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How to Vet your Vacation Rental Guests

You’ve confirmed the booking, made the bed and laid out fresh towels. Everything has been completed to help your vacation rental guests have a great stay. But how much do you really know about who is going to be staying in the home? 

You’re taking a huge leap of faith by renting out your home and have probably heard horror stories of wild parties, damaged furniture, and sloppy guests. To make matters more difficult, you might get hit with a chargeback. Yikes!

Lessen your worries and reduce the chance of a chargeback by taking the time to vet your guests. Here are five tips to help:

1. Make a clear agreement - for everyone

Make your terms as clear as possible and have your guest review their rental agreement. This is key in protecting your business and property. Once your guest has signed it, they have confirmed that they have agreed to and accepted all the conditions. Your rental agreement should include all pertinent information such as guest names, check-in times, the rules, and what is expected. Present all the information up front, and the more information, the better!

 2. Double check that everything matches

Apart from laying out clear terms, make sure the credit card details and email address match the information you received about the guest. If the information is different, that could be a red flag of a fraudulent guest. Compare your rental agreement to the original booking information as well as to the provided credit card and email addresses.

Also, don’t forget to check the renter’s email address. If it seems fishy, do some more research. For example, if Susan Clarke is renting the property, don’t take a payment from Tjohnson@email.com. Any domain that sounds like spam may be a sign something isn’t right. Spam email address domains include @dayrep.com, @75hosting.com, and @10minutemail.com along with many others. If you see an .edu domain then you likely have a college student, but it’s always a good idea to double check the domain. With a quick Google search, you can find information to help identify whether it is a valid domain or not. Make sure to confirm the party size and house rules to avoid unexpected large parties or gatherings.

3. Ask for the right information

Did you know payment disputes such as chargebacks can happen even after a guest checks out? If it is fraud, it could take the real cardholder a month or longer to recognize that their credit card has been stolen to file a chargeback claim. Cardholders have up to 120 days to file a chargeback claim for a credit card. Your guest could have rented your property and checked out before you are even notified of a chargeback claim. Asking for extra information such as a second form of payment, driver’s license, or a personal check-in are ways to help prevent chargebacks.

4. Get a deposit

 Requiring a security deposit will not only protect you from damages but makes your guest feel more responsible. Be sure they are aware of how you plan to reimburse and give them a time frame to expect the reimbursement. Include details about circumstances where the refund will not be returned in your rental agreement. Spelling out the terms clearly will make any chargeback claim harder since they agreed to the terms beforehand. Keeping terms clear will make your guest aware of what is expected from them.

5. Maintain constant communication

We know in person check-ins can be difficult but is an effective way to help reduce chargebacks. Text messages, WhatsApp, Skype or Facetime are all great ways to welcome your guest and vet them. Not only will it provide a great customer experience, but it can help you and your guest clear up any questions or concerns from the rental agreement. It can also help prevent bad reviews or chargebacks. Keeping an open line of communication during your guest stay will keep both you and your guest happy. Non-responsive travelers should be a warning to you.

By vetting your guest, you’re staying one step ahead and preventing a poor guest or management experience. If your gut tells you a guest is acting suspiciously, you may have an opportunity to save yourself and your homeowner the hassle of property damage or a chargeback.

Implementing these tips into your vetting process is a step in the right direction and may help save you money and time in the long run. Risky renters can come from anywhere in the world, but it is important you do your part during the initial booking process. Learn how Kigo Marketplace can help!

This content was provided by Yapstone, a preferred payment processor that integrates with KigoPay. Yapstone is a market tailored payments solution for platforms, software providers, and marketplaces.  We specialize in partnering with companies to lower their costs, reduce their risk and liability and help them create a seamless user experience.  With over $18 billion in annual transaction volume, a market specific fraud platform, and 24/7/365 customer support in seven languages, Yapstone is uniquely positioned to provide a complete global payment solution. Yapstone has offices in Walnut Creek, Santa Monica, and Drogheda, Ireland. To learn more, visit Yapstone.com.

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