7 Common Mistakes When Renting a Vacation Home

Renting a vacation home is a perfect way to enjoy your holiday while savoring home-like comfort. Unlike hotel rooms, vacation rentals offer more square footage per head, making them ideal for traveling with family or a large group. With vacation rentals, you can easily find a property that matches your needs, including a mountain cabin, beachfront cottage, or a downtown apartment.

You can choose a property with the amenities you need for an unforgettable experience. While vacation rentals have many benefits, you should be careful when renting. The wrong choice of a vacation home can damage your holiday experience and even lead to financial losses. This article outlines seven common mistakes when renting a vacation home.

1. Failure to use reputable rental listing sites

2022 statistics indicate that almost 12,000 persons fell victim to real estate fraud/ scams, including short-term rental schemes, incurring around $400 million in losses. Considering the many vacation rental platforms available today, ensuring you’re dealing with a reliable platform is essential. While all the platforms promise the best services, ignoring their reliability may result in falling for scams or fraud schemes, causing financial losses. Some vacation rentals may be a threat to your security and safety.

Avoid unknown sites when looking for a vacation home to rent in Puerto Rico or anywhere else. Don’t be deceived by the photos posted on vacation rental websites, no matter how captivating they appear. Established and reliable rental listing sites should have clearly defined cancellation and insurance policies and a well-developed line of communication. Researching before finalizing your vacation rental booking can help.

2. Not reading the vacation rental contract

A vacation rental contract is an agreement between a renter and property owner/ manager defining the rentals’ terms and conditions plus the location-specific laws. It outlines the rights, obligations, and responsibilities of both parties. Reading and understanding the agreement is vital to knowing what you’re getting into. The best vacation rental agreement should include property details, rent rates, payment terms, duration, and dates.

The contract should also contain cancellation and booking policies, property rules, guest responsibilities, dispute resolution, insurance and liability, and the governing law. To ensure a positive and satisfactory rental arrangement, read the vacation rental contract to ascertain that it contains all the necessary elements. It should also be favorable.

3. Not considering location

Location is a crucial consideration when looking for a vacation rental. You don’t want to home too far from the destinations and attractions you wish to explore. Settling for a vacation rental far away from places you intend to visit means you’ll take a lot of time driving to and from there. When booking a vacation home, consider its proximity to the places you wish to visit. If your rental platform hasn’t provided enough details regarding the house’s location, consider inquiring if you have particular expectations.

Researching the location before renting a vacation home can help you determine if it’s the perfect place for your holiday and how safe it is. If price is the reason you’re not renting within your preferred location, considering the extra costs you incur from that can help you make an informed decision.

4. Ignoring guest reviews

Guest reviews are essential because they give insights into previous renters’ experiences. Ignoring them robs you of information crucial to helping you choose the best rental home. They open your eyes to details a listing won’t. Consider reading reviews to see what past guests are saying about the rental home you’re considering. This will help you learn how the house is stocked, cleaned, available amenities, and more.

Don’t forget to consider how the property owners or managers handle negative feedback, as this will give you an idea of the experience to expect. Read reviews on third-party sites before renting a vacation because they’re more authentic and reliable.

5. Not considering amenities

The amenities in your rental vacation home significantly impact your experience. While most rentals contain the amenities you require for a memorable and stress-free stay, others don’t. If you’re traveling with your family, checking the amenities before choosing a vacation rental home will ensure the place is family-friendly. Check the rental listing description to determine if the home contains everything you need for a fun and comfortable experience.

Check if the vacation home you’re renting has a fully stocked kitchen, high-speed WiFi and internet, complimentary toiletries and linens, and laundry. You can also consider heating and air conditioning, laundry, a fireplace, an outdoor gathering area, child-friendly extras, and a hot tub.

6. Late booking

Booking your vacation rental home late may lead to finding only average properties that are sure to impact your experience. Early bookings are an excellent way to get the best rentals, including beach houses. This is because most people, mainly tourists, prefer booking these properties early, so you may not find the best if you book late. Making early payments can also get you significant discounts.

7. Not checking home rules and regulations

Like most hotels, vacation home rentals have rules that renters must adhere to. Reading the rules helps determine if a particular property suits your needs. These include:

  • Occupancy limits: The limits specify the total number of guests that can live in a vacation rental home to ascertain local regulations compliance and safety
  • Damage and maintenance: When staying at a vacation home, you may be required to take charge of its care and when staying there. You may also have to report maintenance issues and damages promptly. Reading the rental agreement will help you discover your liability as a guest for any damages that occur during your stay
  • Pet policy: Before taking a pet to your vacation home rental, read the pet policy to determine if it is pet-friendly. If yes, check the pet restrictions concerning sizes, types, and deposits/ extra fees for bringing a pet
  • Smoking rules: If you’re a smoker, look for rules about smoking to determine if it’s allowed within the premises, or it’s restricted to a designated area
  • Nuisance and noise: Vacation home rentals have regulations regarding disturbances and noise levels to ascertain a peaceful environment for neighbors and other guests. As such, you’re required to avoid excess noise


Finding a reliable vacation home involves multiple considerations that help ensure a fun and memorable experience. Avoid these common mistakes when renting a vacation home.

Leave a Comment

Read more