Get a written agreement specifying the terms and conditions. Never wire money or personal checks. A credit card is the way to proceed because the card issuer may offer some protection. If you can demonstrate that the goods and services promised were not given, you can get a refund.
Do not trust an owner who only communicates by email, and feel free to pick up the phone to ask the owner / property manager to ask detailed questions or for even more photos than those indicated in the advertisement Online.
Learn how to recover your security deposit if there is one, and what it covers.
Ask friends for recommendations. If you opt for a house or a condominium belonging to a stranger, ask for references from others who have stayed. If some of the promises sound too good to be true, it probably is. In most cases, you get what you pay for.
Google the owner and address of the vacation property and see what comes up. There may be some complaints stemming from experiences of previous vacationers. Make sure you are dealing with the property owner. Scammers can steal information to create false lists.
Try to negotiate with the owner/management company if the vacancies in the region are high. You can also ask a lot of fringe benefits to sweeten the deal, such as free tickets or discounts on local activities.
Be skeptical of glowing reviews online, especially if the reviewers are anonymous.
Ask the owner / property manager to define the vague terms such as “Ocean Front Property”-minute walk from the beach. Make sure you are clear about things such as how much the house is from the city center.
If the owner does not reside in the area, find out whether there is a contact person who can handle local problems such as blown fuses or a non-functioning toilet.
If you have any physical limitations, ask questions about disability accommodations, including elevator service. Anyone with or without disabilities are likely to want to know about noise, air conditioning and heating .
If your group is considering large communal meal planning, make sure you have enough pots, pans, cutlery and tableware. Have materials such as coffee machines, cutting boards and knives included.
Ask what the cost of cleaning is estimated to be and will try to determine if costs are passed onunnoticed. Pauline Frommer of Pauline Frommer Travel Guides notes that in some European countries you may have to pay extra for electricity or other utilities. Ask for telephone service, Internet and WiFi
If possible, visit the property before renting.
If a property does not live up to its billing, documentation of problems with images or videos will help in negotiating a refund. Immediately complain to the landlord or property manager. Keep receipts. Establish a careful record of all transactions and what was wrong. If you believe you were defrauded, you may be able to seek redress in court. Check the laws of your state consumer protection to see what you may be entitled to and whether there are deadlines for filing.