Posts Tagged ‘emergency’

How to use a vacation rental

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Many of the complaints and bad reviews we get are when we have to withhold a guest’s security deposit.  We HATE withholding money from others, and do NOT keep one dime to pad our own bank account.  It ALL goes to repairs or to the property owners to settle a neighbor’s complaint.

So I would like to write about the proper use of a vacation rental home.

1.  Pay attention to the contract you’ve signed.  Many homes do NOT include heating the pool in the price you’ve paid and you will need to pay extra.  If the pool is heated by propane, especially, it is expensive.  Our start up costs are $300 to bring to temperature and $100/day to keep at temperature, and that’s typically 83 degrees.

2.  Be sure to touch base with the owner or management company for questions ahead of time.  Many times your concerns or extra needs can be handled effortlessly if each party (guest and property owner/manager) has the time to respond.

3.  Get your contract signed and returned immediately, discuss any questions immediately, so you’re not waiting for key or gate codes as you’re trying to arrive.

4.  When you arrive, read the guest book which typically goes over how to operate anything tricky.  Walk around right away to make sure you understand where things are, then call right away if you don’t understand or see something you thought was there or should be provided.

5.  Don’t wait until evening to call for a repair or needed item unless it’s an emergency.  Vacation homes are not like hotels.  They do not have 24/7 staff available for repairs.

6.  When you vacate, follow the list of instructions.  Typically these include putting furniture back where you found it, especially outside, turn off, lock, secure windows and doors and air conditioning or heat.

7.  Vacate when you’ve agreed to vacate.  Housekeepers and inspectors may not be seen, but they’re often they’re waiting for you, and if there’s no agreed delay in check out, guests may be charged for the additional time they’ve used.

I hope this helps, and thanks for reading.

Rental Scams

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

The latest scam on Craig’s List and other free listing sites involves trying to get an unwary propect’s identification. A reputable property management company or property owner will never or should never ask for the application before you’ve seen the property and will never be in Africa or the UK trying to do it online.  Never send money, never fill out their application.  Here is one that just hit today — looks like it could be legit, right?  Has my supposed e mail in it, but it’s not me.  It’s a bogus.  Has an application, but it’s not ours.

Beware of the free listing sites for this kind of stuff — Craig’s List, Oodle, Kijiji, hot pads, and many many more.  Do your homework and don’t be caught.  We report these things to the various listing sites and the FBI, however they are overloaded and flooded.  The FBI says it’s the number one problem occupying their time, so it’s up to us to be deligent.

From: Pamela Taeuffer []
Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2010 6:52 AM
To: James Bateman
Subject: Re: $800 / 2br – 2 Bedroom Home in Healdsburg!!! (Healdsburg, CA)

Hello Dear,

Thanks for the email. I and my husband own the house and also want you to know that it was due to my transfer to ( West Africa , Nigeria ) that makes us to leave the house and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a responsible person and God
fearing person who can take very good care of the house in my absence.we are not
after the money for the rent but want it to be clean all the time and the person
that will rent it to take it as if it were its own.
So for now, I am  here in West Africa and will be staying here for the next 3
years in our new house and also with the keys of the house for rent, we try to
look for an agent that we can give this documents and the keys before we left
but could not find, and we as well  do not want our house to be used any how in
our absence that is why we took it along with us.
We came over to Africa for a missionary work, so i hope you will promise us
that you will  take very good care of the house. So get back to me if you know
you could take care of our house or perhaps experience you have in renting home.
Hope you are okay with the price of $800 per month and  the security Deposit
is $600.You are advised to go and view the property exterior before getting back to me with the rental application.

My Husband Contact Number:  0112348122598647 or +2348122598647

Bedrooms:2     Monthly Rent:$800
Address:14635 Kinley Drive, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Bathrooms:1        Deposit:$600

Air Conditioner Dishwasher Walk-in Closet     Disposal
Microwave    Views    Playground  washer/dryer    Public Trans.

Pets,Dogs, Cats, Other Pets ok..

Rental Application

Applicant Information

Date of birth: Cell: Phone:
Current address:
City: State: ZIP Code:
Own( )     Rent (* ) Monthly payment or rent: How long?
Previous address:
City: State: ZIP Code:
Owned*  Rented (Please circle) Monthly payment or rent: How long?

Employment Information

Current employer:
Employer address: When did you intend to move in?
Phone: E-mail: Fax:
City: State: ZIP Code:
Position: Hourly  Salary   (Please circle) Annual income:

Emergency Contact

Name of a person not residing with you:
City: State: ZIP Code: Phone:
Relationship: friend

Co-applicant Information, if Married

Date of birth: Cell: Phone:
Current address:
City: State: ZIP Code:
Own      Rent*  (Please circle) Monthly payment or rent: How long?
Previous address:
City: State: ZIP Code:
Owned*  Rented    (Please circle) Monthly payment or rent: How long?

Co-applicant Employment Information

Current employer:
Employer address: How long?
Phone: E-mail: Fax:
City: State: ZIP Code:
Position: Hourly      Salary     (Please Circle) Annual income :


Name: Address: Phone:
I authorize the verification of the information provided on this form as to my credit and employment. I have received a copy of this application.

Signature of applicant:


Signature of co-applicant:


It’s Good To Be Prepared

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

We shouldn’t forget that we live in earthquake country, and it is better to be prepared when that time comes. We have a a simple guideline here that we’d like to share with you.

1. Develop and practice a family disaster plan – It’s best to gather the people you come in contact with everyday to sit down and come up with a good evacuation plan. Make sure to have extra clothing in your car, a blanket, a flashlight, and a gallon of water. ALso make sure to keep your gas tank half full at all times.

2. Store ample drinking water – Have at least a 3-5 day supply of water. Remember, a gallon a day per person.

3. Food and household goods – Have a week’s worth of non-perishable foods for every person in a dry, cool, and dark area. Keep in mind that you need to include baby formula, plates, utensils, hand held can opener, batteries, and hand crank operated radio. Be sure to have food for your pets as well!

4. First aid supplies and medicine – Make sure you are educated in first aid & CPR. For classes, check your local fire department for more information. You may build your own first aid kits for your home, car, school, and work and carry extra prescriptions. For Healdsburg residents and visitors, you may call the Healdsburg Fire Department at 431-3360 for class offerings.

5. Be aware, be involved – Share this information with your loved ones, friends, and colleagues and spread the word about being prepared for emergencies and natural disasters.

Be well, be safe, and be happy!