How to Avoid Illegal Vacation Rentals

The majority of vacation rentals in South Beach Miami are legal, however like most popular vacation destinations this City has its share of dishonest people trying to scam unsuspected travelers. Every year thousands of people booking Miami accommodations online fall victim to these criminals who use the internet to defraud them. As more and more consumers are becoming aware of internet fraud and taking necessary precautions to avoid being scammed there are just as many people that are oblivious to the risks.

To avoid illegal vacation rentals in South Beach Miami you must know what to look for and how to spot them. When booking Miami Beach lodging you can significantly reduce your chances of being scammed and avoid them by seeing the signs. Take a few minutes to read over some important tips that may be the difference between a disastrous vacation and memories of a lifetime.

It is important to make sure you are dealing with the owner of the property, the Management Company or representative of the owner. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Verify the owner’s name through the local government website by searching the property records.
  • Google the owner’s name, email address and/or contact number and see what comes up.  Often time’s scammers will reuse information from a prior scam and you may find comments or ‘flagged’ postings
  • Check the Better Business Bureau for any complaints about the property owner, property address, manager or management company.
  • Pull the address up on Google earth and see if the property matches the pictures on the internet. If you have no pictures to compare you can verify that the description you were given is consistent with what you see on Google Earth.