Doin' damage
For young adults and young professionals who rented houses during the summers spanning Jersey Shore, the differences in the rental environment before and after the show's launch are as apparent as the myriad reasons Ronnie and Sammi just need to break up already.

In Seaside Heights proper and surrounding shore towns such as Lavalette and Ortley Beach, the fallout has been a de facto moratorium on renters devoid of graying hair or crow's feet. For property owners, it's also meant an exodus of families away from the boardwalks and beaches now inhabited by inebriated brawlers in bronzer yelling "Come at me, bro." HomeAway's Dito says summer at the Jersey Shore will look a lot different if her property owners get their way.

"Each of them reported that they refuse to rent to kids -- they prefer to only accept bookings from families," Dito says. "An owner who's rented their property since 2006 reports that while he used to be completely booked by January, he still has two weeks open during the summer, which he feels is a result of the show scaring away family renters."

The rest of the country is paying the price as well, as security deposits on rental properties rose to as high as 100% of the rental cost for homes and condos on the market in Dallas and Arlington during this year's Super Bowl. TripAdvisor's Hudepohl says renters should be increasingly aware of their security deposit amount, which can be 10% to 20% of the rental rate, cancellation fees and policies, whether pets are allowed, how many people are allowed to stay in the rental home, and whether cleaning fees are an extra charge. He cautions that while some property owners have taken drastic steps to ensure their belongings aren't broken just because one drunken renter thinks another drunken renter called her fake, its a lot easier to be cool about wanton screaming and destruction when MTV and Viacom ( VIA) have you covered.

"Any agreement provisions that seem onerous, such as having to pay the cleaning fee for few dirty dishes, should be red flags," he says. "Also, when staying at a rental home, you will be expected to adhere to local noise ordinances, which the owner or property manager should be able to outline for you."

-- Written by Jason Notte in Boston.

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Jason Notte is a reporter for His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post,, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent.

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