How to Reserve a Vacation Property
Once you have decided on the property and the week(s) you desire - BOOK IT! online here at this website (from the property listing page by clicking on the "Quote &/Or Book It" block on the right-hand side of the page) or by calling us. Anyone can book any property at any time. Our Availability Calendars are always 100% accurate and up-to-date-to-the-second. While you are deciding which property you want, someone else may be booking it. The first person to give us an initial deposit on the property gets it. Bookings are First come - first serve.
Reservations MORE than 60 Days Before Arrival:
In order to "book" your desired rental property with us, if there are more than 60 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 60 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 $35 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 60 Days Before Arrival:
If there are 60 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 60 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 60 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 7 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 60 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 60 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. Over 22,000 renters have signed them over the past 9 years, and if you'll check with our local county courthouse (Knox County), you'll find we've never had legal issues or lawsuits as a result of them. 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 60 days prior to arrival date. Late reservations (less than 60 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 $35 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, additional charges to cable or dish bill, 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 10% 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 10% fee also covers the Damage Waiver (instead of a traditional security deposit - see Damage Waiver section below).
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:
All cancellations by GUEST must be made in writing and received and acknowledged by OWM on behalf of OWNER. If GUEST cancels this Rental Agreement after it has been signed by GUEST and returned to OWM, there is a cancellation fee of 100% of the Grand Total (including taxes and Processing Fee) which amount shall be reduced only in the event that OWM is able to re-rent the Property for the Rental Term (hereinafter referred to as a “Re-Rental”). For a Re-Rental of the same amount of Rent as set forth in this Rental Agreement, all amounts paid by GUEST shall be refunded to GUEST less a cancellation fee of 10% of the Rent, and 100% of the Processing Fee which will be retained by OWM. For a Re-Rental for an amount of rent less than the Rent, all amounts paid by GUEST shall be returned to GUEST less the difference between the Rent and the Rent for the Re-Rental, a cancellation fee of 10% of the Rent, and 100% of the Processing Fee. (If GUEST initiates a Cancellation before the final balance is paid, they are still obligated to continue paying the final payment on the due date.) Any refund to GUEST will not be made until after the Check In Time for the Re-Rental and all amounts for the Re-Rental have been paid. This cancellation policy is strictly adhered to so GUEST is encouraged to consider purchasing travel insurance that will cover GUEST in certain situations as set forth in the policy should GUEST need to cancel this Rental Agreement. There are many independent insurance providers available that GUEST may search for on the Internet using for example “Vacation Insurance” as a search term. Travel insurance also allows you to obtain coverage for the cost of additional items such as boat rentals and travel expenses if you desire. If the OWNER must cancel this rental agreement, the OWNER will do so in writing and will provide a full refund to the GUEST within 7 days of the cancellation through OWM. Once cancelled in writing, GUEST cannot take their rental week back without a new written notice to OWM and only if the Property is still shown as available on the calendar for the Property on it’s listing page. GUEST is not allowed to sublet their week(s) to another party without first contacting OWM for approval. OWNER reserves the right to reject any sublet rental.
While we don't offer it, you can purchase Travel Insurance to cover your vacation to Maine. There are many good companies out there offering it. Two years ago, in 2013, one of our Guest purchased a policy through Allianz and raved to us about that experience when they had to make a claim. Other companies like Red Sky and CSA are popular as well. Most seem to charge around 6% of the total rental amount for basic coverage. There are "any reason" policies out there that go as high at 12% that cover you for any reason you want to cancel. You can add anything you want, such as boat and bike rentals, airline tickets, etc.