Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

Vacation Rental Scams

By PacificRimPropertyManagement | Homeowner / Renter Tips , Property Management , San Diego County , Uncategorized

A vacation rental is a great option while traveling to have the comforts of home. However, scammers love to take advantage of vacationers by making false promises and creating a sense of urgency to fool them into paying for something that doesn’t exist.

How the Vacation Rental Scam Works:

Con artists post listings for properties that either aren’t for rent, don’t exist, or are significantly different than pictured. They then lure in vacationers with the promise of low fees and great amenities. Typically, the “owner” creates a false sense of urgency – maybe another vacationer is interested in the rental – to get you to pay up before doing sufficient research.

Another common travel scam is the timeshare resale con. A timeshare owner who is looking to sell gets a call from someone claiming to be a real estate broker or agent. These scammers claim to specialize in timeshare resales and promise they have buyers ready to purchase. To secure this service, the scammer pressures the target into paying an upfront fee. The timeshare owner pays up, but the reselling agent never delivers.

Tips to Avoid a Vacation Rental Scam: 

Talk with the owner. 

If you are not using a service that verifies properties and owners, do not negotiate a rental solely by email. Many vacation rental scammers don’t live locally, get the owner on the phone and ask detailed questions about the property and local attractions. An owner with vague answers is a clear red flag.

Some reputable vacation rental websites are: airbnb.com, vrbo.com and redweek.com. For long-term rentals, check out our vacancies.

Check public records. 

Investigate on Google or another search engine. Look up the address and use Google Street View to confirm the property matches the one advertised. Also, verify distances to beaches, attractions and airports while on the site.

Look for reviews and ask for references. 

While you’re vetting properties, check online reviews. Some vacation rental websites provide an opportunity to rate the rental property as well as the owner or property manager. If the property you’re considering doesn’t have any online reviews, ask for references and call them. Again, listen for vague answers, this may indicate the reference is simply a friend of the scammer.

Don’t wire money or use a prepaid debit card. 

Never pay for a vacation rental by prepaid debit card or wire transfer. These payments are the same as sending cash. Once you send the money, you have no way to get it back. Paying with a credit card is your best bet to avoid being out money because of a shady vacation rental. If your rental ends up being a scam, you can dispute the charge and dramatically limit your liability.

If it’s too good to be true it probably isn’t. 

Scammers lure in targets by promising a vacation rental at low prices. Do your research. Be suspicious if the listing you are considering is much cheaper than others in the area. In general, free online ad services are also going to be more risky than a site with fraud protection features.

Garage Doors – Legislative Alert

By PacificRimPropertyManagement | California State Law , Homeowner / Renter Tips , Property Maintenance , Property Management , San Diego County , Uncategorized

California, in 2018, experienced its most destructive fire season in history. Widespread power outages made it difficult or impossible for some to escape. Some residents perished because they were unable to manually open their garage doors.

Reports from the 2017 Northern California fires recounted stories of neighbors stopping to help raise garage doors. Some people did not have the strength to manually open their door. A mother struggled to get her disabled son into a car because their custom van was in the garage they couldn’t open.

State Bill 969 Will Open Garage Doors…

On September 1, 2018, Governor Brown signed SB 969 into law. This legislation requires newly sold or installed garage door openers, for residential use, to have battery back-up.

SB 969: The Facts Behind Garage Doors!

  • The law goes into effect on July 1, 2019.
  • The law applies to all new residential garage doors and garage door opener installations.
  • Home owners will need to install a battery back-up opener when a new door is installed, or when replacing their existing opener.
  • A battery back-up function is required for automatic garage doors that are manufactured for sale, sold, offered for sale, or installed in a residence, and must be designed to operate when activated because of an electrical outage.
  • A violation of this law will be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 per opener.

The Immediate Impact:

The full impact of this new law is still unknown. It will, at least create a new disclosure and inspection item when selling a home. Real estate sales agents will need to ascertain the date of the door opener installation. Home inspectors will need to test the battery during a home inspection when selling a home. Battery back-up may require periodic testing for rental properties.