, and how you will be refunded following your stay. Know when the remainder of your balance is due so you can plan to pay in a timely manner and without issue.
3. Are there any extra fees associated with the rental?While the cost of the rental is one thing, many agreements include additional fees like cleaning fees, security deposits, and even maintenance fees. There is also sales tax and occupancy tax to be considered. Ask for a copy of the rental policy if it's not already available to you, so you're sure to have the payment information and rental policies available for your review and reference.
4. When is check-in and check-out?Don't assume you can check-in when you please. Know the times you're expected to check-in and check-out of your rental. Ask about any late check-in or check-out policies in advance and any fees associated with those options.
5. What is the cleaning policy?The cleanup that’s expected when you leave a vacation rental typically includes simple tasks like washing the dishes, taking out the trash, and emptying the refrigerator, but all of the rules should be carefully spelled out in the rental agreement. In some cases, if the guests don’t do these steps, they forfeit their security deposit or are charged an additional fee, so it’s important to know ahead of time. Go over the cleaning expectations laid out in the rental policy with your family before your vacation begins and plan ahead to get everyone involved to help with end-of-vacation clean up. You might also want to inquire about any cleaning services available to you during your stay.
6. Do I need to bring linens and towels?You most definitely want to be clear about what comes standard in your vacation rental. Depending on the length of your stay or your type of rental, linen policies may vary. Know what to expect so you're not surprised upon arrival. These terms should be clearly outlined in the vacation rental policy. If they aren't, be sure to ask.
7. What amenities come with this vacation rental?You probably already know what amenities are included with your rental, as these are sometimes driving forces in the choosing of a particular rental over another. You have probably already seen photos of the rental and what is being offered, but don't take them at face value. Follow up and confirm that what you've seen and read online are indeed available and included in your stay.
8. Who do I call if there's a problem?You don't expect to have any problems during your stay, but it's always good to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Know who to call if a repair needs to be made or a service call needs to be put in. It's always prudent to check the functioning and operation of things upon arrival to your rental and report any issues to the rental office right away.
9. What are the parking arrangements?Many condos and vacation rental properties have assigned or permit parking. Be sure to ask where you can park and where you can't, to avoid any fines or towing. If you're vacationing with a large group, know how many vehicles are allowed per property and where they can be parked in advance of your stay.
10. How, when, and where do I pick up the keys?Be clear on the arrival policies and procedures for your vacation rental. Know the hours, times and availability of the rental office and where they're located. Most rental companies require you to have your rental contract and valid ID for check-in, but it's always good to confirm what you need to have with you before you get there. Ask about extra keys and any other unanswered questions you have at this time. Confirm check-out times and procedures, too.
We hope these questions help you feel good about booking your rental and knowing what to expect in the process. When in doubt, always ask!
Are you thinking about booking a vacation rental in Emerald Isle, NC? Check out Sun-Surf Realty's wide selection of condos and rentals available to you and your family. You can find Sun-Surf Realty's Vacation Rental Policies here. You can also view Sun-Surf Realty's Rental Agreement in full. Contact us at anytime with any questions you may have. Happy booking!
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