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Rental agreement info?

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Hi, I'm in the process of renting a villa in Rome, Italy, that we will be traveling to in about two months.
The renter is asking for passport numbers from each of the guests on the rental agreement and has asked me to email it back to him. I'm assuming this is ok, but wanted to verify before sending the information.
He is also asking for payment at the time of arrival in cash. It looks as if the place has only been with Home Away since 2011. Personally, I prefer paying in cash when we arrive, but thought that was a bit odd. Maybe he doesn't handle credit cards?
I guess I'm looking for reassurance that this isn't too much of the norm ;) Thanks!

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