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Renting with pets : We are interested in renting near the beach in the Tampa/St Pete area with our two pets (a cat and a dog) next Winter, and were shocked to find how difficult it is! We've been renting during the month of February up in the panhandle the last 4 years. There is usually some difficulty finding pet friendly places but we are always able to find something. When we reserve, we put half down, and the other half of the rent is 30 days before our start date. We also are able to get a full refund if we cancel within a month or two of our start date. As we've been searching (VRBO) the Tampa/St Pete area, not only is there very few pet friendly places, but the homeowners are expecting the full amount up front (in our case a full year in advance), with NO refunds for cancellation whatsoever. We have never needed to cancel, but emergencies do happen, and it seems strange to me that they would have this rule for properties that are so easy to rent. Here we are a year before, and our search site says that the inventory is already down to 30%. My question is this... Do people usually find rentals through a rental agency? We would be looking for the months of Jan and February. The VRBO options almost feel like a scam. Is it customary in that area to pay thousands of dollars up front with no refunds? Full Article
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