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Full Payment in Advance on Apt Rental? Thoughts

Full Payment in Advance on Apt Rental? Thoughts

Mar 2nd, 2008, 11:19 AM
  #1  
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Full Payment in Advance on Apt Rental? Thoughts

We found an apt to rent in Berlin that we liked, planned to rent:
myberlinvaction.com same as http://www.vrbo.com/141420

She said she would send invoice with payment info, but just sent me a paypal bill for the whole amount.

The rental is for late May. Am I odd for not wanting to pay all up front? Even a 50% deposit would have been fine and paypal the remainder upon arrival. The owner is in the US not Berlin.

Thoughts on this anyone? Or am I being paranoid.

Thanks in advance!

~ch-ch-ch-cherrybomb
cherrybomb is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 11:58 AM
  #2  
 
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I don't know, I would probably email them. It seems a bit much to me. Why should they get full payment plus 3 months interest when all you have is a reservation?

What's the cancellation policy for this place in Berlin? Is 3 months down the road too long to seek recourse through paypal should things not work out?

I've only rented 3 apartments in Europe, and the most I've ever had to put up front was 30%. Actually, a vrbo place I've rented in London is 30% upfront, then the balance 3 weeks prior to the rental period, but it's a low rate and has a very fair cancellation policy and I'm comfortable with it.

But I don't know, maybe it's standard practice for vacation apartments in Berlin. Hopefully others will chime in, because I can totally see where you'd be nervous, and I'd be interested to hear what other posters think.
Apres_Londee is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 12:11 PM
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Whenever I have rented a house or cottage in Holland, France, UK, Spain I have, with one exception, had to pay a deposit to book it and the full amount at least 2 months in advance.
I see it as a perfectly normal requirement. But maybe that's because I'm a European, I don't know, but I really have no problem with doing it. The rate asked seems perfectly reasonable to me. And paying it now protects you against any further fall in the dollar of course.

The one exception btw was on La Palma where we handed over the cash on arrival, no deposit paid, nothing.
hetismij is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 12:32 PM
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This is pretty normal - Apres_Londee says he has paid in full 3 weeks ahead. But lots of owners do want full payment, usually between 30 and 90 days in advance.

Some will allow a deposit then the rest paid on arrival, but that is not the norm and usually just a courtesy because it is sometimes difficult for Americans to send foreign currency.

I have had owners accept a US$ check for full payment, which they do no cash and give back when I've paid in full on arrival. But again that is just a courtesy - not their normal procedure.
janisj is online now  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 12:38 PM
  #5  
 
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We've rented a number of apartments in Paris, and in only one case did we pay the 50% balance upon arrival. When you book a place within a few months of the rental, it's not unusual for the owner/agency to ask for the full amount. That said, this is the leap of faith that you take in renting a flat vs. a hotel. You should do your best to get recommendations from former renters and a feel for the people you're dealing with (vis-a-vis emails, etc.) so you can feel comfortable sending the payment. This is also why many rental agencies/owners suggest that you purchase travel insurance, as you would be out the full amount if you should need to cancel your trip. Good luck, EJ
elsiejune is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 12:53 PM
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"this is the leap of faith that you take in renting a flat . . . . . " The owner is taking just as big a leap of faith - renting to someone they know nothing about.

Put the show on the other foot -- It would be just as understandable for an apartment owner to demand references to make sure one has rented before, has not trashed the place, has paid their outstanding phone bill, and moved out at the end of the rental period.
janisj is online now  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 12:53 PM
  #7  
 
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sheesh - that should be "shoe" on the other foot . . . .
janisj is online now  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 01:03 PM
  #8  
 
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This is good to know for future reference, thanks. And cherrybomb has her answer
Apres_Londee is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 01:32 PM
  #9  
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Alrighty--I've just done a deposit before and was wondering whether to ask to do a deposit for this or just pay it all now. Looks like word here is just pay upfront.

Any other thoughts are welcome as I won't be paying until tomorrow.

Thanks!
cherrybomb is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 04:12 PM
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Janisj: yes, it would be just as understandable for an apt. owner to ask for references, but I have never had that happen, have you? In fact, there was only one instance that I can remember where the owner (American) took the time to chat over the phone and get a sense of who I was. EJ
elsiejune is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 05:07 PM
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Of course not - my point was, so many folks are nervous about apartment rentals, can you only imagine how nervous some landlords are about us?
janisj is online now  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 07:14 PM
  #12  
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I would agree janis and perfectly happy giving references to any apt owner who asked, though the question at hand had to do with deposit v. paying in full to an owner who is absentee so to speak.

I have my answer though and am happy to have an outlet to have queries answered.
cherrybomb is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 07:37 PM
  #13  
 
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I think no-one should answer Cherrybomb until she finishes her Paris trip report. We're all still hanging!
rosetravels is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 08:13 PM
  #14  
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gah! ThAT HURTS!

fine then! I write more there!
cherrybomb is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 09:32 PM
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Being one of those "owners", I can tell you that it is fairly standard to pay the full amount at the time that you reserve it. I also collect a $500 security deposit and I have never withheld a dollar of it. I have only had two renters inquire about having to make the full payment and I am happy to work with them for something like half up front and the other half one month before their booking. Generally, I think most of my renters do not quibble about that and it is just easiest to pay in full and not have to keep track of it. I have one person who wanted to book 9 months in advance so with her, I only requested a $250 deposit since it was a low use time of year. On the other hand, for a xmas booking (it is a ski rental), people are looking and booking 6 months in advance so they do pay in full for that time.
ncounty is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2008, 06:40 AM
  #16  
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Thanks ncountry--I appreciate your perspective. I don't mind paying up front as long as it is standard. I just haven't encountered it before as the owners I have rented from have always lived near the rental.
cherrybomb is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2008, 06:50 AM
  #17  
 
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I also have a rental in France and the French or Europeans (all the ones with euro as their currency) will all pay the full amount in advance.
For all the other countries my guests send a 25% personal check that I keep until they arrive and then they pay the whole amount in cash. They are always happy not to have to pay for the bank charges.
As Janisj said, it is a courtesy but I am happy too to avoid the bank charges
cocofromdijon is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2008, 06:53 AM
  #18  
 
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It would be such a luxury to live near my rental! Someday....I hope to retire there.
It may be of interest, from THIS owner's perspective, it is so important to me that they have a great vacation and love my house. Perhaps because I am managing from afar, I have to watch myself from being a mother hen and being too intrusive by e-mail trying to assure they are enjoying their stay. I don't investigate their backgrouond (I rely on the security deposit to be a deterrent), but I have had the most amazing luck with renters. They have left my place spotless and have expressed appreciation for being able to have that experience. That "emotional payment" is very meaningful to me.
ncounty is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2008, 07:44 AM
  #19  
 
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I don't know what is reasonable or usual, but I know what we did. We arranged in June 07 to rent from a private party (now living in the US) her Paris apartment for the month of May 08.

The price was listed on her web site in euros. We immediately paid 50% (by check, in the dollar-equivalent of euros at the June 07 conversion rate)and paid the remainder (also by check, also at the June 07 conversion rate) two weeks ago. We immediately received the access codes and apartment keys by mail.

This seems reasonable to me. The owner is a private party with just that one apartment to rent (not an agency) and does not advertise much. She needed the guarantee that we would follow through with the rental, and we benefitted (in this instance) by guaranteeing the dollar-euro conversion rate.
d_claude_bear is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2008, 12:00 PM
  #20  
 
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I don't send the keys out until one month before; in my mind, it is as a courtesy to the guest so they have less time to lose it. I figure within one month, they should be able to keep track of it. I keep track of all the arrival dates and send it out at the one month point.
cherrybomb- I checked out their site; looks like a nice place! A good price too; I am looking for a friend in Paris and Rome and it is sooo expensive there....about $2000 euros per week for a two bedroom. Another thing to check is comments from prior guests; it is reassuring to see consistent favorable comments.
ncounty is offline  

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