italian apartment wants cash. OK???

Jun 12th, 2007, 08:34 AM
  #1  
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italian apartment wants cash. OK???

Found a nice apartment in Rome. Site looks legit 20% down via paypal or credit card. Then 80% cash on arrival. This will be about 800$. Do you think this is safe? Here is there web site.

http://www.rentalinrome.com/termsandconditions.htm

Thanks
73106 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 08:44 AM
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It is not unusual for Italian apartment owners to request final payment in cash, especially those who conduct only a handful of such transactions a year and find the inconvenience and expense of accepting credit cards significant (banking and credit card systems are quite different there).
I have no information on the agency you link, but slowtrav.com is all about rentals so you might find plenty of info there.
kayd is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 09:05 AM
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Sounds OK----but after you have seen the apartment.

This is not unusual. A hotel in Bellagio offered me a 15% discount if I paid cash.

You might ask if the cash payment could earn you a 5-10 % discount.
gplusg is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 11:37 AM
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I've paid cash in advance for an apt rental in Cinque Terre, but that was only $60 for two nights.

In Venice, I was asked to pay cash (they gave a discount), but only as I was checking out (they had my cc as a deposit).

Ralphie is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 11:45 AM
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I recently did my own Rome apartment search, and it seemed to me that virtually everyone asks that you pay in cash. The agency I ended up going with, Real Rome, has been recommended highly on this board many times, and it too required that I pay cash upon arrival, so you shouldn't be too alarmed by the mere fact that they ask you to pay cash.

dawn3793 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Hotels offer a discount for cash if they also accept credit cards; an apartment owner who asks for cash initially probably doesn't accept credit cards at all so is not offering a beter deal for cash.
kayd is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 02:59 PM
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most apartments that we looked at for July 9-13 of this year wanted cash upon arrival... seemed to be standard for companies/owners in Rome.
The company that we are looking at for Florence has cc on their site. Many on VBRO have cc on their sites as well..
dawnnoelm is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 03:06 PM
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We were in Florence recently and we paid $600 cash upon arrival. As mentioned above...go to the apartment and see it before handing over the money but yes, this is standard practice.
caroltis is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 03:36 PM
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I did this for an apt thru Sleep in Italy. Gave them a deposit via credit card and about 1600 euro cash upon arrival. That was after I was let into the apt, shown everything and given the keys and a receipt.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 03:58 PM
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Am I too old or what?

In what mad, transformed world are cash transactions a sinister form of commerce?

I remember when cash was the only means of exchange in such places as Italy and France -- apart from those dreary Travellers' cheques and the mysterious (to us) Euro-cheques.
tedgale is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 06:03 PM
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the mysterious (to us) Euro-cheques

Eurocheques were the best means of paying for travel. But you needed a resident bank account in Europe to get them. They no longer exist since the euro arrived. So it's back to cash. Few Europeans use credit cards.



hopscotch is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 07:18 PM
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Yes it is quite normal in many parts of Europe. I assume your concerns over safety are that they will take off with the cash and you will be left without an apartment - usually you would go to the apartment and hand over the cash. The main issue with us with cash is having to get it from an ATM, possible limits and our preference not to carry large amounts of cash for long etc. We would always prefer to pay by credit card or paypal but most of Europe is much more cash based. I doubt you will get a discount if their terms are cash - you might if you had the option of credit card.
eliza3 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 07:30 PM
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I settle up in euros for my Paris apartment; I've been going there twice a year for about 5 years and the owner, his family and I have become friends. But I still pay cash on arrival; that's just the way it is.
Jess215 is offline  
Jun 13th, 2007, 06:40 PM
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Eliza is correct...you have to plan ahead so you can gather up the needed cash and it usually requires several trips to the ATM because of withdrawal limits.
caroltis is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 09:00 AM
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I am hoping to rent an apartment from realrome, which also requires cash on arrival. I can see that this is a common practice, but I feel somewhat uneasy about walking around Rome with that much cash on me. (I will be traveling with my mom.)

In your experience, was it better to wait to arrive and hope to get cash from an ATM, or arrive with that cash?

PS: Just wanted to send out a general thank you to all the Fodorites who gave their time to post information here. This is my second trip to Europe, but my first time renting apartments in Paris and Rome. The information I found here was invaluable in helping me make these plans.

shelly_m is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 09:15 AM
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You don't have to walk around with a bunch of cash...you get it just before you need it. We arrived in Rome, I got all the cash I needed for the balance of the apartment right there at the airport ATM. You have to arrange w/ your bank to raise your withdrawal limit for that day. We went directly to the apt via a cab and met Sleep in Italy where I paid them the cash. No walking around.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 09:16 AM
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There are differing opinions on this, but personally if Rome is my first stop from the US, I bring the cash with me.

If it's in large bills in a moneybelt deep within my clothing where no one can get to it, and I'm not arriving via crowded bus or metro, I think the risk is extremely minimal. I really don't want to spend my first day in Rome wandering around looking for ATMs and relying on them for large sums.
LAwoman is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 09:19 AM
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Shelly, normally I'd suggest you just wait and get it from an ATM on arrival, but after my experience this summer coming from the UK and arriving in Rome I'd rethink that suggestion. Because I had been gone from home for over 30 days at that time, BofA apparently decided to remove the OK for foreign withdrawals that they had put on my account when I gave them our 11 week itinerary. Or perhaps after 30 days it automatically dropped it. So I couldn't get the 900 euros in cash on arrival in Rome. Not being business hours back home, I couldn't do anything about it until the next day either.

I had a wonderful apartment owner whose attitude was "hey, this is Italy. Of course there are problems with the banks". She said to get the money when I got it straightened out with the bank and she'd come pick it up. She didn't come back for a week -- until the day before we were to leave to get her cash. But I was lucky.

On the other hand, this is the first time in years of extensive European travel that I've ever had an issue with ATMs.



NeoPatrick is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 09:35 AM
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I've rented apartments in several European cities, including Rome, and every time I have had to pay the balance in cash on arrival.

The very first time in Venice I was worried about carrying nearly 1000 euros in cash so I took travellers cheques. I now realise this was a bit silly of me, but this was before I discovered fodors!

Another time I got cash out at Barcelona airport, took a taxi into the city and then found I had to walk down pedestrianised streets and tiny narrow dark calles to the apartment after 11pm which was scary!

Since then I have either got the cash before leaving home, or at the airport on arrival (or a combination of the two) then taken a private car directly to the apartment. In Rome I used romeshuttlelimousine.com and was perfectly happy and secure.

You don't actually hand over the cash until you have seen the apartment.
julia_t is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 10:29 AM
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Why not ask them if you can wire the amount before arrival? When we used Roman Reference and reserved this apartment http://www.romanreference.com/appart....php?refid=348 , we wired it and got a discount for doing so.

doofus74 is offline  

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