WHY ARE YOU REQUIRING OCCUPANCY INFORMATION?
Our rates, fees, and Refundable Damage Deposit are based on total occupancy (overnight guests, visitors, and pets).
Your rental rate has been based on the information you submitted when quoted, arrival and departure dates as well as Adult and Child count and if any pets. For 95% of all vacation home owners, this is all the information required, to properly quote any booking. As well as 95% of all vacation home owners know, none of their potential bookings would ever dream of inviting a 100+ people to their booked Memorial Day weekend getaway, at a 2 bedroom, 1 bath vacation home in a suburban neighborhood. Much less, have the Renter do his/her best to not mention it to the Vacation Home Owner.
It is only because, since 2011, every potential Renter has been required to provide the Full Name and age of everyone expected to be on the property, overnight guests as well as visiting guests. We will get confirmation the quote given matches the stay we are about to book.
About 50% of quoted stays are strictly folks from way out of town, knowing no one within 200 miles and the idea of outside visitors is somewhat shocking. Of these, about 10% can’t count by this I mean they will fill out an inquiry for 20 people and will have 26 people visiting.
THE GENERAL REASON WE NEED THE INFORMATION:
The other 50% of all quoted stays either live within 200 miles and / or have kin or friends within less than 100 miles. Here is just a sampling of inquires received on a fairly regular basis:
- “… Chose this area, because my Parents live nearby, it would be easiest for them to visit us instead of loading up the whole clan to see them, is that okay?”
- “…3rd marriage (we’re both in our 50’s), small wedding, no more than 30 additional people on Saturday between 11 AM and 9 PM. No live music or caterers. We hope to decorate some…. but will return the property as we originally found it…. “
- “….Business Retreat, with 4 guest speakers during stay,”
- “Family reunion, 16 people to stay at The River Lookout, about 25 local, and 30 (maybe more) at local hotels. We are planning to have all come and enjoy The River Lookout, Thursday – Sunday, just the 16 of us the rest of the stay….,”
- “I’ve got 4 well behaved Labs and 1 really old German Shepard (some incontinence issues) I don’t travel without my dogs, oh yeah and 2 cats, you’d hardly notice they were even there, I almost didn’t mention it, because I don’t want to pay the pet fee. Can you waive that…?”
- “NOLA Fraternity, we have 10 more people needing to spend the night than The River Lookout allows, we’ll bring our own extra bedding, entire group is very well behaved, all of us are between 18 and 21 years old…..,”
WHY ASK FOR THE AGE, THE PRIMARY RENTER IS OVER 28 YEARS OLD?
This information gives a really good idea about the stay. For instance, you can probably imagine what the stay will be if:
- There are equal amounts of toddlers, preteens, 30 somethings and 50 plus, most with the same name, no or under 5 visitors
- A dozen men in their 50’s – 70’s, with different last names
- 14 people with ages between 17 and 19, with the Renter a parent, and another 18 possible visitors between 17 and 20 years old.
- 25 people all ages between 18 and 21, with the signer, 21 years old
Another potential guest, wanted to book, based on 10 overnight guests, “came clean” on her intentions. After submitting 108 names, First Last and age, she ended by stating she expected the list to grow, this was all the confirmations she had so far… but none of the 108 were spending the night.
For some this will seem unbelievable.
For others, about to fill out the Occupancy Form, they will be thinking… “I’m not that bad, I’ve only got 35 – 50 possible Visitors. . . . and Yes, several times a year, with prior approval, large outside groups of visitors come to our vacation rentals, but not at the same rate as if it had only been the overnight count and often with restrictions on property use.
WHY DO I HAVE TO GIVE NOTICE OF CHANGES TO OCCUPANCY LIST?
For most, changes will not present an issue. For instance, “Tim”, from Wisconsin, books The River Lookout for Golfer’s Getaway, having 6 fellow Golfers confirmed and either says “TBD” or guesses 6 people will confirm.
As dates approach, 3 of his original confirmed group have bowed out and instead of finding the original needed 6 plus now only has 3, Tim has only found 5 more people, making the total number of in his booking 8, all about the same age.
However, twice, there has been an issue… the 2nd time it happened, it lead to a bit more scrutiny on “switching” folks out. Here are the details, on the last one:
A Father in his 60’s, books a Father / Son getaway for 8 fathers and 16 sons at the Great Escape River House total of 24 people. He kind of bowed out of giving ages saying he didn’t know them and the matter was not pressed. After booking, just prior to arrival, he added he switched out several names and added 3 more people. What he booked was an adult son and father getaway, what he had was bachelor party for 26 young men all between 17 and 22. This Father, of his late in life child, was the only person old enough to sign the rental agreement. It was only because of complaints about the noise from across the river, that the true purpose was discovered…. And there were damages.
Perhaps they don’t realize that this information is important or they are of the mind set of “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than for permission.”
Keep in mind; we would not have 2 properties, on the same street that between them could accommodate up to 43 people, if we weren’t in the mind set of giving permission.
That said, we are entitled to:
- Know the intended use of The River Lookout
- Know the names and ages of everyone expected to stay or Visit The River Lookout
- Be properly compensated for intended stay.
- As well as collect a Refundable Security / Damage large enough that based on the stay planned can be a deterrent to misbehavior or cover it.
If you find this process a little trying, please keep in mind, less than 4% of vacation rentals accommodate 16 (or more people) and less than .05% accommodate 27 (or more people) in Mississippi. The national average is even smaller. These large Vacation Homes are very rare and present unique challenges. We try to accommodate every stay, but some are not well suited for The River Lookout or do not qualify for the posted rates.
Failing to disclose key information about your stay (number of people staying over or visiting, their ages (or best estimate), pets, if an Event is planned, live music, intended use, etc. would be a violation of your Rental Contract.
A quote was given, based on the information provided, desired dates and people count. Renter accepted the quote, by electronically agreeing to the terms and conditions in this document. At that time, the on-line calendar was blocked off to all other inquiries. The house, for your dates, is off the market.
As part of your terms, Renter has 72 hours, from the time of booking, to fill out the “Occupancy List” online to determine if your quote, for your intended stay is accurate. By doing this form timely, if it turns out your Rental Rate, Fees, or Refundable Security/Damage Deposit needs to be adjusted (based on newly provided information) and you don’t like the adjustment, you will be released from this Contract, minus a $299 booking fee. Why would you have to pay this booking fee? Because 1. Information was provided on the “Occupancy List” that contradicted information given to receive the quote this Contract is based on 2. The Calendar was blocked off during a time when it may have been booked for these dates and 3. It will take time to undo this booking, which could have been avoided by providing accurate details initially.
Prior to electronically accepting the terms and conditions of this Contract, it is strongly advised, if you now realize, the information your quote was based is not accurate, that fill out the on-line “Occupancy List”, http://www.gulfportvacationhome.com/occupancy.html to get an accurate quote, before booking.
Renter Agrees to the following Terms:
___Limit Occupancy to those people Submitted to the “Occupancy List,” which can be found on-line at http://www.gulfportvacationhome.com/occupancy.html. If you regularly rent smaller vacation rentals, you are probably wondering why this is necessary. Is so, please check out: http://www.gulfportvacationhome.com/occupancy/whydoyouneedthis.html. If there is now, newly provided information, that perhaps you didn’t realize when you were quoted is relevant, you may either be requoted, have additional fees accessed, Refundable Damage Deposit increased, or just have a note put in your booking file.
___ Submitting the “Occupancy List” is Renter’s responsibility. Owner may forget to remind Renter of this requirement but should the online submission of the “Occupancy List” not occurred, Renter agrees that only the number of people shown on the initial inquiry (or booking) form shall be permitted on the Property at any time during the Rental Term. To further Clarify:
- ___No Visitors (unless they were in the original count given)
- ___Count is strictly limited to the number of Adults and Children given at the time of either booking or inquiry was submitted. If the inquiry was submitted for a total of 12 people, the maximum number of people who can be at the The River Lookout are 12; but more specifically those 12 individuals. If of the original 12 people, 5 leave during the stay, they CANNOT be replaced by 5 different people unless pre-approved. This Rental Contract is your notice to do so now, prior to signing. Also by not filling out the online “Occupancy List” you agree, there will be no visitors and that your stay is strictly a Lodging stay (Friends getaway, Family vacation, Golfers trip, Adult Spiritual or Business Retreat), limited to the count provided. If you have concerns about this limitation, please contact the Patricia Dalton, owner about the Disastrous “Detox” Retreat; or “Youths Retreat” but later it turned out was an at “Juvenile Detention Center” Retreat, with 2 Adults under 30 years old and 23 minors between 14 and 17 years old; or the “Father Son’s getaway” that turned out to be 1 Father (in his 60’s) throwing a bachelor party for his youngest, 18 year old son getting married and his 25 friends between 17 and 20 years old.
- ___ Renter, Guests, and any Visitors associated with this rental shall comply with the conditions and restrictions imposed upon renter under this agreement. Subletting, sharing or assigning is prohibited. No other persons may use the accommodation than listed on the Occupancy List. Any changes to persons booked to occupy the house must be given in advance. Rates are based on people count, increasing your people count, will very likely result in additional charges.
- ___1 vehicle per 3 – 4 Adults is expected and customary; 1 vehicle per 4 – 6 people is customary with children in the count
- ___No events (such as a reception, wedding, after prom party, etc.) take place. This rental is based on the stay being for lodging and the lodging guests’ enjoyment of the pool, house, river setting, etc.
- ___FALSIFIED RESERVATIONS — Any reservation obtained under false pretense is subject to forfeiture of advance payment, deposit and/or rental money, the group could be evicted or even not permitted to check-in.
- ___ No Pets – unless Declared prior to booking. Pet Fee is required and when applicable Damage Insurance in addition to Refundable Security / Damage Deposit. If Damage Insurance is not available, Refundable Security / Damage Deposit is increased.
I will know the booking that was quoted is in fact the booking we will have. And also understand of what each guest is planning and if The River Lookout has been quoted correctly and is a good fit for the intended stay.
Invited person for vacation homes, accommodating the larger groups, the 5%, there is a good chance the Vacation Home Owner’s expectation and the Traveler’s expectation are not on the same page. Sometimes travelers don’t realize that; or they assume, there is no limit while rates are based on the information you submitted when quoted.
Thank you so much for your understanding & cooperation.