Tips for booking legal vacation home rentals

Below are a few basic tips for those travelers that are planning to book a legal vacation home rental for the first time:

Rent from a trustworthy source. The most reliable source would be a recommendation by a close friend that has booked vacation home rentals in Miami before. If this is not an option we suggest booking Miami lodging via the internet with a trusted global company like HomeAway or With these well known websites you can read reviews, both good and bad, from other travelers that previously stayed at a property. You may also book online with companies that are local or city-specific to your vacation destination. Always check with the Better Business Bureau to if any complaints have been filed against the company. Because of the large number of documented scams, we caution anyone thinking of booking vacation home rentals in Miami through Craigslist.

Always pay with a credit card. Credit card companies provide you with purchase protection and give you the option to dispute any charges for services not rendered. Never pay by Western Union or Moneygram. They are irretrievable and untraceable.

Verify the Miami lodging condo or home is legal. Do not violate local short term housing ordinances by booking an illegal vacation rental. If there is any doubt about the legitimacy of the condo or home ask the property manager or owner to provide you with a copy of the property’s public Miami lodging license issued by the State of Florida or the ‘Transient’ license issued by the City.

Get everything in Writing. Everyone in the vacation rental’s industry, managers, owners & online companies, will always provide the traveler with a contract. Read it carefully before sending any money. A contract should outline the details for cancellation policies, payment terms and return of your deposit, and any fees that are additional to the rental rate such as cleaning fees and taxes.

Be considerate & thoughtful. Many vacation home rentals in Miami have lost their right to operate as a short term rental because of the complaints of neighbors. Be considerate of other people living in close vicinity of your vacation rental and remember that they most likely are not on vacation. Follow any rules regarding excessive noise or parties outlined in your rental contract.