The NCAA Final Four games will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium this weekend, and with
fans hustling to book lodging, short-term renters are hoping to capitalize on the high
Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is here to help both renters and
tenants follow the best practices playbook when it comes to online hospitality services like
Airbnb and VRBO.
These services offer instructions on their websites for hosts and vacationers, but if you’re
looking to rent a room in your home, or even the whole place, review this checklist first:
□ Make sure your city allows short-term rentals, and if you are part of a co-op or home
association, double check that they also allow it.
□ Decide where to stay while you’re renting your space. Nearby hotels will likely be full
and rates will be higher during the NCAA Final Four.
□ Talk to your insurance agent to ensure you’re protected against liability claims if
someone is injured on your property and set a damage deposit.
□ Be realistic with your rate. While it’s possible some hosts will earn significant rental
fees, the market will ultimately decide the going rate. Some hosts may not find any
□ Clean your home and remove potential safety hazards. Check batteries in smoke
alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and secure sensitive materials like banking
statements, Social Security cards, checkbooks, and computers.
□ If you offer Wi-Fi to your guests, set rules that your guests agree to follow.
□ Think like an innkeeper: what amenities will guests need during their stay?
For folks scrambling to secure a last-minute place to stay this weekend for the big
tournament, look for these red flags to protect yourself from ill-intentioned hosts:
Misleading pictures: Look for images that have been heavily edited. The property
you end up with may not be as aesthetically pleasing and could be overpriced.
Tip: Look up the property on Google Maps or another mapping website to
ensure it exists as advertised.
Price is too good to be true: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Tip: Search similar rentals nearby to price compare or ask for the host’s
Payment methods: Scammers prefer to deal with cash, wire transfers, checks or
prepaid gift cards.
Tip: BBB suggests using a credit card if possible because consumer protection
laws allow you to recover your money if a purchase turns out fraudulent.
Strange questions: If the host is asking for your passport, driver’s license, or
Social Security number, something is up. Do not give out these personal details.
Tip: If something seems fishy, question it. Scammers go after people who
aren’t savvy and usually back off if someone seems too knowledgeable.