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Holiday Rentals

Holiday rental is a term in the travel industry meaning renting out a furnished apartment or house on a temporary basis to tourists as an alternative to a hotel. Holiday rentals have long been a popular travel option in Europe (especially in the Algarve Portugal) as well as in other Mediterranean countries and are becoming increasingly popular across the world. They are often referred to as self-catering rentals or villa rentals. In some cities, like Barcelona, local authorities determined that vacation rentals were becoming a threat to the hotel industry and passed some legislation placing regulations and limits on the industry, while in others, such as Portugal, England, Ireland, France and Spain, the government promotes and certifies holiday rentals, even offering its own program of holiday/vacation rentals.

A holiday rental is a fully furnished property, such as a condominium, town house or single-family-style home, often referred to as villa rentals in Europe. The client/traveller arranges to rent the vacation rental property for a designated period of time, many rent on nightly basis similar to hotel rooms, although the more prevalent holiday rental industry practice is typically weekly rentals. A true holiday rental is not for sale to the guest; rather, the owner of the holiday rental merely allows the guest to rent the property for a predetermined length of time.

Management companies

Many property owners contract a villa rental management company to manage the business of their holiday rentals. These management companies market the holiday rental property, providing information and photos to guests and handling reservations and billing. These companies also handle details such as guest check-in, housekeeping and property maintenance.

Guests who book through holiday rental management companies may experience benefits including quality control, housekeeping services, professional reservations agents and on-site or on-call staff.

Many such companies are members of the Holiday Rental Managers Association and there are additionally many rental property management companies that deal only with holiday brokers/agencies that specialize in the villa/vacation rental industry.

Listing services, aggregators, and booked by owner

There are numerous agencies that specialize in villa/holiday rentals and most can be booked via the internet. Reputable vacation rental agencies will have familiarity with the regions and properties they represent as well as official booking/rental agreements and generally standardized booking procedures, cancellation policies, key collection, etc.

Additionally, holiday rentals may be offered through aggregation portals. Aggregators typically display property information and photos provided by the home owner; however the listing services bear no legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information. A vacation rental may not be booked directly with a listing service. Because each property owner has his or her own deposit and payment requirements, cancellation policies, key-pick-up procedures, etc., a guest must contact the property owner or owner’s agent directly in order to book.