Recently we had a comment about the wide ranging fees and deposits for vacation rentals in Orlando. Since this is an important element of any reservation or booking, we decided to do a little research.
We will assess the typical amounts of vacation home deposits and fees including the range of days allowable for cancellation without a penalty. The purpose of this is to give one a realistic range for funds needed especially those related to fees. Fees and deposits may include a reservation deposit, security deposit and a booking or reservation fee. Special fees for pets are also applicable when you desire a pet friendly vacation home in Orlando.
Although these vacation rental fees and deposits are referred to by various names, the forementioned are the main types of actual booking charges. Moreover, please keep in mind that deposits are different from actual fees, although deposits can lose their status and become a fee if certain contractual provisions are not met by the renter.
- Reservation Deposit – To effectively hold your reservation, prospective renters will be responsible for a deposit at the time of booking. This will typically range from a low of $100 to a high of $350. The monetary value of this deposit may be based on a total percentage of your estimated vacation rental tab or a set number of nights (i.e. first night only). As importantly, the cancellation period ranges from 0 days up to 45 days. Some rental sites even clearly indicate that a reservation deposit is totally lost if it is cancelled at any time regardless of advance notice. Always consult the rental company fine print for specifics in this area.
- Security Deposit- This deposit is typically charged at the time of booking or closer to the actual vacation date (within 30 days) for potential damages to the vacation home. It may be an actual amount placed on your credit card or simply an authorization for this amount. This deposit fluctuates widely as well. A sampling indicated a low of $200 to a high of $500. The purpose of this deposit serves to protect the homeowner in case of damages, and is a reasonable request of any rental guest. These are fully refundable if no damage to the home occurs. Some vacation companies may also push you to purchase short term rental insurance which covers losses you may suffer while in the home and damage that may have incurred to the vacation rental.
The next area are straight fees for prospective rentals and are billed as such:
- Administrative or Booking Fees – Our search indicated that these typically run anywhere from $25 to $35 regardless of length of stay. These fees defray operating costs and go directly to the management company or homeowner.
- Pet Fees – Some vacation homes are marketed as pet friendly accommodations. Although this is a great convenience, it will typically cost you between $100 to $200 depending upon length of stay. Note that damages caused by a pet will result in a full or partial forfeiture of the security deposit mentioned above.
- Cancellation Fee- Because it is very difficult for a vacation home owner/manager to re-rent a vacation home if you cancel at the last moment, most companies will charge for the entire stay for a late cancellation.
- Pool Heat - Pool heat is expensive to the owner and will typically cost an extra $25 – $35 dollars per day.
- Cleaning Fees- If your stay is less than 4 nights, expect to pay an additional cleaning fee of $25 to $75 dollars per stay. If requesting additional housekeeping during your stay, expect to pay $75 + for additional full house cleaning. Cleaning is typically included if your stay is more than 4 nights and no additional services are required.
Again, always consult the reservation listing or any prospective agreement. If the admin or booking fees are not properly and openly advertised, consider this a huge red flag. For additional information and details on vacation home communities in the Orlando area, consult the community reviews on our main page. Vacation home rentals offer prospective guests with great value and luxurious amenities.