Texas Super Bowl Rentals: Royal Rip Off?

super bowlHundreds of North Texans are looking forward to windfall real estate profits leasing their home to strangers during Super Bowl XLV in Arlington, Tex., next month. From an affordable $1,000 per night for an ordinary 3-bedroom, 2-bath only five miles from Cowboys Stadium -- "Can almost walk!" -- to a $1.2 million Highland Park mansion that is asking $13,000 per night, North Texas homeowners are seeing dollar signs.

Some locals are putting together elaborate packages with maids, stocked pantries, gourmet meals, limos to the game, and their influence around town to guarantee reservations, like agent Piper Young's interior designer client. But the highrollers have not come out of hiding yet, and many of the over-the-top-priced homeowners are still waiting for the phone to ring.

"They'll start ringing once we know which teams are playing," says Arlington-based Realtor Jamie Adams, who is known as the agent to the sports stars including Nolan Ryan, Daryl "the Moose" Johnston, and Dirk Nowitzki.

Once the teams are determined, says Adams, excitement builds and the bookings begin. He should know: Adams has four lease listings in Arlington for Super Bowl week --one, which is going for $10,000 a night, features a dance studio. Jamie is also negotiating several corporate deals right now for the week.

But it's also possible some of these homeowners may be getting ripped off. The Super Bowl host committee claims
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there are still plenty of hotel rooms left to be booked for the game, even in Arlington. Still, signs are popping up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area luring homeowners into thinking they can monetize their home for a windfall, like $10,000 a night.

Most rental sites, like SportsEventRentals.com, charge a onetime fee of $49.95 for listing your property. But call Ticket Holder Accomodators, and it's more like they are getting the windfall. Ticket Holder's website is offering to list your home in "packages" ranging from the Platinum package, at $1,495, to the Gold Deluxe at $1,195. The homeowner pays all of it.

And get this: The company says it will hire and send a professional photographer to your home to compile "a breathtaking portfolio" that will help you rent the place. Oh, and that Platinum package includes maid service, transportation and food catering, among other perks for the paying client who rents your home. Of course, there are no guarantees your home will rent, no guarantees they won't trash the place -- so you could be laying out a few C-notes for nothing.

C-notes? One company told the Fort Worth Star Telegram it only takes cash or cashiers checks, which of course cannot be canceled.

Super Bowl XLV is the biggest event ever held in this region, and homeowners may think they'll do what many residents of Augusta, Georgia do during the Masters Golf Tournement: Rent their home, and get out of Dodge.

But that may not be the best idea. Brandon Bennett, code compliance director for Fort Worth, told the Fort Worth Star Telegram that leaving the area or taking a hands-off approach to renting a house, is a train wreck waiting to happen.

Even if you have a formal written rental agreement with a property management company that "protects" you against damage to a physical structure or its contents, the hassle of replacing or repairing everything may not be worth the check you get once you read the fine print. You also may not want to drive your neighbor's batty should the short-term tenants get in the party mood. That, plus many cities have codes regarding rental properties. In Fort Worth, a homeowner is treated much the same way as any property owner renting his house for income.
So anyone who rents a home in Fort Worth for events such as the Super Bowl, Colonial golf tournament, NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway, the Stock Show or Cutting Horse competition, has to have an agreement for a minimum of 30 days, inorder to comply with the law. Of course, these events do not last for 30 days. So even if a homeowner rents a house for a week during the Super Bowl, ask for a 30-day rental agreement with the understanding the renter is staying only for seven days.

Todd Brenneman, president of SportsEventRentals.com, said his website alone has 79 listings for Super Bowl home rentals. He divides Super Bowl homeowners into two types: the serious ones who are "comfortable with renting and will be competitive with their price."

These folks, he says, want $1,200 to $2,500 a night, he says. Local Realtors tell me the homes that command the biggest rents prices will be comfortable homes closest to Cowboys Stadium.
The other type of renter, says Brenneman, is just looking to score, and score big. They will only rent if they get their astronomical asking price; and if they don't, they won't rent it. So why are they even bothering? Testing the waters, says Brenneman.

Potential renters will also be more likely to sign on the dotted if the rental home comes loaded with perks, such as use of the family car, hopefully exotic, a hot tub or heated swimming pool. Children and pets are not considered "perks," so Fido will have to vacate the home or get boarded for Super Bowl week.

Want to know how to deal with other rental issues? Here are some AOL Real Estateguides that can help:
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