Renter agreements are very important to make sure both parties to a rental understand the terms involved. Even if it's a friend or repeat guest, we recommend having signed agreements on file. OwnerRez makes it easy to get electronically signed documents with our built-in e-sign support, so there's no reason not to! It's like that old saying -- good fences make good neighbors.
Renter agreements are included in the checkout process when you send the guest a quote from OwnerRez or they use a book now widget to do the booking process. You can also send a signing link at any time that lets the guest sign any agreement. Very useful if the booking came from a listing site, was created manually by you, or the terms of the agreement changed. You can also send links if you want all members of the party to sign.
We include a default renter agreement in your account. To create or update your own agreements, go to Settings > Legal Agreements. You can create as many agreements as you like. You can either start from the default agreement and customize it, or paste in the text of your agreement, or upload your existing MS Word format agreement. If your existing agreement is heavily formatted, it may be easier to paste in the text only (using Ctrl+Shift+V) and add formatting in the OwnerRez editor.
You can parameterize the agreement using the Insert Field button in the editor to include things like guest name, arrival and departure dates, etc.
You can create a header/footer for agreements including your logo, contact info, etc. in the Settings > Theming section.
- Multiple Agreements
- Legal Implications
- Major Listing Channels and Rental Agreements
One agreement will be used automatically on quote checkout, matched based on the property and listing site criteria and priority options you select on the legal agreements. For example, to make an agreement used only on AirBNB, select that as the specific listing site to use for that agreement:
To send a signing link after booking, go to the Legal tab of the booking and use the Request e-Signature button. This is how you would send a link for a booking from a listing site, request signatures on additional documents, or request signatures from additional guests.
When the signature link is used, the guest will be asked to verify their contact info. This step will also include any booking custom fields you've flagged as optional or required at checkout, so the guest can enter those values even if coming from a listing site booking.
If the email address on file is a "double blind" email address from a listing site, like @airbnb.com, @vrbo.com or @tripadvisor.com, the email field will be blanked out so the guest is required to enter a real email address.
For Airbnb, you can automate the entire process of collecting the guest email address and getting the renter agreement signed by using a trigger to sending an email template that includes the signing link.
Once the agreement is signed, whether from quote checkout or a singing link, you'll get an email notification, the guest will get an email notification, and the agreement will be kept on file inside OwnerRez for the life of your account. Each booking shows a list of all agreements signed on the Legal tab.
It is possible to create multiple different legal agreements for different purposes. You can configure each different agreement as to when it will be used - only for specific properties, say, or for certain channels.
There are situations where you might want to have multiple different agreements used for the same booking - for instance, your normal rental agreement for a property, and also another agreement for the Jetski you are renting them as an Add-On option. OwnerRez is not currently able to handle this for you automatically, but you can do it manually.
- Create the separate different agreements, and configure them for which properties they should be used for.
- Using the Priority field, set the main rental agreement (the one that should always be signed) to have a high number in it - say, 100. Make sure the other agreements have low Priority numbers, or none at all. This will make sure that the main rental agreement is the one that is presented to guests to sign in the regular Booking process.
- When a guest has made a booking and signed the regular agreement, you can go into their Booking, Legal tab, and Request that they sign a different agreement. You can select the correct agreement from the list, and the email sent to them will include a link that will take them to the other one.
- All signed agreements will be visible under the Legal tab of the Booking.
OwnerRez supports the ability to send an email to a guest using a field code that generates a link the guest can click, which will present them with the default Agreement applicable to their Booking. Here's an example of how that works.
It is also possible to create an email template which asks a guest to sign an Agreement other than the default Agreement that would normally be used for their booking. For instance, you might have a default Agreement that every guest must sign, and then a special Pet Agreement that is sent only to guests with pets.
There is no way for OwnerRez to automatically decide when an additional agreement needs to be sent out - it has to be done manually. And, you could manually request the pet agreement by going into their Booking, Legal tab, and using the Request dropdown button. You could select the pet agreement from the list, and the email sent to them will include a link that will take them to the other one.
But, you might want a specific different email template that talks about pets, and also includes the link to the pet agreement. This is possible by manually editing the link code used for the URL in the email template.
Use the standard signing link field code and then append "?a=[x]" on the end of it so that it references the specific RA when it opens. The [x] is the ID of the RA.
So instead of just using this:
You would do something like this:
That 654096453 number comes from the specific RA you want it to open:
Note: we are not lawyers! Always consult an attorney who practices in your jurisdiction with any specific legal concerns.
Generally speaking, the OwnerRez rental agreements are accepted as real contracts, because they include specific information as to the individuals involved (the owner and the guest), a specific period of time (the booking dates), a specific location (the property), consideration made (the rent paid), and specific obligations on both parties.
Our e-signing system is compliant with the Federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Signatures Act (ESIGN), and should be generally compatible with other equivalent legislation on other jurisdictions.
For guests that found you and made a booking via a major listing channel such as Airbnb or Vrbo, they already have an agreement with that channel. But that doesn't mean your Rental Agreements aren't just as important - the guest's agreement is with the channel, not with you.
Also, their agreement is generally an online "check-the-box" sort of agreement that is legally weak. In contrast, a properly configured and e-signed OwnerRez agreement is a valid legal contract enforceable in court, between you and the guest, without the channel being involved at all.
So it's very important to have your channel guests sign your agreement! Unfortunately, it isn't possible to force them to sign it as part of the channel booking process - but, if you clearly state in your channel House Rules that they are required to sign your agreement, then the channels will enforce this by allowing you to cancel their booking without penalty if they break your rule by not signing.
If you are using the Vrbo API, there's an additional protection: OwnerRez automatically sends a sample copy of your Agreement to Vrbo, which is displayed to the guest as they book:
Note that this isn't the actual agreement - it doesn't include any specific information like the guest's name or dates - but it does give them a general idea of your rules, and is one more piece of supporting evidence if you get in a dispute with the guest.
In order to have your channel guests sign the agreement, you need to set up an automatic email/message template and trigger to send them a signing link.