Ask RedWeek / February, 2019

If my renter disputes, am I at risk of losing my payment?

As an owner, I'm intrigued by your new RedWeek Payments option, but I have concerns about the terms allowing the renter to file a dispute. Since I don't get paid until after they check in, how can I make sure I don't get stiffed out of my rental payment?

Disputes when using RedWeek Payments are really nothing you should need to worry about — as long as your renter gets what you promised in the rental agreement, you should receive your payment just fine. We only arbitrate if there is a material difference between what was in your rental agreement and what the renter received. We aren't talking about a missing toaster or a broken TV. Typically, disputes we entertain have to do with check-in issues, unit sizes, and views. Fortunately, disputes are extremely rare, since most rentals have an upfront verification process AND a final confirmation that the unit is in the renter's name.

The (Preventable) Scenarios Where Your Payment Would Be At Risk

Here are some of the major things that could result in a valid dispute:

  1. Your renter can't check in. This is the worst-case scenario: the resort doesn't have your renter's name on their books. We confirmed it was in their name at the point of the booking, but something happened in the meantime, and they lost the reservation.
  2. Your renter is given a different-sized unit. If a family of 6 shows up and receives a one-bedroom unit instead of the two-bedroom unit in the contract, everyone has a problem. Again, it's very rare this would happen, because we do confirm the details, but we can't control what you do with it after we do that confirmation.
  3. The view you promised wasn't guaranteed. If the contract specifies "ocean view" and all the unit's windows end up facing a parking lot, you will likely end up with a dispute.

How to Avoid Getting a Dispute

Luckily, all of the above scenarios are 100% preventable. Here is your checklist:

  1. Confirm your unit details. Before you advertise, find out exactly what you have available to rent. Some resorts will guarantee a specific room for YOU, but not your renter — which means a guaranteed view may be lost during the transfer. Make sure you ask your resort if there is any change of unit if you let someone else use your week.
  2. Double-confirm the ACTUAL view, not just view "type". It sounds obvious, but the view should be what your renter can actually see if they look out the windows from inside the unit. Many Marriott resorts have confusing view categories. They may call it "ocean view" - but it's only an ocean view if you stand on your tiptoes and lean way over the balcony. We try to catch and correct these, but it's ultimately up to you to make sure the renter gets the view promised on the contract. If you aren't sure you can guarantee a view, select "Varies" on your rental posting.
  3. Don't try to rent out exchange weeks. Both RCI and II have terms stating you can't rent out a week obtained on an exchange, which is why we don't accept them into our RedWeek Payments program. Don't try to slip one through: if they catch what you're doing, they are likely to cancel your reservations - and possibly even your exchange membership.
  4. Don't try any funny business with your reservation. If you have a two-bedroom lock-off unit reserved, but only want to rent half of it, make sure you split the reservation before you even advertise it, so your renter has a single confirmation in their name. We have had owners try to avoid splitting the reservation, by adding the renter's name as a "guest" of theirs. The problem is, your renter wouldn't be able to check-in without you present. Same thing goes for trying to split your week in half... if you want to use the first half and rent out the second, you'll need to make sure the reservation is split. We wouldn't confirm a reservation for a renter that wasn't split, since we can't confirm they would be able to check in to a clean room without this.
  5. Make sure your fees are current. We can't stress this one enough. We have had to make last minute re-accommodations for a renter because an owner neglected to pay special assessment fees on ONE of their timeshares — and the management company canceled all reservations for the same owner. You will usually get a letter from your management company before this happens, but we won't be alerted.
  6. Double-confirm the reservation 14 days before your renter checks in. Call your resort or owner services to make sure your renter is still booked in the unit you promised. If there is a problem, you have time to work it out.
  7. Be available on check-in day. If your renter has a problem, they will contact us. We will do everything in our power to make sure they get the unit we confirmed. But, ultimately you are the owner, and the resort wants to hear from YOU. If your renter has a check-in problem, you will hear from us.

If we aren't able to work together to resolve a renter's issue, we must arbitrate based on the information we have from the renter and the resort. If the unit size or view caused a hardship, your renter would be justified in asking for a refund. The only time you would be at risk of losing the full rental payment is if there was no room available to accommodate their whole party. In that case, not only would you be out your rental payment, you would actually be responsible for the costs of re-accommodating them.

No one wants to show up to their resort and find out they don't have the room they booked. As an owner, using RedWeek Payments gives your renter the peace of mind that this won't happen. But, you are our partner in this, so make sure you are taking the steps outlined above to avoid an issue.

5 Comments

  • Avatar for joana168
    joana168
    Feb 12, 2019 (5 months ago)

    What a great piece of information. As an owner, new to Redweek, I had several questions regarding our timeshare rental we have posted and you answer every one of them. I'm printing this off and putting it in my Redweek file. Thanks - J Greene

  • Avatar for eddies97
    eddies97
    Feb 21, 2019 (4 months ago)

    My first experience with Red Week was great! So, I tried using you again. 3 times I sent requests for bookings only to be told they were not available. I don't understand the problem! If the unit is listed it should be available for rent! And 5 days to respond to tell me it's no longer available is way to long for me to have to make other travel arrangements! If this is your policy, this is to difficult for planning a trip and I will not be back! E Sherwood

  • Avatar for phyl21
    phyl21
    RedWeek Team
    Feb 21, 2019 (4 months ago)

    Eddie S.: Because RedWeek is a do-it-yourself timeshare marketplace, it is the responsibility of the individual owners to deactivate their postings once they are no longer available. Unfortunately, there are some owners who fail to do this. Please contact us with the posting number(s) and we will follow up with the owners to make sure their postings are removed.

    You can contact Customer Support by using the "Contact Us" link at the very bottom of any page.

    Thanks!

  • Avatar for marciam17
    marciam17
    Mar 07, 2019 (4 months ago) • Updated Mar 07, 2019 05:17 AM

    rental agreement where can I find this

  • Avatar for phyl21
    phyl21
    RedWeek Team
    Mar 07, 2019 (4 months ago) • Updated Mar 12, 2019 12:09 PM

    Marcia M.: There are sample rental agreements on our Resources page. You can go directly to the RedWeek Payments agreement or the DIY Sample Rental Agreement by clicking on the appropriate link:

    RedWeek Payment Agreement (https://www.redweek.com/resources/rental-process/sample-rental-agreement)

    Sample DIY Rental Agreement (https://www.redweek.com/files/rentals/diy/sample-agreement.pdf)

    If you need any further assistance, please use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of any page.