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Thread: Is it usual to be required pay a cash securit deposit when renting a condo in Aruba?

  1. #11
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Any Aruba beach...
    It only stands to reason that IF an owner routinely did NOT return deposits, word would get out in forums and threads such as this warning people to stay away from "X" property. Common sense just says to make sure the details such as this, are spelled out in detail in your rental agreement.

  2. #12
    Aruba since 1979
    Andrea J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    somewhat off topic, but i got this in my INbox a little while ago
    bottom is all about communications and everything spelled out clearly in the rental and understand before signing.

    Vacation rental’s too small; can I get back my deposit?

    Pat Morin’s vacation rental in Aruba is a disaster — and she hasn’t even left yet. She’s trying to get her money back, but the owner refuses. Is there any hope?
    By Christopher Elliott
    Tribune Content Agency

    Q: I recently paid a $2,060 deposit to rent a home in Aruba through VRBO. Before I was sent a copy of the lease, I realized that the rental didn’t have enough room for our party of 10, and I notified the owner that I wanted to cancel.
    The owner refuses to refund the deposit, saying she runs the rental “like a timeshare.” I don’t even know what that means. That should have been explained in the rental agreement, and even more importantly it should be explained to a customer when they are making a $2,060 deposit.
    I sent the deposit in good faith, and now I feel stupid for having done that and for not having gotten something in writing.
    I contacted VRBO, the site though which I rented the house, but so far it has been unable to help me get my money back. Is there anything you can do? -- Pat Morin, San Bernardino, Calif.
    A: What a mess. The owner should have sent you an agreement before you paid for the rental home, which clearly outlined your rights to a refund. The contract should have also described the property in more detail, noting how many guests it could accommodate.
    VRBO sees itself as an intermediary in this transaction, providing little more than a listing service. And at the time you rented your home, it offered something called the Carefree Rental Guarantee, which would have protected you if your rental had been misrepresented. But you would have had to pay extra for that.
    Still, VRBO should be concerned when one of its property owners allegedly accepts your money without furnishing you with a contract and then keeps it after you cancel the reservation, saying that the property is run “like a timeshare.” I’m not even sure if I understand what that means.
    The following advice may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating: Don’t sign a rental agreement — and definitely don’t make a deposit — until you’ve read it. If a rental owner refuses to send the contract, walk away, no matter how attractive the offer.
    Look for “gotchas” like no-refund policies and nondisparagement clauses, which prevent you from writing about the rental if you don’t like it. And make sure you have the option of paying by credit card, which will protect you if something goes wrong.
    I reviewed your correspondence with the property owner, and it looks as if a few other things happened that were preventable. Some of the back-and-forth happened by phone, which increased the likelihood that a detail was overlooked or misunderstood. Also, at one point you authorized your daughter to deal directly with the owner, which just ended up confusing the issue. Keep everything in writing and speak with one voice, and you’re likely to avoid this situation from happening again in the future.
    I contacted VRBO about your case. It got in touch with the property owner and advocated for you. The owner refunded your entire deposit.
    Christopher Elliott is co-founder of the Consumer Travel Alliance, a nonprofit organization that advocates for travelers. Read more tips on his blog,, or email him at

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by Arubalisa View Post
    It only stands to reason that IF an owner routinely did NOT return deposits, word would get out in forums and threads such as this warning people to stay away from "X" property. Common sense just says to make sure the details such as this, are spelled out in detail in your rental agreement.

    Everything is spelled out in the lease agreement. That being said, there is nothing to stop the owner from claiming there were damages after I leave and not returning the security deposit.

    It's your word against theirs and since you handed them cash, you are screwed.

    Looking at it from the owners point of view, if they accepted a credit card from me and I trashed the place(not that I would do that), I could dispute the charges on my credit card . The burden of proof would be on the owner.

    All that being said, it does make me feel a little uneasy handing someone I don't know from Adam( in this case Eve, since the owner is a woman) cash.

    It's not like they are going to inspect the room while I'm there and hand me back the money. I have to wait 2 weeks for a check in the mail.

    If it were me, I would include a non refundable credit card processing fee and have the appropriate language in the lease agreement to protect both parties. I wonder how many renters back out when they are told they have to fork over cash?

    For renting the room I had to pay and extra 4% charge to use my card. I had the option to mail a check to their US office to save the 4% but it wasn't worth the hassle to save $22.
    Last edited by vincep; 08-09-2013 at 12:58 PM.

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    I'm still in Aruba but wanted to let everyone know that my suspicion was correct about the security deposit. The owner of the unit I'm staying in wants cash, so there is no ability to dispute the amount on a credit card. Apparently they have been burnt in the past. The good news is that I'm supposedly to get my cash back, after inspection, before I leave Aruba.

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