Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Important Questions To Ask Landlords Prior To Renting a Villa

Some of the best places to stay during vacation whether in Kiawah or any other coastal retreat is the rented beach house or villa. These temporary homes allow for extra room and creature comforts that most hotels simply do not offer. The villa provides the tourist the ability to pack lighter assuming washer and dryer are available and allows for traveler to “dine in” for occasional meals given the unit provides a refrigerator and cooking appliances. The process of renting a villa as opposed to reserving a hotel room is a tad more complicated and may require a little additional work. The weeklong stay can be just what the doctor ordered as long as you ask the right questions before mailing in the deposit for that ideal vacation spot.
There are six important questions one must ask the rental company or landlord prior to renting. The answers to some of these questions may or may not be divulged on the company website or marketing brochure. Keep the questions cordial and do the landlord or rental agency a favor by attempting to answer some of the questions on your own by researching the company via the internet as well as reading the testimonials provided by other past renters.

Does the rental have a “no pet” or “no child” policy?

I like to bring our golden retriever on vacation every year and we have been fortunate enough to find a privately owned villa that caters to vacationing pet owners. She is a good dog and will not chew up the rug, towels or curtains in our home or the home of others. Unfortunately not all dogs are behaved and can create enormous destruction to furniture and carpets. This potential canine behavior is reason enough why a most landlords institute a no pet policy. If really determined to bring Fido along with the family on vacation, take time to review the pet policy from the landlord’s website or simply ask the question. If you strike out with a few companies; don’t give up. Keep up the vacation rental research through dog friendly accommodation websites and eventually you will find a place suitable for your vacation stay.
Some resorts and even private gated communities will offer up luxurious vacation rentals with one underlying catch; no young children allowed. Believe it or not, such neighborhoods exist and seem a tad harsh; though there are some kids that simply annoy the kindest of souls. Read the agreements and policy prior to renting to make sure there is no such clause exists should your family gathering include young ones.

Will there be any construction in progress occurring at the villa during the stay?

A good honest landlord will tell you up front if there is some work going on within the building or neighboring units. If your family enjoys sleeping in a little, the last thing you will want to hear is the banging of a hammer or shrill of a table saw at seven in the morning from the unit above. Also inquire about the possibility of potential road noise near the rental. The condo may look great amongst the palm trees, but you may have a loud highway within close proximately of pleasureville.

Is cleaning and maintenance service available near the unit?

Suppose you plan on renting a villa on Myrtle Beach, Kiawah, or Orlando but the owner renting you the unit lives in New York. Should you need clean linens, or have a pipe burst during your stay could spell disaster if you are having trouble getting in touch with the landlord that is thousands of miles away. Be sure the owner provides you with a local service contact to get you through any potential problems that may be encountered during the vacation stay. Also make it a point to jot down the owners cell phone and e-mail address before you leave should you need to contact them.

How far away are the amenities from the villa?

It never hurts to ask the owner how far the essential services are from your vacation address. If you have an address you can probably do a little searching on your own via search engines to discover how far the grocery store, medical clinic, and restaurants are. Don’t be afraid to ask the landlord or property manager this question as they may set you up with recommendations in addition to directions.

What items are available for use within the rental unit?

Do not take for granted that the unit will be fully stocked and the cooking and laundry solutions will be there at your finger tips. Confirm that the unit kitchen includes not only serving and plate ware, but also cooking utensils, coffee pot and possibly any appliances such as a blender and dishwasher. Ask the same questions of extra bed linens as some units may only have what is lying on top of the beds.

What is the address of the unit?

This is very important question, but not a dumb one. Some people do not get the actual villa or unit number until after the reservation has been made and the deposit has been paid. That is not a good situation because there can be potential for a shady rental company to pull a “bait and switch” once you get to your destination and check in. That beach or swimming pool view you imagined months ago could end up being a parking lot scene when you get to your destination. I strongly recommend getting the address first and do try doing a property address search via Google satellite earth view ( This search will most likely give you a good idea where your unit is and what items are nearby.


Whatever terms and price are negotiated between renter and landlord should be done so in a written contract. Be sure to have a clear understanding of the Landlord’s responsibilities as well as those items that could be a liability to the renter. This might be a good time to review your own Home owner’s policy or consider a renter’s policy for the week or month if you are afraid of kid’s or pet doing any kind of damage to a unit. Some rental agreements with property management companies offer up renter’s coverage for a small fee. I have personally never purchased this extra coverage as my kid’s are pretty calm around other people’s property.

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