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Renting A Vacation Rental – Potential Pitfalls

By Charles Tipper

I never thought I would see the day where the vacation rental industry is actually in danger of becoming obsolete. For the last 5 years, the vacation rental industry has been growing exponentially, with an increasing number of listing websites and advertising services geared towards owners of vacation rentals, property managers, and vacation rental sales services. And while it seemed that at the time the sky was the limit, the latest economic downturn proved that perhaps this growing market behemoth was starting to show cracks.

Unsavvy homeowners, in their attempt to rent out their home and to recoup lost income where ever they can, are starting an all-out pricing war between themselves and professional management and reservation companies. Advertisements for rentals as low as $50/night are not entirely uncommon, especially when browsing websites such as Craigslist and Backpage. Short-sighted owners are opening up their own private homes for silly price points without considering the larger cost – wear and tear, security, and personal time expense.

Why are these types of price points dangerous? The danger lies in the fact that because this is such a deregulated industry with no formal watchdog overseeing vacation rental transactions, the legitimacy of the industry is being increasing undermined and distorted. True value-added businesses suffer at the hands of these unsavvy home owners, who are only destroying the ultimate long-term value of their home by offering these types of rates. Where does it stop? If home owners are willing to rent out their home for $50/night, then obviously a case of beer or Pizza Hut coupons would also suffice. Your bemusement at that example is exactly how I feel when I hear about a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom unit in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego rent for $75/night, with no required damage deposit.

But that’s not the only factor which is problematic with these types of rates and declining quality of the vacation rental industry. What type of quality control is being done by these owners at such rates, advertising on Craigslist? Will the unit be clean, have all of the advertised amenities, or even be in the advertised location? As consumers, vacation rental customers must be extremely wary about finding the lowest price rather than the best value for money. “Value for money” indicates not only that the pricing is fair, but also that the entire experience is done in a professional manner, ensuring the safety of both your vacation experience and your family.

Renting from a property manager or a vacation rental reservation service is still the safest way to vacation. The reason being is that you have some actual recourse if the property or transaction is not handled to your liking. With most private home owners who operate on a cash/Pay Pal basis, this security is non-existent. Be sure to ask how long the business has been operating and how transactions are processed. A good rental agency will have every answer to every question and can provide the sense of security upon renting that you want and deserve.

Without the open interaction between all of parties, renting a vacation rental from anyone other than a reputable online company or a property manger is risky business. Until the formalization of the industry re-occurs and the wild west attitudes of the individual homeowners cease, the vacation rental industry is in danger of losing value fast.

Want to find out more about San Francisco vacation rentals, then visit Charles Tipper’s site on how to choose the best San Francisco vacation rental for your needs.

categories: San Francisco vacation rentals,San Francisco travel,San Francisco vacations,vacation rental industry,vacation rental dangers,business of vacation rentals,vacation rentals,vacation,travel,tourism,online businesses,business,US economy

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Tipper, Charles "Renting A Vacation Rental – Potential Pitfalls." Renting A Vacation Rental – Potential Pitfalls. 27 Jun. 2010. 22 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Tipper, C (2010, June 27). Renting A Vacation Rental – Potential Pitfalls. Retrieved September 22, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Tipper, Charles "Renting A Vacation Rental – Potential Pitfalls"

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