Contacting the Owner:
Initial communication is done directly through HOD’s own internal website mailing system. This makes for a safer more reliable mailing system and enables the users to keep copies of emails without the need of third party mailing systems etc.
In order to contact any owner, first you need to complete the simple signup process
Remember that these are private owners and that they may possibly be away from their e-mail for a few days. Most will respond immediately but if you do not get a response within a couple of days, try again, just in case your mail ended up in their trash bin!
Making a Booking:
Each property owner will have their own way of processing a booking but, if appropriate, you may use our included standard booking form which offers both guests and owners a way of exchanging essential information. As a guideline, you should expect to pay a deposit to secure the booking of between 10% – 50% of the total rental. This is normally paid either by cheque or by bank transfer and the owner should confirm the booking and receipt of your payment by letter or by e-mail. The balance is normally paid around 8 weeks before the start of the holiday. Often a breakage deposit is required with the balance, and this is refundable at the end of the holiday less the cost of any breakages and metered charges for gas/electricity/telephone if they are not included in the rental rate. Please check the cancellation terms with the owner at the time of booking – deposits are often non-refundable and they may have a sliding scale of charges for last minute cancellations after the balance has been paid. We recommend that you ask for any terms and conditions in writing.
What do I do when I want to know more about a property?
If you want any more information about a rental property, click on the ‘Contact Owner’ button which is provided on each Full Listing Details page.
What happens then?
The Property Owner will email you back and let you know that the property is available and answer any of your questions. From that point on you handle all booking procedures between yourselves. Booking details vary from Owner to Owner, but most will ask for a deposit towards the cost of the rental, which again is paid between you.
What about getting there?
Property Owners can give you all the travel advice you need – from low cost airfares to driving directions. We think that no one gives better advice than someone who lives there! The property owner will give you all the details about key transfer and arrival times.
What if I do not hear back from an Owner?
If you have given an owner a reasonable time to reply and tried all the contact details on their advert – some owners list their phone numbers for example – then you can email H.O.D. and we will attempt to contact them again for you.
How can I be sure of an Advertiser’s integrity?
Home-Owners-Direct have had very few rental listings that were suspected of being fraudulent, these were detected and removed very quickly. We can assure you that any suspicious advertisments or any that have been reported, or had any serious complaints are investigated and removed if neccessary.
- All adverts state when the properties where initially advertised on our site. The longer an advert has been on our site the more track record and trust that can be placed in their authenticity.
- Never pay for accommodation by anonymous/untraceable methods of payment, such as using a bank transfer company.
Never transfer money by Western Union (any request for this should be reported immediately using our ‘contact us’ mailing system). Be sure that you are paying the advertiser directly or an established agent. If they ask for money to be paid to a third party be wary.
- If in doubt, carry out checks of whether the person you are dealing with is the person they say that they are. Look online for other references to this owner or agent (Google search, other websites, tourist organisations or personal websites). Ask for references or contact us to see whether we have ever had any feedback on this property.
- Do speak with the advertiser directly on the telephone. This is often the best way to see if you are comfortable with renting from this individual. Email communication alone does not give you a feel for who you are dealing with.
- Always insist on having a booking contract for your reservation. This should set out all the terms and conditions of the letting, including payment terms, legal/insurance obligations and cancellation terms. Be wary if you have not been offered a booking contract.
For privacy reasons, not all owners are willing to put their telephone number on their advertisement. If they don’t and you would like to book the property, it would be reasonable at the booking stage to ask them for it.