While rent-by-owner agencies say it's a snap to find renters for your family cabin on the Internet, the best way to ensure your sanity -- and your second home's safety -- is to first consider renting only to family, friends and neighbors.
It's simply human nature. In most cases, consumers choose familiarity over the unknown almost every time. For example, borrowers historically have selected fixed-rate loans instead of adjustable-rate mortgages because they are predicable and not as risky.
When you consider family and friends first, you usually get the renter that you know and hopefully trust, who will give you less hassle and who is most likely to leave your getaway in the condition they found it.