The tale of a dirty VRBO rental with a “lady” trying to crawl in the window

When Carrie Martin and her family arrive to their latest VRBO rental they are initially put off by the lack of cleanliness of the unit. That concern is quickly replaced when they hear a disturbance outside their bedroom window. Through the darkness they see someone on a ladder trying to get in. The police take care of that problem, but will VRBO take care of Martin’s refund?

Pay for your vacation rental with a wire transfer? Yes, but not this way

You’ve found the perfect vacation rental. The owner asks you to pay via wire transfer. Should you do it? Meir Hurwitz, of Brooklyn, N.Y., did, and now he’s out nearly $17,000.

He’s not the first to be taken in by a vacation rental fraud and likely won’t be the last. Over the years this site has carried many stories warning about vacation rental scams. Many of those involved wire transfers.

Does travel insurance cover a pre-existing condition and the death of a loved one?

Robert Hamilton was looking forward to his six-night stay in Colorado that he booked through VRBO and Turnkey Colorado. But he also knew that with his mother-in-law hospitalized, he probably should buy travel insurance just in case the unthinkable happened. It also led us to wonder if travel insurance always covers a pre-existing condition and the death of a loved one.

Vacation rentals have no standards, but maybe they should

Before you rent another vacation home, listen to Tim Kerin’s story.

When Kerin, a small-business owner from Damascus, Md., recently rented a home through a no-name rental agency in Costa Rica, he noticed something peculiar: The generous floor-to-ceiling glass window in the master bathroom offered a commanding, but somewhat compromising, view of the Pacific Ocean from the toilet seat.

Please stop wiring money to strangers!

Repeat: Please stop wiring money to strangers!

Too bad that Heidi Barker of Watertown, Conn. didn’t see this warning before she wired money for a vacation rental. She was planning a Caribbean vacation in St. Maarten. Using VRBO, she found a beachfront, ground floor, two-bedroom condo. The listing was legitimate. But the person she communicated with via email was not the owner.

I was refused entry to my VRBO rental, so where is my refund?

When Judith Hartlieb rents a condo through VRBO, the owner tells her that he’s not allowed to rent it to her and cancels her stay the day before her arrival. Then he offers her an alternative date. When she declines, he promises her a refund but doesn’t issue it to her. Can our advocates help?

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