Frequently Asked Questions
Renting from Us Payments Trip Insurance What’s Included Security Deposits Baby Furniture and Laptop rentals Rental Policies Cancellations Other Questions Disclaimer Nancy's Condo-
The Bathtub Story
I want to rent a property! What do I do next?
We will need your home address and cell phone number to put you into our rental software and make you a rental agreement. You can click on CONTACT US to fill out our contact form (or just send us an email with the same info). Once we have the necessary information, we will create a rental agreement and send it to you as an attachment by email. You will have 48 hours to fill it out and fax, or scan and email it back to us. 1/3 of the total reservation cost is due immediately to secure your reservation and the remaining balance is due 30 days prior to your arrival. Your full balance is due immediately if your arrival date is less than 30 days from when you sign the rental agreement.
Why do I only have 48 hours to get the agreement back to you?
As soon as we make a rental agreement, that property is taken off our availability calendar so it cannot be booked. We do this as a courtesy to you to allow you time to complete the paperwork. We do not hold properties without payment while you make up your mind or collect money from several other relatives or friends. At the point when you ask us to make you a rental agreement, you should have made up your mind that this is what you want and you are ready to book and pay the reservation deposit or the full rental fee if it is within 30 days. If you are making a reservation that is 4 months away, we don’t mind giving you a little additional time but if you are booking something for the next week, every minute is critical to getting that property booked so we may even give you less time to return it. Our job is to keep these properties full so the owners can pay their bills and these properties can continue to be offered as vacation rentals.
Are there any additional fees other than the rental fee?
Yes, the transient occupancy tax (TOT) and the cleaning/laundry fee. The city of San Diego requires us to collect a TOT of 10.5% for rentals that are less than a month. The city uses the revenue to advertise San Diego as a tourist destination, to run the tourist offices, to keep the beaches spotlessly clean, and for city beautification projects. We also have a cleaning/laundry fee which varies depending on unit, length of stay, and season. The cleaning/laundry fee, baby furniture rentals, etc. must be included before tax is applied according to the City Treasurer's TOT Office. Each one of our properties has a TOT Certificate issued by the city. It’s supposed to be hanging in each rental but it looks ugly (even in a frame) and does not fit with the décor so if you want to see it, I’ll fax it to you!
Why do I pay a cleaning fee?
Our housekeepers are a critical component of our quality assurance program and they professionally clean our vacation properties between every rental. They vacuum, dust, scrub, sanitize and do the laundry after each guest’s departure to ensure your home away from home is spotless when you arrive. In addition to standard housekeeping duties, our staff checks and stocks our list of basic amenities and required supplies. If you desire daily or occasional housekeeping during your stay, we can arrange the service for an extra fee.
If I clean it myself can I get the cleaning fee refunded?
No, for several reasons. First of all, I have spent years training my housekeepers to clean these places exactly how I want them cleaned and I have no idea what YOUR cleaning standards are. I would not have any way of knowing if you actually sanitized the surfaces or just wiped them with a wet paper towel. Also, how do I know if you are familiar with the correct products to use for cleaning travertine tile, granite counter-tops, stainless appliances, glass top stoves, etc.
Secondly, this is the way my cleaners earn their living and we plan ahead for hiring by how many places we have to clean. If I let you clean after your stay, it takes away their work that we have planned ahead for. I need to depend on them every week, all year long and part of having them be dependable is to provide them with enough work so they can earn a good living. Also, they have access to the supply storage and make sure all the supplies are refilled for the next guest. They also report to me on anything that is missing, damaged, needs to be replaced or repaired, when the carpet needs to be cleaned, or if the supply of washcloths has dwindled to just a couple. Lastly, you are on vacation and you shouldn’t be cleaning!
How will I be sure the property is as advertised?
We try our best to keep the photos and amenities updated on our website. If anything has changed, it is usually for the better, like a new flat screen TV or a new bedspread or new towels. We can’t send our photographer out every time the owner buys a new decorative pillow. Just trust that if it’s not the same, it’s been upgraded recently.
We have a dedicated staff that makes sure each of our vacation homes and condos are ready for your arrival by implementing a quality assurance program that includes cleaning, maintenance, and management. We have developed stringent procedures for every one of our vacation rentals including a detailed check-list for our cleaners so that standard amenities and required supplies are checked before your arrival. We strive for complete satisfaction from each and every guest. That doesn’t mean that we guarantee everything will be perfect! The smoke alarm might start beeping, or the remote control batteries for the TV or the garage door opener could die, or the person before you might have been watching their vacation pictures or video and put the TV on some weird stetting so you can’t get the regular channels. I can garantee that if you call us, we will make it right! We also have a high tech expert on call to help you get that TV back to the right setting or get you connected to the internet if you are having problems.
How do we get the keys to the property?
All of our rentals currently have a lockbox on or near the door. We will email you detailed directions and instructions to the property a few days prior to your stay, which will include the code for the lockbox. We are in the process of changing over to the KABA locks where we send you a personal code that will give you access during the length of your stay. One and two bedrooms have two sets of keys and three bedrooms have three sets of keys.
Who do I call if there is a problem?
An agent is available 24/7. In every email and on your rental agreement you are provided with 2 phone numbers: our office and our 24 hour support line. If we don’t answer, we will call you back right away!
What is the difference between renting with a professional property management team like yours versus renting from an individual property owner?
Many vacation rentals are operated by homeowners themselves. Their vacation rental is not their primary source of income. They have a full time job…. and a personal life. Not us! This is our e-than-full-time business and we want you to come back. We are available 24/7. There is always a number for you to call where you can speak to someone on our team, whether it’s 12:00 noon or 12:00 midnight. We will aid you in identifying the right property, make recommendations that would make your trip better, handle your reservation, and remain in contact with you after you depart and are trying to remember where you left your electric toothbrush or the cap your Dad gave you for your last birthday.
We do everything we can to make sure your rental experience is the best it can be. We’ve heard stories from guest that have rented a vacation rental from an owner and found that no one answered when the garbage disposal backed up or the TV or internet wouldn’t work. We also have people call us after checking into another place to see if we have anything available because the place they rented smelled bad or there was mold in the shower and around the windows or (the most frequent complaint) it was not clean enough. We promise that won’t happen with us!
How do I know that there will actually be an apartment at the address when I arrive or that you can be trusted not to run off with my money?
We have been in business for over 12 years and have created an extensive library of guest comments that demonstrate our solid record of quality, reliability, and excellent customer service. Please read the comments in our GUESTBOOKS.
Are linens provided?
Yes, all linens including sheets, towels, and blankets are provided free of cost. All sheets are 300 - 600 count, usually Egyptian cotton, and the bath towels are soft and fluffy. We also provide beach towels at all our San Diego properties so you won’t be tempted to take our blanket and sheets to the beach! If your teenager is using acne medicine, please have them bring their own towel because the acne medicine bleaches our towels. For years I blamed it on the housekeepers until one guest helped me solve the mystery of the bleach-spotted towels when she called me horrified that her son had ruined our towels.
What do you stock your properties with?
All our properties are fully furnished for normal housekeeping in “turn-key” condition. Kitchens are equipped with dishes, cookware, flatware, glasses, standard appliances, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, coffee filters and basic spices. We try for laundry detergent and bounce sheets. We also stock our rentals with paper towels, a new sponge, dish soap, hand soap, body wash, shampoo, and toilet paper. You will also find a hair dryer, an iron, ironing board, laundry basket and an alarm clock. Most of them have bikes, bike locks, tire pump, boogie boards, beach towels, beach chairs and sand toys.
Do your vacation rentals have air conditioning?
We have portable units for rent. They are limited so make sure your property either comes with one or reserve one asap. It’s hard for people from Arizona and Texas to fathom life without A/C but it really is not necessary at the beach in San Diego! There are very few properties (be it rentals or private homes) that have air conditioning in the beach communities of San Diego. If these multi-million dollar properties needed it, they would definitely have it. The ocean and sea-breeze acts as a natural A/C. On the occasional hot days we recommend that you open windows and doors for cross-ventilation and use the fans we provide. Please keep in mind that fans are not air conditioners. To work you have to be sitting in the breeze they create. If you leave them running while you are out, they will not cool the house down. You will just be wasting electricity. Turn them off when you leave the house! That goes for lights too, please.
Do your rentals have internet access?
Absolutely! We provide free high speed internet with wireless access (WiFi) in each and every one of our vacation units. Can anyone live without it these days? How would you look up the nearest Thai restaurant or day spa or see what is on at the movies? Keep in mind that most of the rentals don’t have printers so print your discount coupons before you leave home! Printing boarding passes can be a problem, too. You can rent a printer from Robert at Wehrconnected or call us and maybe Jeremy can print it and get it to you if you don’t call at the very last minute.
Do you provide bicycles for your guests?
The majority of our properties come with at least 2 free adult bikes to cruise the miles of boardwalk along the beach and bay. If you need more, we suggest you visit one of our wonderful local rental shops. If you’re coming with children under 16, you can rent children’s bikes at several locations in the area… and don’t forget to grab a helmet for them. It’s California Law!
Do you have beach toys?
Most of our properties come with beach chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards, and sand toys for a full day of fun for everyone at the beach.
What should I bring?
We understand that more than half of you are arriving by airplane so we try to provide everything you will need so you don’t have to pay additional baggage charges! Just bring the clothes you’ll need for vacation and your personal toiletries. We’ll provide things like sheets, towels, toilet paper, shampoo, soap, beach towels, etc. While you are packing, if you have a question about something, give us a call.
Do you only rent by the week or do you rent by the night?
Both. Different seasons have different policies and a few of the condo associations have rental restrictions for minimum stays from one week to one month. Mid-August through mid-June: arrive and depart any day of the week as long you meet our nightly minimum. Mid-June through mid-August: weekly rentals are required Saturday to Saturday at our San Diego properties. All our weeks, by the way, have seven nights.
What are your minimum rental requirements?
Our minimum rental period is three nights, although we will not accept 3 night weekends until about a month before a given vacancy. Why is that? Because if we offered two and three night weekend stays, every weekend would be booked for 6 months in advance and we would not have anything available when someone called for a month or a week or even 5 nights. We would end up with 4 or 5 nights vacant each week. Vacation rentals typically do not attract the single business travelers that hotels get to fill in the weekdays (although I don’t know why!) These beach area properties are expensive to buy and maintain and we can not make it financially renting just the weekends! Give us time to book longer rentals and we will be happy to fill in the gaps with shorter rentals and we often give last minute discounts. (Last minute is about a week ahead, not a month ahead.)
We offer nightly, weekly, and monthly rates with discounts for extended stays. We have a three night minimum but if you’re looking for a 2 night stay, it never hurts to ask. We’ll do our best to accommodate you, especially at the last minute or if your reservation falls at the beginning or end of a longer rental and is not smack in the middle of an available time period. Since we have a one-time cleaning/laundry fee that is separate from the rental fee, the shorter your stay, the more the total nightly cost will be so nightly stays do not usually make sense and we find most people looking for a one night rental are looking for a place to have a party and we do not allow parties in any of our rentals.
Do you allow pets?
A couple of our properties do allow pets, but most do not. We charge a non-refundable $50.00 pet fee to cover additional cleaning to get rid of all pet hair and dander. Any additional cleaning or repair required due to the occupancy of the pet will be charged to the credit card on file for the reservation. If it is found there are more pets than agreed to at a property, or there are complaints from neighbors regarding excessive barking or nuisances caused by your pet, we will ask you to vacate the property immediately without a refund.
Do you allow smoking?
All our rentals are nonsmoking properties and any form of smoking is prohibited inside. If you must smoke, please go outside and make sure all the windows and doors are closed to your rental. Be aware in waterfront condos that the sea breezes might be carrying your smoke into the neighbors open door, too. Be sure to pick up after yourself and DO NOT leave butts lying around. Smoking is banned on public beaches and in public parks according to San Diego laws.
Do you allow parties?
Absolutely not. We want to make sure that everyone receives the privacy and quiet time they deserve. No one wants to be kept up until the wee hours of the morning or have music booming in the afternoon. Our properties are located in residential neighborhoods and are, in most cases, in close proximity to neighbors so please be aware of your actions and always be considerate of others. We want our neighbors to like the vacation rentals and not start a movement to ban them from the neighborhood. In addition, the San Diego City Council passed a 24 hour noise ordinance that allows for citations with fines up to $1000.00 for both the renter and the owner or property manager for disturbing the peace. We can’t afford this, can you?
Can I pay by credit card or debit card?
Yes, we take Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. You can either call us with your billing info or write the info on your rental agreement in the place provided. You may opt to have us charge the balance automatically when it is due. Otherwise we will contact you when it is due to see how you want to settle your balance.
If you are hesitant to provide your credit card (we charge an average of $100K per month in payments), you can also go to the secure payment center at www.PayPal.com and click on "Send Money." Enter our email address [email protected] as the payee. Please note - there is a $2000 limit for first time PayPal users. If you have a PayPal account, you can also transfer money from your account or bank to our PayPal account.
Can I pay by personal check?
Yes, if it's in US dollars and your check-in date is not within a few weeks. Make checks out to Nancy's Vacation Rentals and send our address:
Nancy's Vacation Rentals
1108 Evergreen Dr
Encinitas, CA 92024-3917
I don't have a US bank account and I don't like to use credit cards over the internet. How else can I pay?
Most of our international guests pay by credit card or by bank-to-bank wire transfer. We will be happy to provide you with the SWIFT code for international bank wires. We are also able to accept payments in Euros because we have a bank in Paris, France.
Can I get a receipt so I can get reimbursed by my employer or write it off on my taxes?
Absolutely. You can use your rental agreement as a receipt or we will make you a separate one with the rental fee, tax and cleaning fee clearly defined. Many of our guests are on business trips, attending meetings, a convention or training and need receipts for reimbursement for all or a part of their stay. We do business with companies like Hewlett-Packard who often send us international guests coming to San Diego for training. The College of English Language has also placed several students in our rentals. We are regularly paid with company checks and are given a 1099C at the end of the year.
Do I have to pay a Security Deposit?
No - each of our rentals include Accidental Rental Damage Insurance (ARDI) that takes the place of a traditional security deposit.
What is ARDI?
ARDI is peace of mind while you travel. Why worry that something might accidentally happen while you’re on vacation? You never know what might occur, like the time when we received a call for a broken window (cost $325 so don't throw the suntan lotion in the house!) or the time when a guest went out and bought candles and put them on the mantle right under a new plasma TV. It melted the TV frame (a $700 repair!). Our “Peace of Mind” Accidental Damage Insurance gives peace of mind that you will not incur additional costs if an accident happens during your trip. The provided plan covers $500 in accidental damage or loss to the property and its contents as defined by the Description of Coverage. We also offer supplemental coverage of up to $5000 for a nominal price as an option when you make a reservation. If an accident occurs, we simply ask that you report the details of the accident and leave the rest to us. Your credit card will still be held for damages or losses that are in excess of the coverage amount and for anything that is not covered by the insurance, including but not limited to, intentional damage, additional cleaning, or pet damage. We ask that you immediately report an incident causing damage or loss to the property to us so the incident will be covered. It also helps us make sure that whatever happened is fixed or replaced before our next guest arrives!
How do I make sure that I’m not charged for something I didn’t do?
We have a thorough inspection policy to ensure our rental units are in good condition and that you will not be inadvertently held responsible for missing or broken items. Please assist us by reporting any missing or broken items to our office within 24 hours of arrival.
What is your cancellation policy?
You may cancel a reservation at any time by notifying us in writing or via e-mail. If your cancellation notice is received by NVR 30 days or more prior to check-in date, your will receive a full refund, less ten percent (10%) of the deposit as a cancellation fee. If your cancellation notice is received less than 30 days prior to check-in date and the property is re-rented at the same rate to another party, you will receive a full refund, less ten percent (10%) of the total as a cancellation fee. If the property is re-rented for less than the original rate, you will receive a partial refund equal to the re-rented rate, less ten percent (10%) of the total as a cancellation fee. If the property is not re-rented, NVR will retain all payments. Cleaning fees and damage waiver will always be refunded in the event of a cancellation. In practice, we have been able to give refunds to nearly everyone that has had to cancel. We look at each case on an individual basis and try our best to re-rent the property to another party.
Why do you charge a cancellation fee?
We charge a cancellation fee to help us recoup the time and cost of booking the property (including payment processing fees). Also, when we reserve time for you and remove the dates from our availability calendar, chances are we will turn down several other people who are interested in the same time period for the same property.
Do you offer trip insurance?
How many of us could afford to lose the non-refundable part of our trip if something unexpected happened? We all want the trip we’ve planned to be the vacation of our dreams. No one wants that dream to turn into a nightmare, but unexpected events can happen! Troubles can occur when you least anticipate them, illness...medical emergencies...delayed flights [snow storms] and other severe weather. Forcing you to cancel or interrupt your trip, lose your vacation investment, and incur unplanned expenses.
Your vacation investment is protected when you purchase Red Sky’s Sun Trip Preserver. Nancy's Vacation Rentals, Inc. has partnered with Red Sky Travel Insurance to provide you with this important insurance and we highly recommend that you purchase the protection to safeguard against the unexpected.
When should I purchase trip insurance?
The Sun Trip Preserver travel insurance must be purchased at least 30 days prior to arrival. If reservations is made within 30 days of check-in, travel insurance must be purchased at the time the reservation is made. If insurance is purchased within 21 days of your initial trip payment, the Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion will be waived. If you chose not to purchase Sun Trip Preserver Travel Insurance, no refunds will be provided for cancellations, delays, or disruptions normally covered by the travel insurance policy. We also suggest you check your Home Owner or Renter Liability Insurance to make sure you are covered while staying in a rental property stateside or abroad (if you are renting the Paris apt).
I’m traveling with a baby or toddler. Do you have Pack-n-Plays, highchairs, etc?
Yes, we do! We will deliver them to your rental and have everything set up and ready to use when you arrive for a flat onetime delivery and cleaning fee of $25 to $50.00, depending on what you need.
Available Items: Toddler beds - comes with sheets, blankets and pillow, Pack-n-plays - comes with baby blankets, Highchairs, and Booster seats.
Additional items are available through www.ToddlersTravels.com. Be sure to mention that you’re renting with Nancy’s Vacation Rentals to receive free delivery if you meet their minimum order requirements!
What is the difference between staying in a vacation rental and staying at a hotel?
Our vacation rentals offer an excellent alternative to traditional hotel family vacations. Hotel rooms are much smaller, and a family of four or more often will need to rent 2 or more hotel rooms just to accommodate everyone. In addition, they’ll have to go out to restaurants for every meal, possibly pay for hotel parking, internet use and phone calls, which significantly increases the overall cost. Our vacation rentals offer more value, more space, more amenities, and come with fully equipped kitchens for eating some or all meals at home. We also provide things like bikes, boogie boards, beach toys, games, books, etc. An entire family can stay under one roof or multiple families can stay together and split the cost. Many of our vacation rentals reside on the waterfront, or they are just steps from the ocean or bay. Others are “just off the ocean or bay,” which allows us to offer more economical prices. Our vacation rentals are perfect for family vacations, reunions, weddings, and romantic getaways.
How far in advance should I book my reservation?
You may book your reservation at the last minute, and we will always do our best to accommodate you. However, to get the best homes and condos in the best locations, we highly recommend you reserve your vacation rental as soon as possible. Many of our guests come back to Nancy’s Vacation Rentals year after year, and they often reserve the same property for the following year while they are there.
Would you stay in your vacation rentals yourself?
Absolutely! As a matter of fact, we rent to family and friends and we try to stay in each of our properties at least once a year. Brian and I try to get to the Paris apartment twice a year (someone’s got to do it!) We’ve found that it’s the best way to see what needs attention, although we ask each guest for feedback and we really appreciate it when you take the time to give us your comments and suggestions.
Do you have inexpensive rentals?
Depends on what you call inexpensive. We think our rentals are very reasonable, definitely competitively priced and an excellent value for your money! We do have several beach area rentals that we are able to offer at budget-friendly prices, much less than beachfront rentals because they range from 3-5 blocks away from the closest body of water (Mission Bay or the ocean). Since the mortgages are lower, so are the rates.
How do you determine your pricing?
The fact is that we don’t determine our pricing, you do! We WISH we could set our rates according to our costs because purchasing beach community real estate in San Diego is not cheap! Add to that the costs of property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, furniture, gas, electric, water, cable TV, high speed internet, unlimited national calling (in most properties), trash pick-up, gardening service, carpet cleaning, and window washing. And then, include additional supplies such as regular sheet and towel replacement, paper towels, toilet paper, hand soap, body soap, shampoo, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, spices, new sponges for each guest, cleaning supplies. Then there is the cost of renting it out (rental agency fees, credit card fees, photographs, advertising...the list goes on and on. But the fact is that YOU set the prices. If our prices are too high, you don’t come. If they are deemed in your eyes as a good value, then our places get booked. We are always monitoring rates and occupancy and try to set our rates so they stay full all year-round. When demand is high (like summer and holidays) we are able to increase our prices. In the end, many of our owners wind up subsidizing other people’s vacations in their home for most of the year (unless they bought their property many, many years ago). They recognize that by opening their home to you rather than leasing it out, they have the option to use it themselves when they want to, and still get help with their mortgage payments. You receive family-friendly home-like accommodations that dollar-for-dollar far surpass hotel accommodations, especially for a groups looking to stay together in a family-type setting.
Our rental properties are privately owned and reflect the taste of each owner. Every effort has been made to ensure accurate and complete information in the Rental License Agreement and on the websites. However, we cannot be held responsible for typographical errors, omissions, environmental factors, price changes and changes made by our owners in furnishings, equipment, bed arrangements, etc.
“NANCY’S CONDO” The Bathtub Story
My story about working for United Airlines during 9-11 (relating to the bathtub photo of Nancy's Riviera Condo #303)
I was a Purser for United Airlines flying a flight from Paris to San Francisco on 9-11. It was quite scary to be called to the cockpit and hear that "all airspace in the entire United States is closed." I can tell you after that announcement was made to the passengers there was no stopping people from using their cell phones inflight! We were sent to Calgary for four days and while my crew had a few hotel rooms to share, our passengers stayed in a school gym with the passengers of several other jumbo jets. My boyfriend (now my husband) Brian, knew how stressed I could get after a long flight and that a relaxing soak in the tub was always the best medicine. He sent me this picture by email and said "Come home safely, my love. This is what is waiting for you." Nancy's Condo #303 (last photo).
I just happened to be transporting a huge 5’X 9’ American Flag that the military had draped over the coffin of Brian’s uncle when he died in WWII while fighting in France. We used it during the Tour de France to honor Lance Armstrong upon his arrival in Paris (that's another good story - see the last photo of us in Paris). I was bringing the flag back home. I draped it over the galley entrance right at the entry door to the plane so when passengers boarded, the flag was the first thing they saw. They cried, kissed it, knelt in front of it and took lots of photos. It really slowed down the boarding process but when and security just took 4 hours and you are already four days late getting to your destination, who cares? I was amazed and honored to find out that we had two F-16 escorts on our flanks but not quite as thrilled after realizing that they were there to shoot us down if we started off-course! We were the first aircraft to land at San Francisco International Airport. The reception was overwhelming. It was nighttime, the fire trucks had their lights on and sprayed a welcome arch of water that we taxied through. I think every employee of the airport was outside with flashlights waving welcome in unison as we taxied into the jet-way. There was not a dry eye to be found on the entire aircraft.
Brian drove all night from San Diego to SFO to pick me up because departing flights were not scheduled to operate for a few more days. It was great to get home and I headed right for the bathtub!