..."Julius M. Vacation Rentals ( Julius Martins) rented us 4 weeks in Aruba for timeshare rentals, and never supplied final confirmations for any of them, In fact he kept asking for more money just to finish the bookings, so he says. He is not willing to refund nothing and is a complete a rip off!"...
The reader also sent in a copy of the executed rental agreement. The document was professional in appearance, but did have a few flags that could have been a cause for concern:
1) The contract did not provide any specific information about the landlord other than the name Julius Martins.
2) The contract requested direct payment by electonic wire.
The only way a tenant can truly protect themselves from possible fraud is to insist on an independent escrow service. When an escrow company is used, the payment is held and protected by the third party service until after the tenant checks into the condo. If the landlord refuses to accept escrow, take your business elsewhere.
Many consumers mistakenly believe that payment by a transfer service such as PayPal, or payment by credit card provides protection to the renter. This is also false! PayPal does not provide buyer protection for any type of real estate transaction, and vacation rentals are classified as real estate. Also, for many rentals- the ocupancy date can easily exceed the window of opportunity to file a dispute of payment. Many credit card merchants will only allow a sixty or ninety day window to dispute payment. After that time frame, any requested dispute is automatically denied.