Before You Sign Your Vacation Rental Contract

Due to the uncertainty many feel when conducting transactions over the Internet, it is important to put everything in writing when it comes to a vacation rental contract. The best way to ease your mind when it comes to a rental contract is to have thorough documentation. It is also important that everyone involved is safe from any kind of fraud.

Here are some things you need to know when signing your vacation rental contract.

Read the Whole Contract

Don’t be so thrilled to have found a vacation home and so eager to get inside the door that you overlook the contract. This document shouldn’t be ignored. It explains what you are on the hook for. It will outline not only your payment schedule but also you liability in case of damages or if extra cleaning is needed.

Who Pays for What?

Make sure you know who pays for utility bills, Internet, phone service and cleaning/housekeeping. The costs involved in air conditioning or heating a Cerritos beach villa rentals can be huge, so be sure to factor those into your budget if they owner has not already included the in the rent.

What’s Included in Rental?

It is important to get a checklist of what’s included in the rental. Are beach chairs and a grill part of the deal? If they are, that could save money. If not, factor that into your budget.

Attorney Blessing

As a general rule before signing a vacation rental contract you should consider having it looked over by an attorney you trust, preferably one that specializes in real estate. This should be done if you are unclear about any aspect to the of the contract. Spending some extra money for a peace of mind might be well worth it.

Pet/Smoking Policies

Know whether you can bring a pet or smoke on the premises or near the premises. And if you can bring a pet, find out before getting there how much would be changed and if there are any additional restrictions.

Maximum Occupancy

Make sure the contract has specifics on how many people can occupy the dwelling. There are often penalties if you go over the guest star.

Know Exact Check-In and Check Out Times

Make sure the contract clearly states the check-in time, date and day of the week. Resorts often have strict times and often stick to them. The information could be in a pre-arrival packet that is emailed out before the rental.


Some rentals have a cleaning service come in on the last day and the cost is billed to the person renting the home. Others have cleaners come by periodically. Find out the housekeeper schedule and how is responsible for the bill. Also find out what condition the property must be return n for your full deposit to be refunded.

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