Questions (FAQ's)

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Q: So what are Vacation Rentals?

A: That's an easy one. Any lodging unit that has a full kitchen & bath, is fully outfitted with linens and towels and usually detached bedrooms is a Vacation Rental Home. These may be apartments, cabins, condos, chalets, houses or villas. In some countries they are called Holiday-lets, Holiday homes, Holiday Villas or Gites (France.)

Q: Are housekeeper tips mandatory in Vacation Rentals?

A: Tips for housekeepers at lodging accommodations of all kinds have become the sign of considerate Guests and just plain good manners. Due to their square footage and amenities, housekeeping at Vacation Rentals is back-breaking work. Considerate Guests will leave a tip of five to ten percent of the total rent. Far less than at a restaurant, but housekeepers work far harder.

Q: How & when are deep cleans done?

A: Whether a unit receives daily cleaning or out cleans, it is necessary once or twice a year (Depending on occupancy) to perform a deep clean of the property. This includes tasks which are too time consuming to complete between Guests such as opening all light fixtures to be dusted, cleaning oven and range filters, washing walls, removing everything from cupboards to wash them thoroughly - and much more. Guests demand "Hospitality" level cleaning which is actually a higher standard than most of us maintain daily in our primary homes. Owners too appreciate visiting their second homes to find them them in great condition and nicely clean.

Q: Is there a website membership fee for using your website?

A: Nope. Browsing properties and information is free. But we do ask you to register for certain information. It helps us help you.

Q: What happens if Guests are noisey?

A: The Manager gives Guests very clear instructions about behavior before they book, during the confirmation process and just prior to arrival. Notices reminding about quiet hours are posted in units as 10PM to 10AM. But loud noise is always discouraged. If you note a Guest misbehaving or causing noise, please call the manager phone number who will notify the Guests. If it persists Guests can be instructed to vacate the premises.

Q: What determines the "Quality Level" of each property?

A: Over time Owners remodeling units and make changes so the type, outfitting and amenities of units change. Our websites provide photos, floor plans other tools that allow Guests to examine and select properties as they see fit. The Manager organizes properties into groups mostly for rate purposes in its opinion as to what Guests will pay.

Q: How do I purchase a Travel Insurance Plan?

A: You can purchase a Vacation Rental Insurance plan directly through your vacation rental company.

Q: Tell me about Sunspot Vacation Rentals?

A: Sunspots is a network of trained and certified Vacation Rental management companies working together to grow and improve the industry and their own operations. Vacation Homes may be located in every communities including lake, mountain and river locations and even in urban and suburban communities. Each company is individually operated and strives to offer industry best practices for Guests and Property Owners. Services are provide by the Vortex Organization.

Q: What is Plumbob Publishing?

A: A plumbob is an old fashioned tool used by carpenters to determine straight up and down. It is a string and a weight which, when allowed to dangle free always reflects a straight line downward. Our company has chosen the word Plumbob to represent our quest to produce straight forward and accurate publications. Some of these are conventional print and other media. And some are websites in a variety of specialty industries and narrow interests. This website is just one.

Q: What is a courtesy discount?

A: If you have friends who want to rent your property, we are happy to offer them a discount on regular rents of up to 10%. If you want to do it please let us know prior to having the fiend call us for booking. The 10% is deducted from the gross rent so that it reduces your income and ours slightly but is certainly acceptable to everyone.

Q: What Is The Owners Mutual Program?

A: As an option. Property owners can choose to participate in the Mutual program which allows them to receive a 10% rental discount when staying in other properties who are members of the same lodging network. In return, Owners must also allow other property Owners to receive the same discount in their properties. Due to seasonality, not all rentals are available at all time - especially during high seasons. But the Mutual program benefits all Owners.

Q: Can Owners earn a referral fee?

A: Yes, Owners can earn a finder fee on rentals they refer for their properties. It is also payable if that owner refers in Guests who book most other properties (Not all participate). To qualify, it is necessary for the Owner to telephone in the Guest's name and information - before the Guest does so.

Q: Who takes care of snow plowing driveways?

A: In most cases Owners will want to contract a snow plowing company to plow their driveway and any incoming roads not cleared by the home owner association or local government. The snow power should be required to coordinate with the Manager so that snow is not cleared when Guests are not expected. This saves moneys.

Q: I've lost my logon or password. What do I do?

A: No problem. Just go to the Login Page of our website. Look for the "Forgot your Password" link. Or you can call us during business hours.

Q: Is it possible to arrange a late checkout?

A: Yes, sometimes - Keep in mind housekeepers need all the time between Guests to prepare the property for arrivals. So late checkouts are not always available. Due to scheduling requirements, there is a charge for late checkouts and it is not possible to confirm this availability until 24 hours in advance of departure.

Q: Do I get more room in a Vacation Rental?

A: Yes of course - the average hotel room is small, but vacation rentals are larger, with kitchens and extra space where you can hang out with your family or friends. Sit in the living room instead of squeezing into the only chair in the room.

Q: Why are bookings usually non-cancelable.

A: Unlike hotels, vacation homes are valuable assets held by private parties. To allow Guests to hold dates in advance only to cancel them later, means the owner would miss out on other prospective customers in the meantime. In addition, because most homes are booked in advance last-minute replacements are not always possible. We can, however, offer to re-sell dates for a Guest who made a prior purchase. In that case, some or all of the Guest's funds may be refunded if a replacement Guest is found.

Q: Is it possible to arrange an early checkin?

A: Usually housekeepers need all the time between Guests to prepare the property for arrivals. So early checkins are not always available. In the case where a room was not previously rented, and the cleaners have gotten the clean completed, it may be possible to arrange an early checkin. Because this requires rescheduling, staff time and coordination there is a charge for early checkins. Usually the charge is 1/4 of the daily rate for four hours early and 1/2 the daily rate for 8 hours early. And it is not possible to confirm availability of an early checkin until 24 hours in advance.

Q: Why must I book a full week at some times of the year?

A: During the busy seasons, it can become disruptive to have lots of guests coming and going every few days, so we do require you to book long stays at some times of the year. Plus Guests seem to enjoy staying longer and settling in.

Q: Why is there a cleaning fee for Vacation Rentals?

A: Vacation rentals are bigger than hotel rooms and require more effort to clean. Rather than increase the price of every day's rent there is usually an out-cleaning fee. It is also your way of knowing the place will be clean when you arrange.

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