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Jan 21st, 2010, 10:37 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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The worst that could happen is that the "owner" gives you a key, lets you in and takes your money - and later in the day the real resident turns up.

A young woman I work with was on the verge of paying for a sublet to a guy with a key for an apartment and luckily the super came along and asked what he was doing in the building. It turned out he was the ex boyfriend of the legal tenant and was trying to both get some cash and also get back at her while renting out her apartment (to which he still had a key) while she was away for the weekend.

If it sounds too good to be true it probably it - get your friend to check everything - and ask to see papers for the lease or ownership. Also have the friend check the studio isn't really a sort of closet under the eaves.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 21st, 2010, 10:55 AM
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Kevin -- Granted I'm not 24 any more, but the place looks a bit dumpy to me -- no windows shown -- could have the view of an air shaft. I can't imagine wanting to spend 2 weeks there. Note -- I do have claustrophobia, so that sways my outlook!
SuzChicago is offline  
Jan 21st, 2010, 11:22 AM
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nytraveler: I was also wondering about the reliability of the renter, thinking someone could be pulling a scam of some type. We've rented twice now just a few blocks off the Ile on the edge of the Marais, and this price just looks too good to be true - especially in May! We rent from an owner, also, but still do place a deposit, get a minimal contract, get contact info for the hotel that acts as concierge and knows us by name, etc. And re: hotels that let you back out by noon of same day? I'm not sure that's a small hotel kind of policy, more like a Marriott or something - I would picture this being a small hotel, and to leave them in the lurch for a full week if this apartment does indeed work out just doesn't seem either right or even doable.
I look forward to hearing how this works out.
jo_ann is offline  
Jan 21st, 2010, 11:24 AM
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It doesn't appear to have a window. Is the sofa the bed?
Lynnaustin is offline  
Jan 21st, 2010, 11:58 AM
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And ask if the rate he's quoting is all-inclusive. Any additional charges? Are the utilities turned on?

It does look tiny but I hope it works out for you.
Luisah is offline  
Jan 21st, 2010, 02:32 PM
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How can anyone say there are no windows -- or anything else?? There are just the two photos of a bit of the seating area and the kitchen/dining area. Those two photos are of adjacent walls/right angles to each other. The shelves show in both pictures. (Like many owners, this one seems to miss the benefit of a wide angle lens) It just looks like a typical studio-type apartment to me.
janisj is online now  
Jan 21st, 2010, 02:34 PM
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. . . . "typical" to lots of people anyway. Maybe not for customers of Paris Perfect, or the Ritz.

I know I've rented that grade/quality of place several times when on a budget.
janisj is online now  
Jan 21st, 2010, 04:51 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
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My impression was that what was shown was pretty much the entire studio. If there was more, wouldn't he have shown more pictures? Maybe he could send measurements.
Lynnaustin is offline  
Jan 21st, 2010, 06:28 PM
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I suppose I have not been clear enough, the price was quoted as all inclusive. His description from the add says internet, cable tv, sunny and cozy! I don't know, I definitely do not have the high standards of some of the other travelers on here. As long as it is clean and reasonably similar to how it appears in the photos I will be happy! We are in Paris after all, and after spending two other 2 week trips there I know that I am not going to be getting enough out of my lodgings to justify pursuing American standards. . .

The price, location and cleanliness is most important to me.

PLUS, I did a google search for his phone number and can see he has posted adds for the same place before on other websites about a year ago so . . . .not that that says much!

I also don't know how to approach references, I mean he could provide some but who am I to know they are legitimate?!

I think we are going to confirm and make back-up reservations as we just bought our flights! Can't wait, only 4 months!
KevDon is offline  
Jan 21st, 2010, 07:16 PM
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You'll probably be just fine. As you gather - some are more squeamish/particular about their accommodations. That's not a bad thing.

But having lived overseas for several years and seeing LOTS of flats carved out of odd spaces in quirky old buildings, it takes a lot to upset me. Mostly I ultimately care about clean, hot water, and location (and price of course). I don't need American sized beds or a full sized fridge or anything else. Now - I HAVE splurged on posh places but more often I go for the location/bargain
janisj is online now  
Jan 22nd, 2010, 05:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Have a good shop around before you decide where you are going to stay and bargain hard with the owners. Have a look a the following sites


send emails to many owners and play them all off against each others. This is difficult to do if you are dealing with agents but with owners it is easier. With most places you can get a discount of 20-25% especially in the current recession.
Tommartin59 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2010, 05:41 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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KevDon - Last year we camped right outside the doors of Notre Dame (in the Hotel Hospitel Dieu) so that we could explore the two islands indepth. Unfortunately my husband wasn't very well so this year are going back to finish what we started.
I have many many books on Paris and have been about 11 times.
I swot up stuff all the time and have many more "secrets" on the islands most tourists are not aware of.

If you would like me to forward my investigations into this subject I would be very happy to send you a copy!
tod is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2010, 07:05 AM
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I thought maybe they had discounted the one I found a bit for you, but now I saw your photos -- of which only two are the apt, actually.

It definitely does not seem too good to be true to me, I think it should be about what they are charging you. As long as you are happy with just that space, the location is fine. I can't imagine the owner could get much more for that place. It doesn't look like a typical studio to me, it looks like the low end of a typical studio. I've stayed in several in Paris, and they were a lot better than that. Now if you are happy, fine, that's great, but I just don't see the price as anything unusual about the place in those photos that it should seem a red flag that it is too good to be true.

The no deposit just sounds strange to me, I don't know how he could operate that way, as I said. But maybe it has just worked out for him so it isn't worth his trouble to get the deposits, etc.

I've never gotten references, but I have never rented from a private owner. I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't have any (which doesn't mean anything is wrong). If he doesn't take deposits or write contracts, I doubt if he is asking tenants to write letters to show others and keeping track of them. You wouldn't know if they were real, anyway.
Christina is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2010, 08:39 AM
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Tod: that would be great! I am not sure how you would like to send them but I have an email address at [email protected] for this trip!

Christina:you bring up some good points regarding the deposit and references. We did find one other studio in the Marais which is a more appealing listing as far as things go so we may just go with the safer option, besides; this other one is 10 euro cheaper per week! lol and much nicer looking. . .

Thanks again!
KevDon is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2010, 08:53 AM
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KevinDon - Give me the weekend. I won't disappoint.
tod is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2010, 02:26 PM
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This looks like a really tiny and not well-kept place. And who knows how many steps to the front door?

The worst thing that could happen - and might - is that you have a miserable time. Or maybe even worse is it's just not acceptable but you can't get your money back and end up staying in a more expensive hotel.

Either way, this seems too much of a risk to take for what should be an enjoyable - and (happily) memorable - trip.
Eurocentric is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2010, 02:47 PM
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I think I might be interested too. Always on the lookout for new info. Hoping to go for 2 weeks in the fall
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2010, 03:03 PM
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Posts: 353
I, also would be interested in your investigation finds. I've been in Paris many times; always looking for off-the-beaten-path ideas. Can you post your info for all, or should I supply email?
roamer is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2010, 03:31 PM
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I don't get the "not very well kept" bit. It looks like a typical budget studio and there is nothing in the two limited photos that says it is dirty, unkempt, or anything else.
janisj is online now  
Jan 23rd, 2010, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 8,285
tod, I would also love to see your information. This whole area facinates me. Well, all of Paris does! If you would be willing to send it to me my address is "the mikster70 @ hotmail .com". (No spaces or quotation marks of course).

KevDon, Is the sofa the bed? Two weeks sounds like a long time for two people to be sleeping on that. And plese give us a trip report!
gomiki is online now  

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