How to Reserve a Vacation Property
Once you have decided on the property and the week(s) you desire - BOOK IT! To book through the website, click the "Price Quote & Book It" button on the right-hand side of the property listing and follow the options and payment prompts. Online reservations are available to book 24/7. Our Availability Calendars are always 100% accurate. Please remember, the first initial deposit received toward a reservation receives the confirmed reservations. Bookings are first come - first serve.
Reservations MORE than 90 Days Before Arrival:
In order to "book" your desired rental property with us, if there are more than 90 days until the rental start date, we'll require a 50% deposit of the total rental amount which includes tax and processing fee (more on that below). You can pay this by credit card, e-check, traditional hand-written check, cash, or money order. We accept all major credit cards.
Once you have initiated your booking, we will take a charge of $25 from a credit card you provide (that will be deducted from the total rental) that is a non-refundable deposit to get the booking process started. If, after we have received your credit card deposit, but before you have signed the rental agreement finalizing the rental, you decide not to rent with us, we will still retain the $25 deposit to cover the time and effort that goes into putting your rental agreement together. So be sure that you are 99.9% committed to renting with us when you give us that first deposit. If you wish to review the rental agreement in advance, please let us know, we are happy to arrange that.
We will send you a rental agreement electronically (we use Docusign) to process the rental agreement between you and the Property Owner. You have 5 days to sign the agreement to lock in the rental. If you don't have e-mail or are not comfortable signing an electronic document, we'd be happy to fax or send it to you by U.S. Mail.
Once we receive your rental agreement back, the remainder of the 50% initial deposit is due (you paid $25 at booking towards this).
Payment is due in full, along with any amenity charges such as boat rentals or vacation grocery services etc. at the 90 day mark. (Please note - Any checks returned for insufficient funds will require replacement funds by cash, certified bank check, or postal money order, plus a $45 fee.)
21 days before your rental begins, an automated e-mail will be sent to you with all the information you'll need to know about getting to your rental property, including driving directions and access information. If you don't receive the information on how to get to your property at least two weeks prior to your rental, and after you have checked your "spam" or "junk" e-mail folders - call us right away so we can resolve the issue!
Reservations LESS than 90 Days Before Arrival:
If there are 90 days or less until the rental start date, the entire balance in full will be due right away. If you make the reservation online less than 90 days before you arrive, your entire credit card balance will be charge immediately. You can avoid this by making the reservation over the phone with us. In that case, we will only charge $25 to your credit card until you sign the rental agreement within 7 days of the reservation initiation - then we will charge the remaining full balance. Unfortunately, we cannot accept any other payment but credit cards for reservations less than 90 days before arrival date.
If, after we have received your credit card deposit, but before you have signed the rental agreement finalizing the rental, you decide not to rent with us, we retain a $25 deposit to cover the time and effort that goes into putting your rental agreement together as well as an additional 3% re-processing fee to cover refunding the payment back to your credit card. So be sure that you are 100% committed to renting with us when you make a reservation online. If there is any hesitation, please call us by phone so that we only run $25 instead of the full balance. If you wish to review the rental agreement in advance, please let us know, we are happy to arrange that.
We will send you a rental agreement electronically (we use Docusign) to process the rental agreement between you and the Property Owner. You have 5 days to sign the agreement to lock in the rental. If you don't have e-mail or are not comfortable signing an electronic document, we'd be happy to fax it to you - but we cannot send it by US Mail or other delivery service if there are 90 days or less until arrival.
Once we receive your rental agreement back, you will be locked in to the rental. If you did the reservation by phone and only $25 was charge, the remainder of the full balance is due immediately.
21 days or less before your rental begins, an automated e-mail will be sent to you with all the information you'll need to know about getting to your rental property, including driving directions and access information. If you don't receive the information on how to get to your property at least two weeks prior to your rental, and after you have checked your "spam" or "junk" e-mail folders - call us right away so we can resolve the issue!
In order to process a rental, each Guest will need to sign a Rental Agreement that is between the Property Owner and the Guest. This Rental Agreement will be sent by e-mail with a link to Docusign to each renter within 48 hours of the booking of the property and must be returned 50% of the payment within 5 days of receipt (unless there are 90 days or less until you arrive, in which 100% of the payment is due).
Our rental agreements are "generic" in that we use the same rental agreement for all the properties we offer for rent. Each Property Owner that lists with us has given us a limited power of attorney to sign the rental agreement on their behalf. We believe you will find them fair and balanced to both the rights of the Guest and the Property Owners. If you would like to view our rental agreement, click HERE and request a password from us by e-mail to access it.
Once you have made a booking you will have 5 days to make your initial payment. We accept e-checks, American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. 50% of the total rental and fees is due to reserve your chosen property. The remaining balance is due at least 90 days prior to arrival date. Late reservations (less than 90 days before arrival) require payment-in-full at time of booking. In the event your check is returned for any reason at the time of the initial reservation, a $45 returned check fee will apply and the reservation will be voided until satisfactory payment has been received.
CREDIT CARD REQUIRED
While you are not required to pay the rental fees by credit card, you will need to agree to provide credit card information (debit card okay) as a guarantee for negligent damages to the property since we don't require security deposits (except in rare situations - more below on security deposits). You will also need to agree to pay all rent and/or outstanding charges caused by long distance phone calls, excessive utility use, any purchased cable charges, or damage beyond normal wear and tear during the term of the Rental Agreement.
PROCESSING (OR SERVICE) FEE
On the Water in Maine Inc. is a for-profit business offering exceptional services to both it's Property Owners and vacationing Guests. In order to offer a high-end level of service at a reasonable cost for all, we charge a 12% processing fee, which is calculated on each rental subtotal, then added to a 9% tax on that amount. This fee covers verification of the rental property, management of the rental, laundry, and our 24 hour a day availability to respond to issues at the Property should they arise. A portion of this 12% fee also covers the Damage Waiver (instead of a traditional security deposit - see Damage Waiver section below).
The Processing Fee to OWM includes damage waiver protection, which protects GUEST in the event of accidental damage to the Property resulting from acts of GUEST or GUEST’s invitees (hereinafter referred to as the “Damage Waiver”). The Damage Waiver does not cover: (a) extraordinary cleaning charges (see Section 1. below), (b) damages resulting from intentional willful or reckless conduct, (c) damages by a pet, (d) items at Property lost or stolen by GUEST, or (e) Excessive utility usage above the 2-year average over the same time-period. GUEST must notify OWM at once of any damages during occupancy or the Damage Waiver protection is void. The limit of damages covered by the Damage Waiver is: $975. Any charges not covered by the Damage Waiver may be charged to GUEST’S credit card, e-check account if that is how the primary rental amount was paid or, if a credit card is declined, charges will be paid by GUEST by check within 10 days of being notified by OWM of the amount due. Damage and cleaning charges not covered by the Damage Waiver are subject to Maine State Sales (Lodging) Tax as well as a 12% service fee to OWM. Some owners will still require a refundable security deposit to additionally cover their property and belongings in case of damage.
While we look out for the interest of our Guests when it comes to rentals - we must also pay special attention to our Property Owners, who are also our Customers. Many of our Property Owners count on the income generated by renting their vacation properties, and when a week is canceled, they must contend with lost revenue and the possibility of the unexpected situation of a property not re-renting for the week they had intended to see rented by a Guest. Maine has a short rental season, and every penny of revenue counts towards paying property taxes, maintenance, and upkeep for the properties we offer for rent.
Once a reservation is confirmed (i.e. rental agreement signed) any cancellations, changes of dates or switching of properties will invoke the cancellation policy. So, be sure when you proceed with initiating a rental transaction for us, you are committed to the rental.
Here are the legal Cancellation Terms from the Rental Agreement between a Guest and the Property Owner: