Europe Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Worried about Cash On Arrival Schemes for Italian Apartments

Jump to last reply

We are considering several rentals in Italy, some (mostly the US-based agencies) require prepayment and others (Italian owners and agencies) want much of the payment cash on arrival. I would appreciate hearing what others think about this practice that makes me nervous.

My wife says I am over-thinking it, but that is what I do best, and here are my concerns. I would appreciate responses.

1. Obtaining a couple thousand Euros in advance from the US is difficult; I have to order from my local bank a week in advance and maybe worse, their exchange rate is poor.
2. If I were to try to withdraw the funds from an ATM in Italy, I think I’m limited to about €300/day not enough to pay for my rental on my day of arrival.
3. Traveling around with a lot of cash makes me a nice target for a thief.
4. I show up at an address in Italy in a totally jet-lagged state and hand over a big wad of cash to a total stranger who claims to be the person who should receive it, but how do I know? Maybe s/he just waylaid the real person, took the key and then my money.
5. What if the apartment is not the one I thought I was renting? (I see many references to this shady practice in these forums.) The stranger can shrug and say, “Ciao, then don’t take possession.” I can walk away, of course, but someone has my deposit money and I have no place to sleep.
6. Or what if the apartment is deficient in some serious ways? (Again, I see many such cases in these forums.) The stranger has all my cash. There is no way I’m going to get that back. I have no leverage as I would with a credit card payment.
7. What if there is a break-in or serious problem and I want to call in the Police? The stranger with my cash could deny anything, even that we are tenants.
8. What if the property is somehow an illegal rental? I can think of many scenarios: the owner is out of town and doesn’t know it is being rented for cash and comes home unexpectedly. I read about that happening.
9. Or what if it hasn’t been registered with the local authorities? It seems like there are some registration requirements so the city can collect a tax. If I go to the authorities for any reason, maybe I have an illegal rental and what will they say or do? I can imagine everything from a shrug to being put in jail.
10. And finally, we all know this cash on arrival scheme is a tax dodge. I pay my taxes, I complain, but I pay because that is how my community and my country manage to provide me with a pretty good and safe place to live. If I am supporting the Italians' tax avoidance, then I am supporting their underhanded and illegal actions to avoid taxes which is causing their whole country to be on the verge of economic collapse.

11 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement:
  • Fodor's Go List 2015 Has Been Announced
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Dec 19, 14 at 05:08 PM
View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 Tripadvisor fined in Italy over fake reviews
  2. 2 All Set To Go!!
  3. 3 Rome bus tours-which one?
  4. 4 Greece and Italy in 20 days
  5. 5 Trip Report A Sardinia trip report
  6. 6 Istanbul Bosphorus Tour
  7. 7 For those interested in visiting WW I sites in France
  8. 8 Granada
  9. 9 Solo, inexperienced traveler struggling w/ logistics
  10. 10 Best Area to Stay in Amsterdam
  11. 11 First time Ireland trip
  12. 12 Side trip from Chamonix in January
  13. 13 Spain/EU trip in february "History,Nature is our main goal"
  14. 14 Trip Report Finally in Italy for the holidays - installment report
  15. 15 A month in Europe - how does this sound?
  16. 16 Hotels in Toulouse & Montpellier
  17. 17 VAT refund Q--new carryon bag ??
  18. 18 Renfe planning strike December 26th
  19. 19 Ireland, Honeymoon, early June 2015, active couple
  20. 20 22 year olds in Europe
  21. 21 Earthquakes in Tuscany
  22. 22 Tour Guide in Budapest
  23. 23 Caserta, Italy? Anyone Been There?
  24. 24 Early stages of planning for Euro trip + would love suggestions
  25. 25 Coffee in Naples
View next 25 » Back to the top