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How safe are valuables if you rent an apt. vs a hotel?

How safe are valuables if you rent an apt. vs a hotel?

Apr 9th, 2002, 09:05 PM
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How safe are valuables if you rent an apt. vs a hotel?

I've been leaning strongly toward renting an apt. instead of doing the hotel thing. BUT it occured to me, aside from the asbsence of a concierge (which I don't rely on heavily but they still come in handy sometimes), that there will be no safe to put valuables and passport in like I'd have in a hotel. The lock on the door is all the protection I'll have.

Is this a valid concern? Does a renter have ANY recourse legally if there is a break-in despite a locked door?
Apr 9th, 2002, 11:19 PM
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And do you have a safe at home? Doesn't your door lock work just fine - same-o, same-o in Europe. In fact I usually feel safer in a flat since there are not all the comings and goings by hotel geursts and strangers.

Most apartments have at least two door locks - one being a dead bolt and sometimes three. You will be fine.
Apr 10th, 2002, 11:25 AM
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I must admit that I have misgivings as well. As a single woman I have worried about who might have copies of the apartment keys and if something goes wrong (noises in the middle of the night, etc.) how successful would I be in calling the police (language barriers ). Any thoughts on this?
Apr 10th, 2002, 11:39 AM
Marc David Miller
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All are valid concerns--you are alone in an apartment, as opposed to being in a building where at least nominally there are people watching out for you 24 hours a day. A concern, not necessarily a deal-breaker.
Apr 10th, 2002, 12:00 PM
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It's just like you'd imagine re theft. I think there are some other drawbacks re services other than the concierge (which I never use and probably have never had, now that I think of it). You will have to take out the trash (I won't go into recycling in Paris, but it's not at your apt.), no one will be able to answer questions on directions, general info, etc (like where is the nearest laundromat), no one will be able to call and make taxi or restaurant reservations (or the police) for you, etc. I rented a modest Parisian apt and it had a lock but no deadbolt like we have on modern buildings in the US. Also, without a concierge, you'll have digicode entry to the apt bldg, probably, and usual problems like you would in the US with that with potential security lapses. I was not so concerned about theft, I know my way around Paris and buildings like that and could converse with neighbors, speak French well enough, etc.

You have no recourse for theft except your own insurance, probably -- many people's homeowners insurance will cover theft like that, check your policy, but that won't solve problems with passports. I own no valuables (except my piano which I don't travel with) so that is no problem with me. I have nothing to steal except my passport and a small amount of cash, which wouldn't be that big a deal (I only carry around about the equiv. of US$200 or less of cash at a time); I usually have my passport on me, also. I guess if my airline tickets were stolen, that would be a nuisance.

In any case, you can ask the agency what their insurance covers, I suspect it is just damage to the apt. to cover them, not theft of your items, but I'm not sure (the agency I used made me pay a small amt. for insurance). I agree theft is less likely than in a hotel because you don't have as many transient guests and so many staff with access to your room. I might add the owner of my apt. popped in unannounced one time to show it to prospective buyers which rather irritated me (she didn't even call before and the agency did not tell me this could happen). The owner will probably have a key, also, as well as whoever cleans it and delivers linens.

I realize I was thinking you were talking about Paris and perhaps you aren't; I would not rent an apt for a short stay (a week or less) even where I know (Paris) all this; I don't think I'd do it in a country where I couldn't speak the language and wasn't already familiar with the area, espec. just for a vacation. I think the advantages of an apt are more for those settling in and living there a while. I don't want to hole up in an apt when I'm visiting an area as a tourist -- I really like to eat out, not only to experience the cuisine but for social reasons. I do like a minibar in my hotel room for drinks, etc, but have no need for a kitchen generally.
Apr 10th, 2002, 12:47 PM
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First of all, don't rent an apartment on the ground floor. We made that mistake when we rented an apartment in the 16th for about 5 weeks. It was a very nice apartment, but even with a concierge, security was a problem. We had to roll down ALL of those security blinds every time we went out, even if it was just for a 10 minute errand around the corner. Always ask what floor the aparmtent is on and say no thanks if it's ground floor (RdC). The higher up, the better. If you're in a decent neighborhood and take normal precautions, your valuables should be ok. Don't bring anything completely irreplaceable, just in case. And find out if the apartment owner's insurance covers you in case of theft or damage.
Apr 10th, 2002, 01:48 PM
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This is slightly off the subject, but in my case, I disagree with Christina.

We rented an unhosted apartment for only five nights in Paris.
We did NOT know the city, did NOT speak the language (more than a few words) and it worked out great.
We have never stayed at a hotel fancy enough to have a "concierge", so didn't miss that. The owner told us the locations of the neighborhood laundromat, grocery, internet, and bank when we arrived. Everything else, we figured out on our own.
Digicode entry, and double locks on the door. Second floor. Didn't worry. Of course, I was not alone.
We used the breakfast supplies included every day, and saved a lot of money. Used the kitchen for dinner several times. Enjoyed the bathtub---last bathtub for six weeks.
The price about $120 per night.

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