Considering Renting from a DVC Member?
About This Page: This is a discussion on Considering Renting from a DVC Member? within the Owning the Magic: Disney Vacation Club, part of the PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel; This post is intended for non-DVC members who are interested in renting from a DVC member.
There are two ways ...
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This post is intended for non-DVC members who are interested in renting from a DVC member.
There are two ways you can stay in a “Disney Deluxe Villa Resort” (Disney Vacation Club Villa):
Call WDW reservations (aka CRO), just like any other resort, and book a villa at a Disney Deluxe Villa Resort
Rent points from a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) member
Disney allows the general public to book DVC units at rack rates through its regular resort reservations system, when available. Renting points from a DVC member is a much better deal, as it typically costs much less to rent from a DVC member than to book a DVC resort direct from Disney.
If you do decide to rent points from a DVC member, there are a few things you should be aware of so that your experience is nothing less than magical.
While commonly referred to as “renting points”, you are actually paying a DVC member to make a reservation in your name with some of the points they own as DVC members.
Keep in mind that this is a private transaction between two people, and Disney is not involved in any way. If anything goes wrong, you can’t complain to Disney or expect them to resolve any problem. To repeat this very important fact: All transactions are between private individuals as negotiated between themselves. Disney will not get involved in any transaction problems or disputes.
Until you physically check-in, the DVC owner controls the reservation, even when it is in your name. An unscrupulous owner could potentially cancel your reservation and steal your money, and Disney will not get involved. Also, someone could pose as a DVC owner just to get your cash. This risk is what gets you the big discount, and renting is not for everyone. Renting points takes some work ahead of time to protect yourself and minimize the potential risk of these types of transactions.
That said, fraud almost never occurs in DVC rentals, as reported instances of fraud occurring are extremely rare. Thousands of successful rental transactions have been completed throughout the history of the DVC program, and the savings are obvious.
We don't often see problematic DVC rentals, and when we do they are usually due to misunderstandings between the DVC owner and the renter. Unfortunately, a lot of those misunderstandings come from lack of knowledge about how DVC works and how that differs from a traditional hotel reservation -- or a DVC reservation made through Disney CRO, for that matter.
You would think that the DVC owners all have perfect understanding of their accounts, and it's the people renting reservations who don't get it. You'd be dead wrong. Too often, neither party really understands the situation well enough to be able to anticipate problem areas. That’s why it’s important to rent points from a DVC member who has done it before. Take some time yourself to get educated on how DVC works before looking to “rent points”.
Please use due diligence before entering into any agreement and certainly before sending any payment. Renting points requires trust on both sides of the agreement, but even with trust there is a need for you to do some due diligence and common sense checking before sending off your money to a total stranger.
Ask for references from the DVC member who is renting the points, and check their references. Good references show that a DVC member has had successful rentals in the past, and is knowledgeable about the DVC program. You are more likely to have a miscommunication with a DVC member who is renting their points for the first time.
Don't rent from any “member” who has only made a few posts on a rental board (DisBoards, MouseOwners, etc.). It could be an indicator of a scam. Review past posts for the person you are working with so you can get an idea what type of person they may be.
Get the owner's full name, home address and home phone number before sending any payment. To the extent possible, confirm that the information is valid.
Confirm that the person is, in fact, a DVC owner by running a search at the Florida Comptroller's Office web site (this site only reports owners of WDW DVC resorts).
There should be a written contract or letter of agreement, signed by both of you, spelling out exactly what the rental will cost, when payment is due, dates of the stay, etc.
Never pay a total stranger by using a "cash equivalent" such as Western Union or money order.
In summary: never, ever send money to anyone until you have confirmed their true identify and that they are, in fact, a DVC member, and you have a written agreement. If something sounds "off," don't proceed. It's not worth taking the risk. Any DVC deal that seems too good to be true most likely is.
Also, please keep in mind the following important points:
Be aware that the Disney Vacation Club will not speak with renters or give them any information. They won't take a room request from you; they won't confirm you have a reservation; and they won't make Magical Express arrangements for you. Only DVC owners can speak with DVC about reservations. Any changes and any additions like the Dining Plan or Magical Express will have to be made through Member Services by the owner. You will pay for the Disney Dining Plan during check-in at the resort. You can make your own dining reservations through the Disney dining number. Park tickets cannot be purchased through the DVC member. You can purchase your tickets on your own.
DVC is a timeshare and not a hotel. A DVC reservation is very different from a regular hotel reservation and the limitations / restrictions / penalties on the owner may make cancellation and rescheduling difficult or impossible. Those problems vary from owner to owner, from rental to rental, and you have no way of knowing what kind of restrictions the owner is under. If you get in a position where you have to cancel a rented reservation, the owner may not be able to help you. Many owners have a “no cancellation/no changes/no refunds” policy. Be sure you fully understand what will happen if your plans change. That is critical, and if you are not comfortable with the answer, a DVC rental is probably not for you. DVC rentals do not work well for people whose plans are not firmly set. You'll have much better cancellation policies when booking through Disney’s CRO than renting points.
You will probably need a much larger deposit and have to pay in full much earlier when renting points than with using Disney CRO. You may need to pay with a cashiers check instead of being able to use your credit card.
You do not get daily maid service when you rent from a DVC member (while you do get daily maid service if you make the reservation through Disney CRO). You get your trash emptied and new towels on day 4 of a vacation, and if you stay 8 or more nights, on day 4 you get a full cleaning, and day 8 would be the trash & towel service.
While you will receive all the standard perks of staying onsite (Magical Express, Extra Magic Hours, etc.), please be aware than renters typically do not get to take advantage of DVC member perks such as discounts, free valet parking, etc.
The DVC system is complex and takes some time to understand, and many rental difficulties or misunderstandings are from good people with good intentions, who misunderstand the subtleties of the system.
I hope the above information is helpful to everyone considering renting points from a DVC member.
My DVC Home Resorts: Bay Lake Tower, Boardwalk Villas, and Villas at the Grand Floridian
I just wanted to add that thousands of successful rental transactions have been completed throughout the history of the DVC program, and the savings are obvious. Reported instances of fraud occurring are small.
However, you should take whatever steps you feel are justified to become comfortable with the process prior to entering into a rental deal. You must understand that you are placing a great deal of faith in the DVC member's promise that a reservation has been made and will remain in force until your arrival.
My DVC Home Resorts: Bay Lake Tower, Boardwalk Villas, and Villas at the Grand Floridian
Here is a copy of my complete DVC Rental Primer. On other boards that I have posted this, it has garnered good reviews.
Dear DVC renter to be:
This is a basic overview of the DVC and rental process. There are certainly other ways to rent, some Owners make 3-way calls to Member Services with you, others don't.
If you have any questions feel free to ask away!
Finally this is not an offer to rent, as I am sadly out of points until 1/2009!
Originally Posted by greenbanned
Here is my updated rental primer, I hope it helps...
TONY'S (greenban) DVC AND RENTAL PRIMER
I'm gonna assume that you know nothing about the DVC, so if some of this is too basic, sorry !
NOTE: Effective June 1st, 2007, ALL DVC resorts are totally smoke free in the guest rooms, resort buildings including patios and Balconies. Smokers will need to use designated OUTDOOR smoking areas or refrain from smoking. Violators will be charged a minimum of $250.00 for a clean up fee.
The DVC is a timeshare based on a point system instead of a fixed week system. That means DVC points can be used at any of 8 DVC Resorts for reservations up to 7 months in advance, and only at the home resort up to 11 months in advance. Various resorts, room sizes, and times of the year influence how many points a night may cost. Friday & Saturday nights are very expensive in points, usually costing the same as, Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed & Thurs nights combined. Thus to save 45-55% off Disney's rack rates at Disney.com | The Official Home Page For All Things Disney, you, the renter would need to avoid a Fri & Sat stay. However, if you stay a full week, you can still easily save 25-45% off Disney's rack rate.
There are currently 6 DVC resorts physically in Walt Disney World. Old Key West (OKW-1991), Boardwalk Villa (BWV-1996), Villas at Wilderness Lodge (VWL-2000), Beachclub Villas (BCV-2002), Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa (SSR-2004), and now Animal Kingdom Villas (AKV-2007). There are also DVC resorts at Vero Beach Florida (VB-1995) and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (HH-1996). DVC Points can also be used for some other Disney properties and the Disney Cruise Line, but in my opinion these latter choices do not make financial sense, so I won't rent for that reason!
Points have a birth date (The first day of the Owner's Use Year) and an expiration date, 1 year later. They are usually not good outside of these dates. This is why most Owners have a no cancellation, or change policy. Their points might not have enough life left to be re-rented, or your new vacation dates may be outside of the point's UY. Or there may be no availability for your new dates.
There are some modifiers to Use Year Life. Certain amounts of points can be banked into the next Use Year, or Borrowed into the current Use Year from the Next Use Year. However, once points change from their original UY, that change is permanent, and they can not be banked or borrowed again.
Also, if a vacation is cancelled less than 31 days in advance of arrival, the points become 'Holding Points' which have such severe use restrictions, that they become nearly worthless. Thus most Owners require final payment between 60-90 days of the start of your vacation.
Also note, you are actually renting enough points to book a reservation for your vacation one time only, you are not actually buying the points!
Those are the Owner's risks, along with any damage that you may do to the property.
For the discount, you the Renter take the most risks. Until you physically check-in, the Owner controls the reservation, even when it is in your name. An Owner could cancel your reservation, and steal your money. Disney will not get involved. This risk is what gets you the discount, and renting is not for everyone. (However, an escrow account, Paying via PayPal or Credit Card gives you several layers of protection for at least getting your money back).
Also, all requests, even Handicap Accessible, are requests only and not guaranteed. You could request a 3rd floor room 11 months before check-in, and get assigned a ground floor room on the day you actually check-in.
You do not get daily maid service at the DVC (Many owners prefer not having Mousekeeping traipsing through their rooms, but you may want daily maid service). You get your trash emptied and new towels on day 4 of a vacation, and if you stay 8 or more days, on day 4 you get a full cleaning, and day 8 would be the trash & towel service, and then a full cleaning on day 12 and so on. (FWIW, we always decline our full cleanings). However, you can pay for maid service, if you wish, and schedule it for whenever and how many days you would like, but I have never had a renter do this. Studios have access to free laundry machines near the pools, and 1 BR and larger units have a washer and dryer right in the room.
Now the next step:
If you want to rent from an Owner, they will generally want the following:
The DVC Resort you want to stay at
The type of accomidation you want (Size, Class-View)
Arrival and Departute dates
The full names of everyone in the room
The ages of any children
Any special requests such as A particular View, Highchair, etc.
Owners will usually also need:
a mailing address (for your copy of the contract)
a contact telephone # for you as well (Cell phones are a great option!)
Owners can then call MS (Member Services) when they are next open (M,T,W,F: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM Eastern, and Thursday until 10:00 PM (and now Saturday 1PM-5PM) and make the ressie in your name. Some Owners will make a conference call with you to book your dates. Often an Owner will then email you a copy of the contract, and your reservation #. (You can make ADRs as soon as you have your ressie number subject to the 180+10 day rule). Next your Owner may require a certain percentage down payment by a certain date, some Owners require a down payment before making the reservation.
Once they receive the official Disney Confirmation Letter they will forward it to you, this averages three weeks from when the reservation is made.
Please note that these payment scenarios are generalities only, and will vary between Owners!
Owners can accept many payment forms, including, but not limited to personal checks, bank checks, money orders, PayPal and Credit Cards via PayPal with or without a surcharge.
I strongly recommend against Wire Transfers (Western Union, etc.) as every case of fraud that I am personally familiar with used Western Union!
Some Owners expect the final payment no later than 60 (or even more) days before your vacation. Many Owners have a no cancellation policy, however, if they can re-rent the points or reschedule your vacation (due to a change in dates on your end), Some Owners may refund a portion of your money.
This is why a complete and written contract is soimportant!
If you are very nervous, Ask for the Oqner's references and you could use an escrow service. However, any and all charges and fees associated with the escrow service would have to be paid by you.
You can usually rent points for $11.00-$15.00 each. Experienced Owners with a proven history and good references (like me) can and do get more ($13.50-$15.00) than a newbie, with no references or prior rentals who will often rent at $10.00 - $11.00 or so. The DVC system is complex and takes some time to understand, and many rental difficulties or misunderstandings are from good people with good intentions, who misunderstand the subtleties of the system.
Some Owners will share their tips and experiences at WDW to help you have the most Magical, or Romantic, or Relaxing vacation. As well as share 'the must do' restaurants, shows and attractions with you.
Some Owners also provide brochures for the Disney Dining Plan, and the Deluxe Dining Plan, explain Disney's Magical Express, suggest grocery delivery services that you can trust, and can help you work through the maze of Disney Theme Park ticketing options.
You can also sometimes find distressed points in the $9.00 to $10.00 range, but you must be very careful that these points won't expire before your travel dates, and are not Reservation Points which can not be used for DVC vacations. I don't recommend distressed points for your first DVC rental experience, but once you are comfortable with the basics, you might wish to try renting these discounted points!
And be careful, like life, any DVC deal that seems too good to be true most likely is, and it is sad to try and save an extra $100.00, and get ripped off entirely.
Many Owners may offer some discounts, and it never hurts to ask! Some discounts that I have seen are:
pay by check
Now to help us Owners out, please have an email address in your post or attached to your user account. PMs can be slow and the number allowed can be limited. Also, we need exact dates to check for availability, list your preferred dates, in order.
I hope this helps, and please feel free to ask any more questions, or voice any concerns or different experiences that you may have.
ETA: Oops! Forgot to add, always check for the PDRA logo:
Note: The PDRA is a ficticous organization that I created to really annoy and irk, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. It has no meaning other than that!
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Question: what about "Club-Level" access activities, like the safari tour offered at AKL? If one were to rent from a DVC owner, does one get access to those benefits ... or are they only for owners?
Renters will receive the same concierge perks as members staying in that class of room.
However, it's worth noting that there is an extremely small number of concierge rooms available. AKL is the only DVC resort to offer concierge, and that resort only has FIVE total villas in the concierge class. Those five villa are lockoff two bedroom villas, so they can each be reserved separately as a Studio and a One Bedroom.
However you slice it, there will be between five and ten families using DVC points for concierge access every day. No more than that. If you want to rent points for concierge, you better find someone with points available a year ahead of time, and make sure he/she is on the phone exactly 11 months out booking day-by-day. Anything less and there's little chance of booking a concierge room.
But what if we want to rent 373 points per say and the person only has 370 available? can we just pay what the rest of the cost would be in cash or does it have to be complete points?
Individual nights have to be booked on all points or all cash. You cannot pay cash to Disney to make up for the 3 points you couldn't get from the renter. You COULD try paying the full cash rate for one night, but cash availability of DVC rooms is often limited and expensive. You could also try renting the full final night from someone else.
Great thread. I am renting points for the first time and I did have alot of questions. I am still a little leary, but I have to have faith that I am dealing with an honest person.
May 87' Offsite - Band Trip
Aug 90' Offsite - DH first trip
Feb 03' Wilderness Lodge - our 3 girls first trip
Feb 04' Pop Century
Jan 06' Off Site - Disney Marathon
Mar 09' Saratoga Springs - Girls only trip
Here is a sample agreement. This is not legal advice and you should consult a qualified lawyer if you wish to ensure the legal intent of the agreement.
DVC Rental Agreement
This Agreement is made the __ day of ______, 200x by and between _________ (“Member”) and ______ (“Renter”) with the following Terms and Conditions:
1. Member agrees to use his Disney Vacation Club (DVC) points to provide a reservation for Renter at:
________ Villa - ___ bedroom villa to arrive on _________, 200x and depart on __________, 200x (____ points);
2. The reservations will be rented at the rate of $____________(___ points @ $__/pt plus fees) payable via money order, cashier's check or personal check;
3. Member will confirm availability with DVC Member Services and make a Reservation in Renter’s name. At this time Member will provide the Disney Vacation Club confirmation number to Renter. Upon receipt of written confirmation from DVC (this takes from seven to ten days), Member will mail the confirmation notice to Renter;
3. A deposit of 20%, plus exchange fees (if any), will be due within 10 days of the receipt of a printed confirmation (or copy) from Disney in the name of Renter. This deposit is non-refundable. The remaining balance of 80% of the payment will be due no later than due 60 days prior to the arrival date.
4. If payment is not received as agreed or returned for “insufficient funds”, the reservation shall be cancelled and any deposit and exchange fees (if any) forfeited;
5. All funds received are NON-REFUNDABLE. Member will always retain control over the reservation. Renter may not sub-lease to a third party.
This is an agreement to rent points that represent accommodations ONLY. There are no ticket media, transportation, meals/meal plans, transfers, insurance, or other items included. Such items and any additional costs therein are not included in the above referenced rate. Further, Renter understands that there is a not daily housekeeping service at DVC resorts. Additions such as the Disney Dining Plan (DDP) and Magical Express will have to be made on behalf of Renter through DVC by the Member. Renter will pay for the Disney Dining Plan during check-in at the resort. Renter may make their own dining reservations through the Disney dining number. Park tickets cannot be purchased through Member. Renter can purchase tickets on their own.
In addition to payment for points, Renter is responsible for any exchange fees assessed for non-DVC resort accommodations in the booking or re-booking of the reservation and are non-refundable.
Renter will email Member with the first and last names and ages of each person staying in the villa. Any special requests regarding room location, view and/or amenities will be made for the Renter by Member at the time of making the reservation but CANNOT be guaranteed.
In the event that the Renter wishes to change the reservation, Member will make reasonable efforts to assist Renter to make such changes. Renter should be aware that changes to the reservation may not be possible because of limited room availability. Any changes must take place on or before _________, 2008 and result in travel being completed by_______, 2008 as that is when the points will expire. Renter shall be responsible for 100% of any additional charges assessed or costs incurred to accommodate Renter’s changes. Payment for these changes shall be due upon e-mail or fax notice from Member. Confirmation of payment for such changes is required within 5 business days of such notice or reservation shall be cancelled.
Renter agrees to abide by all rules of the resort involving use of the facilities and to abide by all rules and policies of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC). Pets are not permitted to stay at DVC Resorts, except for service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Renter understands that all DVC resorts are totally smoke free including the guest rooms, resort buildings, patios and balconies.
Renter agrees to provide the Resort with an acceptable credit card upon check-in for incidentals and any other charges imposed by the Resort connected to Renter’s stay at and use of the Resort.
Renter agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Member due to any actions taken by Renter, Renter’s named party and/or Renter’s guests during the execution of the reservation.
Renter agrees to be responsible for any unpaid charges or damages to the unit rented, including all contents and improvements, Disney Vacation Club property and Disney property during his/her stay that are assessed against Member. Any unpaid charges or damages to the room, including all contents and improvements, DVC property and Disney property during his/her stay that are assessed against Member or his membership shall be reimbursed to Member by Renter within 10 business days of notice to Renter. Sending a fax or e-mail copy of a DVC or other Walt Disney Company communication assessing the charges or damages shall satisfy notice to Renter.
Any modifications of this Agreement are unenforceable unless in writing and signed by both the Member and Renter. This Agreement shall be governed under and interpreted and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of xxxxx.
Reservation number (s):
Additional Requests: DDP (extra expense payable at time of check-in) and Magical Express
Agreed and accepted on the date first shown above.
My DVC Home Resorts: Bay Lake Tower, Boardwalk Villas, and Villas at the Grand Floridian