It used to be a difficult task to find a decent vacation home. There was once a destination coordinator, or a vacation booking agent that would locate a property for you then contact the owners and book the property on your behalf. Since the internet has taken off and basically taking over every industry, you can guarantee that the vacation rental industry was going to be taken over by social media and various websites that cater strictly to vacation rentals.
Sites like VRBO and Airbnb offer a platform for homeowners and property owners to rent out their space to travelers. These platforms make it easier for you as a renter to find a property, with reviews left by previous renters it makes it easier to identify if the property is all it is advertised to be.
But like anything online, not everything you read is legitimate or accurate. Take for instance the family that recently passed away in a Mexican vacation home, there was a carbon dioxide leak apparently that ended up taking the lives of this family. Tragedy’s like this are few and far between, but they still happen, so how do you prevent this from happening to you? You can start by contacting the property owner and asking questions about the maintenance of the property. Ask questions about the security of the home, if there are carbon monoxide detectors in the property, smoke alarms, and video surveillance. You may want to see if the property has been checked for mold recently, as mold can cause allergies and make people very sick.
Moisture in the home can create mold in the walls, ceiling, bathroom tiles and anywhere else moisture gathers. In areas that have heavy rainfall, it is important to make sure the roof on the property is maintained, a leaky roof could lead to a moldy attic space and other unhealthy problems. Every vacation home should have a roofing company that cares for the property when there is damage done. We spoke to a family that specializes in roofing in Oklahoma and they said that vacation rentals were a huge part of their business. Especially with out of state property owners, they may leave it up to the roofing company to keep eyes on the property.
Other things to be cautious of are natural gas appliances and electrical outlets. Electrical issues can cause fires and electrocution, be cautious and check outlets and make sure there are no loose wires exposed. Of course, last but not least you want to make sure there are no rodent issues, bed bugs, cockroaches, or anything else that may cause health issues.