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Unread 14 Jun 09, 09:40 PM  
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Queen of Herts
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Before booking a villa - please read

Over this weekend I have been desperately trying to help a lady who is about to lose her holiday. She has paid for 3 weeks in a villa which is heading towards foreclosure and the owner hasnt paid HOA fees for a long time. I do not know the owner of the villa and it is NOT a Dibb villa.


I have been given the details of the two sites below, both supply public information where you can check out who you are renting from.

I have been told about this site today, it is not completely foolproof but you can check if a homeowner you are booking with has any unpaid debts or is heading towards foreclosure if they have a US mortgage. You will need their first and last names. Take a look at osceolaclerk and on the left side pick 'Civil Division' and then you can do your search.

To check that a person actually owns the home they are renting to you go to osceola.county-taxes do a 'Tax Search'.

Tell the person you are renting from you are doing this and ask for the name the house will be listed under If your homeowner is honest they will be more than happy to supply this information to you.

Make sure you have a landline number and a full address from the person you are renting from. A mobile is not good enough. Give them a call a couple of times to discuss your holiday and to also check your calls are either answered or promptly returned.

See all the terms and conditions before agreeing to rent. Find out what the owner's commitment to you is. By this I mean the basics like a clean home and clean, usable pool. Clean carpets etc.

Rental License.
The license confirms that the villa is registered for short term rentals and meets all the criteria set for such properties. Some are licensed as part of a collective license covering all of the properties managed by a particular MC.
Check Rental License here : myfloridalicense/wl11.asp

Any chance this could be displayed at the top of rental section and kept there for future?

Edited at 10:32 AM.
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Unread 14 Jun 09, 09:47 PM  
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dismum
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The tax collectors site and official records for any county are probably better than the property appraiser as they tell you whether there are any problems with the tax or liens on the house.It is always worth checking all 3 sites if you are uneasy about anything.
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Unread 14 Jun 09, 09:51 PM  
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Queen of Herts
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Thanks Jan, have changed it. Very upsetting weekend for the woman. But it is the age old problem. If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
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Unread 15 Jun 09, 12:21 AM  
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Rigstig
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Wow, makes interesting reading. Im pleased to say that the owner of the villa we are booked with for next year has paid his taxes in full.

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Unread 15 Jun 09, 12:56 AM  
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islabonita
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What a nice person you are to help some one who must be out of their mind about this situation it is very kind of you.

Edited at 09:44 AM.
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Unread 15 Jun 09, 08:01 AM  
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what a thoughtful post, and pertinant !
we are going for villa rental next time, and i want to thank you for this ...will go with a Dibb villa tho"
cheers for taking the time to post this x
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Unread 15 Jun 09, 09:20 AM  
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Midsummer
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Just a small thing but if you are looking on the tax site towards the end of the year you will probably see taxes as owing. That wouldn't necessarily mean that there is anything to worry about but taxes become due on 1st November and the owner has until 31st March to pay them with no penalty (you get a small discount if you pay early). For example we didn't pay ours until February this year as I was waiting to build up the dollars in my bank account without having to transfer money over from the UK. I also don't know how quickly the County would update the site showing the payment as having been made.
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Unread 15 Jun 09, 10:19 AM  
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Mr Flibble
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How dreadful for that lady when so much effort,money and emotion goes into booking a special holiday.
Booking with an honest villa owner is better than booking with a villa owner offering a cheap rate.
Security is very important.
Well done for helping her out hope that all her problems will be sorted soon.
Regards
Ian
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