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How was the return of Security Deposit handled when you rented an apartment in Paris?

How was the return of Security Deposit handled when you rented an apartment in Paris?

Dec 20th, 2006, 03:17 PM
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How was the return of Security Deposit handled when you rented an apartment in Paris?

Much has been written lately about specific rental agencies in Paris. How was the return of the security deposit handled when you rented an apartment? How much was it? Was it immediate?
robjame is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 03:52 PM
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Hi robjame. If I recollect properly, the security deposit for that apartment we rented on rue Morland (the one that is now being rented on a long-term lease) was €200. We wrote the owner a personal cheque for the equivalent in Canadian funds and gave it to her caretaker when we arrived.

The agreement was that the cheque would not be cashed and that the caretaker would return it to us on the morning of our departure. As it turned out, we had to leave very early in the morning, so we didn't see the caretaker again. We asked the owner to destroy the cheque. She wrote back to say she had.

I should mention that we have had a similar arrangement with other owners over the years--a cheque in Canadian funds, to be held until departure and either returned or destroyed. We also rented a place in Uzès where the owner asked for the security deposit in cash (Euros). It was returned the morning we left.

Anselm
AnselmAdorne is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 04:24 PM
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We've rented apartments in Paris from both an American owner and from a French owner (who lived in Cannes, not Paris). In both cases I sent deposit checks written in US dollars. In both cases, the checks were returned to be by the time I got home -- never cashed and never deposited.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Dec 20th, 2006, 04:42 PM
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Patrick - In view of the fraud post on another thread, how did you know that they would be returned when you left? or that there wouldn't be a an unreasonable amount retained?
Anselm - I like the idea of my cheque being held and not cashed. I guess in that case the risk is on the owners side. Merry Christmas to you. Will it be a white Christmas in NS? lobster or turkey?
robjame is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 04:44 PM
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How did I know? They said they would. I'm a trusting person.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Dec 20th, 2006, 05:14 PM
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I think these decisions are best approached with a mixture of research, skepticism, and intuition. At the end of the negotiation with the owner, you either feel you can trust them or you say "I still feel a bit funny about this one," and keep looking.

It certainly isn't foolproof, so I guess we've been either naive and lucky or wise and discerning. Take your pick, LOL.

Looks like a green Christmas for us, robjame, unless it snows on the 25th. My wife does not like lobster (I know, we live a couple of kilometres from the Atlantic; it's scandalous), so it will be turkey: brined, butterflied, and broil-roasted. It's a bit of a ritual in our house. We have a Christmas dinner critical path up on the wall and all three of us have specific responsibilities. Lots of fun, especially when we reach the "Open the champagne" instruction.

Anselm
AnselmAdorne is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 05:42 PM
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Two places I rented in France (but not Paris) did not even ask for a security deposit and another I gave a check in US dollars for the equivalent of 300euros and the owner gave me the check the back day I left the apartment.
One apartment was through homelidays.
lemidi is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 06:05 PM
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I should mention the apartment we're renting in Venice in July through Homelidays required 150 euro as a deposit and balance (600 euro) on arrival. There is no security deposit.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Dec 20th, 2006, 06:47 PM
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Funnily enough, now that you mention it, our Paris apartment owner didn't require security deposit, and our country gite owner came over the morning we left, gave deposit back without looking around at all.
stokebailey is offline  
Dec 21st, 2006, 03:56 AM
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Before our last rental, in Paris, I asked the owner how much the security deposit would be, and he said "I don't ask for one - should I?" He had another apartment in the same block, where he was at the time we were there, so probably kept a discreet eye on things! In other rentals, the owner asked for a cheque which was not cashed, and returned at the end of the rental. In one apartment in Spain, we broke some glasses, but the owner just said that was to be expected with all the tiled floors and did not ask us to pay anything.
BettyB is offline  
Dec 21st, 2006, 04:16 AM
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We rented from parisvacationapartments and the security deposit was $300. I handed the agent 3 $100 bills, and she returned same when we checked out.

Their main concern was losing the key, because that's what it would have cost to change the fancy locks/dead bolts.
Budman is offline  
Dec 21st, 2006, 05:21 AM
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My experience with rentals in France has been that the owners are far more flexible and laid back than they would be here in the US. It seems to be the general consensus from others here as well. That's not to say that there are not those that want a contract and large security etc...but alot of these people seem to operate on a gentleman's handshake more or less. I'm sure that is until they get burned once or twice.

My last rental this past summer of a fabulous apartment in Sanary sur Mer was the nicest and easiest transaction ever. After a few phone calls I determined this was the apartment I wanted to rent. The owner asked for a check for 300euros that she would not cash unless we cancelled with no notice. I sent her a check in $$US for the equivalent of the euros without even asking if that would be okay as I could tell she was so easy going. I also asked in my letter for her to reconfirm price and a few details which she immediately sent me when she received my check. We paid the balance upon arrival and when we left she gave me original deposit check back.

What surprises me about this whole transaction was that her apartment was ultra luxurious with the finest of furniture and appliances, showers with sauna and water jets, electric beds in a very high end waterfront building.

I guess this is not always the safest way to rent for either the owner or tenant but it sure worked out for us and I will definitely rent her place again.
lemidi is offline  
Dec 21st, 2006, 05:47 AM
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I too have found both French and Italian owners to be very relaxed about their policies, including several that required absolutely no deposit to hold the apartment and no security deposit.

But I've always been amazed at that idea of taking a check to hold "in case you cancel without notice". Don't they realize that if someone is going to cancel without notice, that they can also easily call their bank and put a stop payment on that check? Doesn't seem like any kind of "security" check at all to me.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Dec 21st, 2006, 05:51 AM
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As an owner and manager of several properties, I think the key for me is the relationship we have with our guests. We always ask for the deposit at the time the final payment is made - but mostly so that our first meeting with people doesn't have to include - 'hand over the money.' We greet people and show them around, without having to appear too mercenary.

We always require a deposit - on the other hand, when they leave we can almost always give them the money back on the spot. As other posters have mentioned, a lot of the rental agreement when you deal with individuals depends on the relationship between the parties. I don't do an item by item inventory as some of my French friends do - we feel that a certain amount of breakage is inevitable (glass and tile counter tops don't get along very well, and so we know we will have to replace broken wine glasses) It's pretty clear to me when people leave whether there is likely to have been any damage. In 12 years of operating up to 6 houses at a time, we've virtually never had any.

Part of our deposit has always been to cover telephone costs. With guests from Australia, North America, Singapore, etc., we used to worry about long distance charges if they wanted to call home. With improvements in telecommunications and the decrease in long distance charges in France, this is much less of an issue.

So, in our case, I check the telephone usage online - rarely more than a few euros, which is not worth charging - check for damage, and hand back the deposit in cash. this is often a surprise to departing guests, who forget they've even paid it.

We're experimenting this year with asking for a cheque for a house which has a higher rent, and a higher deposit than our others, so that we don't want to have a lot of cash around the house. My concern has always been the difficulty in cashing a foreign currency cheque if there IS a problem. We're hoping that our positive experience will continue and that this will be a non-issue.
Carlux is offline  
Dec 21st, 2006, 06:05 AM
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I know Kerouac. The owner had no protection at all with her system of depositing my check if I cancel. I actually felt sorry for her because of how she could get burned. Hopefully most people are honest and I think this is what they are banking on. There are so may rentals available that I guess they have to do something to remain competitive and desireable as a location de vacances. I recently read that France has the highest number of people with second homes or vacation homes. This makes sense when I see how many rentals are out there.

I also think that in these kind of transactions the French and probably other Euopeans are more honest and less sue/lawyer happy than we are. It's a more old-fashioned relationship. I hope it stays that way.
lemidi is offline  
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