Rental Agreements and Security Deposits

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14. Rental Agreements and Security Deposits

When you are in the final phase of booking a vacation rental, the property management company or property owner will supply you with some form of a rental agreement. This rental agreement will contain information about the property itself, your responsibilities as a renter, check-in and check-out times, pet policies, cancellation policies and other important information. You should read over this rental agreement carefully before signing it and returning it to the property owner or manager to be sure that you agree to all of the terms in the agreement.

Property owners or managers will also most likely require a security deposit in order to book a vacation rental. This refundable payment will either be made during booking or upon arrival, and given back at the end of the stay so long as no damages were incurred during the rental period. A typical security deposit will be around 10% of the weekly rate. For shorter stays, property owners will normally ask for $200 to act as insurance for potential damages.

Another way that a security deposit can be taken is as a pre-authorization on your credit card. This is especially popular for rental periods that are only a day or two in length, as the property owner might not see it necessary to actually collect a security deposit for such as short amount of time. The money on your credit card is only held, not technically charged, until the property owner releases the funds after your departure. If any damages are reported, the property owner will then issue a post-authorization to collect the amount needed for repair damages.

A rental agreement will most likely include any information about security deposits or pre-authorizations, so be sure to read this information carefully so that you know exactly what you will be charged. The agreement will also sometimes state under what conditions a security deposit will be held, so also read through this information to avoid losing your security deposit.

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