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Finding a seasonal rental is easy thanks to the many online sites, but the abundance often leads to dishonesty, so beware of fraudulent ads. Holidays are sacred, so here are some practical tips to avoid vacation rental scams...

Holiday rental: how to avoid scams?

Holiday rental: how to avoid scams?

Choose your rental site

If you go through rental professionals (real estate agency, hotel residence...), the risks are minimal. Fraud is mainly found on internet platforms. It is advisable to do research on specialized sites with a serious reputation such as Airbnb, Sejourning, Homelidays, Abritel, The Good Corner among others. On these sites, the comments and rating systems left by the former owners are reliable. But beware, because the "serious side" does not protect you from scams.

The most common scams are:

  • housing is already rented or does not exist
  • the property does not match the description: state of insalubrity or unacceptable dirt

In this case you must take photos and contact the advertiser website to inform them of the dispute.

A price too low! Attention scam in sight

When you search for a vacation rental, you will see dozens of ads. Although tariffs are not regulated, there is a market price for vacation rentals.

It is essential to compare prices of real estate according to your search criteria: villa with pool, apartment, mobile home... If you find a rental at a price (too) attractive, there is surely "eel rock". Indeed, some dishonest tenants take advantage of the holiday period to rent property that does not exist or they have domiciled a bank account abroad which makes any lawsuit impossible in case of scam.

It is therefore important to check that the property actually exists at the right address. For this you can view on Google Maps. You can also ask a friend to book the property on the same dates. If the renter responds positively, then no doubt: it is a false rental.

To know: Normally, down payments or down payments must not exceed 30% of the total amount of the rental.

Rental contract: a mandatory document

Before paying the owner money, it is essential to sign a Seasonal location contract to keep track of the transaction. This document must indicate all the rental conditions:

  • the names and contact details of both parties
  • the descriptive state of the property
  • the date of arrival and departure
  • the price for the rented period
  • the conditions of return of security deposit

The lease is an important document in case of dispute with the owner.

5 tips to secure your vacation rental and avoid scams

1- Never send money without signing a rental agreement
2- Contact the owner by asking for additional photos, details on the location, local shops and especially the exact address that you can check on Google Maps.
3- Take time to write the inventory so that there is no possible dispute at the time of the return of the keys
4- Do not transmit your ID or personal documents (account statements, family booklet...) because a dishonest person can impersonate your identity for fraudulent use.
5- Read the comments and opinions of people who rented the property before you. This allows you to see if the property is of quality, comfortable and if the owners are welcoming.

Video Instruction: I-Team: Avoid the Latest Home Rental Scam