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How do I verify the owner of VRBO is ligit?

Fresno, California
5 posts
How do I verify the owner of VRBO is ligit?

Getting married in Caymans in May and planned on staying at the Reef Resort. Found a VRBO for a 1bd full kitchen unit at Castaway's Cove (Reef Resort) that is priced at $300 less then same units of other owners. I've emailed the owner back and forth, he says we pick up our key with the front desk at the Reef and payment would be through paypal. VRBO is new to me and I'm so worried of being scammed. We are pinching penny's just to make this wedding and honeymoon happen!! Please any suggestions?

Florham Park, New...
Level Contributor
104 posts
22 reviews
1. Re: How do I verify the owner of VRBO is ligit?

im a vbro owner in grand cayman and likely many of the regular posters to this forum are as well. i think that vbro owners sometimes think the same of individuals that inquire as to whether they are letgitimate or not. in sum, vbro owner are regular individuals like you who happen to be fortunate enough to own property in grand cayman or elsewhere. you can call the owner typically and often times there is a property manager who you can call. you can also call the hotel, there are likely slightly differing arrangements per each complex and perhaps per owners within a complex. you can review and check reviews of the property, obtain a contract from the owner, see if there are other listings, et. al. i doubt there is much trouble with such issues on cayman, but, i wouldnt 100% rule it out. in sum i understand that it is difficult to envision renting from someone on a regular basis. with my unit, the property managers take care of everything once i refer the inquiry to them, but, again, it is going to differ according to each property. you definitely can obtain better deals through vbro and sometimes there are units which rent for less then advertised on commercial websites. sometimes they also differ in terms of view, furnishings, etc. i know this did not alleviate your concerns, but, i frankly dont know what else to tell you. cayman strictly regulates rentals so i guess theoretically you can call i guess it would be tourism if you actually had the unit number and verify certain information.

best of luck to you and i can tell you that you picked an excellent venue for your honeymoon.

kind regards,

herb

Fresno, California
5 posts
2. Re: How do I verify the owner of VRBO is ligit?

Herb, thank you for the response. Very helpful actually. Once we found this unit on VRBO it was to go to be true with the amount of savings. Owner has provided a phone number and will email documents once we decide to book. I'm pretty sure we will rent this unit. Just wanted some feedback to ease my wedding planning stress! : )

Florham Park, New...
Level Contributor
104 posts
22 reviews
3. Re: How do I verify the owner of VRBO is ligit?

your quite welcome. make sure to rent a car, that complex is in the east end and youll most definitely need a car and im certain there will be other responses to your post, perhaps some who list on vbro and who own at castaways. owners regularly review trip advisore and other cayman sources to make certain that guests are satisfied with the premises. again best of luck to you in your future marriage and endeavors.

Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
4,628 posts
26 reviews
4. Re: How do I verify the owner of VRBO is ligit?

We have rented a number of places thru vrbo, not just in the Caymans. We have never had a problem There will always be price differentials for rental units within the same complex for any number of reasons. Some people may have paid a lower price when purchasing a unit and therefore don't need to recover as much in rent. Others may be trying to stimulate bookings in a slow economy. Unit location may also come into play. Ground floor and top floor units usually more in demand then units on the floors in between. Has the owner provided you with the unit number? If so, you can go onto The Reef's website and look at the layout of the resort to see where your actual unit would be. They have pictures of the various buildings with the unit numbers labeled. The 1 BR will be the "A" side of the unit, the studio the "B" side , but you'll only see one unit number shown.

If you do go ahead and rent thru the owner you should receive a confirmation number, check-in procedures, etc. Once the arrangements are made, I would call The Reef directly to make sure that they show your reservation on their reservation system. That should either eliminate some of your fears or certainly give you time to straighten things out with the owner prior to your arrival. Since payment is thru PayPal, you will have some buyer protection there.

New Hope...
Level Contributor
792 posts
32 reviews
5. Re: How do I verify the owner of VRBO is ligit?

Check with the management at the condo complex to see if the owner is real. Also, always pay with credit card, not a check or bank transfer even if is through paypal. I believe that VRBO also has a buyer protection plan for a few dollars extra, you can use this if you are worried.

Sometimes some condos are cheaper than others because they don't use the management services of the condo complexes. This can be inconvenient at times. Sometimes they don't provide maid service while other units in the complex do. Some condos are upgraded and other look like they never saw a can of paint.

Grand Cayman
Destination Expert
for Grand Cayman
Level Contributor
10,897 posts
81 reviews
6. Re: How do I verify the owner of VRBO is ligit?

I think all the above is spot on. I use a management company for the very reason herb mentioned. I want to know that my renter is legit and if any accidental damage was to happen to my unit the mgmt co., not me, will deal with getting things sorted. With the mgmt co., guests have to have the daily maid service and I as an owner have to have sofas and window treatments professionally cleaned, certain level of appliances, etc. This works for me, but costs me more. Probably if I was on vrbo my unit would cost less to rent, but I would be in your shoes from the other prospective always wondering about potential guests.

Macomb, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Grand Cayman
Level Contributor
4,576 posts
1 review
7. Re: How do I verify the owner of VRBO is ligit?

Just to clarify, all properties that rent to tourists have on-island management. It is required by the Department of Tourism which licenses all rentals.

Chicago
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, East End
Level Contributor
6,605 posts
2 reviews
8. Re: How do I verify the owner of VRBO is ligit?

Lots of good information here. It is important to talk to the owners on the phone, ask questions only the owner would know the answer to. There was a thread that was just started on the St John board that talks about this. The OP is a former rental agent so although it is a different island and the rules/laws are different it might be worth following.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147409-i432-k5179…

B.

Powell, Ohio
Level Contributor
240 posts
3 reviews
9. Re: How do I verify the owner of VRBO is ligit?

I owned and managed my property off island. I used VRBO along with few other sites and it is important to note that no other site could provide a lower price than me as an owner because they were middlemen tacking on a percentage. Similarly management companies who also take a percentage have found their way into VRBO. It is completely legit but they are not owners but rather agents who are representing themselves as owners.

MN
Level Contributor
24 posts
5 reviews
10. Re: How do I verify the owner of VRBO is ligit?

I have rented many times on VRBO all over the US and Caribbean.

I to think it is important to call. I truly feel like you get a better feel for the individual you are renting from. I have checked real estate sales in the city you are interested and you can often find a property sale for the rental you are interested in.

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