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Has anyone heard of or used sevillaorange.com/

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Hi,
We have been exploring lodging in Seville from May 9-12 for me, my husband and our 20 year old nephew. I looked at Airbnb, and VRBO. I found an apartment which indicated availability for the dates and asked to reserve from Airbnb and was told it was not available. I found an apt. on VRBO and did the same with the same result. However, the owner referred me to a site for another apartment for a similar price. http://www.sevillaorange.com/ is the site. The place looks great and is situated fine. He asks me to send a deposit of 40 Euros thru paypal or a direct transfer, which would be returned at the end. I asked when the balance was due and he said when we arrived. This seems strange to me, and I am nervous that we would not have a place when we arrive or he will cancel and I will be out the deposit and the place, too.

Can anyone give me some insight about this? He does have at least one listing on Airbnb, with a name and phone number...

Is it typical that all these places are said to be available and are not? The first one I mentioned is still showing as available a few days later.

Thanks!

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    Hi, honeybear,
    It's my understanding that paying cash on arrival - after an initial deposit at the time of booking - is standard practice for rentals in Spain.
    We did this before in both Seville and Granada.

    Personally, I'd be leery of the direct transfer for the deposit, but it might be okay. Maybe.

    Have your tried Sevilla5 apartment rentals?
    They will let you pay the deposit by credit card. For most rentals, it's still cash on arrival.
    We found a very nice apartment in Seville through Sevilla5. www.sevilla5.com
    Most are central, but do check the map (since you said on your other post that you only have two days, consider something central in the old town, near Barrio Santa Cruz, old Jewish Quarter, etc.

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    from May of 2105 they have to have abide by the following:
    !) The maximum capacity will be limited by the license of occupation, but may not exceed 15 people, with a maximum capacity of 4 people per room.
    2)Has direct external ventilation or via a patio and having a window shading system (either by blinds or curtains).
    3)Sufficiently equipped and furnished for immediate use.
    4)Air conditioning units in all bedrooms and lounge areas that provide cooling (if rented from May to September) and heating (if rented from October to April). But older buildings on an historical registration list do not have to have air co.
    5)A fully stocked medical kit.
    6)the owner has to provide information about local amenities, i.e. shops, restaurants, nearby parking, medical services, public transport, etc.
    7)Provision of a Complaints and Claims book and sign outside of the building.
    8) The rental has to be cleaned prior to the arrival and after the departure of new customers.
    9)There has to be a supply of bedding, towels and household goods in general, as well as spare sets of the towels and bedding.
    10)A contact phone number must be provided answer questions regarding the property.
    11)There must be instructions for electrical appliances on how to work electrical appliances.
    12)The property owner must supply a rental agreement in relation to the use of facilities, pets or smoking etc.
    13) Unless otherwise stated, the arrival time will be at 16:00 and departure time at 12:00.
    14) The terms of price, reservation and payment details they must be stated in detail before the confirmation of the booking. Proof of advance payments must be provided, if applicable.
    15)The owner may request an advance payment as a deposit up to a maximum of 30% of the total price unless previously agreed.
    16)If the renter cancels their reservation up to 10 days beforehand, the homeowner may keep up to 50% of the deposit. If the cancellation is made with less than 10 days to spare, they may keep the entire advance payment.
    Plus if the owner cancels the reservation up to 10 days beforehand, they must return the entire advance payment to the renter. If the cancellation is made less than 10 days beforehand, they must compensate the renter with 30% of the price of the contracted stay.

    Note it is not given what language the paperwork is given in. So please expect these to be in Spanish and that English is a bonus.
    You will be required to give your passport details when you arrive. Not before. This is so the owner can fill in the obligatory registration details to the Guardia Civil, just like in hotels.

    So if the rental accommodation cannot keep to the above, especially with regard to payments. Then walk away.
    The law was made in February 2016 and will be enforced from 11th May 2016. Inspections will be carried out this year. It is unknown what will happen to those who do not comply, maybe shutting down of he rental and the renter could loose money at worse.

    If you wish to look up more in Spanish "normativa turistica andalucia Boletín número 28 de 11/02/2016"

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    The payments terms are in keeping with the places I've rented from in the past, so from that standpoint, I don't think it's unusual. My biggest reservation is that I can't seem to locate on the website reviews that are specific to each apartment. I will only rent apartments with a fair number of specific and positive reviews. So, that would give me some pause. And if I'm simply not looking in the right place on Sevillaorange's website, ignore me. But all I see are some general reviews under "opinions." For me, I want to know specific things about the comfort and quality of any given apartment. Even reputable agencies have dud apartments because of things like noise, water pressure, the adequacy of heat/AC, etc.

    Many apartments though are cross listed on other sites, so I'm wondering if you could find the apartment you're interested in listed on Homeaway/VRBO, booking.com, etc.

    Someone upthread mention Sevilla5. You might also check out veoapartment.com. I think Sevilla5 is a sister company and that there is some overlap but each has some different offerings. It seems like people have generally had positive experiences with veo.

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    I don't know what you think is strange about the request, it seems very normal to me. Are you objecting to not paying in full long before you get there? A lot of people would like that. Not sure what you think is so bad about that, even if it didn't exist, you wouldn't be out hardly any money. I would much prefer that than to sending a thousand euro in advance, I would think you'd worry more about that.

    YOu don't really think that if a place were not available upon arrival, that if you paid in full, you would thus have any easy time getting that money bank or with the Spanish court system?

    I'd use Paypal, of course, not a direct wire transfer.

    As for the place and the other issues, I can't speak to that, just that this is very normal for vacation rental apartments from people who are not professional agencies.

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    I'd note that I was asked to do a direct wire transfer to pay for an apartment deposit two years ago. I used XE Trade to do it, and while setting that account up was a bit of a pain, it ended up being pretty uncomplicated. I recall getting a decent rate (although the deposit was so small, it really wasn't that big of a deal). I purposely drew from an account we have where we keep a small balance so that in the event of any security breach, our exposure would be low. I would not link an account like that to my main savings/checking account. Nor would I link Paypal to such an account.

    I paid another couple of deposits via Paypal and while they were more convenient since I already have an account, I didn't see one as all that riskier than the other. It was really more a matter of convenience.

    I'd note, however, that part of my comfort level with these transactions were the numerous glowing reviews these properties had gotten over the years, along with my interactions with the hosts leading up to payment. Obviously, there's a risk any time you enter into one of these contracts--and I do buy trip insurance to guard against certain types of loss, but the risks are usually within my comfort zone.

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    what has happens in the past is not what happens in May you only have to pay maximum of 30% of the total price unless previously agreed. So why pay more you stand to loose more if a the rental is illegal, the owner changes their mind about renting it to you and shut down or you cannot make the vacation for some reason.

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    Thanks everyone for the replies. It has been frustrating but we have a place. The above place, like several others, was not actually available when we tried to actually rent it. These sites are obviously not kept current and the rentals are on multiple sites. I did end up sending the requested amount thru Paypal, but it was not available. So the money was refunded. I was concerned more about not having access to any reviews, as well as the idea of a direct transfer.

    Lesson learned, so now I have to book something in Madrid...wish me luck!

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