Rental Policies

Vacation Rental Policies and Procedures

OFFICE HOURS: Summer hours: Mon.-Fri. 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Sat. 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Sunday hours vary. Sept.-June hours: Mon.-Fri. 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Sat. 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, Sunday closed.

We are available after-hours for rental emergencies such as lack of heat or water. For other items, please wait until the next morning to call. Please note that our office is closed on Memorial Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years Day, Easter, and Ironman Race Day (July 23, 2017).

DISCLOSURE: All properties represented by Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. are individually owned and furnished to the needs of the owner. Owner's personal property must be respected. Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. represents the owner of the property in a client/agency relationship. The terms guest(s) and tenant(s) are used herein interchangeably and are defined as the principal party renting a vacation rental property and those accompanying the principal party.

Please review the following Vacation Rental Policies and Procedures as they apply to all properties.

RESERVATION CONFIRMATIONS/RENTAL AGREEMENTS: Vacation Rental Agreements may contain the following: rental fee (plus pet rent if applicable), administrative/booking fee (non-refundable), travel insurance, departure/final cleaning fee (non-refundable), and security deposit (refundable).

RESERVATION DEPOSIT: Reservations require an initial deposit payable to Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. within two weeks of receipt of the rental agreement. If a reservation is made within 60 days of the arrival date, full payment is required to confirm the reservation. Upon receipt of initial reservation deposit or full payment and a signed Vacation Rental Agreement, the agreement will be sent to the property owner for his and/or her signature(s). A fully executed agreement will then be returned to you with key pick-up and check-in instructions.

PAYMENT/BALANCE DUE: Depending on the Vacation Rental Agreement confirmation date, subsequent payments will be scheduled appropriately. The final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to the arrival. The reservation may be cancelled without further notice if timely payment is not received by the due date(s). Mark your calendar accordingly as no invoice or reminder will be sent for the second or final payment (see Vacation Rental Agreement for due dates).

ADMINISTRATIVE/BOOKING FEE: This is a non-refundable $50 administrative/processing fee.

VACATION RENTAL INSURANCE: Vacation rental insurance is a separate, added component of the vacation rental package. The cost of this insurance is 6.95% of the rental fee. Vacation rental insurance provides added financial protection against lost trip payments and fees which occur as the result of unforeseen covered events. Vacation rental insurance benefits include protection for trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel delay, emergency medical transportation, and other losses. Policy benefits, along with applicable definitions and terms and conditions of coverage, are fully described in the insurance policy. Prior to travel, it is the tenant's responsibility to consult the policy, and discuss this coverage with his or her rental agent or the insurance company if the tenant has any questions about the policy and what it covers. For more information, please see the brochure.

CLEANING FEE: All properties require departure-cleaning services. For a rental reservation of 2-6 nights, the tenant is required to pay for the departure/final cleaning. For weekly rentals or greater, departure/final cleaning is paid and courtesy of the owner. Guests are responsible for leaving the property on time and in good order before departure for the next guests. Guest shall leave all doors and windows locked and make sure the heat (winter excluded) and lights are turned off upon checkout. With limited time available between occupancies, guests are required to complete the following:

  • Return furniture to original locations.
  • Load dishes into dishwasher and start dishwasher upon departure.
  • Remove all food and trash that was brought into the home.
  • Place trash in proper receptacle(s).
  • Failure to complete the above will result in extra charges that will be deducted from the security deposit or billed to the guest. It is also requested that guests begin to wash and dry towels. This helps tremendously with the numerous laundry cycles and limited turnover time.

SECURITY/DAMAGE DEPOSIT (REFUNDABLE): The above-stated security deposit shall be held in escrow by Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. The security deposit may be used for reimbursement of the cost of repairing any intentional or negligent damages to the Premises beyond normal wear and tear caused by Tenant, his or family or guests or to cover additional or unusual cleaning expenses or other charges owed by Tenant. Owner or his or her agent shall notify the escrow agent of all damages or charges against Tenant with the exception of telephone expenses of costs within 10 days of Tenant's vacancy. Failure to provide timely notice shall be interpreted as full satisfaction and said escrow agent may release the security deposit or any portion thereof. Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. may withhold any portion of the security deposit as it deems reasonable. The balance of the security deposit after payment of items as provided for above, if any, shall be returned along with an itemized statement of those expenses or costs to Tenant. In the event the Tenant provides a valid credit card to cover the security deposit, the credit card will be held and used for reimbursement of costs as provided above, as well as any fees incurred to process the credit card. In the event that a dispute should arise as to the return or disbursement of the security deposit, then the escrow agent shall continue to hold the security deposit until such time that the disagreement is settled between the parties. Should no settlement occur within 60 days then the escrow agent may pay the retained monies to a court of appropriate jurisdiction.

CANCELLATIONS: For rentals less than 10 days in duration (2 to 9 days), tenants may cancel the Vacation Rental Agreement 60 days or more prior to the arrival date. The tenant's paid deposit(s) will be refunded less a $100 processing fee and the $50 booking fee. If the tenant cancels the Vacation Rental Agreement less than 60 days from arrival date and Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. is unable to find a suitable replacement tenant, then all monies paid shall be forfeited and the tenant shall bear the further legal responsibility of guaranteeing the payment of the entire remaining balance, if any, to the owner. If a replacement tenant is found for a portion of the reserved time period then the dollar amount of the rental will be adjusted accordingly.

For rentals 10 or more days in duration, tenants may cancel the Vacation Rental Agreement 90 days or more prior to the arrival date. The tenant's paid deposit(s) will be refunded less a $100 processing fee and the $50 booking fee. If the tenant cancels the Vacation Rental Agreement less than 90 days from arrival date and Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. is unable to find a suitable replacement tenant, then all monies paid shall be forfeited and the tenant shall bear the further legal responsibility of guaranteeing the payment of the entire remaining balance, if any, to the owner. If a replacement tenant is found for a portion of the reserved time period then the dollar amount of the rental will be adjusted accordingly.

PETS: Due to owner preference or allergy concerns, many rental properties do not accept pets. Merrill L. Thomas does offer a selection of pet-friendly rental properties that will accept a dog. A non-refundable pet fee of $100 (flat fee per dog) is required on these reservations. This fee covers any additional management, administration, cleaning and/or treatments as it pertains to the dog at the property. There shall be a 25% increase in the regular security deposit amount (refundable). Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. reserves the right to charge a guest's security deposit or bill guest for any pet related damage or cleanup of pet debris upon departure.

Remember, even when a house is noted as "pet-friendly", you must get prior authorization from our office before bringing a pet.

METHOD OF PAYMENT: All rates quoted by Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. are amounts payable by cash, check, money order, or credit card (Mastercard, Visa or Discover only) in U.S. funds. Cash, check or money order payments are preferred and credit cards are only taken on reservations made within two weeks of the arrival date.

CHECK-INS: Check-ins take place at the Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. rental department office located at 2469 Main Street, Lake Placid, N.Y. The office is located in between the GAP outlet clothing store and Lake Placid Public Library, across from the Bass Shoe outlet. For summer and holiday rentals, check-in time is 4:00 pm and strictly adhered to. Keys may only be released earlier than 4 pm on day of arrival if approved by a Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. rental associate.

LATE ARRIVALS: We will be happy to leave a check-in package containing keys and a map for guests arriving after our office is closed. If a guest is to arrive after 5:00 pm, call for instructions for picking up your keys at our office. Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. cannot provide a late check-in if tenants have a balance due.

CHECK-OUT TIME: Check-out and vacating the property on the day of departure is 10:00 am, unless otherwise approved by Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. rental staff. Guest will be charged pro-rated additional rent if property is not vacated by check-out time. All property keys must be returned to our office at 2469 Main Street. There is a $25 charge for lost or missing keys not returned to Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. on day of departure. Fees for unreturned keys will be charged to guest.

PACKAGES AND DELIVERIES: Packages cannot be delivered to the rental properties, therefore items can be shipped either to our office at 2469 Main St., Lake Placid, N.Y. 12946 for you to pick-up or they can be shipped to the UPS Store at 1936 Saranac Avenue, Lake Placid, N.Y., 12946 (518-523-1865). If shipping to our office please make sure that your name and property reference are noted so we can accurately place the package aside for your pick-up.

TRASH REMOVAL: Guests are responsible for placing sealed, bagged trash in containers for weekly trash removal. Trash must be sealed and bagged in plastic trash bags and left in designated area in supplied containers. Trash not sealed and placed in plastic bags or in designated areas will result in charges to guests. Individual property owners arrange for trash removal services. As a courtesy, please put out prior guest's trash and the next guest will do the same for you.

SUBLETTING PROHIBITED: Guest acknowledges that the Vacation Rental Agreement may not be assigned and that the rental property may not be sublet.

OCCUPANCY: Vacation properties are limited to the maximum occupancy as stated in the Vacation Rental Agreement. Any additional overnight guests that exceed the maximum occupancy limit must be approved by Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. rental manager and the owner in advance of arrival.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Accommodations range from private homes to condos and cottages. All properties are privately owned and individually furnished with basic items such as pillows, blankets, fans, cookware, flatware and dishes. Other small appliances, beach chairs, radio, etc., may or may not be provided. Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. is unable to provide additional furnishings or appliances.

SUPPLIES: The rental property will have linens, blankets, bed pillows, towels, washcloths, dish towels, basic cleaning supplies, and basic paper product items. Beach towels, extra blankets and extra pillows are not supplied.

TELEPHONE USE: For long distance phone calls, cell phone use is recommended. Most properties have coverage on the Verizon network. You may use the property phone for local calls. If you choose to use the property phone for long distance the guest shall use their credit card or reverse all charges when making any long distance telephone calls.

SMOKING PROHIBITED: All Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. rental properties are NON-SMOKING properties. Smoking is NOT allowed at any property.

GAS GRILLS AND CHARCOAL BBQS: If a gas or BBQ grill is not listed as an amenity then a grill is not provided and grilling is not allowed at the property. All cooking surfaces must be left clean by guest upon departure to avoid extra cleaning charges.

LOST & FOUND: Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. is not responsible for personal items left behind. Items not claimed after 30 days will be donated. If items left behind need to be shipped, we require a valid credit card number to cover shipping costs. A $15 service fee will also be applied. Items will be shipped from the UPS Store, Lake Placid.

OWNER MAINTENANCE AND ACCESS: The tenant shall permit the owner or his or her agents, including Merrill L. Thomas, Inc., to enter within or upon the premises at reasonable hours during the daytime to examine or show the premises or to make reasonable repairs therein. If the tenant encounters any problems with the premises' plumbing, heating or electrical systems, or its appliances, the tenant must immediately report these problems and any other significant problems or concerns to Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. No refunds will be provided due to inoperable appliances, pools, hot tubs, or saunas at the premises, although the owner will make every reasonable effort to assure that appliances and said amenities will be and remain in good working order.

REFUNDS: No refunds will be given due to weather, construction at adjacent or nearby properties, or acts of God.

WAIVER: The tenant acknowledges and agrees to rent the premises "as is." The tenant understands and acknowledges that any information presented or received by him or her about the premises is reliable, but not guaranteed. The tenant waives any claim against the owner and Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. arising out of the condition of the premises or the tenant's dissatisfaction of same.

INDEMNIFICATION: The owner and Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. shall not be liable for any bodily injury or death or property damage which may arise in connection with the tenant's occupancy of the premises. The tenant agrees to indemnify and hold the owner and Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. harmless for any damages, injury, claim, or liability which may arise in connection with the tenant's occupancy of the premises.

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