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Old 04-16-2008, 12:48 PM   #1
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Arrow An explanation of "renting points" (READ THIS BEFORE RENTING)

A helpful article courtesy of DVC Mike:

Note: This post is intended for people who are interested in "renting points" from a DVC member. If you are a DVC member/owner who is interested in renting out your own points, then you want to look at the "Guide for DVC Members on renting out your points" post instead of this one.

You don't have to be a member of the Disney Vacation Club to be able to book a stay in a deluxe villa at a Disney Vacation Club Resort.

Any one can do so, using one of two methods. DVC rooms are larger than Disney's other hotel rooms, have either a patio or balcony, and larger units (1-BR and up) come with full kitchens, washers and dryers, and Jacuzzi tubs.

The two methods you can use to book a DVC room are:
  • Book a reservation directly with Disney Central Reservations Office (using the Disney web site, phone line, or via travel agent) just like you would book any other Disney resort hotel.
  • Rent points from a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) member
Disney allows the general public to book DVC units (typically at very high 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 (renting points from an owner will typically cost you about half what you’ll pay if you reserve direct through Disney).

When you "rent points", the reservation will be in your name and you will check in at the regular Disney Resort arrival desk. You will be treated the same as every Disney Resort Guest and you will have access to almost all of the same amenities and perks afforded to each and every guest staying at a Disney Resort.

There are presently 13 DVC resorts - 9 in Walt Disney World in Florida, one in Disneyland in California, one on Oahu in Hawaii, one in Vero Beach, Florida, and one in Hilton Head, South Carolina. For an overview of each resort, take a look at the ”DVC Resort Information" thread, which also has floor plans for the various room types.

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.

There are significant differences between renting points and booking a hotel reservation with Disney. It is your responsibility to educate yourself on the process of renting points and perform the necessary due diligence prior to entering into any agreement to rent points.

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.

There is inherent risk in these types of private transactions, which are really nothing more than glorified handshake agreements, so if you’re a risk adverse type of person, renting points may not be the way to go.

The risk is that another individual holds and controls your reservation, even though it is in your name. It requires some trust that the DVC owner/member will do what they say, and not take off with your money – leaving you without a reservation.

Even if the DVC owner is an honest and upfront individual, it’s also possible for an owner to default on his DVC mortgage loan or stop paying his member dues – either of which would result in DVC cancelling the reservation he made in your name since he is no longer a member in good standing. You can’t foresee the owner losing their job, encountering financial problems, declaring bankruptcy, or getting divorced. These types of unforeseen events in the life of the DVC owner could disrupt your vacation plans.

In a direct rental transaction with an owner, you can lose both your reservation at the DVC resort, as well as all your money, and there is no way to prevent this.

Renting via a points broker (such as David’s Vacation Club Rentals) can reduce the risk of losing your money, as they offer full refunds if there is negligence on the part of the owner/member. A broker cannot guarantee that your reservation will not be cancelled; however, they will work with you to try to arrange comparable accommodations. If no comparable accommodations are available, you’ll just get a full refund. However, while using a points broker does reduce your risk, it does not completely eliminate all risk. Your family can still face the disappointment of not having a reservation.

This risk is what gets you the big discount, and renting is not for everyone. Renting points takes some work ahead of time to educate yourself and learn how to protect yourself, in order to minimize the potential risk of these types of transactions.

That said, reported instances of failed DVC rentals occurring are extremely rare, and the actual amount of risk is low. Thousands of successful rental transactions have been completed throughout the history of the DVC program, and the substantial savings are obvious.

However, let me be clear, if you are a completely risk-averse type of person, and would be uncomfortable taking on this type of risk, and it will cause you anxiety from the time you make the rental transaction until the time you check-in, then don’t rent points. Guests who want a risk-free choice should pay more to book directly with Disney rather than renting points – although it will cost much, much more. That peace of mind may be worth it to some.

Disney also offers better cancellation policies as compared to renting points, as DVC point rentals tend to have much more restrictive cancellation policies due to the lack of flexibility members have with their points.

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 either done it before, or has done the necessary research before offering their points for rental. Potential renters should take some time themselves to get educated on how DVC works before looking to “rent points”.

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 someone.
  • 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, or one who hasn't done the upfront preparation themselves before they rent.
  • Don't rent from any so-called “member” who has only made a few posts or who just joined MouseOwners, as it could be an indicator of a scam. If someone has been a consistent poster on MouseOwners, or has been a member for quite some time, that should provide some level of comfort. 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. In other words, call them on the phone and "google" their name and address.
  • 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. A sample DVC Rental agreement is available HERE.

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. Again, these types of things are extremely rare.

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 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 reservations are not as “forgiving” as hotel reservations. 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.
  • Bear in mind that there is no guarantee that the dates and/or resorts you want will be available. You’ll have to find an owner who is interested in renting points and willing to check your dates.
  • 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 or personal 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 offered only to members.
  • 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. Don't let this post scare you away from renting. Like I said above, the vast majority of rental transactions are successful, and renters end up saving a lot of money and, in some cases, are so excited with the accommodations they get that they end up becoming DVC members themselves!

How far in advance should I rent points and reserve my reservation? DVC, being a timeshare system, is built around the concept of full occupancy year-round. Different room types and resorts reach capacity at different times of the year. Find out more by reading THIS. It is advisable to book your reservation as early as you can, especially if you want to book a popular room type at a popular resort during a popular time. The earliest a reservation may be secured is 11 months in advance. If you try to book a room less than 7 months in advance, your options will be limited to larger resorts such as Old Key West and Saratoga Springs. Don't plan on getting a reservation less than 2 months in advance, although it can happen.

Factors which influence availability of rooms include:
  • Whether you're trying to book at a popular time for DVC (i.e., the early part of December)
  • Whether you are trying to book during a particular resort's busy time period (i.e., BCV/BWV during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival)
  • Whether you are trying to book a limited-availability accommodation (i.e., value or concierge rooms)

When you rent from an individual DVC member, the price you pay may or may not be negotiable. The first question you should ask is if the price is negotiable. If not, don't waste the owner's time by making an offer.

Even those owners that are open to negotiate don't like to deal with people who offer unrealistically low-ball offers. Don't waste the owner's time, as they just get annoyed with "bottom feeders". Do your best to make a reasonable offer.

You're not doing the owner a favor by renting their points. Expect to pay somewhere between $13-$16/pt. DVC resorts that are in high demand (Beach Club, Bay Lake Tower, Boardwalk, Grand Floridian) tend to cost more per point than those with less demand (Saratoga Springs). Reservations during the week between Christmas and New Years may also cost more.

Use the Point Charts to determine total point cost, based on room type, resort, and time of year.

MouseOwners offers a RENT / TRADE / TRANSFER BOARD that is basically a "classified ads" section where you can go if you want to connect with others to rent points. MouseOwners is not involved in the actual transactions between the parties involved, and has no control over the truth or accuracy of the listings or the abilities of the parties to complete the transactions, and cannot and will not be held responsible for same. Please review the rules, guidelines and tips before posting.

We personally would not rent DVC points from listings on eBay or Craigslist.

If you've read this far, you may think renting points is a lot of work - for both DVC owners who want to rent out their excess points as well as potential renters. Owners who don’t want to hassle with dealing with potential renters often choose points brokers, who match up potential renters and then handle all the legwork.

As a potential renter, if you’d rather not have to go through the hassle of trying to obtain a rental on your own, you can use a third party point broker, such as David's Vacation Club Rentals. You don’t have to worry about doing all the due diligence discussed above and the service makes it easy and seamless to rent points. The only downside is that it may cost more than renting direct from a DVC member, since the the third party points broker needs to get compensated for their service. You have to decide if you think it’s worth paying a little more for the peace of mind.

Despite the fact that using a points broker may feel like a more secure transaction, brokers don’t really give you any more protection in the event of cancellation than using an owner directly. However, since maintaining a spotless reputation is important for point brokers, they'll usually bend over backwards to make you happy if the owner renting the points messes up something. This is another reason to use a point broker who has been in business a long time.

David's Vacation Club Rentals (which has been around since 2005) is the largest and most well known points broker. However, there are other point brokers. They all offer pretty much the same thing, for around the same price - although there are differences - including payment options and schedules, deposit requirements, etc. Confirm the company you choose is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and has a spotless reputation. I would be cautious, as anyone can throw up a web site and claim to be a points broker.

➤ MouseOwners.com recommends David's Vacation Club Rentals.


DISCLAIMER: This forum is intended to serve as a "classified ads" section of the site. The DVC Boards at MouseOwners.com is not involved in the actual transactions between the parties involved. In this regard, we have no control over the truth or accuracy of the listings or the abilities of the parties to complete the transactions, and cannot and will not be held responsible for same.

Last edited by DVC Information; 06-24-2015 at 09:57 AM.
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