VRBO is fairly new on the Vacation Rental scene. Before it came along, people listed their own properties in Local Newspapers (so if you wanted to stay in WDW Area, you’d get yourself a copy of the Orlando paper) – or they listed their property with a Real Estate Co that dealt with Rental – or they used a Property Management Co. to do all the paperwork etc.
VRBO (and by extension other Companies like AirBnB) have Owners being their own Leasing Agents.
For the most part they work out ok… altho there can be times when one will End Up with Something didn’t plan on… an Outright Scam Artist (took the money & ran) – A Property that looks NOTHING like the Photos – or worse, a Property that isn’t legal to rent.
The latter is the latest thing on this front.
Many Towns, Cities, States, Provinces, Countries… are now deeming these short term rentals to be ILLEGAL. Because there is nothing to protect the Consumer… No Health & Safety Standards adhered to like a Hotel.
So in some cities self-renting is ILLEGAL unless the Owner has a Permit as a Short Term Rental Property… this is true for as I say many places… 3 of the most notable are:
New York City – Paris – and the whole Province of Quebec.
So my best advice there is KNOW BEFORE YOU SEND ANY MONEY…
In that regard a lot of great info can be found on TripAdvisor, the Internet’s Leader in Trip Planning info… you can always check in with their Destination Forums for the Place you are interested in to discover more about a place… and post Questions / chat with TA Destination Experts & Locals.
Mr TTR & I travel a lot… we never go even on a weekend getaway anymore without consulting TA first… Travel Guides – Reviews (Accommodations – Restaurants – Attractions) – and the Travel Forums
On that note…
A few years back we did a Weekend Rental in the Mountains… we got it thru a company called FlipKey (which is like TA a Division of the Expedia Family). We chose FlipKey cause they are 100% Guaranteed, and you can read Reviews on TripAdvisor for these Vacation Rentals. It was a great experience… everything was exactly as it was presented… and the process was easy (our particular Cottage had a Property Management Company that handled all the details, and who we picked up the keys from etc). No Regrets… we would absolutely do it again.
Hope this helps,